Blood PH CFS AND FMS ARTICLE | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums


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Blood pH, Chronic Pain and Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia

For some time we at CMRS have been monitoring acid-base balance in the body by using the Nova blood panel which includes mineral levels and pH readings. We have found that many cancer, chronic fatigue (CFIDS), and fibromyalgia patients have very alkaline blood (pH is too high). As you might imagine, there are several things that will impact the blood pH. We always do the Nova panel as part of our metabolic typing evaluation which helps determine the best possible diet for each individual based on their body chemistry. Individuals with high blood pH are known to have low or acidic tissue pH. The alkalinization of the blood in these cases occurs as a compensatory mechanism to the tissue acidity. So one of the things we would recommend dietarily in a patient with alkaline blood (the exception being in cancer patients who MUST eat low carb since carbs fuel cancer) is a decrease in protein and increase in the proportion of carbohydrates in the diet. Eating right for your metabolic type can definitely help patients feel better, no matter what illness or set of problems they may have. But, it is not the only important variable in blood pH.

Physicians specializing in CFIDS have noted that urine organic acid evaluations in these patients consistently show elevated citrate levels. Citrate is a by-product of the citric acid or energy producing cycle taking place within the mitochondria of each of our body cells. Citrate levels go up when there is not enough intracellular glutathione (an antioxidant) present to convert it to 2-oxalo-glutaric acid. If the glutathione deficiency is not corrected, here is what happens. First, high citrate suppresses the enzyme 2, 3 DPG that is present in red blood cells and is responsible for splitting off the oxygen from the hemoglobin carrier molecule. With 2, 3 DPG suppressed, hemoglobin can’t be released to diffuse into the tissue which needs it. The body cells are then faced with conditions of oxygen starvation even in the face of normal oxygenation of hemoglobin in the lungs, so they revert to the very inefficient anerobic mode of energy production. This is a back-up system which can produce some energy from glucose in the absence of oxygen. But it is very inefficient and also produces a large amount of organic acids, thus dropping the pH in the tissues to the acidic side. These circumstances produce fatigue, and acidic conditions are also very conducive to pain in soft tissue such as we see in fibromyalgia patients. The body then will attempt to compensate for the tissue acidosis by dumping blood buffers. This will actually turn the blood alkaline, thus accounting for the inverse relationship between tissue and blood acidity. Alkaline blood in itself has an effect in further suppressing 2,3 DPG, so this feeds a negative vicious circle. The other effect of alkaline blood is constriction of blood vessels. This sets up the horrific scenario of no oxygen transfer to cells, poor blood flow with poor delivery of nutrients and hormones, and inefficient removal of toxins. No wonder these patients are so sick!

Our underlying treatment approach (each individual is different and there are many other things we must do for successful outcomes) which addresses these problems first includes using an undenatured whey protein powder supplement and/or N-acetyl cysteine as glutathione precursors, plus intravenous injections of glutathione. Oral glutathione is unlikely to be of any benefit since, as an amino acid, it is immediately broken down in the stomach. Secondly, the alkalosis (high pH) of the blood must be directly addressed. We do this in several ways: diet modification, high dose intravenous ascorbic acid (vitamin C), oxidative therapies like ozone or dilute hydrogen peroxide, and the use of a partial rebreathing mask. A prescription for an oxygen cylinder with a rebreathing mask and bag will be given, and the patient is advised to breathe normally using the device for at least 1 hour per day. This can be 1 hour straight, two 30 minute or 3 20 minute sessions per day. Breathing pure oxygen sometimes helps, but it will not be as effective as using a rebreather. Why? Because with the rebreathing mask you are breathing both oxygen and rebreathing your own carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide will form carbonic acid in the blood stream as a result of the respiratory process, and the end result will be normalization of the blood pH and good improvement in the patient’s symptoms. Normalization of glutathione levels and blood pH mean less citrate accumulation, less 2,3 DPG suppression so better diffusion of oxygen into the tissues, maintanence of efficient aerobic metabolism, and pumped up blood flow due to the absence of vasoconstriction. This means more energy and less pain for the patient.

Caring Medical strives to remain at the forefront of advances in traditional as well as natural medicine. We have many ways to help patients with severe and chronic pain and disease. We can help you too.