CFS ME Cfids FM Some possible helps C Weber


INTRODUCTION -- Do not rely solely on this discussion of nutrients and strategies, but seek other medical consultation if you are sick as well.

“Chronic fatigue syndrome” (CFS or CFIDS) or “myalgic encephalomyelitis" (ME) is a disease characterized by several of the symptoms of impaired sleep, muscle twitching at night, extreme long lasting fatigue which gets much worse with exercise (the fatigue has been suggested to be from creation of proteins which interfere with and/or destroy thyroid hormone receptors by interferon [Englebienne] ), loss of memory [Marcel], disruption of the circadian rhythm [Tomoda], sore throat, muscle and joint aches, headache (see abstracts of research into magnesium related to migraines or also for an article relating magnesium deficiency to migraine headache), cough, photophobia, night sweats [Evengard] depression that has much lower ACTH and cortisol secretion than typical depression [Demitrack], also a much lower secretion of growth hormone which Cheney believes can be used to repair some of the damage to the hypothalamus of the brain (but growth hormone is degraded when eaten so can not be used by patients) and which failure is thought to be from over secretion of somatostatin in the hypothalamus [Paiva], a failure for a 383 amino acid cortisol binding protein to decline under stress as it usually does when not ill, lower secretion of DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone ) [Kuratsune] which is the most abundant circulating steroid [No authors], there is a less rise of DHEA under ACTH stimulation compared to cortisol than normal [Scott 2000] (You may see how some people rated DHEA treatments at this site) and ( claims for use of several catabolic hormones), lower blood volume (hypovolemia), [from a dead URL]. lymph node pain low blood pressure upon standing (othostatic intolerance, especially standing still), eye pain and fibromyalgia (muscle pain) [Bell DS] as well as white spots on MRI brain scans [Buchwald 1992] and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans [Schwartz], brain scans using 18Fluorine-deoxygluxose (18FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) CFS patients showed a significant hypometabolism in right medium frontal cortex (p = 0.010) and brain stem (p = 0.013) reduced blood flow to the part of the brain which controls the stomach muscles, loss of fingerprints in a third of the patients [Johnson H p345], changes in the body's hormones, increased sensitivity to glucocorticoid hormones [Zisser], alterations in some of the immune hormones (also see a review of immune hormone interaction) evidence of disruption to calcium ion transport in the muscle of ME/CFS patients (but not in fibromyalgia) possibly from modification of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane [Fullea] and a chronic low level activation of the immune system [Cannon] which last may be accounting for many of the non neurological symptoms, but most very variable, perhaps because different parts of the brain are attacked, perhaps because there is more than one species of virus involved, and perhaps because of strong affects from the large variety of secondary infections which have been identified or even all three [Richardson]. It has been found that homocysteine is very high and vitamin B-12 fairly low in the cerebrospinal fluid. Since the vitamin B-12 is normal in the serum, they suggest that B-12 crosses the blood brain barrier inefficiently.The most consistent laboratory abnormality in patients with CFS is an extremely low erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which approaches zero. Typically, patients with CFS have an ESR of 0-3 mm/h. If the ESR is elevated or even in the high-normal range, another diagnosis is suggested. Many physiological parameters are altered. Another consistent abnormality is an increased excretion of citrate in the urine. It has been suggested that this binds with and causes an increased excretion of magnesium [from a dead URL]. It is conceivable that this is a mechanism for conserving chloride in order to keep the serum or cell fluid of immune cells acid in order to make immune enzymes more effective. This would seem to suggest that use of citrus food should be investigated and maybe other acid foods like vinegar as well.

The current list of external symptoms that attempts to define the disease by the Canadian Expert Consensus Panel is at this site.

Women are much more often affected than men no doubt a tiny bit because they complain more often than men and are more likely to be afflicted with emotional trauma which is a triggering circumstance (but see endometriosis below). Women who have CFS have a significantly higher level of isopregnanolone (a metabolite of pregnanolone).. Oddly it is inversely correlated with depession, which would seem to indicate that depression does not cause CFS [Murphy]. There is also the circumstance that women who have fibromyalgia generally do not inhibit undistracted pain, unlike men, especially normal men, who inhibit both types [Staud]. Some research indicates that pain in women is said to activate emotional centers while men tend to have cognitive centers activated. Doctors are more likely to treat women with less sympathy than men because of this perception of complaint. Perhaps it would be a good idea for women to use lady doctors. One or two percent of the population are affected or more likely one third of a percent of women for the more severe form of CFS, which is about one third the breast cancers. Approximately 2.5% of a Brazilian population have fibromyalgia (which in this study may include CFS).

There have been other names for the syndrome proposed. Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) was proposed because the immune system was distorted and it was hoped that this name would gain the victims some support and research funds. After all, the magic letters "ID" had gained massive support for AIDS. It would be too bad if the early cavalier attitude toward CFS resulted in adopting such a cumbersome name. It may be necessary though, because the contempt and loathing by patients for this name is intense, for it has resulted in some dangerous and expensive behavior by doctors. Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CFS Coordinating Committee proposed the name neuroendocrineimmune dysfunction syndrome, or NDS. This name is hopelessly cumbersome. Yuppie flu was proposed because at first only higher income people had enough money saved to hire doctors or lobby officials. High income has been ruled out as a risk factor for fibromyalgia [White] and also CFS [*] (actually less than 16 years of education is a risk factor [Clark], perhaps because better educated people tend to know more about good nutrition). The name "myalgic encephalomyelitis" (ME) was assigned to a similar disease by medical researchers in the British Commonwealth. The last two have also been combined into the acronym CFS/ME, an acronym preferred by patients. Post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) and post-infectious neuromyasthenia were also used. The majority of patients are said to prefer “ME” as a name, so in view of this , if so, maybe the medical profession should adopt this acronym. I prefer CFS because such an extensive literature already exists for this acronym, thus facilitating future searches, but only if all doctors can be educated to its horror. Another acronym that has come into existence is “PWC”, which means “people with CFS”. Fibromyalgia, which is widespread muscular pain, was proposed as a variant of CFS (80% 0f fibromyalgia victims have CFS) and probably is [Buchwald 1994] However cell wall electrolyte pumps appear to be fundamentally different between the two syndromes [Fulea]. The cortisol circadian rhythm is different in fibromyalgia than it is in CFIDS. (see this site for a personalized discussion of fibromyalgia symptoms). Low molecular weight R Nase L increased activity correlates well with severity of CFS symptoms but is normal in fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythmatosis, HIV, and depression [Levine - Copies of the complete article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail]. 74% of fibromyalgia patients had antibodies against serotonin and gangliosides, which are absent in rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica [Klein]. 65% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosis have fibromyalgia symptoms [Neumann]. Some of the more striking abnormalities are those found in the 2-5 Synthetase/RNase L anti-viral pathway. These are not specific to CFS/ME though, and abnormalities can occur in other viral illnesses. This pathway works as follows: viruses activate the 2-5- synthetase enzyme. This in turn converts ATP into 2-5 oligoadenylate and activates the RNase L enzyme, which degrades viral and single stranded RNA. Various Protein kinase enzymes also becomes activated and elevated, which again inhibits both viral replication and protein synthesis. It has been suggested that environmental toxins in the presence of heat shock proteins can also activate this pathway.

No one has been able to assign a definitive cause to CFS with certainty, although it has been proposed to be a hypochondria from misdiagnosis [Johnson H p 126] or mass hysteria from reading newspaper articles proposed by the Center for Disease Control in the USA [Johnson H p 135-138, 339, 342] (both extremely unlikely [White] ), an Epstein-Barr virus [Holmes] (because that virus antigen is often found in it as an opportunistic infection, but refuted [Buchwald 1988] ) or other herpes type viruses, poor nutrition compounded by lack of exercise [Johnson H p685] (probably a factor prior to onset but not after), a poison [Racciatti] , or a retrovirus (because fragments were detected in some of its victims similar to retrovirus) [DeFreitas]. The retrovirus work has ended because DeFreitas has become very sick and no one else has been competent to continue her work. Pozzetto detected genetic material (specifically RNA) from enteroviruses in 20 percent of muscle biopsies from patients with chronic inflammatory muscle diseases and 13 percent of patients with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, but not from healthy volunteers. This will become a very significant finding if other tissue harbors such a virus to bring the percentage up to near 100 per cent. The Center for Complex Communicable Disease has proposed that a new type of virus called a stealth virus is responsible for CFS and fibromyalgia and are currently doing research and testing. The stealth virus is thought to be capable of taking genetic sequences from bacteria and other hosts. That CFS is caused by a virus which damages the immune system is highly probable since it comes on suddenly with flu like symptoms and shows up in clusters associated with social groups [Buchwald 1992]. Several cases of chronic fatigue syndrome brought on by parvovirus B19 was cured by intravenous injection of 400 milligrams per kilogram of imunoglobin per day for 5 days were cured. Fragments of mycoplasma pathogen species have been found in CFS [Nicolson] and fibromyalgia but they are probably opportunistic infections because when multiple species are found in the same patient it correlates with the length of time CFS was present [Nasralla]. However a high percentage of veterans with Gulf War syndrome are infected with Mycoplasmin fermentans especially and quite a few of their family members also become infected with symptoms of autism in their children. There is said to be a benign treatment for mycoplasma and other intracellular pathogens using glutathione from whey (at the end of this site).

