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Watch Now! New Research Update from the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration

The Heart of the Matter


  • Hormones impact the immune system and energy metabolism, which are both considered major parts of the biological cause of ME/CFS.


  • Changes in hormone levels may impact the development of the disease and its severity.


The MELLOW project aims to measure fluctuations in hormones across the menstrual cycle, and identify how those changes influence the symptoms people experience.

MELLOW: Tracking Hormonal Fluctuations in ME/CFS and Long COVID

As the majority of people living with ME/CFS and Long COVID (LC) will experience fluctuations in female sex hormones, it’s no wonder that hormone levels and how they influence disease severity is an area of interest for research.

We know that hormones can have a large impact on different systems in the body, like the immune system and energy metabolism, and there is evidence that hormone levels are altered in ME/CFS and LC. But in females of reproductive age, hormone levels fluctuate on a normal basis, even in healthy populations. So how do the changes in hormone levels a person with ME/CFS experiences throughout the menstrual cycle change how they experience the disease? And do these changes throughout the menstrual cycle differ from people not living with ME/CFS?

For Dr. Natalie Thomas, a member of OMF’s Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration, her background in neuroendocrinology—the study of the glands and organs in the body that produce hormones—made these questions even more intriguing.

Now, as part of the Tracking Hormonal Fluctuations in ME/CFS and Long COVID project (MELLOW), Dr. Thomas and Dr. Armstrong are finally able to study individual hormone fluctuations across the menstrual cycle and how those changes relate to that person’s symptoms. By using unique technology, participants in the MELLOW study will be able to track their own hormone levels at home. Then, in collaboration with Dr. Jonas Bergquist (Director of OMF’s center in Uppsala, Sweden), a specialized analytical platform will provide researchers with a more holistic picture of different hormones and how they interact with each other.

Watch this video to hear more about Dr. Thomas and her work on the MELLOW project.

As we continue to explore critical questions about ME/CFS and Long COVID, your support is more vital than ever. Please consider donating today to help us advance our research initiatives, like the MELLOW project, and move closer to finding effective treatments for millions around the world.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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