Guai Article From PH Library

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I found this in the ProHealth Library. The first part of the article explains how Guai is used as a mucus thinner. The second part explains the off-lable use of it to treat the symptoms of FMS. It is no substitute for the book for anyone considering this treatment but this may offer some preliminary info.

    Love, Mikie


    The Guaifenesin Story: A centuries-old bark extract used for clearing the airways – now key to a popular FM symptom-reversal protocol
    November 20, 2009

    Guaifenesin is a substance that helps loosen and liquefy mucus, and as such is a common component of many nonprescription cold and cough remedies. It is derived from a tree bark extract called guaiacum, historically appreciated for its expectorant qualities in the Caribbean region and adopted by European explorers in the 1500’s.

    Some 400 years later, in 1952, guaiacum was approved for use as an expectorant by the Food and Drug Administration. And 20 years ago the extract was synthesized, pressed into tablets, and named guaifenesin.

    How Guaifenesin Works

    Guaifenesin works by drawing water into the bronchi – the air passages branching into our lungs. The released water both thins the mucus and lubricates the airway, facilitating the removal of cold, flu and allergy-associated mucus from the chest by coughing, and making it easier to breathe.

    Guaifenesin is also considered helpful for thinning postnasal drainage from the sinuses and reducing nasal congestion,(1) and so may relieve sinus pressure/ headache. As Dr. Sarah Myhill comments, “Whoever designed the human body needs a black mark for putting in sinuses! They are cavities in the bones of the face with only one entry and exit hole which is easily blocked by catarrh or swollen mucus membranes.” When this occurs, less oxygen can enter the sinuses, promoting bacterial overgrowth and causing sinusitis.

    Here again, guaifenesin can help to relieve congestion by increasing the clearance of secretions, helping with the mucus membrane’s natural job of washing away invading viruses, bacteria, pollen and other potential allergens – “the first level of immune defense.”

    Guai also enjoys a popular reputation as ‘the opera singer’s friend.’ Terming it their ‘wonder drug,’ singers have traditionally used guaifenesin to improve the state of their vocal folds in extremes of humidity (very dry or very humid), after flying long distances, and during mild allergies, for its ability to promote ‘secondary mucosal secretion’ – the thinner, lubricating mucus that occurs on the vocal folds naturally when they are healthy and well hydrated.

    Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may find guaifenesin’s thinning and lubricating action helpful at times when they experience particular difficulty coughing up the thick or sticky mucus that can block their damaged airways.

    Similarly, guaifenesin can assist by thinning ‘sticky’ mucus to help expel inhaled particles that can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

    Importantly, whether used to ease the congestion of colds, flu, or rhinosinusitis, or to support healthy vocal folds, guaifenesin works best if one drinks plenty of water, as extra fluids increase the flow of water and mucus.

    As with many complex herbal compounds used in traditional medicine, exactly how guaifenesin encourages healthy mucus flow is not yet completely understood. But based on its long history - if taken as instructed on the package or as suggested by a pharmacist or healthcare provider - guai has at most minor side effects and is generally considered safe for use even by youngsters over 12 years of age.*

    * * * *
    The Guifenesin Protocol for Fibromyalgia Patients

    Guaifenesin is also used in the very popular Guaifenesin Protocol for symptoms of Fibromyalgia, conceived by R. Paul St. Amand, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in Endocrinology at UCLA.

    Though highly demanding and still considered experimental, the Protocol has been adopted by many FM patients, owing to widespread anecdotal descriptions of quality-of-life benefits. Nevertheless, note that Guaifenesin has not been approved by the FDA for this application and should be used as such only with the approval and supervision of a medical doctor familiar with the patient and Protocol.

    The Protocol’s Underlying Theory

    Dr. St. Amand explains this in his book written with Claudia Marek, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia, and their article on Fibromyalgia symptoms, diagnosis, and the Guaifenesin Protocol. The theory is that:

    • Excess inorganic phosphate compounds accumulate within the cells of some people rather than being excreted normally, possibly owing to a genetic defect involving a missing enzyme or kidney dysfunction.
    • It is known that excess phosphate in the cells’ mitochondria impedes their formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s energy source - and that muscle pain after exercise is linked with an inorganic phosphate increase. Also, researchers have reported a 20 percent average reduction in the level of ATP in muscle biopsies taken from people with FM, notes self-described Guaifenesin Protocol beneficiary Devin Starlanyl in her book, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual.