Platelets are proposed to have an immune function [Yeaman] and it has been suggested that CFS is from a defect in the platelet’s immune function [Gallagher, Co-Cure communication].

Cheney has proposed that the immune system is divided into two mutually exclusive modes. He believes that CFS victims are stuck in the mode which fights serum bacteria and as a result can not kill viruses and inside the cell pathogens. Instead, the body secretes Rnase L peptide protein for the time being which prevents the viruses and mycoplasmin bacteria (bacteria that have no cell walls which resemble viruses) from replicating but does not kill them. If this is so, I would think that people with CFS should have a lower incidence of cancer than normal people. Some medicines have been proposed that alter the immune system to supposedly counter this situation, some over the counter. A form of Rnase-L, the low molecular weight (37 kilo Dalton) RNase-L, has been found in CFIDS (CFS) patients. It can be six times as destructive as the typical RNase-L. If the virus-fighting system is working normally, the normal form of RNase-L prevents the virus from reproducing. The rest of the immune system goes to work and wipes out the virus, and then the entire immune system returns to normal levels, and the person recovers. In CFIDS, the RNase-L shifts to the more destructive form, and instead of de-activating, it stays active much longer, causing serious cellular metabolic dysfunction, which ultimately affects the liver. The cells can no longer produce essential enzymes, and without them, the liver can't do its job of detoxifying the body. This last contention is by Cheney, and is one of the best theoretical articles written on CFS I have seen [from a dead URL]. Glucocorticoids have a different affect on IL10 in CFS patients than in normal people while the affect on IL12 is the same. This may explain some of the reduction in antiviral activity [Visser, Grafferman]. Van Konynenburg has proposed that the shift to the above disrupted immune function has been enhanced by long term emotional stress and that a deficiency in glutathione and cysteine accentuates it. He suggests that glutathione is important part of CFIDS because he suspects that a glutathione deficiency inhibits the action of the sodium/hydrogen pump, which in turn causes the cell fluid to become more acid, which in turn allows dormant viruses to reactivate. They further deplete the cell of cysteine, which is the precursor for glutathione and which makes getting glutathione back up difficult. Low glutathione is thought to increase the activity of caspace-3 enzyme which he believes is part of the cleavage of R-Nase-L. Vitamin B-6 is a cofactor to the enzyme that converts homocysteine to cysteine [Brouwer]. Another nutrient that affects CFIDS is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), since increasing it caused a marked clinical improvement of a woman. It has been proposed that an important part of CFS is a chronic disruption of the coagulation system, a variant of Hughes syndrome or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). It can be triggered by various infections such as epstein bar virus, chicken pox, lyme disease, leprosy, mycoplasma, tuberculosis, and ricketstia. but can be accentuated by some foods such as carrot, soybean, garlic, avocado, walnut, plum, fat, excessive exercise, heat stroke, estrogen, adrenaline, as well as by some chemicals such as alcohol, fluorides, mercury, some perfumes, some drugs, etc. Many medications are proposed, but usually use medications sparsely, alone, and for short periods of time (except maybe sometimes medications known to be effective killing infections).

The hypothesis that CFS is a psychosomatic illness has resulted in millions of ruined and destitute lives. There probably has not been so ruinous a result from a failed hypothesis since governor Phips ended the Salem witchcraft trials. Even the blood letting of the 18th century was fairly minor. After all, how much harm can you do removing a few drops of blood? The hypothesis by medical doctors that it was not necessary to wash hands for childbirth caused many deaths, but at least these mothers were given a fairly quick end. The CFS victims could not collect insurance support or disability and descended into poverty. That hypothesis was probably an important part of the chief cause of death, which was suicide. It is not only in the USA that the physical nature of this disease was denied. A young girl in Australia was taken away from her mother until the age of 18 because the mother dared to disagree with a doctor that the girl was faking her symptoms. It is true that sometimes children do fake symptoms, but it is desperately dangerous to assume any such diagnosis just to avoid some unnecessary medical attention on those other rare occasions. This would be something like a fire department refusing to answer a fire alarm until proof of a fire was mailed to them in order to avoid rare false alarms. Parents were better than physicians at judging their children’s pain, but neither parents nor physicians adequately assessed the children’s pain severity [Singer]. The matter is further complicated with children because they are usually more resilient than adults, so sometimes something wrong is not detected. If anyone attempts to molest your child in this way, it is probably in order to migrate to a more humane country temporarily if at all possible. We should be demanding, that when people are evaluated for social disability benefits and are tested with endurance tests, they should be given follow up tests on following days because the malaise that results can go on for days. Indeed, this inane hypothesis seems to be pervasive worldwide. The psychosomatic hypothesis was probably the main reason why funds were diverted from a USA congressional mandate by the NIH. and apparently this continues at present.It is conceivable that lawsuits could arise from it in the future. To see a history, philosophy, and legality of ME (CFS) in the United Kingdom , see this site


A poison can not be ruled out as at least a contributing factor [Bell IR 1998], and may have been involved, by virtue of protective chemicals, in the gulf war syndrome. Also the symptoms similar to the gulf war syndrome afflicted many Iraqi civilians, so these are a suspicious coincidence and hint at release of poison gas by bombardment of a depot. Supportive of this is that 45% of Kansas Gulf War veterans who were in forward positions came down with the syndrome compared to 12% in undeployed troops [Steele]. Anthrax vaccine has been proposed as triggering gulf war syndrome with some convincing statistical evidence. However, I believe there may have been other medical procedures at the same time. Also large amounts of aspartame laced soft drinks were provided. Close to two hundred thousand were sickened and over seven thousand have died, most probably from this disease. These brave men were denied support at first also, but CFS and fibromyalgia are now recognized for compensation [from a dead URL]. One reason the Pentagon denied that poison was involved was that they asked the soldiers who captured the arsenal rather than the soldiers who blew it up. Gulf war syndrome is still unrecognized in the United Kingdom. Gulf war syndrome is not the same as CFIDS, however, because CFIDS patients respond much differently to acetylcholine on vascular tissue than do Gulf War syndrome, insecticide poisoned, or normal patients. Also see this site.

Aluminum has been found to be significantly higher in CFS than in normal people [Van Rensburg]. Perhaps aluminum baking powder and pots and pans should be avoided. Aluminum in vaccines have been significantly linked to a CFS like disease [Gherardi].


Women who have taken the medicine Lupron for endometriosis, a fibrous growth of vagina liner growing outside the vagina which afflicts almost 10% of women before menopause, suspect that it makes fibromyalgia worse. It was found that almost 7% of women with endometriosis had chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia (CFS) and CFS was 100 times as common as in the female population and fibromyalgia was twice as common. Half of women with endometriosis had allergies and even a greater per cent of those with allergies also had CFS [from a dead URL]. Some of these ratios may have been affected by medications like Lupron they had taken and some due to some extent to much higher rates of low thyroid secretion than in other women. That there is an intimate connection and not due to any generalized decline in health seems likely because fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis was correlated much less and diabetes not at all [Sinaii]. According to this study there must be a relation between CFS and multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosis, or Sjogren’s syndrome as well. [Sinaii] A recent study has shown a correlation with dioxin from living near an incinerator or a diet high in fish and endometriosis [Rier].

