New This Week — CFS/Fibromyalgia News: June 5, 2009
New CFS & FMS Tests and Treatment
Research on the role of infections in CFS & fibromyalgia continues to expand. In this issue we will discuss new research presented by Professor Kenny DeMeirleir on the role that bacterial overgrowth in the gut plays in aggravating CFS, fibromyalgia and ME. We will also discuss a relatively inexpensive new home test that he has developed based on this research, and its implications for treatment.
Smelly Gas a Clue to CFS Testing and Treatment
Bowel symptoms are a routine part of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). These are caused by many problems, including numerous bowel infections and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
What's new is the hypothesis that hydrogen sulfide (which causes a rotten egg smell and is the major reason why intestinal gas sometimes smells awful) is also being produced at toxic levels by certain unhealthy bacteria — and aggravating CFS/ME symptoms. Along with this hypothesis, a home test kit to measure for hydrogen sulfide will also be marketed to people with CFS.
Hydrogen sulfide is normally found in our bodies at low levels. The key question is whether the gut bacteria are really producing enough hydrogen sulfide to be a major cause of toxicity, and how to treat it if it is.
Do I Recommend the Hydrogen Sulfide Urine Test?
Not at this time. For now, I suggest that you use your nose. Candida overgrowth is usually not associated with its having a foul smell. If your gas smells awful (in layman's terms, "farts that are silent but deadly" — and not always silent), you probably have bacterial overgrowth contributing to your CFS. On the other hand, it doesn't mean it's dangerous. If it did, men in general would be in deep trouble. For now, Pepto Bismol and Probiotics may offer a simple but effective treatment.
Introducing Patrick Sullivan Jr. from Jigsaw Health
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Patrick Sullivan Jr. of Jigsaw Health. This is another site that empowers people by giving them the information they need to get well. I was so impressed by Patrick (whose father's exploration into creating optimal health has mirrored mine), that I have invited him to introduce himself to my newsletter subscribers — so, here's Patrick!
It’s been a pleasure — and a curse — to walk alongside my dad during his 30-year health odyssey. When I was six years old, I remember me and dad driving a U-Haul truck from Louisville, KY to Dallas, TX. He burst into tears somewhere along the road. He couldn’t figure out why he felt so sick all the time, and he was tired of it. I felt absolutely helpless.
Over the next 25 years, while starting two successful software companies, he continually applied that same entrepreneurial drive to seek out pieces of his “health puzzle” to discover the causes of his chronic, recurrent battles with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal issues.
In 2005, he published a book, Wellness Piece By Piece, and we started JigsawHealth.com. Readers of Endfatigue.com can download a free copy of the book by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter at http://www.jigsawhealth.com/newsletter.
Probiotics — That Actually Work!
Although more and more research is showing that healthy, digestion supporting, milk bacteria can be very helpful, getting the right type of Probiotic is critical. Take the wrong type, and you'll just be eating dead bacteria that do you no good at all. Unfortunately, I suspect that this description fits most of the Probiotics/bacteria supplements on the market — and there are many of them!
What happens when unhealthy bacteria get a foothold?
Unhealthy bacteria overgrowing in our bowels can cause a host of problems. These can go well beyond digestive problems such as indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, spastic colon, and diarrhea. In addition, these bowel infections can make toxins and cause a leaky gut, contributing to chronic fatigue, chronic pain, brain fog, and food allergies. Because of this, more and more research is showing how helpful it is to keep an ample supply of healthy “good guy” bacteria in our guts.
An Important Lab Test That Could Cure Your Spastic Colon and CFS!
Could wheat allergy be causing your CFS?
A major new study looked at how likely is it that somebody with spastic colon/irritable bowel syndrome also had celiac disease, an autoimmune and genetically predisposed illness associated with wheat and gluten intolerance (which can also mimic and cause CFS). This is important, because if present, avoiding wheat and gluten can be a cure for not only the spastic colon — but also the associated CFS!
Around 4% of those with spastic colon turned out to also have celiac disease (about four times the risk of somebody without spastic colon). Celiac disease can also cause CFS & fibromyalgia, which persists despite other treatments, and a simple blood test (an anti-transglutaminase IgA antibody level) will diagnose it. The test can be done at any lab, and is generally covered by insurance. If positive, avoiding wheat and gluten can have a dramatic benefit — and may be curative.
Bowel infections and food allergies can trigger muscle pain and other problems far beyond simply increasing hydrogen sulfide. In this issue, we will look at 3 more recent studies that put the issue in perspective — while offering new treatment options.
IBD and Muscle/Joint Pain
Inflammatory bowel disease has been shown to be associated with muscle and joint pain (including pain from fibromyalgia) in one quarter of people who have Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Both of these often improved by treating bowel infections and food allergies. Read more »
E. Coli Bacteria for Spastic Colon and Fibromyalgia
Milk bacteria are not the only healthy probiotics. New research using another major healthy bowel bacteria (called E. coli — not the type that causes food poisoning) has found that it also helps spastic colon. I would note that this is a kind of bacteria that has also been used by Professor DeMeirleir. Read more »
Intestinal Bacteria Associated With Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Gut bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut have now also been associated with, and may cause, "fatty liver disease." This is one of the most common causes of non-alcohol related elevations in liver blood tests. Read more »
FEATURED QUESTIONS FROM READERS
Q: Treating persistent spastic colon with Alinia. Read more »
OTHER NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers Offers New Healing Partnership Plans!
New Healing Partnership Plans offer affordable options for treating CFS/FMS. Read more »
The Unappreciated Rectal Surgeon
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Jock the Painter
There was a tradesman, a painter called Jock, who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often would thin down paint to make it go a wee bit further.
As it happened, he got away with this for some time but eventually the Baptist Church decided to do a big restoration job on the painting of one of their biggest buildings. Jock put in a bid and, because his price was so low, he got the job.
And so he set to erecting the trestles and setting up the planks and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine.
Well, Jock was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder and the sky opened, the rain poured down, washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Jock clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.
Jock was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God Forgive me! What should I do?" And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke.
"Repaint! Repaint! and thin no more!"
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