I must preface this blog entry with another apology for my lack of writings in recent months. The fact of the matter is that using the computer causes me cognitive impairment, headaches and a next-day migraine. If the frequency of my blog entries was graphed against the state of my ME, a direct correlation would be found- That is, if I blog often, I am feeling slightly healthier than if I don’t blog for a period.
An Olson et al. study (found here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12515836) resulted in dexamphetamine improving the fatigue severity scale scores in 9 out of 10 CFS patients while only 4 out of 10 patients in the placebo group experienced improved fatigue severity scores. Dexedrine may improve; cognitive problems, decrease fatigue and increase energy. It may also increase certain neurotransmitters that may be low in some ME patients. Dr. Teitelbaum is an advocate of Dexedrine believing it may increase energy and blood pressure. Dr. Goldstein believes that one third of CFS patients will benefit by taking stimulants (he recommends amphetamine salts.)
There are risks associated with taking Dexedrine such as the risk of addiction if used for extended periods of time. Some of the potential side effects listed are also off-putting. Dr. Goldstein warns that if certain neurotransmitters are too low in patients, stimulants may increase CFS symptoms.
My experience in taking Dexedrine was quite short lived. After a night of interrupted sleep, I took ¼ of a 5mg tablet (in the morning.) My cognitive abilities were noticeably improved throughout the day and I was more alert than normal- After an interrupted sleep, I am typically very sleepy during the day however the Dexedrine remedied this problem. Every day I meditate for 1 hour and on the day I took the Dexedrine, my meditation was far more focused, easier and effective than normal. The downside of the Dexedrine hit me at approximately 5pm when I experienced a crash. I speculated that the Dexedrine was wearing off when I crashed as it has a very short half-life. I have not taken Dexedrine since due to the potential crash it may cause.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic with immunomodulatory and antiviral properties. The macrolide antibiotic family (of which Azithromycin belongs) is effective against a broad range of bacteria-many of which have been linked to ME. Azithromycin is able to cross the blood brain barrier with some ease and it hence has the potential to fight CNS infections. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. De Meirleir and Dr. Nicholson are both advocates of Azithromycin, using it quite frequently with some success. A Vermeulen et al. study (found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1562448/) discerned that 58 out of the 99 CFS patients studied had a decrease of symptoms while taking Azithromycin. The antibiotic was most effective in patients with low levels of Acetylcarnitine. It should be noted that none of the patients in the study reached remission status as a result of this treatment. Azithromycin may exacerbate liver function impairment and can be fairly expensive.
My experience with Azithromycin is ongoing as I have been taking it for the past 3 weeks and will continue to take it for the next 3 weeks. To date, I haven’t noticed any effects.
I will attempt to keep this Testosterone summary short. As a male, with borderline low testosterone, I applied testosterone cream daily for approximately 1 month and had HCG injections weekly for 4 weeks. Over this period, I experienced frequent crashes and an exacerbation of many symptoms. It was arguably the worst month of my ME. I also lost my appetite (probably due to the HCG injections.) The blood test showed that after 1 month of testosterone treatments, my testosterone was moderately lower than when I began the testosterone treatments. My doctor speculated that my body had ceased to create endogenous testosterone due to the exogenous testosterone applied to it. I’m not feeling well enough at present to detail the potential positives and negatives of testosterone (it can replicate viruses including XMRV-whatever that is) however I have ceased the treatment and am now back to baseline (how I was feeling before trialling the testosterone.)
Ideally, I would like to write in detail regarding each treatment however due to my current health status, this is not possible. I have a handful of other treatments that I will commence over the coming months and I will blog about any effect these treatments have on my ME.