Half of people who have fibromyalgia are sensitive to pollution/exhaust, cigarette smoke, gas/paint/solvent fumes, and perfumes [Bell IR 2001]. Poisons like DEET and permythrin when combined with stress or synergism with other poisons causes brain damage in animals [Abou-Donia]. This may be the reason why poisons seem to be causal. Chemical sensitivity may be operating through a nitric oxide/peroxynitrite mechanism. [Pall 2002] [Pall & Satterlee]. Also see this site. and this one. It could be that viruses can trigger this problem. This may be acting through four known mechanisms, nitric oxide-mediated stimulation of neural transmitter release; peroxynitrite-mediated stimulation of post-synaptic NMDA sensitization; peroxynitrite-mediated blood brain barrier permeabilization and nitric oxide inhibition of cytochrome P450 metabolism, all of them acting synergistically to create an extreme sensitization and much misery. NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) is (part of?) a neuroreceptor in the brain and spinal cord for the neurotransmitter glutamate (the most important excitatory transmitter in the brain) and is said to be involved in the toxic effects of excessive glutamate. NMDA is said to be not only a neuroreceptor but is also an ion channel and is involved in chronic pain [Pall, in a paper to be published soon]. This hypothesis does not immediately suggest to me a course of action (but see Konopin below). However there is one circumstance that does. Those with multiple chemical sensitivity are often reported to have low magnesium pools, and Pall says that magnesium is known to lower NMDA sensitivity (see further discussion of magnesium below ). Also cobalamin (vitamin B-12) has been proposed as a nitric oxide scavenger [Pall 2001]. Some people have enzymes missing capable of degrading poisons and insecticides and are extremely susceptible to even minute amounts of poisons. As a result insecticide residues and many pharmaceuticals are ruinous for them. It has been proposed that aspartame, an artificial sweetener, will damage the hypothalamus, which part of the brain controls steroids and seems to be defective in CFS. Aspartame degrades to the very poisonous methyl alcohol (methanol), poisonous because it can become formaldehyde. Aspartame is suspected to cause blindness, systemic lupus, and cancer among other things, and mimics multiple sclerosis in some people. The following abstract was obtained from Gateway: Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, USA; “CASE SUMMARY: Four patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome for two to 17 years are described. All had undergone multiple treatment modalities with limited success. All had complete, or nearly complete, resolution of their symptoms within months after eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from their diet. All patients were women with multiple comorbidities prior to elimination of MSG. All have had recurrence of symptoms whenever MSG is ingested. DISCUSSION: Excitotoxins are molecules, such as MSG and aspartate, which act as excitatory neurotransmitters, and can lead to toxicity of nerves when used in excess. We propose that these four patients may represent a subset of fibromyalgia syndrome that is induced or exacerbated by excitotoxins or, alternatively, may comprise an excitotoxin syndrome that is similar to fibromyalgia. We suggest that identification of similar patients and research with larger numbers of patients must be performed before definitive conclusions can be made.The elimination of MSG and other excitotoxins from the diets of patients with fibromyalgia offers a benign treatment option that has the potential for dramatic results in a subset of patients.” [Smith].

See this site for some inexpensive, non prescription medicine protocols and a site that describes a prescription medicine called naltrexone, which is said to increase endorphins in the body by temporarily blocking endorphin receptors without serious side affects.

You may see numerous links to discussions of aspartame at this site. . Nevertheless it seems to me that it would be good common sense to eat, drink, breathe or smoke no poisons if you are afflicted with CFS or fibromyalgia, or for that matter, anytime. Imidazolidinyl, a preservative in cosmetics, has been shown to cause a disequilibrium of potassium, sodium, and calcium channels in sea urchin eggs [Amouroux]. Until researchers figure out the affect of chemicals on CFS/ME it might be prudent to eat or apply no chemicals of any kind, even in small amounts. Sodium stearate soap is safe though, more than likely.


Ciguatera poisons picked up by oceanic fish in the tropics have been linked to CFS, especially in Japan. This is a poison of many carbon rings generated by algae, which toxin can not be degraded by heat and which is thought to bind to sodium cell wall pumps. It remains in the body for a long time. You may see an extensive discussion of this toxin along with a proposal of a vitamin B-12 antidote here. Mannitol has been proposed as a treatment [Karlin]. Since fish migrate and in addition are transported all over the world, eating oceanic fish (especially large reef fish) or pigs or chickens (it is said that chickens receive only 2% fishmeal) fed such fish may not be worth (Tyson Inc. claims no use of fish) the risk even for healthy people. I suspect that cod-liver oil is safe since it is a northern fish. The link to CFS has been suggested as misdiagnosis [Ting], It is more likely that the reagent used tests positive for both ciguatera and the poison found in CFIDS give the same result, since amounts in CFIDS patients and hepatitis B are enormously higher than the general population (scroll down). It seems obvious that ciguatera poisoning must surely accentuate CFS at least, and should be avoided by everyone to some extent. A recurrence of neurological symptoms caused by the ocean ciguatera may be brought on by consumption of alcohol (probably not the alcohol itself, but poisons associated with it) or certain foods such as other fish, fish-flavored food products, meat such as chicken and pork , and peanut butter or nut oils. An address of a lab which analyzes this toxin is here.The cost of an analysis is $100. .


There is a discussion of a case history of a patient who believes that mercury poisoning caused a CFS like affliction. and a controlled experiment found corroboration to this concept [Sterzl]. Removal of mercury amalgam tooth fillings have resulted in significant improvement of CFS symptoms (numerous references in this URL). However, an epidemiological study found very little association between mercury and CFIDS, but some association with multiple sclerosis. However, even if mercury proves to be not associated directly, avoiding mercury is obviously a good idea. Mercury release is especially high if amalgams are touched by gold or stainless steel, Having this known poison removed would seem prudent to me. For information on protective measures when having mercury removed as well as other information see this site. and this one. But for a contrary opinion see this site.and for side affects see this site. It is possible that coating the filling with epoxy resin would solve the problem. Some fish contain unacceptable amounts of mercury So probably fish should be eaten in small amounts, perhaps even by healthy people. Fish oils are safe. For fish mercury content, see this site for fish which have lowest amounts of mercury. or this site for a discussion of fish eating compromisesand this site for analyses. It is said that the amino acid cysteine and phytic acid in bran act as chelators (removal agent) of heavy metal.

There is some circumstantial evidence that strong electromagnetic fields can create some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome [Levallois]. It seems to me that it can not be true, but you should know of the suspicion just in case.


So the cause is suspected but unknown. This leaves us with the problem of what to do about the disease currently while we wait for researchers to find the cure.

It has been proposed that poor nutrition and lack of exercise are contributing factors [Johnson H p 685]. It certainly is plausible that a poorly nourished body would be more at risk as is probably the case with most diseases. A vegetarian diet using lots of raw vegetables has significantly improved the symptoms of fibromyalgia with 19 out of 30 subjects reporting considerable improvement of all symptoms after a few weeks [Donaldson]. A Finnish study found raw vegetables devoid of meat, but with vitamin B-12 supplement, reduced the pain, slept better, reduced weight, and reduced cholesterol at the end of three months, but did not improve exercise ability by the end of three months. Despite its benefits, none of the patients chose to adhere to the diet beyond the study period. They did report, however, that their pain gradually returned as they drifted back to their previous omnivorous and probably junk food diet [from a dead URL]. The American Neutraceutical Association editorializes that the diet should be rich in vegetables to cure CFS, and suggests other dietary strategy. Instincts to eat what we were taught to eat when young and to eat sweet foods are overridden with great difficulty. It would be a good idea to find out what in raw vegetables was responsible, especially since it has been found that cooking some food increases the growth rate of animals, probably because interfering materials are destroyed in some of the vegetables by the cooking, something that would be especially important for children. It can not be keeping enzymes intact because digestive enzymes break down all proteins, including enzymes, into amino acids. It is possible that increased vitamin C implied in not cooking food may have had an affect, since a pervasive vitamin C deficiency probably exists in our society. and it has been shown that vitamin C cures viral infections. However I suspect that the main advantage of such a diet increased potassium and magnesium inadvertently and, if so, cooking without throwing away the boil water should work almost as well (vitamin C is easily supplemented). Donaldson's diet gave five to six thousand milligrams of potassium per day and 460 milligrams of magnesium. It has been discovered that magnesium injections mute the symptoms significantly [Takahasha][Cox] and in particular, magnesium is probably central in depression (has numerous links). So magnesium supplements may be in order for CFS and fibromyalgia people who eat junk food and maybe for everyone with CFS and fibromyalgia. See this site for some case histories of magnesium suplementation. It is said that excess magnesium can damage the kidneys [from a dead URL]. If so, this would be another argument for getting as much nourishment from food as possible and perhaps for not using excessive supplements interminably once body content is normal (see this site for how magnesium was rated by people taking it). This site shows how to increase magnesium in the diet. Also it has been said that the following medicines can help create a deficiency; benzthiazide, bumetanide, chlorothiazide, chlorotrianisene, chlortetracycline, cholestyramine resin, conjugated estrogens, corticosteroids, demeclocycline, diethylstilbestrol, digoxin, doxycycline, esterified estrogens, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, hydroflumethiazide, indapamide, methyclothiazide, indapamide, methyclothiazide, metolazone, minocycline, oral contraceptives, oxytetracycline, penicillamine, polythiazide, quinethazone, tetracyclines, torsemide and trichlormethiazide. as well as diabetes, use of diuretics and digitalis, excessive stress, exercise, malabsorption, poor diet, alcoholism, and heavy metal poisoning [from a dead URL]. Magnesium is said to be excreted in greater amounts during respiratory acidosis, so it may be desirable to sleep with the windows open at night or to install a carbon dioxide absorber in the bedroom. This suspicion is reinforced by the fact that the steroid hormone which stimulates acid excretion, 18hydroxy deoxycorticosterone is secreted poorly during CFS, possibly a mechanism to allow an acid serum to activate immune enzymes. This last magnesium matter may be invalid because respiratory alkalosis is also said to increase magnesium excretion. However, the logical way to handle magnesium is to make sure it is adequate in the diet in the first place at least.

