arrow63 Comments
  1. Issie
    Apr 17 - 1:11 pm

    Very interesting. Surprisingly, I had just been doing research on Ischemia. This explains a lot. Maybe, you can go a little more into detail about lactic acid build up with minimal exercise and post exercise malaise due to this.

    Thanks for all the informative post. I’m enjoying them.


    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 2:04 pm

      Thanks Issie, that’s something to look into..I do know that Staci Stevens states that’s a problem in a subset of patients.

    • Sonja palombo
      Sep 25 - 6:57 pm

      I am so confused, I have been living with fm,for twelve years now, but have always been in denial.I run marathons every year, and am very physical.Anyway, the last couple of days I can hardly move, and have to keep gasping for breath,like I am asthmatic.I have just come across this site,and it does make sense about the lack of oxygen getting to the muscles.Four years ago I had a DVT,and this is prob, why.I still am going to take it easier now,and continue my sport, but don’t feel that I will be able to run as far as have done in the past!! I am 60 next year, and feel that I am fitter than a lot of healthy young people, so I always stay positive.


  2. Linda
    Apr 17 - 1:53 pm

    This makes perfect sense to me and this describes perfectly what/how I feel with my ME/CFS. Are there any natural things/ways to fix this (or that have the same/similar effects as the medications mentioned in this article?) for those of us that are unable to handle the side effects from most drugs? Thanks!!

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 2:03 pm

      Good question…I really don’t know. I will be coming out with a blog that focuses on ways to reduce sympathetic nervous system functioning and increase parasympathetic nervous system functioning. Someone recently told me that Staci Stevens told them that very short bursts of aerobic exercise….ie strength training, I guess, is the way to go on the exercise front – and on review stated it did stimulate PNS functioning. Deep breathing can stimulate vagus nerve functioning (parasympathetic nervous system activity) and then there are quite a few drugs.

      Note that the propanolol used is at 1/5th to 1/10th the normal dose….Maybe something like that would work for you as well (?)

  3. Claudine Prud'homme
    Apr 17 - 3:34 pm

    The link for the study is not working. And thank you for your excellent job!

  4. Gijs
    Apr 17 - 3:54 pm

    Hi Cort, are there any other diseases known with similar overactive sympathetic nervous system like ME/CVS?

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 5:22 pm

      There’s fibromyalgia, some heart conditions, temporal mandibular disorder, PTSD, depression, smoking, aging, multiple sclerosis……One web site stated low HRV is often associated with immune dysfunction and inflammation associated with aging, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.

  5. Linda
    Apr 17 - 4:07 pm

    Has anyone checked into the muscles not getting enough water or fluid (dehydration)? I got really sick one summer, and ended up in the emergency room after being in so much pain for around eight weeks, and had lost 17 pounds because I felt like I was dying, but they couldn’t find anything wrong blood wise or by any other tests. They had me on any IV and gave me two liters of fluid, and I felt so much better the next day. It was a total turn around of how I had been feeling. No matter how much water I drink I still feel achy and dehydrated. I also suffer from IBS and constipation daily. Thanks!

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 4:51 pm

      Interesting..Many people do benefit from saline IV. It’s pretty clear though that while increasing blood volume helps – its not the answer. If the blood vessels are still constricted it’s still going to be difficult getting normal amounts of blood/oxygen to the tissues. Still saline IV’s can be a real, if temporary aid.

      • Linda Bright
        Apr 18 - 1:05 am

        Normal saline is a buffer for acidic environment. I think I will try a Nahco3 or normal saline with sodium bicarbonate (areal buffer) to nutilize the acid. Sometimes when I’m blowing off Co2 I need to try a chewable Na+Bicarbonant chewable antacid and see if that would help. Very odd. I have no backpack except when with 5 minute of activity and it takes me down. If I stay down until it passes, I can get up and go again it has to be ischemia. MRI showed no functional reason for the pain. Who is doing the work. Where are they getting their patients. I’ll go send me !

  6. karen
    Apr 17 - 4:11 pm

    So will using an external oxygen supply help? I know I feel better when I am using my oxygen both at night with my cpap and during the day.

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 5:26 pm

      I don’t know. I know oxygen does help in some patients. On the other hand, as with IV saline, I imagine there more to it than adding oxygen. If the blood vessels are still constricted or it the muscles are still pumping out byproducts that demand alot of oxygen or if the sensory receptors are still going banana’s then I would think more would be needed. That”s not to say it might not help.

  7. Issie
    Apr 17 - 4:55 pm

    I just found out about a new test available from doctors in Phoenix, AZ that can actually test for FMS. They have connected it to autoimmune issues and have found a way to test for it. I’m sure that the research they are doing will possibly come up with more solutions. The website is:

    Some of us with HyperPOTS presentations are trying something new and it is helping with our O2 levels and exercise endurance and best of all our POTS symptoms. Too soon to talk about it yet. But, a few of us are finding really good results so far. Stay tuned – there’s help on the horizon. (Let’s hope that it continues to work long term. I’m only on my 2nd day.)


