Saturday, 4 February 2012

CFS: A Unifying Theory, Charles Lapp MD

Another YouTube channel that contains some really informative videos - OFFERUtah. They cite their basis as: The Organization for Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Education and Research (OFFER) is a non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City, UT.

This particular speech comes from the OFFER 2007 Healthcare Provider Conference, and was uploaded to YouTube in April 2011.

Charles Lapp MD doesn't appear to have ever suffered from M.E. himself, and initially, his background information to M.E. sometimes seems a bit dated. For example, the two case studies he mentions at the beginning, papers by Salit, and another by DeBecker, were published more than a decade ago. Those papers concluded that in over 70% of M.E. cases, the initial trigger seemed to have been a bacterial infection. That's not really news to most of us M.E. sufferers today.

Lapp goes on to mention the other potential triggers, some of which ARE news to me. For example, insect bites and formaldehyde (high levels common in many new homes). Another interesting trigger mentioned is cytokines, used in hepatitis medicines.

Lapp mentions some of the symptoms, again, a couple of which add new items to an already 'established' list:

- Immune abnormalities
- CNS (central nervous system) affected - supressed serotonin, dopamine
- HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) Axis is supressed - previously, I've already mentioned speakers' reference to the role of the hypothalumus and adrenal burnout as factors in M.E.
- Orthostatic intolerance - essentially related to unsteadiness and 'dizziness' when standing up, since the body needs to re-shift the blood pressure distribution
- Dysautonomia - also related to blood circulatory disorders
- Metabolic abnormalities

Lapp discusses the early days of M.E., and how with the advent of AIDS research, people were coming to the belief that there is a 'hit-and-run' agent that strikes the body, leaves, but has left long-term damage. This again supports the claim that a viral or bacterial agent is involved in causing M.E.

Previously, we saw Dr. Teitelbaum discussing the role of energy replacement, or lack of it, at the cellular level. Lapp goes even further in detailing the cellular energy conversion processes, so much so, that it's difficult for a layperson, myself included, to follow. It's hard to see what actually matters when being exposed to so many terms that go out of scope of comprehension. What I could glean from it, and what currencies relevance in my continued investigation of how nutrition could play a large role in alleviating M.E. symptoms, is how in the energy conversion process, toxins (Lapp specifically refers to superoxide + nitro-dioxide = peroxinitrate) are produced, and if there is not an efficient process to eliminate them from the cells, the toxins can build up and start to cause other chains of detrimental sequences that put even further energy demands on our body. These demands just simply cannot be met by M.E. sufferers.

Mention is made of CHANNELOPATHIES. I can't claim to understand this group of disorders, and have merely quoted from Wikipedia here to define what they refer to:

Channelopathies are diseases caused by disturbed function of
ion channel subunits or the proteins that regulate them. These diseases may be
either congenital (often resulting from a mutation or mutations in the encoding
genes) or acquired (often resulting from autoimmune attack on an ion channel).
There are a large number of distinct dysfunctions known to be caused by ion
channel mutations. The genes for the construction of ion channels are highly
conserved amongst mammals.The channelopathies of human skeletal muscle include
hyper-, hypo- and normokalemic (high, low and normal potassium blood
concentrations) periodic paralysis, myotonia congenita and paramyotonia

Therefore, Lapp's talk adds to the notion (which I'm a firm believer in) that M.E. is caused by some bacterial or environmental trigger overloading our immune system, and leaving us with severely compromised cellular processes. The 'cure' would therefore continue to be (in my mind) that we need something to repair the cells, and better nutrition to aid the cellular processes.

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