Over the past two weeks I have written different posts on Fighting Fatigue regarding the news surrounding the possible cause and a diagnostic test being found for ME/CFS. To catch up and to read the details of the research, the diagnostic urine test, and others opinions on this research, please click on each of the links below.
- Breaking News: ME/CFS Cause & Diagnostic Test Found According to Researchers
- The Neurotoxic Metabolite Test For ME/CFS: Will You Buy It?
- Comments & Opinions On ME/CFS “Cause” & Diagnostic Test Research
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, who is a well-known ME/CFS specialist and author, (you can purchase his books from my Books & DVDs Resources page for ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia) has written his own theory on the latest discoveries by Dr. De Meirleir. Dr. De Meirleir says that high levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the main cause of ME/CFS.
Dr. Teitelbaum states on his website (End Fatigue) that while he believes Dr. De Meirleir to be a “bright and caring researcher”, he doesn’t believe that H2S is the main cause of ME/CFS. However, he does believe that H2S produced by bowel bacterial overgrowth is one of the many toxins that causes problems in the bodies of ME/CFS patients.
This is what Dr. Teitelbaum has to say about the ME/CFS urine test (the Neurotoxic Metabolite Test):
Do I Recommend the Hydrogen Sulfide Urine Test? Not at this time. I need to see what the actual levels of H2S were that were found in his study and how high a level it takes to give a positive urine test. I hope to see Prof. DeMeirleir at a conference next month and hopefully will be able to get this information from him at that time.
Though the home urine test, when available, will not be very expensive, I am concerned that it will be used to push (scare) people to do other more expensive testing. I prefer to avoid testing that I have not found to be very helpful in guiding people on how to get better.
So far from everything I’ve read (in my own opinon), Dr. Teitelbaum has written the best information about H2S and its role in ME/CFS. It’s written in layman’s terms that is easy to understand. Dr. T. says that bowel symptoms are a common problem among those of us with ME/CFS (& FM) and that these are caused by numerous bowel infections and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for moving the food we eat in the right direction.
The symptoms that we experience due to the bowel infections & dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system include:
- acid reflux
Dr. T. says that these symptoms can be helped by eliminating yeast overgrowth (candida). He will treat almost everyone who has ME/CFS & FM for candida. He says that approximately 1/6 of ME/CFS & FM patients also suffer from parasitic infections.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is also common in CFS/FMS and is actually aggravated by an underactive thyroid.
Dr. T. says the fact that we have bowel infections isn’t anything we didn’t already know before. What he says is 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. It is also hypothesized that the presence of toxic metals (e.g., mercury, nickel, etc.) can make the hydrogen sulfide even more toxic and block energy production in people’s mitochondrial energy furnaces.
Hydrogen sulfide is normally found in our bodies at low levels. It is a major part of natural gas (e.g., the gas used in gas ovens). It is usually not toxic at low levels (your body has enzymes to break down small amounts) but can be very toxic at very high levels. The key question is whether the gut bacteria are really producing enough hydrogen sulfide to be a major cause of toxicity. I have not yet been able to find the data on just how high the hydrogen sulfide levels were in Dr. DeMeirleir’s study.
Dr. Teitelbaum says that all we need to do is to use our noses to determine whether we are toxic.
Increased gas is common in CFS from many causes. 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.
Dr. T. recommends using Pepto Bismol if your gas smells like “rotten eggs”. Just a tablespoon of Pepto Bismol (Bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) or one chewable tablet will aggressively soak up H2S and it pulls it out of your body. Pepto Bismol also has antibacterial activity that can kill the bad bacteria & the biofilms. He recommends one to two tablets 3 – 4 times daily and adjust the dosage so that your gas does not stink too bad. Only use for 3 – 4 weeks because:
The concern is that the Pepto Bismol may also kill off some of the healthy bacteria, so I would stop it after 3 to 4 weeks. Warning — it is normal for Pepto-Bismol to turn your stools a black color. There appears to be a striking dose-dependent response with BSS: 400 mg / 100 g of dry food completely suppresses cecal hydrogen sulfide release in rats, whereas one fifth of this concentration has no demonstrable effect. What this means in English is just taken enough Pepto-Bismol to keep the flatulence from having a nasty smell.
Dr. T. also recommends taking 25 mg. of zinc can be helpful but more of it can be toxic if taken long term. Zinc deficiency is common in ME/CFS & FM patients and causes dysfunctioning of the immune system. The last thing he recommends is to increase daily intake of the pearl form probiotics. He suggests taking 2 pearls twice a day for 5 months, then one pearl daily. Probiotics are a source of healthy bacteria for the body.