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30 TIPS FOR TREATING CFS

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on October 12th, 2011

The information below is from my favourite book on the subject: From fatigued to fantastic by Dr J Teitelbaum. Hope it helps you.

30 Top Tips for Treating CFS & Fibromyalgia When All Else Fails

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

When giving lectures, I’m sometimes approached by people who say they’ve tried everything for their CFS or fibromyalgia — but nothing helps. In most cases, I ask them if they’ve even tried the basic treatments in the SHINE protocol (such as the sleep medication Ambien, the adrenal hormone Cortef, the anti-fungals Diflucan and Anti-Yeast, and the thyroid supplements Armour or BMR Complex). Their answer is usually no.

Occasionally though, the person is still ill even having done SHINE. Though our published research shows that over 85% of CFS and fibromyalgia patients feel significantly better after just 3 months on SHINE, that’s not good enough — Our goal is 100% relief!

In this series I discuss 30 treatments that can be very helpful in stubborn CFS/FM cases, and I explain an overall approach to using them. I group the 30 treatments by categories, in the order in which they should be considered. Each part in the series will cover 10 of these special treatments.

You should begin with the basics by getting started on the core SHINE protocol. If you haven’t already done so, do the free Symptom and Lab Analysis Program. This will create an individual SHINE treatment protocol customized to you, based on your symptoms, and if available, the pertinent lab tests.

The basic treatments, along with SHINE, will help most of you get your life back. But if you’re having trouble getting better, or you’re better but not better enough — read on to learn what to do next!

Part 1: Recheck the Basics

Part 1 includes the first 10 of 30 treatments to try “when all else fails” — and a lot of these focus on sleep.

For easier readability, I show an asterisk (*) next to the treatments that are self-care/non-prescription. The other treatments require that you work with your doctor. (Note that some of the asterisk treatments are actually a mix of self-care and medical care.) At the end of this section, you’ll find a list of which treatments require a blood test (a convenient summary in case you want to do all these tests at one time).

Sleep

Start by trying the following four treatments. If they fail to work, move on to the numbered steps below:

*1. Be sure you are sleeping eight hours a night.

If not, read my article Sleep and Insomnia. If you’ve found that sleep medications aren’t working for you, download the SHINE Protocol document and review treatment numbers 22 through 46a for a partial list of natural and prescription sleep aids that can help with fibromyalgia. Most people discover that there are many helpful sleep treatments that they’ve not tried yet.

*2. Do sleep medications initially work for a few days or weeks, and then stop working?

If so, rotate them. For example, if each medication works for only two weeks, then take it (or a mix of a few treatments) for 10 days and then go on to the next medication. When you are on the last medication that works, go back to the first one(s). You’ll usually find that it is effective again! Another advantage of using herbal sleep aids is that it’s uncommon to develop a tolerance to them.

*3. Are you exhausted all day but wide awake at bedtime?

It’s likely that your adrenal glands are under-functioning during the day — leaving you tired — but that your levels of the adrenal hormone cortisol are too high at bedtime — causing you to be wide awake. This is called a “blunted circadian rhythm.” If this sounds like you, try the herbal mix Sleep Tonight. This product brings down an elevated bedtime cortisol level, and often helps you sleep within the first few nights of use (and sometimes the very first night). You can take it along with other sleep herbals and medications. If after a few weeks of this herb working you start waking in the middle of the night, lower the dose or take a 1-2 ounce high-protein bedtime snack (see number 4 below) — Sleep Tonight will have been lowering your cortisol too much.

*4. Do you wake up too early in the morning (between 2 and 4 am)?

This is very common in CFS and fibromyalgia, and has many possible causes. One that is common and simple to treat is low blood sugar levels during the middle of the night. (It’s not uncommon to see cortisol levels that are too high at bedtime become too low in the middle of the night, with a corresponding drop in blood sugar. See “*3″ above.) The simple solution is to eat a 1-2-ounce high-protein snack at bedtime (cheese, an egg, some nuts). This will help maintain stable blood sugar during sleep. If nighttime low blood sugar is your problem, the snack will help the very first night. Also, acid reflux may wake you at night. Take an acid blocker at bedtime 1-2 nights and see if this helps. If it does, don’t stay on the acid blocker (which is addictive). Instead, send me a message on my Facebook page and I’ll give you the solution (and stay tuned for an article on this in an upcoming newsletter).

*5. Undergo a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) — or videotape yourself!

