From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 09-02-09

73,354 U.S. Health Clinics for Uninsured/Low Income

There are 7,354 of these health clinics throughout the U.S. serving over 16 million patients according to an article in the New York Times. You can search for a clinic near you at From the US government website:

”Federally-funded health centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers provide:
1. Checkups when you're well
2. Treatment when you're sick
3. Complete care when you're pregnant
4. Immunizations and checkups for your children
5. Dental care and prescription drugs for your family
6. Mental health and substance abuse care if you need it.” – F


Our Response May Encourage Dr. Oz & Oprah to Write About ME/CFS Too

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, has an article on fibromyalgia in the September “Oprah” magazine. I posted a comment to the article thinking that if there is more interest they might do more. I added CFS/ME. You have to join or sign up to post a response. – G

[Note: patients’ thanks for this legitimizing column, many with requests for more coverage of FM and ME/CFS, have already passed 150 – so if savvy Oprah has an ‘applause-o-meter,’ let’s set it off!]


Information on Anesthesia Issues?

Q: Do you have any tips for discussing anesthesia options for person with MCS, FM and Interstitial Cystitis? – L

A: Recently we published an article that may be helpful (and we would welcome leads on other similar resources regarding surgery and anesthesia tips for other illnesses). See “Facing a Surgical Procedure? Advice for those with FM, ME/CFS, RLS, MCS, Post-Polio syndrome.”


13 Lyme Practitioners Detail their Cutting-Edge Treatment Protocols

I just want to invite you to check out my new book on Lyme disease, detailing cutting-edge information on the Lyme treatment methods used by 13 leading Lyme-literate health care practitioners, most of them ILADS doctors. I believe this book (Insights into Lyme disease Treatment: Thirteen Lyme-Literate Health Care Practitioners share Their Healing Strategies) will be extremely valuable for both Lyme patients and physicians.

You can read bios of the 13 experts and review the topics each chapter covers at:, or on my blog: – Connie Strasheim


Mitral Valve Prolapse, Magnesium Deficiency, and Vitamin D

Q: I have Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome as well as Fibromyalgia. There has been a lot of press lately on the advantages of getting large amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is good for most of the population – unless you have Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome, in which case the Vitamin D depletes magnesium levels. Have any of your experts researched what Vitamin D can do to magnesium in the body of some people? I get my vitamin D from the sun and with that must still be careful. Too much can affect my magnesium levels as well as skin cancer problems. – L

A: Thank you for your excellent comment and question. Mitral Valve Prolapse may affect 2.4% of the population, according to the multigenerational Framingham Heart Study. Once called “irritable heart,” MVP appears to be genetically linked – and, to simplify, involves a “floppy” mitral valve(s) in the heart that may or may not ever be detected. Echocardiography (ultrasound) can be used to diagnose it.

MVP Syndrome also involves many possible symptoms, ranging from episodic fatigue, low exercise tolerance and light headedness to shortness of breath, headache, palpitations, and chest pain. Though it’s not clear why, people with mitral valve prolapse are very often magnesium deficient, and roughly 85% find their symptoms helped by magnesium supplementation.

People with MVP should have good nutritional advice and careful tracking to ensure both that they do not become magnesium deficient and (because vitamin D needs and uses magnesium to function properly) that their vitamin D intake is maintained at the “physiological dose” – “not exceeding what is needed for the vitamin to produce its physiological effect in the body.”


Any Science Behind Milk Thistle Extract for Liver Health?

Q: Is milk thistle proven to protect and enhance the functioning of the liver? And I'm taking Losartan® daily, is it OK to take milk thistle? – G

A: According to ProHealth’s customer service reps, “Yes, Milk Thistle has been shown to cleanse and detoxify the liver as well as rebuild new liver cells (cell proliferation), which enhances liver function.” Also, last week we published new clinical research which found that milk thistle extract supported faster resolution of acute hepatitis (liver inflammation) symptoms. “As for whether it should be taken with Losartan (an anti-hypertension drug), this must be discussed first with the doctor who prescribed the medication.” Using the interaction checkers at and, we found no interactions between the two, though this does not rule out the possibility. (Losartan may interact with grapefruit juice.)


Dr. Myhill’s Article Addressing H2S & Gut Bacteria in ME/CFS

Re: “Gut Bacteria, the H2S Test & Mitochondrial Dysfunction in ME/CFS…”

Very Informative. A good inexpensive antibiotic that also reduces fungus without disrupting the gut flora is grapefruit seed extract. It is also proving to be powerful in killing Lyme Disease bacteria (at least in the test tube). Now, most people who are chronically ill have very little money and cannot afford to have their mercury dental work removed and replaced. Why must greed rule? Why can't dentists offer to help, free of charge, those of us dealing with these health issues? They could set aside one day a month or even every two months to help patients like us. – M

Dr. Myhill Treatment & Stoneage Diet Works for Me. I was very very ill when Dr. Myhill took me on as a patient. By sticking to the diet – basically unprocessed natural foods, avoidance of wheat & dairy, taking the supplements with B12 injections (B12 was amazingly helpful), and taking echinacea I have been able to control my ME and have slowly but surely gotten out of the darkened room, dreadful POTS. And avoidance of chemicals as advised by John Mclaren Howard also really helped. Furthermore Professor Kenny De Meirleir's research has alerted me to other foods to avoid and further helped my health. I had already been following his treatments and found probiotics to be very helpful, although you must research this and take the correct ones for you. The one Dr. Myhill recommends [kefir, a mix of friendly bacteria usually cultured in milk, popular in the UK] can be cultivated in fruit juice and rice milk, so you can avoid dairy. – S

