Permit me to applaud Dr Stine Bjerkestrand’s editorial in Tidsskriftet no. 2/2011 concerning the massive publicity given to the suggestion that chronic fatigue syndrome is an autoimmune disorder (1).
I have another explanation and propose another course of action. This is a disorder that tends to affect active people who train and exercise extensively. In Bergen there was an epidemic when patients developed severe diarrhoea because of a parasite in the drinking water.
Diarrhoea of this kind causes loss of phosphate, and in athletes who are low in phosphate, loss of phosphate will be so pronounced that the result will be a condition reminiscent of what was seen in concentration camp prisoners after World War II. Many of these patients died after eating chocolate (2); some who were put into American hospitals in Germany died as a result of receiving glucose intravenously (3, 4).
The solution was found when an old Indian doctor recommended giving skimmed milk to the patients. Establishing a diagnosis of phosphate shortage requires measuring the phosphorus in blood samples; but I would recommend following the advice of the Indian doctor and giving the patients skimmed milk as their only drink for a few days. The treatment is totally harmless, simple and inexpensive.
I do not doubt that autoimmune treatment may be effective for chronic fatigue syndrome (5). Strong medication can result in the death of cells with ensuing release of phosphate.