Further pathophysiological correlations and explanatory models
At the causal or triggering level of this complex multisystem disease, other possible triggers are described in addition to the explanatory model of a pathogenic infection. Ultimately, these are always events or stressors that cause significant damage to the body. These can be primarily severe traumas – physiological in the area of the cervical spine or psychological-emotional traumas. Furthermore, severe damage to mitochondria and cellular regulation, for example, by highly toxic substances/ various environmental toxins can cause ME/CFS.
But what happens subsequently in the body when affected individuals spiral downward and stress intolerance becomes such a major and ever-increasing limitation of quality of life?
One mechanism described is the so-called reaction rigidity of the cell.
If the organism is stressed for a very long time, tissue overacidification occurs regularly, which consequently favors and promotes disease and disease processes. One speaks of extracellular hyperacidity when the body deposits the excess acids in the intercellular spaces. If this condition persists continuously without countermeasures, then sooner or later the acid-base balance inside the cell will also be disturbed (intracellular acidosis). The acid from inside the cell can no longer be “disposed of” and so acid builds up until the cell finally “freezes”. As a result of this “overacidified cell”, nutrients can no longer adequately reach the interior of the cell and the normal regulatory and metabolic processes are significantly disturbed.
Other explanatory models include stress-induced chronic hyperventilation, adrenal insufficiency with cortisol deficiency, or mitochondrial dysfunction.