Magnesium was found to be normal in the red cells in CFS patients [Hinds] and magnesium is normal in blood cells during a magnesium deficiency as well, so red cell content can not be used in diagnosis There also has been developed a method that uses electron bombardment of a single mouth mucous cell by electrons in order to generate distinctive x-rays. It is said to cost $175 and determines other electrolytes inside the cell at the same time. You may see an excellent article by Seelig which proposes magnesium as of central importance in CFS and fibromyalgia. and also see this site for magnesium in fibromyalgia. In addition there is an article which discusses clinical aspects of magnesium with extensive references. Potassium can not be absorbed efficiently in the presence of a magnesium deficiency [Ryan] and magnesium tends to be correlated with potassium intake. Total body magnesium does not predict a deficiency, but blood serum must be low for prediction. If blood magnesium is 25% low, the enzymes depending on magnesium fail to operate adequately, including those responsible for its own absorption. For a large number of articles presented to a recent symposium on magnesium, see this site.

Chlorella pyrenoidos (an alga plant) supplements have also been found to improve fibromyalgia in a three month study [Merchant]. The amounts of chlorella per day were 10 grams of dry chlorella which furnished 83 mg of potassium and 33 mg of magnesium [Merchant, private communication]. This is not enough of these electrolytes to account for any affect. However people eating a vegan diet who included nori and chlorella algae had double the vitamin B-12 in their blood [Rauma]. Chlorella contains vitamin B-12 [Davis]. However there is a suspicion that this vitamin B-12 is only a useless (or worse), analog. Chlorella also contains inositol [Pratt] which is essential for some of the electrolyte pumps [Bian].

It is possible that the fact that Donaldson’s diet tripled the usual intake of potassium was a considerable advantage of the diet (see this site for a case history of successful use of potassium supplements). A whole body (cell content) analysis of potassium has found that potassium averaged a little lower in CFS than the general population [Burnet] which general population is low in potassium in our society to start with. The CFS average was about two thirds of the highest values of healthy people. This is ominous because the highest of these values is the normalcy which the body attempts to attain, since there is no storage of potassium in the body other than the tolerable range of the soluble potassium in the cell fluid. The low cell potassium may be the reason why the resting energy output is somewhat greater in CFS than normal [Watson]. Chaudhuri, et al suggest that this rise in resting energy is due to abnormal ion channel function similar to that in syndrome X (sic) [Chaudhuri].However red blood cells are not the same as other cells, and show no correlation with plasma potassium [Ladefoged]. It could be that potassium supplements are in order [Lawson 1996], especially if the diet consists of processed food. Magnesium should be part of the experiment since potassium requires adequate magnesium in order to be absorbed effectively [Petersen][MacIntyre] and it is possible that inositol [Charalampous] [Bian] is necessary also. Inositol (vitamin B-8) may be similar to magnesium in its affect [Bian] [Allard]. (see this site for a discussion of nutrients which affect the potassium pumps, including inositol, especially as pertaining to pain during diabetes) and this site for sources (a commercial site.. While excessive salt intakes are detrimental to potassium retention, it is necessary to receive moderate amounts of sodium salt because extremely low intakes of sodium (or chloride?) also increase potassium excretion. Experiments must be performed with caution, however, because when a patient thought to be exhibiting symptoms of fibromyalgia was brought to 5.0 mEq/l in her blood (which is close to normal) she contracted paralysis [Gotze]. This may be because experiments have shown that people who have CFS with muscle pain have normal serum potassium [*] and so fibromyalgia must be a different variation of CFS. It is possible that the greater incidence of fibromyalgia among women who do not drink alcoholic beverages [Schochat] is related to the poison (in this case medicine?) in wine that interferes with potassium excretion [McDonald]. I have no information as to whether this poison has been identified and ethanol is said to increase excretion [McDonald]. In monkeys the electrocardiogram in magnesium deficiency resembles that of high serum potassium (hyperkalemia) in spite of low serum potassium (hypokalemia) [Manitius p39]. So it is possible that lower cell potassium requires lower serum potassium for adequate nerve transmission, but the serum potassium does not drop correspondingly [Manitius p38] during a magnesium deficiency. This may be part of the pain in fibromyalgia, analogous to the pain from cold fingers [Benjamin] probably arising from potassium [Ghosh] released from the cells by cold [Ulrich 1959] below 4 degrees C [Hendricks]. Another possibility is that the low secretion of ACTH by the pituitary gland causes a lower secretion of 18 hydroxy deoxycorticosterone (18OH DOC) steroid. This in turn interferes with excretion of acid since the body probably uses that steroid to stimulate excretion of hydrogen ion. As a result aldosterone is decreased in order to prevent loss of potassium and the serum potassium rises. The cell fluid becomes more alkaline [Strobel] and the cell fluid pH (alkalinity) is the most reliable indicator of the intensity of muscle spasms [Krapf]. If muscle spasms are associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, it is possible that a low cell calcium in that disease even though serum calcium is normal [Magaldi] could be the reason. If a magnesium deficiency does develop, half a year of magnesium supplements can be required for complete normalization of magnesium and potassium - sodium pumps [Anonymous] [ ]. Not all the phenomena associated with a magnesium deficiency take so long. Magnesium supplements reduced leg cramps during a pregnancy in three weeks without any change in serum [Dahle]. Interleukin-1, interleuken-6, and tumor necrosis factor increase dramatically in the serum after 3 weeks of magnesium restriction in rats as well as the neuropeptide substance P [Weglicki 1992], which last causes histamine and PGE2 to rise [Weglicki 1994] in only 5 days, so it is possible that these would recede just as fast after repletion. It is obvious that the changes in the immune system (such as any change in IgE antigen [Wei] or rise in white blood cells [Gaudin-Harding] ), during CFS that might occur could easily be augmented by a magnesium deficiency. There is a suspicion that malic acid is helpful in the CFS diseases, so perhaps magnesium should enter as the malate (see this site for rating of malate by people taking it), but is said to be not very effective for fibromyalgia by some [Russell]. Aspartate has been used with magnesium during heart disease therapy in the past, so the aspartate may prove advantageous as well. Agar seaweed is a rich source of magnesium and contains 770 milligrams per hundred grams of dry weight, but I have no information as to its availability . Also the greater ease with which potassium enters the body as the chloride [Classen] suggests that perhaps this anion should be tried as well for magnesium. It is also possible that associating magnesium with the chloride might prove disadvantageous since 18 hydroxy deoxycorticosterone (18 OH DOC) may be low during CFS and that is probably the steroid the body uses to stimulate acid excretion. Using the chloride would have the same net affect as supplementing the diet with hydrochloric acid. If so, eating vinegar may be not a good idea either. Recent experience of mine with damage from toluene in automobile enamel reducer and pain it caused makes me suspect so since vinegar and potassium chloride supplements seemed to augment the pain. I do not know which steroids stimulate or inhibit chloride excretion and it may not be known. This then would be an additional reason for being cautious about chloride. An additional reason is that potassium as the chloride raises blood pressure (in rats) rather than lowering it. So presumably potassium chloride should not be used as supplements if your blood pressure is high (hypertension) or you are in pain.

