Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Change: Welcome and Unwelcome

Change.  Yes, I resist it sometimes (even though I want things to change, and BTW, I voted for 'change.')  Lots of things are a-changing these days and I find myself judging them.

One of the biggest changes is my new hypersensitivity to computer EMR (electro-magnetic radiation).  It started with the purchase of a Toshiba netbook, which I loved because I could sit outside on the swing holding it on my lap while I typed and.or read.  But my hands reacted badly to the frequencies of its wireless technology.  And now, even though I've returned the netbook and dismantled the wireless router, I still get tingling everywhere when I sit at the computer and aches in the bones of my hands.  This is why I haven't posted a blog in some time.

The sensations are much worse if wireless is hooked up, as I discovered at my Mom's house this weekend.  She has a Logitech wireless mouse, which made my right hand hurt when I first tried it a year ago.  Now I can't work on her computer for even a few minutes, while my own desktop (denuded of wireless hardware, but perhaps harboring some software inside) gives me about an hour before the aching and tingling becomes unbearable.  

I have been told by a friend that Q link technology helps her.  Their website explains:

In 1994, the National Institutes of Health in the United States adopted a new term, the "Biofield", to describe a growing body of research showing a subtle field that permeates and extends beyond the physical body. The biofield is something you've probably already noticed: a vital force that animates our bodies and powers our daily lives. When our biofield is out of balance, we're out of balance. Disease, fatigue, and apathy all reflect a compromised biofield. When something improves our biofield, such as the Q-Link, it can increase our mental and physical performance, reinforce our natural immunity to stress and enhance our sense of well-being.
Every day, our biofields are negatively impacted by flickering computer monitors, irate bosses, cell phones, emotional stress, tabloid television, and traffic jams. We are literally bombarded with frequencies that wear us down. That's why it is essential to care for and maintain our energy system. 
 Q-Link products tune up your biofield through a resonant effect that harmonizes your energy and helps you to navigate more smoothly through a stressful world. Think of Q-Link products like tuning forks that remind your biofield of its optimal functioning state. Worldly stress and performance demands cause the biofield to become more chaotic and incoherent. Q-Link SRT products enable you to handle these challenges more dynamically - enabling greater efficiency, harmony, output and balance in everything you do.     
I'm willing to try it but I'm not too keen on spending $170 for a gadget that plugs into a USB port, or nearly the same for a necklace to wear around my neck.  I'd like to learn more, and find out from others with EMR sensitivity what they've done that has been effective.  Dr Mercola started a site with information about EMR that I haven't yet explored.

Another big change: my breasts.  They are growing, and growing, and growing.  I keep telling my body "You are 30 years too late!" as I recall hours at summer camp of aimless elbow slinging combined with the chant I must, I must, develop a bust.   Now, in my fifties, I no longer care to conform to the modern Western ideal of the ideal female body with oversized breasts but prefer the comfort and convenience of the classical Greek ideal.

Aesthetics aside, the problem is an indication that my hormones are out of balance, as they are for nearly everyone with ME-CFS.  Since I can't blame my inactive post-menopausal ovaries, I have to look for another culprit.  The most likely one is an enzyme in the body called "aromatase" which manages to convert steroids, through the fatty tissue, into estrogens.

I wonder if the methylation protocol could have an impact on this process.  With that question in mind, I go to the entry on aromatase in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatase.  Here's what it says:

Steroids are composed of four fused rings (labeled A, B, C, and D in the figure below). Aromatase transforms the left-hand ring (the A-ring) of steroids to an aromatic state (hence the name) through oxidation and subsequent elimination of a methyl group.
Aha!  a possible connection.  Later in the same article, I read:

The enzyme is located in the endoplasmic reticulum of the cell and its activity is regulated by tissue specific promoters that are in turn controlled by hormonescytokines, and other factors. The principal action of the enzyme transforms androstenedione to estrone andtestosterone to estradiol. The aromatase enzyme can be found in many tissues including gonadsbrainadipose tissueplacentablood vesselsskinboneendometrium as well as in tissue of endometriosisuterine fibroidsbreast cancer, and endometrial cancer.  
Yet another change: My thyroid tests came back showing that my thyroid has become more sluggish.  For nearly 18 months, I've been off thyroid hormone thanks to a talented acupuncturist.  My last screening test, as compared to one taken a year ago, now shows increased TSH (the hormone that the pituitary secretes to tell the thyroid to work harder) and decreased T4 and T3 (the hormones made by the thyroid gland and converted to a form active in the cells).  Estrogen binds thyroid hormone, and this could be complicating the imbalance.  It is just one more example of how many factors depend upon the balance of other factors to function optimally.

I am still not outside the 'normal' range, but to take the stress off my body, I started taking 1/8 of the amount of supplemental thyroid that I used to take.  

And then there is sleep.  Two weeks ago I was sleeping away the mornings.  Now I am waking with the birds.  I think this change could be a response to taking Naltrexone, as it is the most common problem from this drug.  I started at a dose of 1.5 mg, increased to 2.25 mg., and am now taking 3.0 mg, and at the two higher doses, my need for sleep seems to have reduced.  

I also attribute the the Naltrexone an increased energy level.  I've found myself in the kitchen at night making marinara sauce (with tomatoes from our garden).  Two weeks ago we didn't think we'd have any tomatoes because we got hit by the blight.  David pulled off all the leaves, and in the picture below you can see the plants (once vigorous and 6 feet high) all dried up with a few tomatoes starting to turn red.   

We saved lots of tomatoes by ozonating them to kill as many fungal spores as possible and then ripening them in the house (putting the greenest ones in a sealed bag with a ripe banana).  

But perhaps it's not the Naltrexone.  Perhaps it's the adenosyl B12.  Who knows?  I'm just happy to have a little more energy.  I knew that increasing the variables would end my status as a lab rat....

And with that increase in energy, it's off to the gym for my dynamic 10 minute workout with weights -- a discipline I started last week and have now done 4 times.  Perhaps I'll turn some of this fat to muscle, which will, in turn, increase metabolic rate (including thyroid activity) and lower adipose-induced aromatase activity.  

As I sum up the benefits of eight months on the methylation protocol, I can say that I have definitely made progress.  My ability to stand has increased, and that has made me more functional.  Taking showers, preparing food and doing a small amount of clean-up no longer ruin the rest of the day. I rarely feel jittery, while the pounding heart only comes back when I try doing a little aerobic exercise.  I no longer suffer with that internal feeling of millions of little fireworks exploding simultaneously (unless I try aerobic exercise).  I am by no means well, but my ability to function in the relative quiet and seclusion of my own house has increased significantly.

In the meantime, the COUNTDOWN STARTS.  13 hours until I see the D.O. in Columbus who does neural therapy and acupuncture and who just might be the same person who helped Mike recover from a deadly case of ME-CFS.    There's a 50% chance, with only 2 DO's in the city who offer neural therapy.  In my next blog I'll let you know whether I, too, can be saved. :-)


  1. Hi Janis, Im so happy you are doing better, mark

  2. Hi Janis,

    You mentioned tomatoes. I'm just wondering if you've ever considered cutting out nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers) to see if you pain levels decrease?

    Sometimes that can really make a huge difference.


Please add your comments here. If you have a question specific to your own condition, please e-mail me directly at drjanisbell@gmail.com I cannot give medical advice. If you want to suggest a product or therapy you think I should try, please let me know if you have used it, what you used it for, and how it helped you.