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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 …