If you wish to try increasing potassium by diet you may see a table which gives the relative values of potassium as milligrams per calorie, or in descending order of concentration at this site.. Considerable increases in potassium are possible without the necessity of eating food raw and there is less danger of imbalances with other nutrients using food rather than supplements. For instance the magnesium problem should be adequate that way, at least for maintenance amounts. For CFS patients magnesium injections may be necessary at first. Vitamin D is proposed as necessary for reabsorption of magnesium in the kidneys [Ritchie]. Half of fibromyalgia patients have vitamin D levels less than the amount which starts to stimulate parathyroid hormone [Huisman] and fibromyalgia patients are much more often showing low vitamin D in their blood than normal women [Al-Allaf]. It is likely that the affect on magnesium is involved, and thus indirectly powers the potassium pumps [Grace]. The optimal values in the blood are proposed as 45-50 ng/ml or 115-128 nmol/liter of vitamin D. It is possible that CFS victims may have net bone resorption. which would be an additional reason for keeping vitamin D more than adequate. People getting no sunlight should supplement with at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D, which is 5 times the usually recommended amount [Glerup], or more. However, It has been proposed that vitamin D accentuates the symptoms of sarcoidosis (thought to be a bacterial infection), and supplements or sunlight probably should not be used then. A double blind experiment was performed testing the efficacy of a complete spectrum of nutrient supplements and no significant improvement was found [Brouwers]. However only 20 mg extra per day of magnesium was added which is hopelessly inadequate. Also there was only 750 mg extra of potassium which in most people would probably be only a maintenance amount added to the usual 1500 to 2000 most people receive these days. In addition, the potassium was probably as the chloride, which might not be the best form for these diseases.

In any case, it would seem to be desirable to know what are the optimum ratios of the electrolytes in the diet to make their correct regulation the easiest. It would seem that the determination should be made differently for fibromyalgia than for CFS because the changes in cell pH (acidity) are similar to controls during CFS [Wong].

It may be that meals should be more than three times per day in smaller increments. I suggest this because secretions from the adrenal glands are important in handling nutrient disposition in the body, especially potassium. Since the adrenal glands in CFS patients average smaller than other people [Scott & Dinan 1999] and the patient's depression has much lower ACTH (and therefore cortisol and 18 hydroxy deoxycorticosterone secretion) [Demitrack] which lower cortisol may be partly from the smaller glands, it is possible that any disruption in secretion mediators would be making it more difficult to handle food surges. There is a good chance damage to the part of the brain which controls the pituitary is a more important part of that low cortisol than gland size, by virtue of disruption of the brain-pituitary axis [Scott, Svec & Dinan] and therefore ultimately of ACTH secretion, which ACTH stimulates cortisol secretion and is absolutely essential for 18 OH DOC. Determination of salivary cortisol upon awakening has been found to be a good noninvasive test for lack of normalcy [Roberts]. Some long-term negative feedback operating on the viability of the cells themselves could conceivably be accentuated by nutrient surges. Also smaller meals would help prevent surges of potassium too high for those with weakened kidneys to handle efficiently as well as possibly increasing the useful cell retention by virtue of preventing the correction of high plasma potassium which otherwise takes place by excretion in the urine and lower colon. Richard Burnet recommends small solid food meals. His rationale is that such a strategy helps prevent the bacterial overgrowth resulting from delayed emptying of the stomach. Since liquids have an even greater delay, he suggests drinking liquids 20 minutes later. I know of no additional experiments to further verify this explanation. However there is epidemiological evidence for the desirability of more small meals during the day.

Choline dihydrogen citrate along with vitamin C has given considerable improvement in myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, probably fibromyalgia). Vitamin C has been given very little attention in CFS research, but extra vitamin C creates less fatigue in healthy people. A trial with alanthamine hydrobromide which inhibits the enzyme which degrades choline gave dramatic improvement in sleep defects in CFS. Richardson believes that correcting the choline deficiency is better than the use of alanthamine hydrobromide [Richardson]. This author nature boy is inclined to agree but perhaps both would be helpful at first. Vitamin B12 and folic acid are said to be cofactors with choline [Richardson]. Melatonin is the hormone which is thought to be central in circadian sleep patterns and has been shown to be helpful [Smit] against depression caused by poor sleep habits. It should be fairly harmless. However its affects on birth defects is said to be not known yet and research has indicated little relief [Williams]. Most indicative of contraindication for melatonin is that it is dramatically elevated in juvenile CFIDS [Knook]. Because of very low vitamin B-12 in the brain large injections may be in order, which are only available by prescription , or perhaps less expensively, use of DMSO for skin absorption and this site. In any case, all this should be on top of a nutritious diet to start with. In particular it has been proposed that linoleic acid (omega 6) may be deficient in myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) [Richardson] and very few people take magnesium or potassium in supplements. The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 oils should be one, but modern diets are much higher [Simopoulos]. You may see a graph showing ratios of essential oils in some foods here. However it is probably not a good idea to add excessive amounts of these oils to your diet because they have been associated with breast cancer and omega 3 could possibly inhibit the immune system [Grimm] in excess (but apparently not the white cell (T and B cells) functions [Kelley] ). For that matter overwhelming excesses of anything are probably rarely advantageous. However, supplements of omega-3 may be in order if you are afflicted with depression.since depression has been negatively correlated with amount of omega 3 oil eaten.

Copper intake in America is about half of the RDA. Researchers fed 24 male subjects low copper diets and found a closely tied drop in the levels of enkephalins (the internally produced substances that provide us with pain relief and pleasure) that were produced in the brain. [Journal of the American Medical Assoc. 224: 1578 (1973) ][Bhathena]. Depression has been relieved with copper supplements [Hansen], so it is possible that the depression often associated with CFIDS could be reduced that way also. It has been found in the past that copper supplements reduced the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. The reason why copper seemed to impact arthritis may be because a copper deficiency increases mast cells half again as much in rats [Schuschke], which in turn increases inflammation caused by histamine released by those cells as stimulated by the immune peptide hormones. Therefore it may be that copper supplements should be tried for people with fibromyalgia, since there is often depression and sometimes some inflammation. There is the additional possibility that relieving the low copper intake characteristic of our society would be helpful in view of the known strong dependence of the immune system on adequate copper. and a copper deficiency halves serum DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) in rats [Klevay and Christopherson]. I do not know how this happens or what the significance of it is, but in view of the low DHEA in CFIDS it would seem that a deficiency should be avoided. To see how to increase copper in the diet read this site; mollusks and liver are the richest food sources. However shellfish in some areas have very large amounts of cadmium and are high in lead and arsenic also. I also have concern that shellfish from the tropics may contain ciguatera toxin, as has been mentioned above. Spirulina seaweed is said to be a very rich source of copper, six milligrams per hundred grams of dry weight. Cheney believes that extra copper is damaging, however. Extra copper during a zinc deficiency certainly can be. In any case you may see a table for copper and zinc in food expressed as milligrams per thousand Calories here.

It has been found that there is a significant inverse relation between vitamin E and fatigue in CFS [Vecchiet].

NADH (nicotinomide adenine dinucleotide) has helped in CFS, , and 5-HTP (5 hydroxytriptophan) is thought to increase the brain’s sleep and antidepression hormones [from a commercial site]. Also SAM (S-adenosylmethionein) has reduced pain and depression in fibromyalgia, but it is very expensive. It has been found that . depression is relieved somewhat by inositol supplements. If so, it is conceivable that this may be related to increasing the power of the sodium and potassium cell wall pumps.

While individual nutrient supplements may prove to be in order for CFS, it is futile to think that any patient can get nourishment just right by eating processed food with varied nutrient losses and additions, and then exactly correcting with pills. This is so even if the macronutrients like potassium, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are supplemented also and even for people who are expert dietitians. There is NO GOOD SUBSTITUTE FOR AN UNDAMAGED DIET.