Here’s a quick, do-it-yourself screening. Videotape yourself sleeping at night, putting the camera at the foot of the bed so you can see both your legs and your face. If your legs are jumping a lot during sleep, ask your doctor to treat you for restless legs syndrome (RLS). The best treatment for RLS is to take an iron supplement until your ferritin blood level is more than 60. The medication Neurontin can also help. If the video shows that you snore and stop breathing during the night, ask your physician to do a “split sleep study” to look for sleep apnea. In a split study, your physician looks for apnea the first part of the night. If it’s present, they try CPAP treatment (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, using a breathing mask) during the second part of the night. If you don’t ask for a split study, the sleep lab will usually conduct the tests over two nights, which will cost you double!

Novel Therapies

*6. The Methylation Protocol.

This protocol, developed by Drs. Amy Yasko and Rich Van Konynenburg, and researched by Dr. Neil Nathan, addresses methylation defects. (Methylation is a biochemical reaction necessary for the building and repair of every cell.) The protocol can be very helpful in a subset of CFS patients who don’t improve with standard treatment. For more information on the Protocol, see Dr. Nathan’s article at the ProHealth website. I have great respect for Dr. Van Konynenburg and Dr. Nathan — they are definitely on the side of angels!

7. Check for celiac disease, with two blood tests: anti-transglutaminase IgA and IgG antibody.

If your test is positive, you’ll probably improve dramatically by avoiding gluten, a protein found in wheat. (Important: you must not be on a wheat-free diet before the test.) To learn more about celiac disease, see How Often are Spastic Colon (and CFS) Really Celiac Disease (Wheat Allergy)?

8. Check for serum ammonia level.

If it’s elevated, ask your doctor to treat for bacterial bowel infections. Elevated ammonia from bowel infections may also aggravate brain fog. (We talk more about these bowel infections in Part 3 of this series). Also, consider a trial of lactulose, a prescription laxative that binds ammonia.

9. Try low-dose naltrexone.

This safe, simple and low-cost medication (an old standard in treating alcohol and drug addiction) can boost immune function and decrease pain in fibromyalgia. More is not better, as it loses effectiveness if you take more than 4.5 mg a day. Generally, I give 3.5 to 4.5 mg at bedtime. I order it by prescription from a compounding pharmacy (ITC Pharmacy, at 888-349-5453). Your physician can call it in, and the pharmacy can guide your physician in how to prescribe the medicine. An important point is that you need to give it at least two months to work. For more information (and you should read this before starting), visit the website Low Dose Naltrexone.

10. Heparin.

About 50% of people who don’t respond to any other treatment improve dramatically with 7,000 to 8,000 units of heparin, a blood thinner. I give a subcutaneous injection, twice a day. The benefits are usually seen within 3 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, this treatment has some risks, such as bleeding, and even a potentially fatal drop in platelet counts. However, I’ve never seen or heard of either of these toxicities occurring when heparin is used for CFS. (You can find more information on heparin in my book From Fatigued to Fantastic!) I often save this for when all others fail, because of the risk.

Summary of Blood Tests

There are a number of blood tests used in the treatments discussed in this three-part series. They are summarized below for your convenience:

  • Ferritin (treatment no. 3)
  • Anti-transglutaminase IgA and IgG antibody (treatment no. 7)
  • Serum ammonia level (treatment no. 8)
  • Fasting morning cortisol; DHEA-S (treatment no. 12)
  • Pregnenolone (treatment no. 13)
  • IGF-1 (treatment no. 14)
  • Free and total testosterone (treatment no. 16)

11. Consider a trial of high-dose T3 thyroid hormone.

If it hasn’t been tried, consider a trial of high-dose T3 thyroid hormone. (For more information on this approach, see the Dr. Lowe website.) Many people with fibromyalgia are resistant to thyroid hormone — it’s as if their body is “deaf” and has trouble “hearing” the hormone — and they need high levels to achieve normal function.

*12. Optimize your adrenal with Adrenal Stress End, Cortef, DHEA-S.

Is your adrenal functioning optimized? Probably not, if you have one or more symptoms of suboptimal adrenal functioning, which include low blood pressure, post-exertional fatigue, or becoming very irritable when hungry. You can optimize adrenal function with the Adrenal Stress End herbal mix, the adrenal hormone Cortef (5 to 15 mg daily by prescription), and DHEA (if DHEA-S is suboptimal). You should also drink more water and consumer more salt (unless you have high blood pressure or heart failure).

*13. Stimulate hormone production with Pregnenolone.

Pregnenolone is the “mother hormone” — the main raw material your body uses to make other hormones, like cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. We have found that pregnenolone is often low in CFS and fibromyalgia. Have your level checked — and treat if you find it’s suboptimal.