Stoneage Diet – Really? Has no one read The China Study or Healthy at 100? A high fat/animal product diet is NOT a diet for health, but for higher incidences of Diseases of Affluence like heart disease and cancer, so why recommend it for M.E.? The people studied who lived the longest and had the lowest incidences of cancer and the like ate very little in the way of animal products; their diet consisting primarily of whole plant products. Stone age people lived short lives – why not look to the past 150 years to see what … long-lived, less diseased people have eaten? – J


Holy Basil Helps My Stress

A friend of mine went to an alternative health doctor for CFS and he recommended "Holy Basil" for stress. She tried it and said that it was wonderful. I have tried it and have to agree with her. It removes stress and helps your mood without fatigue or sedation. Therefore, it also helps your energy level. Also, I have found large doses (six grams) of fish oil to help energy and mood. – M

Note: for more information about this complex herbal compound (ocimum sanctum), and other herbal aids for stress, see “Holy Basil – Herbal Support for Combating Stress & Much More”


Beetroot Juice for Mitochondrial Energy, Low Blood Pressure

Re: “Beet juice more effective than 'any other known means' of enhancing mitochondrial oxygen utilization & physical stamina; lowers blood pressure too."

This is Very Interesting. Article looks very intriguing… My mitochondria need all the help they can get! Also, beets are excellent for the gallbladder. – S

Beets help your body’s methylation cycle. Beets are a good source of TMG – tri-methyl glycine. The 3 methyl groups there can be helpful to many people, esp. those with a dietary deficit of methyl groups, and those whose genetics favor wasting of methyl groups. TMG is a supplement that has been found to be helpful to many people. The anthocyanins that give beets their color are a potent antioxidant. …For some people with frequent migraine, high nitrate (& nitrite) foods like beets are actually a migraine trigger.

Beets are a very high oxalate food. If you are consuming 500 ml/day of pure beet juice, it would be a very good idea to increase your plain water intake as well. High oxalate foods are known cause of a certain type of kidney stone – very painful. In some people a high-oxalate diet can cause other health problems. – S


50 Personal ME/CFS Recovery Stories

I'm wondering whether you could let your newsletter readers know about the following new book please? It has been reviewed very well in the UK and became a bestseller on UK Amazon, but I haven't yet let the US know about it – even though Dr. Teitelbaum, who wrote the foreward, is an American CFS doctor and many of the stories are by Americans…

My newly published book Recovery from CFS – 50 Personal Stories contains 50 stories of recovery from people diagnosed with CFS/ME who have returned to good health and a normal life (men, women and children from 6 different countries).

It is a positive and uplifting resource for anyone with CFS/ME. At the end of each recovery story, the person recommends books, websites and therapies that helped him/her – and many even give contact details for readers needing support. (There are basic principles that work for everyone, but each person’s approach was different.) Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, Medical Director of the Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Centers Inc. USA, wrote the foreword, and two doctors tell their own personal recovery stories in the book.

Recovery from CFS – 50 Personal Stories is available in e-book or print from my website or Amazon (20% goes to ME/CFS research). – Alex Barton

Note: Alexandra Barton is a registered nurse, life coach, and nutritional counselor specialized in ME/CFS.


Question on ProHealth’s New “Alternative Therapies” Message Board

Q: To Holly Admin – People are jumping to the conclusion that because there is a new Alternative Therapy board that they now should only post conventional based information on the ME/CFS/FM board & other disease boards. Please clarify. Thanks for your hard work. – K

A: The Alternative Therapies Message Board is not meant to be a replacement for any similar types of discussions on the ME/CFS/FM board. You can still post "alternative" topics on this board. Many people had requested a board where they could discuss health topics that were not specifically related to any disease, or to have a place where more alternative treatments for diseases could be consolidated. That is why we created the Alternative Health Board. – Holly


Announcing the Addition of a New Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

In response to requests from Message Board users for a place to share experiences and information relating to MS, ProHealth has created a
Multiple Sclerosis Message Board, bringing the number of boards to 31.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal, and is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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One thought on “From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 09-02-09”

  1. Sandy10m says:


    I have several comments about all the articles on this site, from personal experiences mainly.

    ANESTHESIA: A friend of mine with FM/CFS went in for outpatient surgery. She asked for the weaker version of anesthesia, not the full “general” kind. She was still hit hard by the after effects, so don’t be fooled to think that the weaker version of the stuff will be easy. It is only slightly easier, and your recovery time will be at least DOUBLE the normal time. So, bottom line is to only do surgery if you HAVE to, not for cosmetic reasons, etc.

    VITAMIN D AND MAGNESIUM: I take both vitamins together in the morning with breakfast. Also, the pill/capsule version of Magnesium doesn’t work for me. I have to take the liquid version (ionic magnesium) to get any results. And, the Vit D causes migraines in too high dosage, so if you’re going to take it, build up slowly.

    GUT FLORA: If you have Candida albicans in your intestines, most likely the only way you will get rid of it is by using a prescription called oral powdered Nystatin. You mix the powder in water for proper dosing. Combine this with the Paleo Diet, and it worked for me, I’m now Candida clear. The probiotic I use is ONLY bifidus, not lactobacillus since that stuff can cause additional health problems if taken long-term. The most beneficial probiotic is bifidus. Kefir is also a good product, but it contains a mixture of probiotics.

    PALEO DIET: When you’re on the Paleo Diet, the proper way to do it is to eat LEAN meats (like game animals and fowl), and meat is less than 50% of your calories. The rest is full of fruits and vegetables. People who do the diet incorrectly will see more health problems. And Stone Age people died young because they didn’t have good shelter, often starved when food was scarce, and were killed by the game they were hunting. Since teeth are a major indicator of health, it was obvious that they were VERY healthy because their teeth were in great shape, no cavities, and most likely from their great diet.

    Good luck everyone!

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