There have been encouraging improvements achieved in CFS victims with lifestyle changes including nutrition, alterations in intestinal bacterial flora, and removal of foods causing allergic reactions. Food elimination strategies have been said to produce significant clinical responses in 50-80% of patients with particular benefits seen in gastrointestinal complaints, migraine, arthralgias, recurrent upper respiratory tract infections including the sinuses and urinary tract infections. It is also thought that weight gain during CFS could be largely from food sensitivity [from a dead URL]. There is another elimination which was found to eliminate headache That was the elimination of monosodium glutamate [from a dead URL].I also suspect that acid foods such as vinegar or potassium chloride can augment headache. Adding potassium chloride to a junk food diet should have the same affect as adding hydrochloric acid to a normal diet. I also suspect that something in raw cashew nuts can also produce a headache in some people based on personal experience. There is a report of relief from intestinal bacterial overgrowth by means of enteric coated peppermint oil [Logan and Beaulne]. I would be hesitant about such a strategy if other means were available however. Natural medicines can be just as risky as artificial ones. Digitalis, ricin, ciguatera, and cyanide are all natural for instance. It has been proposed, though, that lactic acid bacteria can have therapeutic value [Logan, Venket, and Irani]. If so, I would suspect that they would be most affective introduced encapsulated in enteric capsules and taken with milk.


Exercise has also been found to be helpful in CFS by numerous experiments [Hakkinen][Mengshoel]. Both moderate and intense exercise has shown to be helpful [Hadhazy] (it is possible that his patients were misdiagnosed). However, over training can precipitate CFS [Shephard] and exercise brings on a severe fatigue which lasts for days [Johnson H p329-330, 491-492] so it seems to me that exercise should be very mild (such as slow walking [Coutts] ) or better yet swimming for both CFS and fibromyalgia. This is supported by an experiment which showed that exercise in a pool gave less pain, anxiety, depression, and more days of feeling good [Jentoft] than terrestrial exercise and the effects lasted more than six months [Mannerkopf]. Short, mild treadmill exercise caused no obvious problem [Clapp]. I suspect that many short periods of mild exercise across the day would be the preferred routine. I suspect "across the day" partly because clearance of blood through the liver in order to remove electrolyte hormones such as aldosterone [Messerli] (which removal decreases potassium losses and sodium retention) is probably an important part of the value of exercise. A rocking device has been found to increase nitric oxide similar to actual exercise, so this may prove to be a mild substitute for exercise and thus avoid the deleterious effects from rigorous exercise. Even robust exercise had beneficial results in some of the symptoms other than the symptoms mentioned above [Hadhazy] but it is conceivable that these patients had a different part of their brain affected by the disease and most researchers believe that if robust exercise made an improvement the situation was misdiagnosed. Lerner has a hypothesis that the poor tolerance to exercise in CFS is because the heart is infected with various herpes viruses and has considerable autopsy evidence. If so exercise that puts a strain on the heart would be dangerous. There have been a number of situations in Queensland, SA and NSW Australia where CFS children, mainly in a hospital setting, have been made quite ill by excessive exercise, and when parents intervened to halt the harm, were threatened with loss of the child if they do not allow the practices to continue. Athletic ability before becoming ill has nothing to do with post-illness exercise capacity, and often sedentary persons become less ill than those who were athletic. In some of the outbreaks, the bedridden hospital patients were the only ones to escape contracting the disease [Bruce]. Until researchers get it figured out it would be a very good idea to approach exercise cautiously and very moderately indeed. It is rare in life when moderation is harmful. It has been suggested that patients make a "NOT TO DO" list. It might be a good idea for healthy people too. It has been proposed that cytokine peptide protein hormones which regulate the immune system are responsible for much of the problem and that they can be reduced by vertical immersion in water at 85 degrees Fahrenheit several times a week. Of course this may not be a good idea if an infection is still being resisted.


There are many clever devices which have been invented for other degenerative diseases. There is no reason why these devices can not be made available if they can be financed by society. Societal support would be necessary for most because severe CFS is so debilitating that it is impossible for some of these people to support themselves. The most debilitating infirmity other than fatigue is loss of memory. CFS patients should carry maps with them showing the way home and notebooks with important information like phone numbers and grocery lists. This should help considerably. For those who have lost fingerprints [Johnson H p345] a good ID should always be on them and perhaps name and phone number imprinted on their arm with a dye. Another procedure, which should be effective, would be to set up a system whereby a CFS patient could carry a cell phone with a button which automatically dials a central office which has people on duty familiar with the important information in the patients life. That office should be skilled at giving emotional support in order to deal with the depression often present. For a dozen or so clever devices to use during the fibromyalgia type CFS see this site.


It has been suggested that not eating or drinking caffeine before going to bed will aid in muting restless legs syndrome, which often also afflicts people with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and some types of anemia [from a forbidden URL]. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and many soft drinks are sources of caffeine. Keep in mind also that caffeine is suspected of increasing potassium excretion.

There is evidence of opportunistic herpes infection since 77% of CFS patients contain antibodies to HHV-6 EA as IgM and IgG [Patnaik]. It may therefore be prudent for these CFS people also to eat sparingly of foods high in arginine continuously after CFS or maybe until tests determine that the immune peptide hormones [Patarca] and natural killer cells [Caligiuri] are all normal again. This is because the amino acid, arginine, accentuates the symptoms of herpes [McCune] and maybe even trigger a resurgence of a dormant infection such as shingles (which disease is a resurgence of dormant chicken pox virus from nerves near the spine). Foods high in arginine are peanuts, cashews (peanuts are 50% higher than cashews but cashews are substantial), chocolate, and seeds other than the grass derived grain. (see here for a table which gives lysine and arginine values) Lysine supplements may be in order during an actual disease also because lysine helps to mute the effects of the herpes virus (such as chicken pox, shingles, infectious mononucleosis, roseola) significantly, reducing the occurrence (when taken routinely during the disease), severity, and healing time of herpes simplex virus [Griffith, 1981][Griffith, 1987]. It probably does so by interfering with the absorption of arginine by the virus. You can recognize shingles by large patches of a painful rash that appears on one side of the body in people under emotional stress [Irwin], older people, or people whose immune system has been compromised. An additional reason for decreasing arginine intake may exist. It is said that the enzyme that creates nitric oxide, which in turn stimulates neural sensitization, does so by acting on arginine. Some individuals have attained dramatic relief from virus with large lysine supplements, Including one person who claimed dramatic relief from CFIDS.

You may see an excellent table of nutrients including amino acids ( Just divide the values by the Kcal figure to get valid comparisons. Gain access by typing in food desired and then using the enter or return key. There are also links to PDF types of printouts from the table for individual nutrients).

It is said that injections of adenosine monophosphate and interferon gamma will also help heal herpes infections [Nikkels].

Zinc has been proposed as being able to prevent and kill cold viruses and other viruses. This they are thought to do by making the cell membrane less permeable and by inhibiting viral replication. Zinc concentration in fluid outside the cell is normally 0.015 millimoles. Zinc at 0.1 t0 2.0 millimoles is as effective in controlling virus as the most effective interferon-beta concentration. Recommended topical application is 0.2 to 2.0 per cent or 9 to 90 millimoles. Zinc is most available as the acetate [Eby]. Of especial interest to CFS victims is that Eby mentions a single case history of a successful cure of Epstein Barr virus (mononucleosis). There are two medicines, BHT and hypercin, which have some case history evidence for inhibiting herpes virus, but with unknown safety.

Sitosterol, a steroid present in plants, has evidence to indicate that it boosts the immune system [Bouic]. Wheat germ is said to be a rich source. This is another hint that whole foods are in order. Lauric acid is said to inhibit viruses by preventing attachment to the cell wall. It is the antiviral in human milk. It is also found in coconut oil. The ester of lauric acid, monolaurin, is said to be much more active against viruses. About 2000 milligrams is a therapeutic dose [Lieberman]. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is said to inhibit viruses by stimulating production of immune peptide hormones and is more potent when combined with vitamin C and glutathione (GSH) [Lieberman]. It is also used to restore liver detoxification function from damage by acetaminophen (Tylenol). Therapeutic doses are 2000-4000 milligrams per day and is more affective when combined with 1000-2000 milligrams of GSH [Lieberman].

