Despite a week of fevers every afternoon, headaches every morning, sluggish bowels, and chest pains severe enough to send me to the E.R. one night (my heart checked out fine, by the way), I actually can state with absolute certainty that I AM HEALING.
In December 2008 I started testing my urine at home for four variables: sulfate, urea, ammonia, and malondialdehyde (MDA). Following Dr. Yasko's guidance on sulfur and the CBS enzyme, I was able to get my urinary sulfate to a good level. (See my March 13 post, Sulfate under control) But I couldn't get anywhere with the other three measures. A few weeks after I started Biopterin (late July), I was able to lower ammonia and raise urea. But every time I tested MDA with the Oxidata test it was in the severe range. I would squirt a measured amount of urine into the little glass vial filled with testing solution and watch it turn instantly red. I finally gave up testing regularly.
Imagine my excitement when the urine in the glass vial remained a slightly yellowish pink. I set the timer. Five minutes later it was a dark pink. HIGH, no 3. That means I've only got one more notch to go to get into the optimal level, LOW no 2.
So what's the big deal? Who cares about MDA? And what the hell is it?
Have you ever seen a nail rust? A cut apple turn brown? A cut avocado turn black? Of course you have. So you already know that certain things breakdown when exposed to oxygen. So too with the human body. This process is called oxidative stress.
Although we need oxygen to live, it damages our sensitive cell membranes as well as other parts in the interior of our cells. So our body has lots of ways to keep it under control.
I like to think of it this way: Picture a dog on a leash, its ears perked up, panting as it pulls and tugs to get to the next delectable sniff. Someone comes up to pet it, and as it starts to jump up and lick your friend, you tug on the leash and restrain your canine. Oxygen is like that dog. Enthusiastic, ready to run wild. Antioxidants are the leash that enables you to keep the oxygen under control. This way you get oxygen's benefits of energy for your cells and of zapping infectious microorganisms before they spread but you avoid damaging your body beyond its ability for self-repair.
I took a ton of anti-oxidants: grape seed extract, pycnogenol, blueberry, pomegranate, glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, tocotrienols, tocopherols, carotenoids, flavonoids, and more. Nothing changed. Something in the antioxidant process doesn't work in ME-CFS. Dr. Majid Ali has argued for the importance of dysfunctional oxygen metabolism in CFS, Fibromyalgia, and other chronic illnesses. Only recently have these ideas gotten wider credence, with Martin Pall (Explaining Unexplained Illnesses), Rich Van Konynenberg (see the link at the bottom) and Paul Cheney looking at dsyfunctions in different aspects of the antioxidant systems in the body to explain why those of use with ME-CFS have continually high oxidative stress.
So what's different now?
1. I've followed a protocol to raise glutathione:
- I've been on the modified Yasko program for eight months which is enough time to raise glutathione, the most potent anti-oxidant in the cells.
- I started injecting reduced glutathione subcutaneously a month ago.
- I've been using the Lifewave glutathione patches for 4 months
2. I started Naltrexone about a month ago and Biopterin about six weeks ago
- low dose naltrexone improves immune function and lowers inflammation
- biopterin is used to produce BH4, which helps the body breakdown ammonia. When there isn't enough BH4, you make peroxynitrite, the potent oxidant Martin Pall has proposed as the main culprit in the ME-CFS vicious cycle. Conversely, when there is adequate BH4, oxidative stress is reduced