14. Consider growth hormone injections.

IgF is a biochemical marker for growth hormone (GH) — and we see GH deficiency over and over again in fibromyalgia. If your IgF levels are suboptimal, consider GH injections. (These are expensive, so this isn’t an early choice for treatment.) In a recent study, the dose was .006 mg/kg/d of GH, adjusted based on IgF levels. Good news: exercise, sex, and sleep also raise GH. (You can read more about FMS and GH in one of this issue’s research briefs.)

15. Oxytocin can produce quick benefits in some cases.

Oxytocin is an important hypothalamic neurotransmitter, which is shown to be low in FMS. I suspect a deficiency is present in those with pallor and cold extremities. The typical dose (administered via intramuscular injection) is 10 units (add 0.2 cc lidocaine without epinephrine to minimize stinging). If it’s going to help, the benefits will begin in 45 to 60 minutes and are clear cut. If the injection works, you can try a sublingual (under the tongue) or nasal spray, made by a compounding pharmacy, to see if there’s a similar benefit — but these forms are less effective and more expensive than the injections. The injections can be used daily, or daily as needed.

16. In women, look for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Ten percent of American women have PCOS — a condition characterized by high blood levels of testosterone and DHEA associated with insulin resistance (blood sugar problems). The symptoms can include acne, increased facial hair, irregular periods and infertility. If those symptoms are present along with an elevated testosterone and DHEA level, and a fasting insulin blood level over 10, you might have PCOS triggering your CFS/FMS. Treatment consists of:

  • The prescription anti-diabetes drug metformin, at 500 mg, 1 to 2 times daily. (Metformin can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, so be sure to take the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder with it. Beyond that, it is an excellent and very safe medication.)
  • Cortef, at 10 to 20 mg a day, can also improve PCOS.
  • Cut sweets out of your diet — sugar flares PCOS.
  • Some birth control pills can help regularize the menstrual cycle.

*Nutritional Therapies

Make sure your foundations are covered by taking the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder (1/2-1 scoop a day) plus ribose (Corvalen) 5 gm 2-3x day. I also recommend zinc (sulfate or picolinate) 25 mg a day for 3-6 months for everyone with CFS/FMS. After 3-6 months, the zinc in the vitamin powder is enough to maintain zinc levels. At a few cents a day, it offers remarkable immune benefits at very low cost.

*17. Take these additional supplements for first 3-6 months.

For 3 to 6 months, add:

*18. Check for food allergies.

Food allergies can severely aggravate CFS/FMS. To see if food allergies are playing a role, go on a Multiple Food Elimination Diet. A wonderful technique to treat food allergies is a specially modified form of acupressure, called NAET. (For more information, and a list of the over 10,000 practitioners worldwide, visit the NAET website.) In addition, many food allergies settle down after you provide adrenal support and treat Candida.

19. Take high-potency nutritional IVs.

These are called Standard IVs at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers (which use a special advanced formula) and Myers Cocktails in holistic practice. I recommend taking a set of 6. You can find the recipe for Myers Cocktails in From Fatigued to Fantastic!, at IV (Intravenous) Nutritional Support Gets More Support, and at Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers.

20. Take iron.

Iron is critical for thyroid function, helping to convert T4 to active T3. It also helps produce dopamine, a key neurotransmitter. And it helps settle down Restless Legs Syndrome. So be sure your iron stores are optimized. Have your blood ferritin (a biomarker of stored iron) level checked. If the level is under 60, you should take 29 mg a day of iron, plus 100 mg vitamin C (which aids absorption). Important: the so-called “normal” range for “adequate” ferritin is anything over 12, which is frankly insane.

Summary of Blood Tests

There are a number of blood tests used in the treatments discussed in this three-part series. They are summarized below for your convenience:

  • Ferritin (treatment no. 3)
  • Anti-transglutaminase IgA and IgG antibody (treatment no. 7)
  • Serum ammonia level (treatment no. 8)
  • Fasting morning cortisol; DHEA-S (treatment no. 12)
  • Pregnenolone (treatment no. 13)
  • IGF-1 (treatment no. 14)
  • Free and total testosterone (treatment no. 16)

Part 3: Going After Hidden Infections

If you have strep throat or a bladder infection, it’s easy for a doctor to collect the bacteria, put it in a culture dish, and figure out the type of bacteria that’s causing the problem — and treat it. But if you have one or more of the infections that are commonly seen in CFS and fibromyalgia — antibiotic-sensitive, viral, parasite, and Candida infections — there aren’t any accurate tests for detection. That means these infections often need to be treated empirically without lab confirmation, based solely on symptoms and their response to treatment.