In regard to resisting diseases, especially bacterial, there is probably another reason for keeping cell potassium normal with adequate nutrition. It seems that the white cell vacuole requires an alkaline medium in order to both kill and digest microbes. To achieve this it must pump potassium into the vacuole using a calcium activated (Bkca) pump. This is known because, when a chemical blocks this pump channel, microbes are not killed in spite of normal phagocytosis (engulfing of microbes) and oxidase activity [Ahluwalia]. So it seems plausible to me that, when the pump is operating normally, a low cell potassium would make it more difficult to achieve the enhanced alkalinity. This may be the reason why potassium deficient kidneys are susceptible to infection [*].

Those who have CFS should not be afraid to experiment with nutrients. The human body is very resilient. As long as you do not use a poison or procedure known to be harmful, there is not much chance that irreversible harm will transpire. Experimenting has some risk but doing nothing is even riskier. You may see an article which gives a diet for fibromyalgia arrived at by experimenting at this site. If you do come across a nutrient, combination of nutrients, or procedure or other circumstance which produces perceptible positive or negative effects, perhaps you could see yourself clear to email the information into a site which is attempting to archive such experiences . Single case histories can sometimes be more effective in moving forward research than blind experiments averaged [Buchanen][Urowitz].

As to NOT eating something in order to test the possibility of food allergy, which is often present, the chances of irreversible harm are vanishingly small. Some of the reactions to foods were pain, headache, and gastrointestinal distress in one study. The most common problem-causing foods or ingredients for the patients in this study were corn, wheat, dairy food, citrus and sugar [Edman]. I am inclined to doubt the citrus, although it could be acting in a non allergic way as mentioned above. It is very unlikely that sugar can produce an allergy. However sucrose and fructose can interfere considerably with copper metabolism so a different mechanism could be involved with sugars that mimic allergy. Wheat is another matter. Some people are genetically unable to digest the gluten protein in wheat and as a result are afflicted with coeliac disease. This is probably not an allergy as allergy is usually defined. It is conceivable that the damage to the intestines that this causes may be interfering with absorption of potassium and other nutrients. See this site for food that do and do not contain gluten.You should consider the following from a CoCure post by Dr. Charles Shepherd;
1 'Irritable bowel' symptoms are quite common in ME/CFS but it's worth screening for adult onset coeliac disease (AOCD), especially if the onset of ME/CFS is gradual.
2 Anemia is not caused by ME/CFS (a fairly common misconception). When anemia occurs, another explanation should always be sought.
3 Before experimenting with a gluten-free diet it's a good idea to be screened for AOCD, especially in people who have 'irritable bowel' type symptoms.
4 Some people who claim to have been 'cured' of ME/CFS by a gluten-free diet may not have had ME/CFS at all. The real explanation may have been AOCD - important because treatment of this condition isn't just a gluten-free diet. There are a number of other management issues (for instance increased risk of osteoporosis and small bowel adenocarcinoma) which need to be considered as well. Some physicians even recommend an annual lifelong review of their AOCD patients.
Gastroenterologists believe that we are currently only seeing the tip of the 'coeliac disease iceberg' with many people remaining undiagnosed or being misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, depression, ME/CFS etc.

Of course your single case history for allergy or deficiencies is almost useless epidemiologically (the study of health statistics) by itself. However, perhaps it could become useful if you became a member of a group that keeps records and is willing to make the records public anonymously. Millions of people eat things about which no records are kept, such as hydrogenated oils and additives. If they are not studied by the people who sell them, the government agencies, or the universities, then it would be a good idea if the people who eat food did so. Keep in mind that adverse connections to food probably usually take twelve hours or more to materialize. Desirable connections to essential nutrients can take days or weeks, such as potassium for instance, and can often depend on synergistic affects or be affected by antagonistic affects.


There have been two case histories in which dramatic improvements were attained in which removal of pathogenic bacteria by doxycycline 2 was the principal medication. It is said that that medicine has anti-inflammatory affects also, so one can not draw certain conclusions yet. As already mentioned, doxycycline may cause greater magnesium excretion, so supplements might be necessary. Long time use also creates nausea and photo sensitivity.A way of stimulating the immune system by use of a medicine called Ampligen (polyI-polyC12U, produced by Hemispherx Biopharma Co. or HEB) is said to show promise. There is a discussion of numerous medications for killing infectious diseases at this site. Just do not engage in any procedures out of the ordinary which go on interminably, especially medication or pain deadeners (analgesics) since pain deadeners have been proposed as a risk factor for CFS [Johnson H p574]. Also several pain deadeners have been found to damage the kidneys. Among the prescription and over the counter medications that predispose patients to such damage are acetaminophen (Tylenol, Anacin-3, Liquiprin, Panadol, and Tempra) but not aspirin [Schwarz]. Kidney damage is extremely serious. Also it is plausible that anything which can damage kidney cells could damage immune cells as well. The chance that a pain deadener will have any direct curative affect is extremely small, so it usually is better to tolerate the pain if at all possible unless it is interfering drastically with sleep. A 1998 medical report estimated that adverse reactions to prescription drugs kill about 106,000 Americans annually, roughly three times as many as are killed in automobile accidents. You may see side effects of medicines at this site. If for some reason a pain deadener is essential, glucosamine reacts synergistically with non steroidalanalgesics so that less pain killer is necessary. One exception to adverse affects of pain medicines may be Methylsulfonylmethane ( MSM). It is said to be fairly effective and virtually free of side affects. You may see the results of numerous case histories at this site. It may be that it warrants more investigation [Parcell]. However some people report an adverse reaction to it, which could conceivably be due to a bad batch. Another pain deadener which is said to work by inhibiting brain transmitters is the drug, Neurontin. I do not know if it has side effects or not. Cheney says that the medicine called Klonopin protects brain cells from over stimulation and cell death without dangerous side effects. There is a new medicine under investigation in the UK that markedly reduces fatigue caused by fibromyalgia called Provigil (modafinil). It is useful to know that smoking enhances pain but not fatigue [Yunnus]. Fibromyalgia seems often to be made worse in hypertensive patients who are treated with ACE (angiotensin conversion enzyme) inhibitors and ACE receptor blockers. A study of the side effects of these medications (this site attempts to propose some causes of hypertension) shows muscle pain as a potential side effect. Medications by name include accupril, altace, atacand, avapro, capoten cozaar, diovan, hyzaar, lotensin, mavik, micardis, monopril, univasc, vasotec, and zestril. Ask your doctor if your medications for high blood pressure are any of the above. See this site for other natural ways of lowering blood pressure.

Attempting to correct the low cortisol in CFS with cortisol is useless because there are no significant good effects [Levine ( Copies of the complete article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: ) ]. In any case cortisol or any other glucocorticoid should not be taken during any infection because of its known considerable dampening of the immune system. If cortisol is used, a single daily dose is probably not effective because cortisol is rapidly converted to an inactive form [Ulrich 1958]. There is an extensive discussion of drug and herbal medicine adverse interactions at this site. There is a suspicion that isotretinoin (brand name Roaccutane, for acne) can trigger an attack of chronic fatigue syndrome. The American Food and Drug Administration has a program called MEDWATCH for people to report adverse reactions to untested substances, such as herbal remedies and vitamins. Call 800-332-1088.

Infusions or injections intra muscularly of the immune hormone IgG, especially intramuscularly (probably this way because the IgG was not degraded too quickly by the blood enzymes), to pregnant mothers has shown to give very effective protection in preventing birth defects in the babies when the mothers showed titers to a Coxackie virus. 500 mg weekly provided the affect [Richardson]. The affect was probably from enhancement of the immune system.

There is a report that Hypobaric treatment (increased oxygen pressure) will ameliorate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This would seem to indicate another reason for providing plenty of ventilation, especially while sleeping.

When surgery is necessary for CFS patients (including dental procedures) it is imperative that doctors become familiar with contraindications for medication because CFS patients are very susceptible to adverse reactions from some anesthetics and other medications and usually much smaller doses are indicated.


