I used to attribute that feeling of slight aching, fatigue, and general awfulness to life being terrible. But it turns out there's a cure for common malaise. Hypochondriacs, this is your vindication! You're just missing a brain chemical called orexin.
Oregon Health and Science University's pinpointed the cutoff of orexin while ill as the root of that Ughhhhhhhh feeling:
Research has shown that in response to illness, animals divert all their energy to fight infection. Lethargy, fever and loss of appetite are symptoms of the body's highly organized strategy to sacrifice biological and physiological priorities to provide the greatest chance of survival.
So what's this mean? Pill poppin'! Orexin tablets already exist for treating sleep disorders, so now doctors think they'll be able to simply prescribe them differently. The biggest gains will be seen with chronic illness patients, but shit—I want a mouthful of orexin right now. [OHSU via DVICE]
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