beating a dead horse (more on the Marshall Protocol)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by paulalbert, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. paulalbert

    paulalbert New Member

    Sorry, I couldn't resist... but I read that there are those out there who want to know more, and I felt compelled to share. Besides, I used to post here a lot.

    In the marketplace of competing ideas for medical treatments, no one is saying going on the Marshall Protocol is a no-brainer. I did, however, want to answer some doubts
    people here have expressed about the MP. I have no relevant medical degree but I have been on the MP for over a year.

    1. Is Benicar safe?

    Benicar has been shown to be safe at high dosages for extended periods of time. For specifics, do a google search for "Benicar safety studies." The first link will take you to a page of links on the MP site, linking to a number of peer-reviewed articles about the drug.

    2. Does the MP allow room for compromise?

    No, not a lot, especially when it comes to the science of it. Whether Trevor Marshall is not sufficiently open-minded or not universally acclaimed by the medical community, one thing is undeniable: he has stuck his neck out for a treatment that he believes works. Who in his right mind wouldn't guard his message to make sure that people are getting it right given the potential negative reprecussions? Anyone with a protocol bearing his name would do nothing less.

    3. What makes Trevor Marshall think that a one-size-fits-all treatment will work for the whole range of TH1 diseases?

    Principally, because Trevor Marshall believes that all TH1 diseases are the result of infection by a group of bacteria, all susceptible to a small number of diverse antibiotics.

    Clearly, some people are sicker than others, and you can tailor the Protocol to your speed of recovery. For example, you can slow down the rate of herx by taking antibiotics more frequently. Or, you can increase Benicar frequency or dosage during periods of severe herx.

    4. What if the Marshall Protocol doesn't work for me given my condition and/or symptoms?

    I had been diagnosed with CFS. At the time I started the MP, there were very few people with my condition who were on the MP. My Vitamin D levels were NOT high as they should have been, yet here I am more than a year later, demonstrably better. Not fully recovered, mind you, but definitely much more healthy. I sleep better. I have more energy. I eat a wider range of foods. I no longer crave sugar....

    5. What qualifies Trevor Marshall formulate and share a protocol?

    Trevor Marshall is a man who has a PHD in biomedical engineering. Some of you might feel the Marshall Protocol would have a better chance of succeeding if Trevor Marshall had an MD following his name instead of a PHD.

    Consider this: sometimes, a lot of the time in fact, certain insights into science comes from unexpected quarters. The father of genetics was a little appreciated gardener. The person who discovered relativity was a patent clerk. I may be guilty of being grandiose in my comparisons, I know, but they illustrate an important point: you never know where the next insight will come from.

    That said, Trevor Marshall isn't an outsider. He is involved in the dialogue of medical science. He has repeatedly tried to engage the NIH in discussions and possible studies about the efficacy of the Marshall Protocol. He has spoken with scores of physicians. Sometimes he has to be assertive about his message, because, let's face it, people are suffering, and he has a solution that has worked for a number of people and could more than likely work for everyone with TH1 disease. Frankly, he is much more patient than I would be in his shoes.

    What's more, I find it bolsters this man's credibility that he sells nothing (except for DVDs of a conference). Certainly, he has an interest in the success of the Marshall Protocol but definitely less than any other doctor touting a treatment. He has no tenure, no royalties from books published, no patients, no tests to charge for. I guarantee you he makes less from his enterprise than ProHealth, the exceedingly commendable non-profit that runs this web site. Maybe he gets a speaking fee every now and again, but I highly doubt it (he would probably laugh out loud if he read this).

    Meanwhile, he is spending hours upon hours calling the NIH, talking to doctors, responding to patients' posts, trying to get articles published, and then there's all the costs associated with hosting a site that gets as much as traffic as the MP site does, setting up conferences, etc. There are better ways to make a buck.

    My point is, you could also argue that having little financial interest in the success of the MP would make Trevor Marshall uniquely qualified to formulate and tout his treatment plan.

    Say Trevor Marshall's qualifications don't meet your muster; say you don't care for him as a person or you question his motivations. The only thing that matters is this: will the MP work for you? Will the MP induce "long-term remission"?

    At a certain point relatively early on, I made a choice to try this protocol. My primary care physician was neutral but supportive.