Depression often shows up in CFS. Therefore it is almost certainly desirable for those who love the sufferer to apply as much emotional support as possible. Emotional abuse has been found to be correlated with fibromyalgia [Walker]. Good jokes, camaraderie, and tactile approval (like hugs) will not cure the disease since psychological state has little affect on the disease itself (as opposed to the disease creating the psychological state [Tiersky] ), but there is a good chance they will mute or distract some of the symptoms and make an eventual defeat of whatever infection is involved or become involved opportunistically a little more likely (see this site for ways of coping with stress). It has been found that secretion of IgA is increased merely by watching humorous stories [Labott] (IgA is the peptide hormone that guards the body against diseases that invade through mucous membranes and diarrhea). However many CFIDS patients say that laughing more than ten minutes is as exhausting the next day as physical exercise for them. Therefore humor must be low keyed and pleasant, evidently. There has been a study which indicates that women seek female companionship when stressed and that this soothes them. It is proposed to operate through the oxytocin hormone with an assist from estrogen. Considerable health and lower mortality benefits are statistically obtained [Taylor]. Massage has been helpful for fibromyalgia [Field], massage being the most helpful of physical manipulations [Hong], but there is a good chance that this is also a placebo effect on the immune system. Massage of the neck is said to make the situation worse if there is a compression of the neck vertebrae. Emotional support for children is especially important since emotional abuse is said to be a risk factor for children who have been emotionally abused [Imbierowicz] and children who have had psychiatric problems in the prior year were much more affected by their CFIDS [Rangel]. Just be sure to make kissing or eating and drinking out of the same plate not part of the procedure because there is a suspicion that the last of the two is a risk factor for others and also increases the chance of opportunistic infections. Staying warm will also probably prove to be advantageous since it has been shown that staying warm enhances immunity [Hanson]. I have often cured a cold within a couple hours with an infrared heat lamp directed to my nose and I have heard of people who claimed to have eliminated CFIDS with infrared saunas. How to make or acquire a sauna is discussed here. I suspect that one or a few electric light infrared bulbs on goose neck lamps would be all that are required. A fringe benefit is a considerable saving in heating costs since you are comfortable at a much lower room temperature. Guarding the sufferer from fear and tapping spiritual resources for fear is well known to affect the immune hormones. Fear may be contributing to the lower potassium in CFS by increasing aldosterone as well and ways of coping with emotions, both good and bad ones, which last are said to worsen symptoms, at this site. There is a site that enables singles with CFIDS to contact each other. I have no experience with the site. Do not allow anyone convince you that the disease is hypochondria, or hysteria, or a spell from the wicked witch of the west. Everything is something, even if the something is unknown.


CFS and fibromyalgia are potentially extremely dangerous to society because of their severity and length of recovery time. The vector for this disease or these diseases is unknown at present but there is a good chance that pathogens are causal. 6.4% of patients in an unreported study were triggered by a blood transfusion [from an unreported study]. If a mosquito ever "learns" how to transmit it, the situation will be desperate for society. Therefore enormous research effort should be mobilized to not just ameliorate it, but like smallpox, to eradicate it.

If all the mitigating factors which have been discovered so far are all implemented, in my opinion there is a good chance that people with CFS and fibromyalgia will be able to lead reasonably satisfactory lives of higher quality .(also see this site for a multi treatment experiment). Be very cautious of medicines based on chemicals, however. In particular it is important to eat a nourishing diet. This means much more vegetables and ruling out almost all processed food and making sure that people do not leach or boil out any nutrients themselves. I warmly recommend this even for healthy people. It is by no means necessary that such a diet be unpalatable. If many vegetables are blended together in salads and soups they will taste much better than eaten separately in my opinion. Also there are many harmless foods with strong flavor such as lemon juice for instance, which can add “zing” to the food, as well as spices, many of which are probably reasonably harmless. If you use lemon juice or vinegar, be sure they contain no sulfites, which degrade vitamin B-1 in the intestines, and keep in mind that these acids may yet prove to be disadvantageous. I am almost certain that vinegar gave me a headache during the days immediately after I was poisoned with toluene, for instance. It is possible that supplements may prove to be necessary, but if so, they should be on top of a good, UNPROCESSED nutritional platform and will almost certainly have to include adequate amounts of the macro nutrients, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphate if the diet is not already adequate. The health of people in the USA is abysmal (numerous statistics), and a major part of it is poor nutrition. As the 12th century physician trying to cure by diet before he administers drugs said; “No illness that can be treated by diet should be treated by any other means" or as Hippocrates expressed it in 460 - 377BC; "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." It would seem that a healthy life style has been known for a long time.

To see patient evaluations of magnesium, whey protein, NADH (enada), DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), vitamin B-!2, and etc. see this site. See this site for (subjective?) evaluations of treatments. If you should wish to research past articles involving CFS, see this site. You may see abstracts of the 2nd World Congress on chronic fatigue syndrome and related disorders with 73 paragraphs on almost every current line of research at this site.

Thyroid problems can cause fatigue. See this site for thyroid. It is possible for people with CFS to have low thyroid secretion, but use of thyroid hormones (thyroxine) must be done with extreme care and be carefully monitored, because cortisol is usually low in CFS and thyroid hormone can have serious consequences with heart rhythm or especially to the adrenal glands. Endometriosis is said to be associated with low thyroid.

(For a summary of potassium and copper nutrition)

See this site for explanations of standard blood tests (this is a medical encyclopedia). Click on the name of each test, and it will tell you what could cause that value to be high or low.

CONTENTS of other chapters having to do with potassium for rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease: Back to INTRODUCTION chapter -- II. Arthritis Research -- III. Arthritis and Potassium -- IV. Roles of Potassium in the Body -- V. Electrolyte regulation (sodium and potassium) -- VI. Purpose of cortisol -- VII. Copper nutrition and physiology -- VIII. Nutritional Requirements -- IX. Potassium in Foods -- X. Processing Losses -- X,cont. Losses in the kitchen -- XI. Supplementation -- Supplement's side Effects and Heart Disease

XIII. When Blood Potassium is too High (Hyperkalemia).

Cashew nuts for tooth abscess >
For a procedure that discusses
tetrathiomolybdate for removing copper and thus preventing solid cancer growth and Hodgkin’s, see this site.
See this site for evidence
of a correlation between magnesium deficiency and cancer.

A site is available which shows. foods which are high in one nutrient and low in another (including calories). This last site should be especially useful for a quick list of foods to consider first, or for those who must restrict another nutrient because of a genetic difficulty with absorption or utilization..


While it is not the policy of this author to use testimonials, you may, if you wish, tell of the outcome of health strategies to a site which archives such experiences. The information contained in any of my articles may be duplicated in whole or in part as you wish, other than to publish a book.

You may find useful for definitions and easy to use a search for abstracts of journal references, "Gateway". For those which have abstracts available, click on "expand" or for definitions click on "find terms". and a site that has many links to nutrition sites around the world. You may also perform a search for articles about CFS and fibromyalgia going back to 1750 at this site. Leaving out the dates searches the whole list. References for ME/CFS up to 2003 may be seen at this site. Messages from members that give their best and worst treatments may be seen here.

Google is a large, general search engine which lists the most informative articles first. Google has a free program which enables you to put a tool bar on your screen which at the click of a button enables you to perform a search of the web right from the window you are viewing or the article itself, determine its rank, find anyone linking to it, find similar articles, translate it into English, and bring up its lead articles. It also will mark any word in the article you wish and search within the article. It is something else. .

There is a free program available which tells on your site what web site accessed you, which search engine, statistics about which country, statistics of search engine access, keywords used and their frequency. It can be very useful.

The author has a degree in chemistry and a master of science degree in soil science. He has researched potassium and copper nutrition for 40 years, primarily library research, and CFS for several months. He has cured his own early onset of arthritis. He has published articles on allied subjects in; The Journal of Theoretical Biology (1970, 1983), The Journal of Applied Nutrition (1974) which gained the best article of the year award, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology (1983), and Medical Hypotheses (1984, 1999). This article is solely funded by the author.

Confidentiality of data relating to individual patients and visitors to a medical/health Web site, including their identity, is respected by this Web site. The Web site owners undertake to honor or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in the USA. You may use any information in my articles in whole or part which you think useful.

For your interest, comments by the editor about the response to the insulting obituary (calling him a snake oil salesman) of Dr. Horrobin’s (editor of Medical Hypotheses) in the British Medical Journal; "The Lancet's obituary, and other obits in the national press, wimpishly parroted the version sent out by Horrobin's former PA [press assistant]." Asked if she was surprised by the venomous response, Richmond (the editor) says she realizes now that Horrobin had a cult following, especially among people with chronic fatigue syndrome. "If I'd been as conscious of this as I am now, I would have pre-empted their response as far as I could." I wonder how.

This article was updated in August 2004.

Email to Charles Weber = isoptera at

This page has been visited


(many are from the abstracts and many were provided by Co-cure, a free email mailing)

[*] I do not have this reference immediately available for these.

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