Wednesday, July 29, 2009

H2S The new CFS marker

Remember that this is just a post of my blog, and it evolves, so to see the full story go to: (English) or (Spanish)
My current doc: Josepa Rigau Av Catalunya, 12, 3º, 1ª 43002 Tarragona Spain +34977220358 (I do recommend! hoeopathy and biological medicine, significant improvement)
My previous docs: De Meirleir (, Dra Quintana (CMD), (Lots of medication, antibiotics etc... no significant improvement)

To see the presentation of De Meirleir on H2S click here:

This is an example of the recently launched H2S test that measures intestinal dysbiosis

I just got home the new marker of the SFC marketed by Kenny De Meirleir, and I did with a friend who is NOT diagnosed with CFS. My friend, however, has had intestinal problems, fatigue and bad health lately, but not months in bed or anything like that, and has no medical diagnosis of CFS, but yes a depression.

My case: minute zero: me on the left

My Case: minute 3: me on the left

I know as I have the SFC since 2005 and I'm on the left in the picture, and my friend is on the right. The first photo is at zero minutes, right when put the urine into the container and the second photo is after 3 minutes as indicated by the instructions of the test. As expected, I gave a strong positive and my urine is darkened, showing an excess of H2S. On my friend, only very slightly and we have no clue whether it is relevant.

Work done by Professor Kenny De Meirleir has shown that people with chronic fatigue syndrome consistently have higher levels of hydrogen sulfide in their urine compared to normal controls. Furthermore, this is associated with high levels of bacteria which are not normally found in the gut flora.

• He has identified bacteria in the gut responsible for this. The idea is that an overgrowth of Streptococcus, Enterococcus and Prevotella bacteria results in foods being fermented to produce hydrogen sulfide, and it is this which causes the problems.

• He further noted that overgrowth of these different bacteria correlated with symptoms.

In particular, Enterococcus is associated with:
- Headache,
- Arm pain,
- Shoulder pain,
- Myalgia,
- Palpitations,
- And sleep disturbance.

Streptococcus correlated with:
- Post-exertional fatigue,
- Photophobia,
- Mind going blank,
- Cervical gland lymphodynia [swollen lymph nodes in the neck],
- Palpitations, dizziness and faintness.

All these associations were statistically highly significant.

If you want to know more about this study you can google it: h2s de meirleir Protea Biopharma

The H2S Test

Increase in hydrogen sulfide levels can be measured by dint of a simple urine test that looks at hydrogen sulfide spilling over into the urine, and this test has been developed by Prof. De Meirleir in Belgium.

This is a simple "DIY at home" test, and the kit can be ordered directly from the Protea Biopharma website (in Belgium, or from my office (in the UK, [and in North America, now via].

Treatment of a Positive H2S Test Result (Under the point of view of Shara Mhyll)

If one has the wrong bacteria in the upper gut, then H2S could be produced as a result of this fermentation process. So, improving gut function and restoring the normal gut flora will be centrally important to tackling gut fermentation producing hydrogen sulfide. The important issues that must be tackled are as follows:

Stoneage Diet - the evolutionarily correct diet which encourages growth of friendly bacteria;

Hypochlorhydria - acid is essential for sterilizing the stomach and upper gut;

Pancreatic function - essential for quick and efficient digestion of foods so they cannot be fermented downstream.

Gut dysbiosis - having the wrong bugs, possibly also in the wrong place;

Probiotics - essential to introduce the friendly bacteria to the gut. Kefir is an excellent cheap source of friendly bacteria.

However, problems will arise particularly where the immune system no longer recognizes good from bad. That is to say, undesirable bacteria have gained a foothold in the gut and the immune system does not evict them. The immune system seems to accept the status quo, so if these bacterial numbers could be kept low for as long as possible, the hope is that the immune system will eventually relearn good from bad.

We need, of course, an antibiotic which is not absorbed systemically and is specific to those hydrogen sulfide-producing bacteria.

This could be a prescription drug, or a herbal preparation. Initially, I would suggest rifaximin, which is a non-absorbable antibiotic [passes through stomach and into intestines without being absorbed into the blood stream], widely used for travelers' diarrhea with very few side effects and low risk of antibiotic resistance. It must be taken with high dose actively fermenting probiotics such as Kefir.

The joy of the urine test for hydrogen sulfide is that we have a way of checking as to whether or not we are making progress with the gut. My view at this stage therefore is to put in place as many of the above interventions as is reasonably possible to do, and take rifaximin 200mg three times daily for three days, then a maintenance dose of 200 mg daily and then re-check a urine test to see if we are making progress.

With time, new agents will doubtless become available that can be tried.

It may be that eating foods low in sulfur could be helpful, but sulfur is also essential for normal body biochemistry, and my view is that one should concentrate on gut function to ensure quick and efficient digestion into desirable end products rather than further food avoidance.

One could go on further to do more detailed analysis of gut flora to see which bacteria are present and, again, I will try to make this test available.** However, my guess is that this will not affect treatment, at least in the early stages when the aim is to restore gut function.

Source: Prohealth recent article.