    Earlier, I alluded to a couple of important discoveries in science. One of the things both discoveries shared was that for many people they defied intuition. The Marshall Protocol is no different. It is genuinely difficult to wrap your head around. The best I've been able to do with any certainty is to figure out its instructions and, of course, whether or not it works.

    I know people from the MP site point to Vitamin D tests as a significant measure of whether the MP will work, but the only surefire way to determine if the MP can make you well is to do a "therapeutic probe". Give it a few months (although some such as myself found improvement in a much shorter period of time). Follow the protocol to the letter. See what happens.

    I am not by nature a very strident person, but this is something I feel strongly about. Take my biases for what their worth.


    ANNXYZ New Member

    glad for you . If I could believe Vit D deficiency would facilitate my recovery , I might join you .

    It is nice to hear someone has more energy today . We all
    hope that the MP brings success to those choosing that
    path to wellness .
  3. paulalbert

    paulalbert New Member


    When I was speaking earlier about how the Marshall Protocol defies intuition, it was Vitamin D that I had in mind. The point I was trying to emphasize is that one's belief is relatively inconsequential. What matters is, does it work?

    Conviction is important. It's not something that one person can foist upon another. What's more it would be ill-advised to begin a tough protocol when you're not at least mostly convinced it will work. You might give up precisely when you're making progress.

    What is great about the MP is that it ought to work even if you every doubt in the world. It doesn't depend on conviction. I was a skeptic months and months into it. (If you don't believe me, read my posts.)

    There were two reasons I came to have conviction in the MP:
    1. Many of my symptoms resolved or got better. (More on that later.)
    2. A lot of the specific predictions made by the MP documentation came to pass. For example, I went from having a very normal BUN/Creatinine to one that was much higher than normal (27, if I remember). It has since come down a bit. The Phase 2 guidelines specifically state that this is exactly what to expect. If just this one thing isn't a sign that Trevor Marshall knows what he's talking about, it sure is a lucky prediction.

    I want to clarify something. You call it Vitamin D deficiency, and you may think I'm splitting hairs here but the official diagnosis is "Hypervitaminosis D brought on by occult bacteria." Basically, Marshall is saying that people with TH1 diseases have high levels of subclinical bacteria that proliferate as a result of excess Vitamin D due to immune inflammation. For that reason, no one who has a TH1 disease is in danger of hypovitaminosis D. Yes, It may become an issue well into the protocol, but only after the bacteria have been killed (think at least a year down the road).


    How have I improved?

    1. My level of energy is up. I rarely need to take naps and I'm able to do all the errands I want on a weekend. I don't lie on the couch the whole day. Recently, I went on a two and a half-hour hike. Sure, I was tired afterwards, but it was not nearly the same as before. I did try and go on a 15 minute bike read at 120 beats per minute. That probably wasn't a good idea, but the recovery was much better than even six months ago. (I try every so often.)

    2. The bouts of moodiness have left.

    3. Recently, I had four beers, did some dancing, and the next day flew from Alaska to the East coast. I was tired, but I slept it off. I NEVER could have done these things before the MP-- any one of them without hitting the wall.

    4. Food-- not only can I eat a full range of healthy foods (some I'm still working on), but I also have lost cravings for sugar and stopped eating mac and cheese. You might be able to unearth some posts of mine on this board where I'm asking if anyone has problems eating healthy food. Before, I would just be a wreck after eating certain kinds of foods, so I confined myself to cookies, muffins, mac and cheese, and turkey sandwiches.

    5. Work-- I have always been able to work, but then I work at a library, a quiet, low-stress library. So, no I was never one of those people who were too sick even to be at a desk job. I got sick in September 2002, and the past few years I have had some rough days. Not as bad as some people on this board, mind you, but, most days I felt lifeless, as if I was dying. I could be exceedingly unpleasant and routinely took hour-long naps in the breakroom. One time, I even took a nap on the wooden floor of an unused room.

    I'm sorry I can't give you any numbers. I would hate to paint myself into a corner here. My hope, no, my expectation is that when I finish this protocol I will feel even better than before I first got sick.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/25/2005]
  4. lbconstable

    lbconstable New Member

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your post. It definately gives some food for thought. I'm taking a different approach - one big reason being that I work much of the time outdoors, so the Marshall Protocol would be quite difficult for me.

    I am interested in learning all I can. Especially about alternative treatments that are helping others. Every little bit of info helps put the pieces together.

    So glad that you're getting pieces of your life back. Thanks again for so eloquently sharing your experience.

