This blog entry will detail the theory behind Clostridium Butyricum as an ME treatment as well as my experience with this probiotic. Following this, I will examine a post-exertional malaise treatment that has proven useful to me. Finally, I will scrutinise the meaning of an abnormal blood test that I recently had.
Clostridium Butyricum (Miyarisan)
Clostridium Butyricum (CB) is a probiotic that many ME patients have trialled, some noting a reduction in symptoms. This treatment du jour has a 60 page thread devoted to it on Phoenix Rising that can be found here.
CB may benefit ME patients due to many possible mechanisms including:
- Reducing harmful bacteria and increasing levels of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
- Shifting the immune system from Th2 to Th1.
- Regulating the immune system of the gut.
- Increasing IgA, IgG and IgM levels.
- Lowering lactate.
- Fighting irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
- Reducing cognitive impairment and acting as a neuroprotector.
- Minimising allergies.
CB can also raise butyrate levels in the body which may help ME patients due to butyrate’s mitochondrial effects. Butyrate also has the potential to create T-cells in the digestive system and hence lower patients’ gut-related symptoms. It may also lessen inflammation levels and improve patients’ immune systems. Studies have found that butyrate may reduce Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis symptoms. Butyrate can also be taken directly in its own distinct formulation.
Anecdotally, ME patients online who have trilled CB and benefited, have reported an enhancement in sleep quality and length, a reduction in cognitive impairment, an improvement in digestive symptoms and a general lessening of their ME symptoms.
CB is available at a relatively cheap price online in a formulation containing 630 miniscule-sized tablets. The recommended upper dosage according to the company that produces CB is 6 tablets taken 3 times a day (18 tablets a day total which is equivalent to 180mg). It is imperative that ME patients trialling CB begin at a much lower dosage such as 1 tablet a day and gradually increase this to a dose they feel comfortable with. Numerous patients have commented online that transient symptoms have emerged if they increase the dosage too briskly. A ‘strong’ variant of CB is also available that contains 270mg of CB within 9 tablets.
My experience with Clostridium Butyricum
The one realm of ME symptoms that I have largely not developed has been the gastrointestinally natured. Despite this, treatments such as probiotics often act holistically and sometimes benefit patients without many gastrointestinal symptoms. With the caveat that I’m not necessarily the target patient for this treatment, I began at a low dosage on the 19th of December 2016. I didn’t notice any side effects and gradually increased this treatment to the maximum of 18 tablets a day. After 5 weeks of this treatment, I am yet to experience any positive or negative effects. As CB has the potential to reduce lactate, it is possible that it is working on delaying my post-exertional malaise.
A Post-Exertional Malaise Treatment
I have recently found that sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) wards off my post-exertional malaise. I take ¼ to ½ a teaspoon just prior to doing an unavoidable activity that would normally induce a crash. I have so far taken sodium bicarbonate on 6 occasions immediately before tasks such as going to the doctors. In the past, a crash was inevitable however as a result of this treatment, I am yet to crash. The sodium bicarbonate’s mechanism of action may involve causing a reduction of the lactate in my body. Some studies have indicated that this is a property of sodium bicarbonate and that muscles recover faster with this treatment. It is nebulous whether another aspect of sodium bicarbonate is responsible for its effects on me. Several other ME patients have noted a similar effect from this treatment.
Hip on Health Rising has written about similar treatments that when taken before exertion, may ward off post-exertional malaise. These include
- Branched-chain amino acids (5 grams)
- Catalase (600mg post exercise)
- Citrulline (1 gram)
- Coq10 (800mg)
- Creatine hydrochloride (2 grams)
- D-ribose (5 grams taken three times a day)
Hip’s article specifies the rationale behind each ‘crash buster’ including anecdotal reports and studies of possible mechanisms of action. The article is worth reading and can be found here.
I am yet to fully explore the scope of the sodium bicarbonate’s benefits and to date will still feel ‘worn out’ after a basic activity however haven’t yet experienced the dreaded crash since taking this new treatment. I also plan to trial some of the other aforementioned ‘pre-activity’ treatments and have creatine hydrochloride lined up to take next. As Clostridium Butyricum can potentially reduce lactate, I should document that my bicarbonate soda experiment did predate my taking of CB by 2 months. I should also note that sodium bicarbonate does have some side effects and hence I have only used it sparingly. I’ve written more extensively about other post-exertional malaise treatments here.
Immunoglobulin Blood Tests
I recently had a blood test that showed several abnormalities. The test was for immunoglobulins and their subclasses. I was deficient in:
- IgG subclass 1
- IgG subclass 2
An IgG deficiency is an immunological deficiency and correlates with a patient being more likely to get infections. ME patients are most likely to be deficient in IgG subclasses 1 and 3. Read et al. found an IgG subclass 1 deficiency in patients with ME/CFS. Wakefield et al. found that ME/CFS patients had significantly lower levels of IgG subclasses 1,2 and 3 compared to controls. Several other studies have also found IgG subclass deficiencies in ME/CFS patients.
Some ME/CFS patients (with or without IgG deficiencies) are treated with intravenous immunoglobulins or immunoglobulin injections. A few studies have shown that these treatments benefit ME/CFS patients, while other studies haven’t noticed any effect. Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment is of interest to me however in Australia there seems to be strict regulations on its usage hence it would be difficult for me to trial.