Letters From Our Readers – Q&A Session 07-16-08

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Dental Concerns?

Q: Dental health, treatment and mainly, dentist integrity is seldom discussed. It’s so tightly linked to our general heath problems that I don’t understand why it is separated. Those of us with BIG dental problems really need support. Where can we find it? – fog

A: Your question highlights a very important subject. Our general physical health significantly affects our dental health and vice versa. In fact, the link between mercury from amalgam dental fillings and ME/CFS has been discussed for a number of years. (See “Mercury From Amalgam Dental Fillings Major Factor in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?”)

The American Dental Association has information about ME/CFS for dentists (http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/chronicfatigue/index.asp). They also have a table you can download that lists the dental problems that can be caused by commonly prescribed medications (http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/chronicfatigue/table02.pdf)

The dental problem most often linked to medications is xerostomia (dry mouth). According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, xerostomia is often a contributing factor to both minor and serious health problems and it is a hidden cause of gum disease and tooth loss in three out of every 10 adults. See http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/dental/xerostomia.htm for more information about xerostomia.

There is a line of dental care products available from a company called Cleure (formerly Grace FibroSmile) that is free from salicylates and fluoride and other toxic chemicals ME/CFS patients are often sensitive to (http://www.cleure.com/products_dental.aspx?ID=grace). They also offer “The Fibromyalgia Dental Handbook.” We haven’t read it, but suspect that most of the information in it would probably apply to ME/CFS patients as well.

Other than the resources given above, we haven’t been able to find a great deal of support regarding ME/CFS and dental problems. We’ll try to help correct that by looking for more articles on the subject. In the meantime, you can see what’s already been posted on our message board by typing “dentist” into the search box (http://www.immunesupport.com/chat/forums/search.cfm). Or start a new thread on dental problems with ME/CFS. Perhaps someone else will have helpful resources they can share with you.


Disabled Links in Newsletter?

Q: I thought I was signed up to get info shown on e-mail, but most things are disabled links. What do I do to be able to read the info? – Ivytreat

A: We noticed you are using AOL e-mail. AOL has a setting (click on the “settings” or “preferences” link once you’ve logged in to your e-mail) called “Disable links in mail from unknown senders.” We believe this is turned on by default; thus you will need to identify ProHealth as a known sender. Please try adding wellness@prohealth.com to your Contacts list. That should allow the links to be clickable.

Anytime you are having a problem with the e-mail version of the newsletter you can always read it directly from our website.


Magnesium Sulfate Injections?

Q: My husband used to give me these painful [magnesium sulfate] shots twice a week. It takes 4 minutes to give the injection very, very slowly. My doctor wants me to start doing this again (ugh!) and I sure wish I had paid attention to a news item on TV that said there was something they can now put in with the magnesium sulfate to make the injections less painful. Has anyone heard of this? – Pepper

A: Dr. Paul Cheney, MD, adds taurine to make it a little less painful. The dose is 1/2cc magnesium sulfate 50% (which is about 250 mg), 1.5cc taurine. It is injected high on the hip, pushing in 1/2cc at time, slowly. (And as always, consider this generic information that you should bring to your own personal doctor for his/her review and direction.)


Are ME and FM the Same?

Q: Are ME and FMS the same? Different? Treated the same? Please send me more information on ME and how it can/can’t be related. – Patti

A: See the article featured in this newsletter (July 16 ME/CFS HealthWatch)… (“FM and ME/CFS – The Same, Related, or Different?”) by Karen Lee Richards. It should answer most of your questions.


Is ME/CFS Progressive?

Q: I’m wondering…whether CFS/ME is progressive. I have read that it is not. I have also read accounts of people recovering. However, I have had it for at least eight to ten years. I have made major, major lifestyle changes. I eat healthily, don’t drink or smoke. I spend 12 hours a night in bed. I take meds. I take supplements. I meditate. I get massages. I have done so much mind-body work with journaling, etc. that I feel like a qualified therapist! I’ve eliminated just about every energetic and social thing from my life. I have a part-time job at home only. I’ve let my career go. I keep my expenses low. I keep stress very low. I have a supportive family.

Yet, I still crash. I am not recovered. Which brings me back to the question – Do you feel this illness is progressive, stays the same no matter what you do, or that you can actually recover? – tamsyn

A: The answer to your question is yes, yes, and yes. For some, ME/CFS seems to be progressive; others may find that their symptoms wax and wane, but largely stay about the same; still others are able to achieve at least some degree of recovery.

ME/CFS is certainly not a one-size-fits-all illness. Some cases are relatively mild, while others are extremely severe. Since research seems to be uncovering a number of subtypes of ME/CFS, it may very well turn out that different subtypes have different potentials for improvement.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, 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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