I am sure many of you out there have your own thoughts and opinions on the latest news surrounding Dr. de Meirleir’s recent press conference revealing that he has found the major “cause” and on the diagnostic test that was created and I would love for you to share those here.
First, you will want to read information from my posts, Breaking News: ME/CFS Cause & Diagnostic Test Found According to Researchers and The Neurotoxic Metabolite Test For ME/CFS: Will You Buy It? as well as these:
- BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Kenny De Meirleir Announces He has Revealed the True Nature of ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in London Press Conference titled “ME: End of an Era of Medical Negation”
- Dr. de Meirleir’s Press Conference
- Protea Biopharma Info. on Diagnostic Test
I am not a medical professional or scientist and I do not pretend to know all of the answers on ME/CFS, so while I am always leary of research news I still feel it is important to post the information because it is part of the history of the illness. I do feel, however, that with ME/CFS being such a complex illness that this research showing that high levels of H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) as the main cause doesn’t have me convinced. I always hope that there will be a definitive answer for us suffering but I can’t help but feel there is always a money-making agenda behind these “theories” & “discoveries” (Dr. de Meirleir’s Neurotoxic Metabolite Test to diagnose ME/CFS).
I try to be optimistic but we have been burnt so many times with research and other CFS news that it’s a natural reaction to not get overly excited, even those news like this, if found to be true, will be a huge milestone for ME/CFS. I know I am not alone in my opinion that there needs to be more studies done H2S being the major cause of ME/CFS before accepting this news as gospel.
According to Wikipedia, Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), is defined as follows:
Hydrogen sulfide (or hydrogen sulphide) is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. This colorless, toxic and flammable gas is partially responsible for the foul odor of rotten eggs and flatulence.
It often results from the bacterial break down of sulfites in nonorganic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers (anaerobic digestion). It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas and some well waters. The odor of H2S is commonly misattributed to elemental sulfur, which is in fact odorless.
Hydrogen sulfide is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected. The toxicity of H2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide. It forms a complex bond with iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thereby blocking oxygen from binding and stopping cellular respiration. Since hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in the environment and the gut, enzymes exist in the body capable of detoxifying it by oxidation to (harmless) sulfate. Hence, low levels of sulfide may be tolerated indefinitely.
At some threshold level, the oxidative enzymes will be overwhelmed. This threshold level is believed to average around 300-350 ppm. Many personal safety gas detectors, such as those used by utility, sewage and petrochemical workers, are set to alarm at as low as 5 to 10 ppm and to go into high alarm at 15 ppm.
An interesting diagnostic clue of extreme poisoning by H2S is the discoloration of copper coins in the pockets of the victim. Treatment involves immediate inhalation of amyl nitrite, injections of sodium nitrite, inhalation of pure oxygen, administration of bronchodilators to overcome eventual bronchospasm, and in some cases hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO). HBO therapy has anecdotal support and remains controversial.
Exposure to lower concentrations can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks. Long-term, low-level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness. Chronic exposures to low level H2S (around 2 ppm) has been implicated in increased miscarriage and reproductive health issues amongst Russian and Finnish wood pulp workers, but the reports hadn’t (as of circa 1995) been replicated. Higher concentrations of 700-800 ppm tend to be fatal.
I found another article on this latest research, Problems with the M.E. Test, that is a good read and raises some good points about why H2S may not be the answer we’ve been waiting for. Please share your thoughts on this latest research and what you are taking from the information available.