Sara Myhill On Why Alcohol Intolerance is so Prevalent in ME/CFS

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
From Prohealth
First off she mentions talking to a doctor who would not diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome UNLESS THERE WAS ALCOHOL INTOLERANCE - that was in the 80's!

First she focuses on the gut...

The fermenting gut produces a large toxic load to the liver. Products of fermentation could include ethyl alcohol, propyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, D-lactate, hydrogen sulphide and probably other toxins. All the blood from the gut passes via the portal vein directly to the liver. The liver is responsible for preventing these toxins spilling over into the bloodstream and circulating systemically. This is important both because these toxins can inhibit mitochondrial function (and give us the symptom of fatigue), and also because these toxins can interfere with brain chemistry resulting in the symptoms of foggy brain and mood changes. The symptoms of fatigue and foggy brain are cardinal in CFS/ME and mood changes are extremely common.
I think she's wrong. My alcohol intolerance occurs IMMEDIATELY.....long before it's gotten to the gut.

Not suprisingly Dr. Myhill goes to the mitochondria next - in the brain. This fits my experience better.

It is like having the power station right next to the factory! The myelin sheath membranes have to be of just the right consistency to hold the enzymes responsible for making energy in the right three-dimensional configuration to allow for efficient energy delivery. The problem with alcohol is that it slightly “dissolves” these membranes, probably making them a little bit more liquid than they should be, and therefore distorting the three dimensional configuration.
Then she goes to allergy - because of the fermentation done - certainly a possibililty but I handle other fermented products well.

Then to low blood sugar - another possibility for me because some sweets knock me out immediately as well. Other times they don't but alcohol almost always does and with greater aggressiveness than sweets for sure. I think more is involved

So, hypoglycaemia results from the changes in blood sugar levels as a result of the natural tendency of alcohol to drop sugar levels and also perhaps because of the sweet additives in some alcohols, which will tend to spike sugar levels, and finally there is the ‘’addict’’ hormonal effect described above
Her conclusion = perhaps we should be using this as a test? Fits me fine.

So alcohol intolerance, and the nature of it, and the symptoms experienced by the individual concerned help to give us clues as to the mechanisms that are causing symptoms in that individual.

For example, if a sufferer reacts more to wines and beers than to vodka or brandy then that sufferer is more likely to have a significant element of allergy in their response mechanism to alcohol and therefore allergy may well be a significant factor in the mechanism that is causing fatigue in that individual.

Recovery from CFS/ME is often accompanied by alcohol tolerance. Phew! What a relief! Perhaps we should be using this as a test?
Jarred Younger is studying alcohol intolerance now - can't wait to see what he comes up with.

 

Katherine Autry

Active Member
From Prohealth
First off she mentions talking to a doctor who would not diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome UNLESS THERE WAS ALCOHOL INTOLERANCE - that was in the 80's!

First she focuses on the gut...



I think she's wrong. My alcohol intolerance occurs IMMEDIATELY.....long before it's gotten to the gut.

Not suprisingly Dr. Myhill goes to the mitochondria next - in the brain. This fits my experience better.



Then she goes to allergy - because of the fermentation done - certainly a possibililty but I handle other fermented products well.

Then to low blood sugar - another possibility for me because some sweets knock me out immediately as well. Other times they don't but alcohol almost always does and with greater aggressiveness than sweets for sure. I think more is involved



Her conclusion = perhaps we should be using this as a test? Fits me fine.



Jarred Younger is studying alcohol intolerance now - can't wait to see what he comes up with.

I don't know.....I've had alcohol intolerance for several years and i just keep getting worse, not recovering.....I am hopeful that my worsening of symptoms is a GOOD sign - a herx reaction that means the little buggers are dying in droves......but I just don't know how to tell.
 

kamodio

Member
Can someone please elaborate on specifics on the symptoms of alcohol intolerance?
I don't know the official (if there is one) word on alcohol intolerance, but I will share what it means in my experience. I am a super lightweight- I feel the effects after one swallow! Not drunk at all but definitely a "whoo" to the brain. I also know that if I were to have an actual drink/6oz wine, I would absolutely have serious restless leg/body that night (which also happens sometimes anyway, so...). I just know that my body does not do well with alcohol.
 

Katherine Autry

Active Member
I think low temperature may be a common enough symptom to warrant testing as a marker. Not only is my body temp generally lower than "98.6", when I am in the midst of a crash, collapsed on the couch, it drops even lower, to 96 or so. Seems like there have been enough folks with "off" body temperature that it might be a really cheap diagnostic aid. Although anyone with autonomic nervous system dysfunction or untreated thyroid disease could also be caught in that net.
 

Vaporization

Active Member
My humble opinion is becuase of the vassodilation. If I drink on midodrine I tolerate better.
That makes a lot of sense. I spent many years taking SSRI's and had serious problems with alcohol.

Since I quit antidepressants, I can tolerate alcohol consumption. :wacky:
 

Paw

Well-Known Member
This piece is discussing chronic pain and FM, not ME, but it confirmed for me alcohol's potential benefits.

I recently gave up my daily early-evening drink because I seemed to be having GABA balance issues. After abstaining for a month I realized my sleep was no better and my evening neurological symptoms seemed more pronounced. So I resumed my one-drink-per-evening routine and immediately saw its benefits.

I had lost my appreciation of alcohol-as-medicine. Better now.
 

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