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Dr. Lucinda Bateman's Theory of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

If you have not already seen Dr. Bateman's video regarding her thoughts on the IACFSME conference and her unified theory this video is worth watching.

Whoever created the video really messed up the slides... they are only on the correct slides for about the first half, so just listening is best for the 2nd half.

She is absolutely correct that pretty much all doctors are seeing at most a few puzzle pieces of this disease and do not have the big picture. This is mostly due to the fact that ME is far more complex than any disease we have ever studied before, but also because medicine is a highly sub-specialized field (medical research is even worse).

I hope that she and others will pursue validating this theory. Personally, I think it is a very good theory and hope more research is done on CNS autoimmunity and inflammation, but my own "unified theory" is a bit different. Perhaps more on that later...
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What Would You Like To Read About On My Blog?

Until the last post on VIP, I have not posted anything here for a long time. I apologize for that, but my health has been so poor it is very difficult to work on blog posts, even for short periods of time.

That being said, I would like to post more material here, but will probably need to keep the posts pretty short. Most of my ideas are things that are pretty involved or complicated and would therefore take a lot of time for me to do.

If any of you have suggestions of things that you would be interested in reading about from my perspective as a doctor with disabling ME, please let me know in the comments sections below. Thank you!

Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) Treatment for ME

This is a post about a medication that very few people have tried. I thought I would share my experience so far. As always, if you have questions or anything to say regarding VIP I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

What is VIP?
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is something that is produced by the body that has a broad range of actions that could potentially benefit ME patients. It does all kinds of things, effecting the GI, cardiovascular, CNS, endocrine, and immune systems at least. I am not going to go into great detail regarding its actions at this point because its so complicated. Let me go ahead and say that no one would expect this to be a cure - its purpose would be to provide symptomatic relief.

VIP was recently touted as a successful treatment for CIRS-WDB patients in a paper by Dr. Shoemaker, a mold expert, in a small group of 20 patients.  There are some problems with his paper in my opinion. For example, the fact that he tells us there were three things a…

Why Would My Intracellular Calcium Be Elevated?

I recently received a question from someone reading this blog asking me why his/her intracellular calcium would be elevated. Intracellular Calcium is not something that is typically measured, but I would suspect that it is elevated in most ME patients. Why? Because it takes energy (ATP) to pump Calcium out of cells. Energy (ATP) is not something we have a whole lot of, or at least are able to utilize normally. On most cells there are a couple different ways to keep Calcium ions on the outside of the cell so that a gradient is present and the Ca++ ions can rush back into the cell to cause some sort of event - this is important for cell signaling, nerve action potentials, muscle contraction, and a host of other physiologic events.

Check out these graphics that show what happens to nerve cells in the brain during/after a stroke. I believe this is very much analogous to what is happening all the time to all cells in ME patients, just not to the same extreme, or lethal, degree. ME patients…

Dr. Paul Cheney's Latest Observations, Research, Treatments, and Thoughts on ME/CFS

Dr. Paul Cheney is one of the major players in the ME world. He was an internal medicine doctor in Incline Village when the CFS outbreak occurred there nearly 30 years ago and has been studying the complicated and perplexing disease ever since. Recently (April 2013) Dr. Cheney presented at a conference and his power point slides and audio were recorded and uploaded to youtube. You can see his entire presentation including a question and answer session at the bottom of this post.

The presentation itself is quite lengthy - nearly 2 hours, and the Q&A is about 30 minutes. A summary of the key points (as I see them) is posted below if you do not have the energy or time to listen to the entire recording.

If you have questions like, "what do you think he meant when he said...?" ask in the comments section and I will see if I can figure it out.

A summary will follow each video. Major important points for all 3 videos in my opinion are here:
ME patients have a cellular energy def…

How I Presented With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

I won't go into too much detail, but I am doctor and was in the middle of my residency training (specialty training after medical school) and everything was going really well: I was very healthy and physically active, was learning a lot and doing well in a residency that I loved.

Then one day I woke up and felt like I was getting a viral infection. I had a sore throat, fatigue, myalgias, headaches, and malaise. I went to work anyway because I usually just push through such things but throughout the day my symptoms became worse and worse so that by the time the day was over, I was barely able to walk and had to take multiple little breaks to make it back to my car.

I was not too concerned at first - I thought it was probably a relatively harmless virus, or at worst, the flu, and that it would go away quickly. Unfortunately I was wrong and it got worse until I was bedridden and had to be cared for completely by my spouse within about a week. By this time I knew this was not the flu …