    • When excess phosphate builds up in the cells, excess calcium – the main buffer for phosphate – builds up too. Excess calcium in the cells tends to stiffen the body’s tissues.

    • A method of palpating muscles, tendons, and ligaments that Dr. St. Amand has described allows a physician to “map” or assess the extent of lesions in the tissues of FM patients, thought to be “contracted cells forming a spastic area caused by an excess of calcium.”

    • A carefully planned, monitored regime of guaifenesin extract supplementation may help the body eliminate the excess calcium and phosphate compounds, supporting improvement of FM symptoms over time in some individuals.

    Dr. St. Amand has reported increases of 60% in phosphate excretion and 30% in calcium excretion.

    What the Guaifenesin Protocol Involves

    Basically, it includes:

    1. Adjusting or “titrating” the guaifenesin dosage to the individual’s needs, based on response over time.

    2. Strict avoidance of the salicylates in aspirin and other similar pain-relief products, plus a long list of personal care products including plant derivatives such as aloe or mint that are applied to and absorbed through the skin; and many plant extracts taken by mouth. These can completely block the action of the guaifenesin. Salicylate-containing foods are not a problem, as the digestive process neutralizes their effect.

    3. And strict adherence to a low carbohydrate diet, if the individual is hypoglycemic.

    The Protocol also commonly delivers a significant physical impact in the early weeks, including a worsening of the individual’s worst FM symptoms, and frequently headaches, burning on urination, and/or strong-smelling perspiration and urine. These are not considered side effects, but rather “the signs and symptoms of the toxins and wastes being released by the guaifenesin” - and therefore an indication that the Protocol is working.

    So far the Guaifenesin Protocol has not been demonstrated effective in a controlled clinical trial, or approved by the FDA for support of Fibromyalgia symptoms. An early one-year trial completed at the University of Oregon in June 1995 by Dr. Robert Bennett concluded that “patients in the placebo group compared with patients in the guaifenesin group appeared to improve equally - a finding that suggested a placebo effect,” says Dr. St. Amand. But “it is our belief that this study was flawed, due to our own lack of knowledge,” he explains.

    Though Dr. Bennett’s patients were warned to avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing compounds, it wasn’t until after the study was completed that Dr. St. Amand came to understand the immense number of personal products and ingested plant extracts that, even in minute quantities, could reverse patients’ progress.

    Also, in reviewing the patients’ wellness questionnaires, he noted that the study had not screened for hypoglycemic individuals, who therefore were not treated with the necessary diet.

    As a result, he contends, “the study was doomed for lack of knowledge of these pitfalls.”

    The Status of Research

    Currently, one of the stated goals of Dr. St. Amand’s not-for-profit Fibromyalgia Treatment Center is to provide supporting research for the Guaifenesin Protocol.

    He is now engaged in a multi-year investigation with The City of Hope that involves a cohort of his FM patients (an "Immunological and Genetic Analysis of Autoinflammatory Genes in Fibromyalgia"). By mid-2008 the research had identified abnormal elevations in a cluster of inflammatory cytokines that appear highly predictive of Fibromyalgia, two of which drop to normal in patients taking guaifenesin.(2) And in November 2008 Dr. St. Amand issued a call to patients he has diagnosed with FM, to widen the sample of DNA used in the investigation.

    In the meantime, the scores of physicians who employ the Guaifenesin Protocol – as well as many of the individuals, like Devin Starlanyl, who have adopted it – provide personal testimonials indicating that this regimen supported significant improvements in their Fibromyalgia symptoms.

    1. See "Guaifenesin & Sinusitis," by Jule Klotter, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Nov 2005.
    2. See "Dr. St. Amand Comments on First Report from City of Hope Fibromyalgia Research."

