The hypothesis of a new study has theorised that repeated exposure to cold may reduce fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This is because brief exposure to cold could potentially reverse some physiological changes which are associated with the illness.
For example, exposure to cold can activate components of the reticular activating system. This can then lead to an increased capacity of the CNS to recruit motoneurons.
Cold has also been shown to reduce serotonin levels in most regions of the brain – according to animal models, this should be consistent with reduced fatigue.
Exposure to cold also increases metabolic rate and activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis – this leads to a change in hormones, including an increase in cortisol. This leads to reduced fatigue by reducing muscle pain and accelerating recovery of fatigued muscle.cfs, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome management, cold exposure, fatigue