I was pleased to read recently that Dr Sarah Myhill who has had a lot of success in treating difficult chronic fatigue cases with a multi pronged approach that included detox was reinstated by the General Medical Council.
Dr Myhill, a private UK general practioner, has been hounded for over 10 years because she dared suggest that Chronic fatigue or ME is a physical problem and not a psychological one.
Her most recent fall from grace was triggered by a paper that she published showing that ME was connected with a problem in the mitochondria, the power house of the cell.
After thousands of people she helped signed an online petition and wrote to the General Medical Council with evidence of how she helped them they decided she had no case to answer and the latest hearing was cancelled.
In fact, they came to the conclusion that she has substantially improved the health of 70% of ME sufferers.
So how has she done this?
Dr Myhill states “the most important point to recognise about chronic fatigue/ME is that it is a clinical picture and not a diagnosis. It is important to treat CFS/ME as a symptom that has many causes”.
She looks at a number of things in the body including thyroid function, adrenal function, gut function, diet, sleep, lifestyle as well as mitochondrial function.She discovered that the people with the worst fatigue had the worst mitochondrial function.
The mitochondria are tiny structures in the cells that produce energy. With cutting edge biochemical tests it was discovered that in people with CFS/ME there was lowered energy output in their mitochondria.
More state of the art tests showed that these energy blocks resulted from either nutritional deficiencies or toxins.
The most common nutritional deficiencies are magnesium, Vitamin B3, C0-enzyme Q10, Acetyl-Carnitine and D-Ribose.
The toxins could be either internal from, for example, products of gut fermentation or external from pesticides, heavy metals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Heavy metals include such things as:
- Mercury from dental amalgam which Dr Myhill says is the biggest problem.
- Nickel from stainless steel saucepans, jewellery and cigarette smoke.
- Vaccinations ( often contain heavy metals)
- Lead, cadmium antimony, arsenic
- Depleted uranium in Gulf War Veterans
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Poisoning from un-burnt hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, coal and wood. Free standing gas heaters are particularly bad!
- Aerotoxic syndrome – ( cabin air is pulled in over the engines and may become contaminated with unburnt fuel and organophosphates).
- Vehicle exhaust fumes
- Solvents used in carpets – new carpets are the worst.
- Printing inks
- Cleaning agents – bleach
- Disinfectants – often include formaldehyde or related compounds.
- Sterilising agents – “Milton”
- Cosmetics – many are toxic especially hair dyes
Many prescription drugs such as beta blockers inhibit mitochondria directly. Statins inhibit the body’s own production of co enzyme Q 10 – an important anti-oxidant in mitochondria.
Most drugs are detoxified by the liver and put an extra strain on the liver detox capacity.
How to improve mitochondrial function
Once the underlying cause of the mitochondrial blocks are known there a number of things that can be done to improve their function.
1. Supplementing the nutrients that are deficient.
It’s probably best to be guided by a Functional Medicine doctor or nutritionist as to the doses and best absorbably forms of the nutrients to take.
2. Avoiding chemicals as much as possible.
Use only natural cleaning products in the home and natural personal care products and cosmetics. Avoid all chemicals in the home.
3. Treat gut fermentation.
Cleaning up the bowel with colon cleansing and dealing with gut fermentation is the first step. If this is not done then the toxins from the gut will continually overload the liver detox system.
4. Detox heavy metals and/or toxic chemicals.
Dr Myhill recommends the use of far infrared suanas to detox pesticides and volatile organic compounds together with a good detox diet. Epsom salt baths can also be useful.
If you are struggling to recover from chronic fatigue then the good news is that you can beat it with a multi pronged attack that includes detox.