In earlier newsletter articles, I have discussed when to treat for hidden antibiotic-sensitive infections and when to consider a trial of antivirals. In addition (and most importantly) aggressively treating Candida is a crucial part of treatment for virtually everyone with CFS and fibromyalgia. Those three articles supply the basis for treating infections directly, and are worth reading if you have persistent CFS/FMS. The question is what to do when you suspect hidden infections that you can’t get rid of. This is the focus of today’s article.

Begin With a Basic

Before I get into the final top 10 tips, let me remind you of a basic. Take zinc 20-25 mg a day for 3-6 months. Zinc deficiency is the rule in CFS/FMS, and will cause marked immune dysfunction — which is easy to fix for under $10 total cost (for 100 tabs).

Treatments for Hidden Infections

Note: As in each of the previous two installments, I’ve put an asterisk (*) next to treatments that are self-care/non-prescription. The other treatments require that you work with your doctor. Also, as I did before, I’ve listed treatments that require a blood test at the end of the article (a convenient summary in case you want to do all those tests at one time).

(Continuing the “30 top tips” numbering at 21, as 1-20 are in Parts 1 & 2 …)

*21. ProBoost.

This powerful over-the-counter and natural immune stimulant is especially helpful for viral infections. In a study on Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels in CFS, ProBoost decreased levels by 70% — and many patients felt a lot better after taking it for three months. Dissolve the contents of one packet under your tongue, 3 times a day. (If you swallow it, you waste it — it needs to be absorbed under your tongue.) I recommend ProBoost not just for folks with CFS, but for everyone’s medicine cabinet. Taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, it can very quickly knock out the infection. For CFS, it takes about three months to have an effect.

22. Nizoral — a prescription antifungal.

Have yeast symptoms persisted (e.g., sinusitis, nasal congestion, canker sores — also called apthous ulcers) despite taking Diflucan? Try Nizoral, 200 mg a day, for six weeks in case you’re resistant to Diflucan. Take adrenal support (e.g., Adrenal Stress End) with it as Nizoral lowers adrenal levels (which can help anxiety and depression in the small percent of CFS patients with elevated cortisols!).

*23. Sinusitis Nose Sprays.

For persistent sinusitis, use the non-prescription Silver Nose Spray (or can add the prescription “Sinusitis Nose Spray” from ITC Pharmacy, 888-349-5433) 1-2 sprays in each nostril, twice a day. When added to Diflucan these sprays are a very effective treatment for eliminating sinusitis.

24. Gamma globulin (IM injection).

Treat with gamma globulin (e.g., Gammastan): 2 cc by intramuscular injection (IM), once a week for 6 doses, or 4 cc every other week for 3 doses. (IM is much less expensive than intravenous delivery.) This drug can be a dramatically effective way to jump-start your immune system (which is why I flagged it using red italic type).

25. Antibiotics for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

Consider SIBO if bowel symptoms (diarrhea, gas, bloating) persist despite yeast treatments — especially if the flatulence has a strong odor (learn more about SIBO). You may benefit from a trial of Rifaximin, an effective antibiotic for SIBO (and irritable bowel syndrome), because it stays in the gut and works in the gut. Take 400 mg a day for 10 days.

If severe bowel symptoms persist, consider Alinia, 1 gm 2x a day for 10 to 14 days. (The standard course of this antibiotic is 4 days, but that is inadequate in CFS.)

Both of these antibiotics are expensive. A cheaper option to Rifaximin is Neomycin, 500 mg 3x a day for 10 days. Rifaximin may be preferred because Neomycin carries a small risk of kidney or hearing toxicity, but mainly in an elderly person who is on a high dose of it for years or a person with kidney failure.

An important point: SIBO is aggravated by underactive thyroid and is likely to recur unless thyroid function is optimized.

26. Amantadine (Symmetrel).

This old (and cheap!) prescription antiviral can be very helpful. But amidst the new antivirals that cost $15,000 to $20,000 a year, this pennies-a-day prescription medicine is often forgotten. Ask your doctor about a trial of this medication if you suspect a chronic viral infection. Added benefits? Amantadine raises dopamine (think more energy) and lowers NMDA (think less pain)!

27. Isoprinosine.

Some find this antiviral quite helpful. However, it is not made or available in the U.S. You have to order it either from Canada or Ireland. (Learn more about Isoprinosine.)

Other antivirals:

  • The antiviral Nexavir can be helpful. But I rarely use it as the price has been jacked up dramatically, it is given by injection, and it stops working as soon as the medication is stopped.
  • You can find information about checking for and treating HHV-6 with Valcyte, and the use of other prescription antivirals, by reading Treating Hidden Viral Infections in CFS/FMS Can Sometimes be a Cure. I rarely use Valcyte though, and prefer the other treatments discussed in this article.

