New Treatment for NMH
by Gail Kansky

It's a simple and inexpensive treatment for a few of those patietns who were part of Dr. David Bell's and Dr. David H.H. Streeten's work that showed severe patients had low circulating blood mas volume and, so far, it's been found to be a wonderful success! Dr. Bell has been trying a few of his patients on IV saline solutions. Nothing but the IV saline has been used, but the patients have found the weekly IVs to have a wonderful effect and one that is cumulative. 

One patient who had extreme pain that was not able to be controlled with medication has found that the pain is gone! She has stopped taking her narcotics that would barely make the pain tolerable since there was no need for them anymore. The same result regarding the pain has been seen in another patient as well.

One patient had spent four months in the hospital at one time but nobody could find anything wrong with her, despite the fact that some of the tests were slightly abnormal. She was diagnosed with "conversion hysteria" (i.e., it was all in her head). Another patient found she could not fix her own meals or shower and she could no longer read, all familiar symptoms for severe patients. Her first IV gave her 24 hours of miraculous energy and she did not "pay" for her added activity during that time as she had in the past. Each week, she found the IV results lasted a bit longer. After many weeks, she found that she could once more read again. She hadn't been able to read an article for years and is now reading several novels weekly. She even found she could read the entire National Forum, a feat she had never been able to achieve. Each week she had a bit more energy and found the infusion's effects lasted a bit longer than the week before.

The PWC who had been in the hospital and was diagnosed with conversion disorder now feels so much better that she feels it won't be long until she's back to work, at least part-time! She's a nurse, but probably won't have any desire to apply for a job in the hospital that she was admitted to so frequently in the past!

Dr. Bell has asked each of these trial patients, after they've had some success with their IV saline infusions, to try to exercise immediately after each infusion. He cautions them to begin very slowly to begin slowly to see if they are able to do just a bit more with each successive week. He is also, after the PWC has found succes with IV therapy , beginning to experiment with trying to dustain the added fluid. He is trying vasoconstictors, stimulants, or florinef, depending on the hisory of each patient.

My daughter is one of the willing participants in this experimental trial. Because her circulating volume was so low, medical personnel always found it difficult to try to find a vein when she needed a blood test or to be infused. Often, the vein would actually reject the infusion needle. She also found the pressure of a normal drip to be too much and had to have the drip slowed to a much lower level. IVs that at first took over four hours now take two hours or less. She no longer suffers from the pressure pain that she felt in her head when the drip was normal. Her nurse found that her veins are now much more visible and she no longer has to resort to using the same injection site out of frustration. Her cognitive ability often surpasses my own and soon, I suspect, she'll even be able to do her own laundry! (And I'm sure she'll be happier than I when that happens! )

He had tried patients on more frequent infusions, but these were all severe patients and couldn't tolerate the added pressure. Dr. Bell will continue to experiment cautiously with methods to try to enhance the volume of these patients.

He recently published a paper with Dr. David Streeten that showed that the majority of PWCs had decreased red blood cell mass and many also had a lower volume of plasma. This led to an overall decrease in the volume of circulating blood. "For example," explained Dr. Bell for ABC News recently, "if the normal adult has five quarts of blood in his or her body, the average patient with CFS has only four quarts. This may be the reason that CFS patients feel worse after blood draws and are frequently thirsty."

Robert Suhadolnik, Ph.D., published on the RNase Pathway enzyme deficiency that has led to a diagnostic test in Europe called RED. The test is used on PWCs to see if they are candidates for Ampligen. While speaking in New Jersey earlier this year, Dr. Suhadolnik stated that whatever is causing this deficiency has direct correlation to Drs. Bell and Streeten's discovery of the low blood volume mass.

David Bell. M.D is the author of The Doctor's Guide to CFS and has published dozens of papers on CFIDS. He practices family medicine in upstate New York. The National CFIDS Foundation recently funded a pediatric research trail for Dr. Bell that hopes to offer an easy clinical marker

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606