  5. spacee

    spacee Member


    For Inquiring Minds.

  6. illroy

    illroy Member

    I thought some people might be interested to know that Paul Albert has hooked up with Amy Proal and is doing the

    technical work on She has an interview with him there, and really raked him over the coals. ;-)

    Actually, he is doing much more than that and his health is mostly recovered and continues to improve.

  7. dtj

    dtj New Member

    ...........has virtually closed down all participant daily posting sections, except for phase 1, so that true outside progress monitoring of long term MP participants is impossible.

    All that is left is the biased and hyped success storys that never matched up with the daily monitor logs.
  8. Banka8

    Banka8 New Member

    You know what is very sad is the the fact that the MP people don't even care to come back to this website and talk to about what is happening because of the negativity about the MP.

    There are a few people on the MP that post regulary here but they don't mention what is going on with the MP very much.

    Amy and Paul are doing great and traveling and getting on with their lives and that is the truth.

    The closed minded people don't want to hear that the MP is working because that would mean that they were wrong about the MP. After all nobody wants to be wrong. They were wrong that avoiding vitamin d would do harm. They were wrong that staying out of the sun was going to cause depression and cancer etc.

    In fact concerning the cancer issue the opposite is proving to be true. The people on the MP (six years into the program starting with sarcoidosis patients) almost no cancer seen. I think there was one woman with a breast tumor which was non invasive and she had a lumpectomny with NO chemo two years ago and she is fine. In all likely hood she came into the MP with the tumor and was not aware of it.

    I feel sorry for the new people who come to this website looking for answers and they are getting discouraged by the negativity of a few people that can't get the concept of the MP and don't want to get the concept.

    I like to compare the MP treatment to the Posiden Adventure movie. Remember when the boat turned over and the Gene Hackman character wanted to take people out of the bottom of the boat and start climbing towards the only way out? Some people were willing to take the chance and save themselves but most of the people were afraid to try and they listened to the expert in charge and stayed where they were. Are you a person to take a chance or do you wait behind hoping to be saved?

    The sceptics are afraid. Afraid to try and afraid to be wrong.

    I know the MP is making medical history and I'm proud to be a part of that.

  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I have a question about this.

    It's my understanding that one of the reasons that this is helpful is because it allows very small amounts of antibiotics to be effective in creating die-off.

    Maybe I'm wrong about this. Or maybe there are other benefits.

    In any case, I have found that I currently am unable to take more than small amounts of antibiotics anyway.

    Meaning, getting doxycyline or minocin compounded down to 15 mg capsules and then taking one every several days.

    (The ordinary dosage is 100 mg, 3x per day.)

    I can't handle much antiviral either.

    What benefits would I get from the MP, then?

    On the advice of my doctor, I've started taking Vitamin D recently. I'm not sure what it's doing, but it seems right.

    (The brand I have is dispensed in cream form from a little bottle. I'm growing to like the taste of it, which always suggests to me that my body needs it.)

    My doctor uses the MP with some patients, btw.

  10. illroy

    illroy Member

    I hadn't checked this thread for replies.


    Good post! That's a really good analogy of the Poseidon Adventure.

    I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not worth correcting inaccurate and untrue statements about the MP, but I admire you for doing it.


    I can't give you short and definitive answer, but I would just suggest that you read the MP web sites extensively and talk to your doctor. That low a dose of minocycline might cause steady heavy herxing. There is an explanation there somewhere.

  11. spacee

    spacee Member

    Just before I started the MP, Dr. Marshall had revised the MP and a person began with the smallest dose of minociline and divided into 12ths. OR had a compounding pharmacy do it for them. The reason I remember this is that I was having a hard time getting the MP through my head and a person who had been at this site helped me figure it out. She has gotten over a lot of food allergies while on the MP. I also have a friend with Sarc who has done very well.

    I don't post about the MP because I haven't been on it since 2004 and I didn't keep up with what changes were made, etc.
    I have nothing bad to say about the MP. I have a quality of life with transfer factors that suits my family and they are very opposed to me going back on it.

    And BTW, Trevor didn't stick with the divided mino dose but did alter it from time to time. Which is understandable due to the new concept of the MP.

    Another BTW. My D levels were both out of range high at the time I started the MP. They came down to normal during the months I was on it. Now both are out of high and one low.


    [This Message was Edited on 07/21/2008]