*28. Monolaurin.

This natural, low-cost antiviral has been found to be effective in some patients and is well worth a try for chronic viral infections.

29. Neurotoxin protocol.

You can read more about Richie Shoemaker’s neurotoxin protocol at The Environmental Illness Resource. It is also discussed in my book From Fatigued to Fantastic!

30. Antiviral IVs.

This treatment can be very effective when chronic viral infections are suspected. They contain a special antiviral component derived from licorice, along with high-dose vitamin C. It is offered at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers.

31. (A bonus tip.)

I know I said 30 treatments, but here is a bonus one. For those with pure CFS without the widespread pain, or with such severe illness that they are near housebound — especially if low blood pressure, NMH or POTS are present — the medications given to hyperactive children can be very helpful. These medications, which are amphetamines (Ritalin, Dexedrine or Adderall), are overused in hyperactive children, but under used in CFS. They stabilize autonomic function and often help the post exertional fatigue and even help shed the extra weight put on by CFS. So why is it last on my list? Because it is an amphetamine and potentially addictive. I find 5-12.5 mg is usually optimal, though younger patients (under 30 years old) are more likely to benefit from it (and oddly may need slightly higher doses). I recommend keeping the dose under 20 mg/day (30 mg is the maximum I’ll use) and once an effective dose is found it should not be escalated. I have found addiction to be uncommon at these lower doses — just as it is uncommon in ADHD at low dose.

Summary of Blood Tests

There are a number of blood tests used in the treatments discussed in this three-part series. They are summarized below for your convenience:

  • Ferritin (treatment no. 3)
  • Anti-transglutaminase IgA and IgG antibody (treatment no. 7)
  • Serum ammonia level (treatment no. 8)
  • Fasting morning cortisol; DHEA-S (treatment no. 12)
  • Pregnenolone (treatment no. 13)
  • IGF-1 (treatment no. 14)
  • Free and total testosterone (treatment no. 16)

Blood Donation and CFS

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on December 20th, 2010

Blood Donation, XMRV & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(please click this link to see actual link)

The questions came up soon after the first study of XMRV in chronic fatigue syndrome — should people with chronic fatigue syndrome give blood?

Canada says “no.”  Canadian Blood Services acknowledges that there’s no conclusive link between the retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome, or any other disease for that matter, but the agency says it prefers to err on the side of caution.  It’s the first country to make this move.

I’m sure some of us are worried about a stigma that could arise from something like that, and I think it is a valid concern.  However, it seems to me like a choice between being considered “crazy” and “infectious.”  Yeah, it’s lousy either way, but at least people can’t say you aren’t sick and be afraid of catching it at the same time.  That kind of stigma is bound to be the flip side of the condition being validated as an infectious viral disease.

Overall, though, I think the Canadian folks have probably made a wise decision.  If research eventually finds XMRV doesn’t cause disease, fine — lift the restriction.  If, however, future research shows a definite causal like to chronic fatigue syndrome, prostate cancer, or any other illnesses, how many people will the ban have protected?  Hundreds?  Thousands?

It’s hard to quantify, but if the original research was right, about 3% of healthy people could carry XMRV.  If 3% of blood recipients get tainted blood, they could then pass XMRV along to their children, sexual partners (according to preliminary transmission studies), and anyone who gets blood any of those people may donate down the road.  We don’t yet have the full picture of how XMRV is transmitted, so there may be other ways to spread it as well.  Pretty soon, you’re looking at a whole lot of people who are infected and could have the potential to develop something pretty nasty because of it.

XMRV is only the 3rd retrovirus to be conclusively identified in humans.  The first was HIV.  The second one, HTLV, is linked to leukemia and lymphoma.  So out of 3 known retroviruses, we know 2 can be deadly.  So far, XMRV is tentatively tied to 1 potentially fatal disease (prostate cancer) and 1 life-long debilitating illness (chronic fatigue syndrome).  To me, it makes sense to keep XMRV from further contaminating the blood supply until we know more about it.

In the U.S., the group that assesses threats to the blood supply is called the AABB.  It last met in August — 2 months before the research linking XMRV to chronic fatigue syndrome was published.  A Wall Street Journal article talked to an AABB committee member who said she’d give it a “yellow” threat designation, which is the groups’ lowest ranking.

Taking the donation idea a step farther, one of my Twitter friends recently posted this:

“Changed my organ donor status coz didn’t think it would be a good idea 2 put organs from someone with CFS into someone else.”

