Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ciguatera Toxin: an instantaneous cause of ME/CFS

Ciguatera Induced ME/CFS

An insufficiently reported cause of ME/CFS induced overnight in hitherto
perfectly healthy subjects has often been reported from tropical coastal
areas of Australia and outlying Pacific islands.

Professor John Pearn, over a decade ago, reported cases of ME developing
within hours of patients ingesting ciguatera toxin.  Ciguatera poison is
found in many fish in Australian and other tropical waters.  A typical case
reported by Pofessor Pearn would involve a Pacific island family cooking and
eating inadequately gutted ciguatera fish.  Next morning several of the
group are dead or dying, any survivors, if lucky, being evacuated by air to
an Australian hospital such as John Pearn's in Brisbane.

Please step forward anyone who considers that a disorder caused within hours
by a fish toxin can be neither physiological nor neurological in nature but
must instead be essentially psychiatric!

AHMF: 98 Conference: Pearn  Ciguatera - Chronic Debility: One cause of the
CFS. John Pearn. Professor of Paediatrics & Child Health Consultant to
Queensland Poisons Information Centre

AHMF: 98 Conference: Pearn
Models for CFS - Channelopathies And Ciguatera. John Pearn. Professor of
Paediatrics & Child Health, Consultant to Queensland Poisons Information

The victor as victim: stress syndromes of operational service. Treatment as
for CFS and PTSD. Social networks and support. Pearn JH. CFS ‹ chronic
ciguatera as part of the differential ... -

MJA: Chronic fatigue syndrome - references. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons,
1993. [Ciba Found Symp 1993; 173.]  Pearn JH. Chronic ciguatera: one cause
of the chronic fatigue syndrome. In patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS) what conclusions can we draw?

eMJA: Chronic fatigue syndrome   CFS is diagnosed on clinical grounds. It
relies on the presence of... Chicester: John Wiley and Sons, 1995: 323-334.
Buchwald D, Sullivan JL, Pearn JH. Chronic ciguatera: one cause of chronic
fatigue syndrome. ...
More results from


The 1976-1994 causes of my M.E.?

(1) 18 years teaching in a new, ill-designed and unventilated Tasmanian
government college (since demolished) the building being subject through
those years to an ever-increasing load of chemical contaminants including
hydrocarbons, toluene, trichloroethne, xylene, barium and lead fumes from
unventilated pottery kilns, laboratory chemicals, ever more computers &c.

(2) The tripling of my 1976-1993 workload forced on me at 24 hours notice in
February 1994. I tried teaching the load of mostly never studied subjects to
17 and 18 year olds but after 10 weeks cumulative sleep deprivation I
collapsed. Soon after I was given a dx of ME/CFS - by a psychiatrist!  I
have never recovered.

Tom McGlynn // Tasmania // PWME since May 1994.

* * *
The meal I was attempting to eat literally a minute before I collapsed was chicken.  But I may have had fish for lunch.


Hege Renate said...

I really like your site. You are doing a good job.



Anonymous said...

I had "post-viral fatigue", that was later diagnosed as ME/CFS. Then I injured my back at work and had a seafood meal and got enormously worse. I was told the stress of the injury exacerbated the CFS. Then I caught Epstein-Barr virus, and was forced to move from full-time to part-time work.

Then I was poisoned with Ciguatera, and I'm lucky to be alive. The symptoms eclipsed every other diagnosed "cause of CFS" I've ever suffered. It took 18 months to get diagnosed. The neurologist took an MRI and diagnosed "severe CFS". It took my gastroenterologist to discuss my case with a toxicologist at a conference for a diagnosis to be possible in Australia. I blog and podcast about Ciguatera and interview toxicologist Graham Ncholson on