    * Note: As with all decisions involving your healthcare plan or health support regimen, it is very important to research and discuss guaifenesin and any potential side effects in collaboration with your professional healthcare team, to ensure it is considered in light of your personal health status and all other herbs, supplements, and prescription medications you currently take. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any illness, condition or disease.

  2. deepak

    deepak Member

    Thank you :)

  3. inprog

    inprog Member

    I have noticed only two problems with Mucinex (guaifenesin). One is conjunctivitis recurrent and the other is increase blood pressure. I have something I take to lower the blood pressure but have not found anything around the conjunctivitis. I have googled and have found others to have this problems with the eyes also. I am not using the D formula. Has anyone notice the conjunctivitis problems with guaifenesin? It works fantastic for mucus formation in the lungs and removing it.
  4. inprog

    inprog Member

    That is a great idea. I have taken pycnogenol before and will put them on my list to try to keep the mucus cleared out of my lungs. It can be quite bad and don't want to have to see the lung specialist yet. Dr. Gruenn said to take the NAC too and I am doing that. Eyes are so much better now that I am off the Musinex. Going to spend on a slant pillow too. Thank you for the wonderful tips!
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Mucinex is not considered the preferred way to get one's Guai. This site sells Guai in the fast-acting form and the time-release form.

    If one is considering doing the Guai protocol, it involves much, much more than just taking Gaui. It is best to read Dr. St. Amand's book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About FIBROMYALGIA."

    If one has lung/breathing problems, it's better to address them sooner than later. First, one really needs a diagnosis for what is causing the problem. For most of these problems, meds can keep problems from emerging or lessen them when they do.

    I've not heard of eye problems with Guai but that would certainly be a reason not to take it.

    Love, Mikie
  6. inprog

    inprog Member

    When I get pink eye symtoms or conjunctivitis, it get these little growths and they itch and spread along where the eye lashes grow. I also get these when I eat glutens if I persist with the eating glutens too long, especially organic glutens. Longer than a few days. But Mucinex causes these eye problems for me and others according to what I read on-line. A google search for "mucinex eye problems" will show it. We have not tried the maybe more pure form that Prohealth sells. Maybe it would make a difference and maybe not. We had seen a doctor who recommend mucinex. To get the growths removed is pricey and dicey as if they are just clipped off they come back. They need to be clipped off and burned with an electric needle. That is my experience only and it might take lots of eye surgeons to try before you find one with that protocol. This is my experience only here. What mucinex has to do with glutens, I don't know. Maybe there is a gluten in the mix for mucinex or something about the mucinex itself.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/13/2012]
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That this condition is a side effect of Mucinex. I also don't know whether the Guai sold here would be free of the side effect. I am so sorry because this sounds just horrible. It could be fillers, coatings or interaction with other meds which cause it. I have never heard of anyone taking the Guai who had this problem. This leads me to believe it may be something in the Mucinex product. Dr. St. Amand has dealt with thousands who have taken Guai and he has not mentioned this side effect. He is an honest and if he knew of it, he would mention it. I just did a search online for Mucinex side effects but didn't find much of anything. Is it just me or does it seem as though it's harder to search for specific topics without being sent on wild goose chases. is the Worst!

    Love, Mikie
  8. inprog

    inprog Member

    Mikie, If you type in the google engine "bad side effects for Mucinex" and also "Mucinex, pink eye" when you get done looking at the first one, you will find the bulk of it. I would not send anyone on a wild goose chase but seriously when one has the side effect oneself, one is more motivated to search different ways so don't get down on yourself for not finding anything. :) I really did not want to stop this supplement but I also had other side effects I was willing to live with but the eye problem, no.
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I never looked for this side effect because I never used Mucinex; I used the Guai sold here. It was only after seeing this thread that it peaked my interest. Thanks for mentioning it is in the fine print. It is a bad side effect, IMHO and I wouldn't want to get it. I had pink eye once and it was painful and very ugly. It was not connected to Mucinex nor Guai.


    Love, Mikie