Because I don’t have chronic fatigue syndrome and research into XMRV in fibromyalgia is too miniscule to even be called preliminary, I’m not to the point of changing my organ-donor status.  If I had chronic fatigue syndrome, though, I’d have to give it some serious thought.  I certainly don’t want to inflict illness upon anyone, especially when their health has already taken a serious beat-down.

What do you think?  Do you think it’s too early to worry about it, or should we err on the side of caution?  Would you give blood or donate your organs, knowing about the possible XMRV connection to your illness?

And this too shall pass

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on October 3rd, 2010

I love this story from Pravs and sometimes a good story can be a healer too.

Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, ” Is there a mantra or suggestion which works in every situation, in every circumstances, in every place and in every time. In every joy, every sorrow, every defeat and every victory? One answer for all questions? Something which can help me when none of you is available to advise me? Tell me is there any mantra?”

All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. They thought and thought. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper, with a condition that the king was not to see it out of curiosity.

Only in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way, only then he can see it. The King put the papers under his Diamond ring.

Some time later, the neighbors attacked the Kingdom. King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. The King had to flee on his horse. The enemies were following him. getting closer and closer. Suddenly the King found himself standing at the end of the road – that road was not going anywhere. Underneath there was a rocky valley thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished…and he could not return because it was a small road…the sound of enemy’s horses was approaching fast. The King became restless. There seemed to be no way.

Then suddenly he saw the Diamond in his ring shining in the sun, and he remembered the message hidden in the ring. He opened the diamond and read the message. The message was – ” THIS TOO SHALL PASS”

The King read it . Again read it. Suddenly something struck him- Yes ! This too will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom. I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all his pleasure have gone. I am here trying to escape from enemies. Like those days of luxuries have gone, this day of danger too will pass. A calm came on his face. He kept standing there. The place where he was standing was full of natural beauty. He had never known that such a beautiful place was also a part of his Kingdom.

The revelation of the message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about those following him. After a few minutes he realized that the noise of the horses and the enemy coming was receding. They moved into some other part of the mountains and were near him.

The King was very brave. He reorganized his army and fought again. He defeated the enemy and regained his empire. When he returned to his empire after victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing in the victory.

Everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers were being showered on King from every house, from every corner. People were dancing and singing. For a moment King said to himself,” I am one of the bravest and greatest King. It is not easy to defeat me. With all the reception and celebration he saw an ego emerging in him.
Suddenly the Diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message. He open it and read it again: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”.

He became silent. His face went through a total change – from the egoist he moved to a state of utter humbleness. If this too is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours, the victory is not yours. You are just a watcher. Everything passes by. We are witnesses of all this. We are the perceivers. Life comes and goes. Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes.

Now as you have read this story, just sit silently and evaluate your own life. This too will pass. Think of the moments of joy and victory in your life. Think of the moment of Sorrow and defeat. Are they permanent ? They all come and pass away.

Life just passes away. There is nothing permanent in this world. Every thing changes except the law of change. Think over it from your own perspective. You have seen all the changes. You have survived all setbacks, all defeats and all sorrows. All have passed away. The problems in the present, they too will pass away. Because nothing remains forever. Joy and sorrow are the two faces of the same coin. They both will pass away.

You are just a witness of change. Experience it, understand it, and enjoy the present moment – this too shall pass!

Sutherlandia

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 31st, 2010

Sutherlandia is one of the ‘medicines’ that have been suggested I take. I am not sure if it helps but its worth looking into.

Chronic Fatigues Syndrome and Sutherlandia
by Dr. Nigel Gericke


Introduction
This brief document is intended to answer the frequent questions that get asked about the use of Sutherlandia tablets in people living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as M.E. Syndrome or Yuppie Flu .

There is a well-established present and historical folk-use of Sutherlandia in the treatment of chronic fatigue states. Indeed in the great ‘flu pandemic of 1918, Sutherlandia was used throughout its range of distribution by indigenous people and settlers to mange the acute illness, as well as he post-‘flu debility that was widespread.

We have received positive anecdotal reports that appropriate doses of Sutherlandia tablets have improved the quality of people living with CFS. This is one indication that should definitely be the subject of a clinical study in view of the limited treatment options available.

Case History
This abstracted case history, submitted by Dr Alta Smit, was included as part of a presentation made by Dr Nigel Gericke at the 4th International Conference on Phyto therapeutics 23-25 February 2001, Kurrajong NSW Australia.

