...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.  Isaiah 40v31 (NIV)   What other help is available?

On Eagles Wings: A Christian Perspective on M.E.

 What other help
 is available?

Recommended Reading:
The Diagnosis and Treatment of an Endemic Illness - Thyroid and Adrenal Dysfunction by Dr Barry Peatfield


Home > What other help is available?

The best ways to help yourself, then, are rest and diet, as discussed previously.  However outside help and support are available.  There is not yet a cure for M.E., but there are various "treatments", some of which could be worth trying.  The main problem is that what works for one person will not necessarily work for the next, and many of the treatments are not available on the NHS and can be expensive.

1) Treatments

a) Thyroid and Adrenal Treatment - As mentioned earlier, there are those who believe that a significant problem for many M.E. sufferers is an underlying metabolic dysfunction, resulting in hypo-thyroidism and/or hypo-adrenalism (or "low adrenal reserve"). Treatment aims to remedy these deficiencies and is at three levels. Firstly, nutritional supplements to try and booster thyroid and adrenal function (e.g. vitamin C, the B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, co-enzyme Q10, liquorice). Secondly, the use of glandular concentrates, which contain a concentrated form of the thyroid and adrenal hormones from bovine sources. Thirdly, hormone replacement treatment. For thyroid problems, this means using the synthetic hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) or the use of natural Armour thyroid. For adrenal function, hydrocortisone. These are not given in "mega doses", but in low, physiological, replacement doses. For most people, as long as they are not too badly affected, treatment at the first and second levels are likely to be all that is needed. However, for those who have been ill for many years and who are severely affected, then level three may well prove to be necessary.

b) Magnesium Treatment - Magnesium is the 2nd most common mineral in our cells, and is necessary for normal muscle function.  It occurs naturally in green vegetables, grains, nuts and soya.  A study carried out in 1991 among a group of M.E. patients showed that many of their symptoms were similar to those found in people suffering from magnesium deficiency.  The treatment involved a weekly injection of Magnesium Sulphate, injected intramuscularly, lasting for 6 weeks.  The magnesium is best not taken in tablet form, as it is thought that most people with M.E. will not absorb it properly if taken orally.

In the study about 80% of sufferers improved: some benefited straight away; others needed to complete the course before feeling any real effect.  However in follow-up trials the results haven't been quite so impressive!

The treatment is said to be without side-effects, as long as you have no history of heart or kidney problems and it should be available on the NHS from your G.P.  Alternatively, the treatment is available privately, but this would be expensive.  It is not a cure for M.E., but if a blood test shows that magnesium deficiency is a problem for you, then it could well help.  (If you have a blood test to look for magnesium deficiency, make sure it tests the red cell magnesium level, as this is the best indicator of any deficiency.)

c) Anti-Candida Treatment - Candida Albicans is a yeast which exists in the gut of all of us.  In some people it gets out of hand, and needs to be bought under control.  There are many factors that can cause the spread of Candida, including the over-use of antibiotics and steroids, and a diet high in sugar.  Although Candida can be a problem in its own right, it would seem that many people with M.E. (some would say at least 50%) have some sort of Candida problem.   Some blood tests are now available which can help to confirm a diagnosis of candida overgrowth (eg the "Gut Fermentation Test" - not as bad as it sounds!), but are usually only available privately.  Actually, the simplest way of determining whether or not you have a Candida problem is by treating it to see if you feel better!

The main part of any anti-Candida programme is to go on the anti-Candida diet.  This is a yeast and sugar free diet.  All types of sugar and sugar-containing foods should be avoided; yeast and refined flours are also out; mouldy and fermented foods ought to be avoided as well.  If you follow these measures, as well as the diet described in section two, then you should be well on the way to bringing any Candida problem under control.

Continued >

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© Hazel Stapleton 2000 - 2014
E-mail: hazel <at> oneagleswings.me.uk