Ms. —— , a 43 year old business person contracted CFS after a ‘flu like illness in 1996. She consulted me initially in 1999, at the time fulfilling the CDC and Oxford criteria for CFS. She was functioning on a Karnofsky scale of 70% at the time, being unable to fulfill a full day’s work.

Complicating the syndrome was an almost monthly recurrence of Type II herpes infection for which she was taking Zelitrex (Valaciclovir) constantly. We embarked on a pyramidal treatment program including enterohepatic, mitochondrial , neuroendocrine and immune support. She did well on the program over eight months, but still had significant recurrence of the Herpes lesions. She was able to go back to work but could not exercise without relapsing.

We commenced treatment with Sutherlandia in September 2000 after I heard about it at the South African Complementary Medicine Association (SACMA) conference. She had one more outbreak of herpes in October 2000 and since then had no recurrences. Her clinical condition also improved even further, notably improvements in the fatigue and her exercise tolerance. An Exercise test performed in a physiology lab show her to be only mildly exercise intolerant on the 24.October 2000. We have kept her on Sutherlandia, and to date the patient remains well-functioning with a Karnofsky scale of 90%.

Comment
In this patient we see the typical obstacle encountered in many CFS patients. She recovered very well on all counts except for the immune system, where we still see evidence of a Th 2 state with viral and fungal reactivation. This is often very difficult to treat except for treatment with expensive and potentially dangerous compounds like the mismatched RNA compound Poly I Poly12 CU( Ampligen) or other invasive treatments like Ultra Violet blood irradiation. Sutherlandia is a safe alternative which is easy to administer. I have subsequently used it in other CFS patients with promising results.

Quality-of-life Tonic
Sutherlandia is a quality-of-life tonic par excellence

  • Mood
    Sutherlandia decreases anxiety and irritability and it elevates mood.
  • Appetite and Weight
    Sutherlandia dramatically improves appetite, and weight-gain can be expected in wasted patients. The first 5 kg gain is common after six weeks of treatment. In people living with CFS who are not wasted, weight-gain is not usual.
  • Energy Levels and Exercise Tolerance
    Sutherlandia typically improves the energy levels and exercise tolerance of patients, and gives an enhanced sense of overall well-being.

Recommendations

  • Qualified Healthcare Professional
    It is recommended that all CFS patients get assessed and managed by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with recognized experience in investigating and managing this condition. The patient will need to make an informed decision about the treatment modalities to follow in his / her specific case. Sutherlandia and other natural approaches to managing CFS should be given a therapeutic trial.
  • Nutrition
    It is recommended that any CFS management programme should include meticulous attention to optimizing diet in consultation with a professional nutritionist with experience and interest in CFS.
  • Emotional, Cultural and Spiritual
    The participation of a psychologist, traditional healer and / or spiritual person should also be considered as part of the holistic team to provide support for the important but neglected emotional, cultural and spiritual aspects of the illness.

Dose of Sutherlandia
The recommended dose for enhanced quality-of-life is one tablet (300 mg) twice a day, after meals. This can be taken long-term.

Precautions
It is not recommend that Sutherlandia be taken during pregnancy.

Side-Effects
To date here have been minimal reported side-effects. Side-effects reported include occasional reports of dry mouth, occasional reports of mild diuretic effect; occasional reports of loose stool, occasional reports of constipation. Slight dizziness has been occasionally noted in very wasted and weak patients (e.g. in an ill adult weighing 35kg) who take Sutherlandia without meals. This is corrected by instructing wasted patients to take the product after meals.

Drug Interactions
As with most natural medicines on the world market, there are no scientific studies or reports on drug interactions with Sutherlandia ingestion.

Since common herbs such as garlic, ginkgo and ginseng have recently been thought to interfere with anesthesia and with blood clotting, it is recommended that patients should stop taking all herbal medication three weeks prior to elective surgery. It is likewise also advised not to take Sutherlandia with the anticoagulant drugs heparin and warfarin.

Patients taking Sutherlandia who are on anti-hypertensive or anti-diabetic medication may be able to reduce this medication under a doctors’ supervision.

Chronic Fatigue – what is that?

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 14th, 2010

Morning all

Thought I would get going on another explanation of CF , for those who have and those who need to understand.

Here is a brief excerpt from the
Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

In the past, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was associated with significant controversy among doctors, researchers, and patients. The major areas of disagreement were attributed to the lack of a standard definition for the disorder; the unknown etiology (cause) of the disorder; the absence of specific criteria to establish the diagnosis; and the lack of effective treatments for the disorder. In fact, until recently many health care providers believed that chronic fatigue syndrome was a “psychological” rather than a “physiological” (organic) disorder.

In 1994, an expert panel convened by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) proposed a case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome that since has become widely accepted as the “standard”. According to the CDCP, the primary feature of chronic fatigue syndrome is persistent or relapsing fatigue which is characterized by the following:

  • Lasts for 6 months or longer
  • Is not due to another underlying medical condition
  • Is not due to continuous exertion
  • Is not relieved by resting
  • Interferes with the patient’s overall function and quality of life
  • In addition to chronic fatigue, the patient must exhibit 4 or more of the following symptoms that have lasted for 6 months or longer:
    • difficulty with concentration and/or memory
    • sore throat
    • tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit region
    • myalgia (muscle pain)
    • arthralgia (joint pain)
    • lack of refreshing sleep
    • new onset of headaches
    • a vague feeling of bodily discomfort (malaise) after exertion

What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome has become the focus of considerable research since the 1980s, especially with respect to its underlying cause which is as yet unknown, although the cause is thought to be multifactorial. Research is devoted to uncovering a possible link to an infectious organism, among other possible causes, because of the typical “flu-like” symptoms that many patients experience with the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome being investigated include:

  • Viral infections
  • Immune disorders
  • Neuroendocrine disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Psychological disorders with a possible link to depressive disorders
  • Psychologically predisposed response to infection or other stimuli occurring in “vulnerable” individuals
  • Impaired hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation
  • Primary sleep disorder
  • Neurally-mediated hypotension (NMH) – dramatic drop in blood pressure upon standing
  • Cortisol deficiency – cortisol is a natural stress-fighting and anti-inlammatory hormone produced by the adrenal glands

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The diagnostic criteria for CFS, established in 1994 by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, are as follows:

  1. Clinically evaluated, unexplained persistent or relapsing fatigue that:
    • lasts for 6 months or longer
    • is not due to another underlying medical condition
    • is not due to continuous exertion
    • is not relieved by rest
    • interferes with the patient’s overall function and quality of life
  2. Four or more of the following concurrent and persistent symptoms:
    • difficulty with concentration and/or memory
    • sore throat
    • tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit region
    • myalgia (muscle pain)
    • arthralgia (joint pain)
    • lack of refreshing sleep
    • new onset of headaches
    • a vague feeling of bodily discomfort (malaise) after exertion
  3. The diagnosis of CFS is excluded if any of the following applies:
    • active medical condition that may explain the fatigue
    • previously diagnosed medical conditions that have not fully resolved, such as previously treated malignancies or unresolved cases of hepatitis infection
    • any past or current major depressive disorder with psychotic or melancholic features, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorders, dementia, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia
    • alcohol or other substance abuse within two years before the onset of chronic fatigue and at any time afterward

Goals of Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Because the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, currently there is no know cure for this disorder. Consequently, treatment is primarily aimed at better controlling the symptoms of the syndrome. The goals of treatment include:

  • Reducing the severity of fatigue and controlling other symptoms
  • Helping patients gradually increase their level of activity
  • Helping patients to improve their quality of life so that they can better participate in social, recreational, and work-related activities

In general, the treatment options for people with chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Drug therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Nutritional and lifestyle interventions
  • Complementary and alternative therapies

Pravs Talk website

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 6th, 2010

Pravs Talk is a website of wonderful and inspirational thoughts. It is like medicine, medicine for the soul!! Check it out.

Some people always enjoy the best that life has to offer.
It’s not because more good things come their way.

It’s because they find and enjoy the good
in whatever that comes their way.

and

Live One Day At A Time
Our lives are made up of a million moments, spent in a million different ways.
Some are spent searching for love, peace and harmony.
Others are spent surviving day to day.

But there is no greater moment that when we find that life,
with all its joys and sorrows, is meant to be lived one day at a time.

Above are 2 extracts from the website. Beautiful!!!

The Physical Basis of CFS by Anthony L. Komaroff

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on July 28th, 2010

The doctor mentioned above has done quite a bit of research on CFS/ME so check out this website www.myalgic-encephalomyelitis.com/The-Physical-Basis-of-CFS for some good basic information. I know he has done a recording as well of his studies so I will endeavour to find that and include it on my site.

Medicine Woman

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on July 26th, 2010

Well as you are no doubt aware there is no CURE for chronic fatigue, merely a million peripheral ways of dealing with the fall out. Presently I am on a concoction of omegas, immune support, pro-biotics etc. But more about that later.

This blog does not profess to have all the answers, it is merely a diary of what I have done and what has worked for me. So please, if you have a great remedy, tell me about it.

Check this website out www.chronicfatiguetreatments.com.