    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 5:27 pm

      Good luck Issie! Please let us know how it goes…:)

  8. Patricia White
    Apr 17 - 5:14 pm

    I’ve been diagnosed with FMS, had it for eight years, diagnosed five years ago, I was a regular gym user prior to this, I have always described my symptoms as feeling like over exercise, lactic acid build up and when explaining how it feels, I’ve said it’s like running for that last bit on the treadmill, when your muscles are screaming for you to stop, you have nothing left to give, your muscles feel weak, lack of oxygen in them then you have immflammation in your muscles, stiffness and lactic acid build up when you’ve overdone it in the gym, it just makes me wonder if doctors are really listening to what people are describing, to me this is just common sense speaking.

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 5:31 pm

      I agree Patricia…this really seems to fit me like a glove as well…I do think its going to be complicated when it all comes out; it’s not going to be just lactic acid or low oxygen levels but there’s going to be some bloody complex mixture of things going on. We should be hearing more about this later.

  9. mary silvey
    Apr 17 - 7:34 pm

    Thank you Cort for describing the true dysfunction I struggled with for many years. I kept reading over and over different theories and found that this represented my illness/disability the best. I would give anything to try some of the medications mentioned, having found Lyrica did not agree with me. I have standing orders for saline infusions in my local emergency room, as my local internist understood. The difference is truly amazing after receiving a liter of saline. I still think that there will soon be a day when the scientists can ‘fine tune’ the autonomic nervous system, possibly by something other than drugs, and that perhaps we can learn to control certain erroneous responses. Imagine the day when we gain full use of our brains’ capacity– and can think better and clearer, move more for benefit, and fully utilize our own amazing bodily functions. I get tired of feeling like there is nothing I can do to feel better, like the illness is in control. I am a fighter, and wish to use my own mind to help not just myself but all of us. Many thanks also to Dr. David Bell who put into words, this picture of cellular level behavior. God bless all who continue to study the hidden nervous system, as I think many have received the wrong treatment without consideration of it. (RIP, Dad)

  10. Mel
    Apr 17 - 7:52 pm

    Very interesting article, thanks.

    Just an aside note on your spelling – “effect” has been used where it should have been “affect” in at least two places. (Effect as a verb means to bring about; affect means to have an effect on.)

    • Cort Johnson
      Apr 17 - 9:44 pm

      Thanks Mel. I’ll change it..

  11. Julie Mandli
    Apr 17 - 7:59 pm

    Hi Cort-

    Great article as I read, I am nodding my head up ad down. This describes me to a tee. I read your reply on supplemental O2 and agree that it may help a bit, but not the whole answer. What do you think of hyperbaric O2 at higher levels?

    Just wondering. Thanks so much for your great research!


  12. Joya
    Apr 17 - 9:20 pm

    About 5 years ago when I had been unable to exercise for over two years already, I hocked my soul and bought a Noblerex K 1000, which is a big vibrator that you stand on. A lot of body builders use them for warm up and cool down, but for me, it’s the only exercise I can do right now and for some time. Just sayin’. It’s better than nothing. Dr. Mercola has a similar model that he promotes on his website. At least it helps my circulation and lymph flow and is supposed to reduce cortisol and all kinds of good things. I am so plugged into this SNS thing and am very sure that is why my sleep is so lousy. Over the years it has gotten worse and the slightest stressor (sometimes just thinking about something I have to do) will put me in fight or flight. It so sucks!

    • eva
      Apr 18 - 3:37 am

      :) Exactly the same here – I just have to think about something that I for example need to do….and then I totally crash. It really sucks!

  13. Annesse Brockley
    Apr 17 - 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much Cort. This is really good info.

    Mitochondrial and endothelial dysfunction, low hemoglobin, etc. would as you mentioned most likely be involved.

    One thing in particular caught my attention though.

    “Shungu found decreased blood flows and increased lactate levels (300% higher!) in his ME/CFS patients brains. Lactate levels are a function of anerobic metabolism; the high lactate levels suggest that a hypoxic (low oxygen) state is present.”

    High lactate levels are also associated with diabetes.

    High “brain” lactate levels are associated with a thiamine deficiency.
    “Brain lactate synthesis in thiamine deficiency: A re-evaluation using 1H-13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.”

    Diabetes is associated with thiamine deficiency. Researchers have found that thiamine concentration is decreased 76% in diabetic patients. Here is some information from my book on the association between thiamine, diabetes and B12.

    “In patients with diabetes, the vitamin B12 connection has been established by
    researchers at the prestigious Warwick Medical School, University of
    Warwick. The University of Warwick researchers, led by Professor Paul
    Thornalley, have shown conclusively that diabetic patients are thiamine (B1)
    deficient in blood plasma. In the research paper entitled “High prevalence of low plasma
    thiamine concentration in diabetes linked to a marker of vascular disease”
    published in Diabetologia, the team found that thiamine concentration in
    blood plasma was decreased 76% in type 1 diabetic patients and 75% in type 2
    diabetic patients (Thornalley, 2007).

    The paper states, “The researchers found that the decreased plasma
    thiamine concentration in clinical diabetes was not due to a deficiency of
    dietary input of thiamine. Rather it was due to a profound increased rate of
    removal of thiamine from the blood into the urine.” No other B vitamin is more dependent on its fellow B vitamins than B1. If you are deficient in B12, you will not be able to absorb B1. It will be excreted in the urine.”

    Research shows that ME/CFS and fibro patients have low levels of vitamin B12, so perhaps this is the reason for the high brain lactate levels and another association to the low oxygen levels found in fibro.

    • Paul Winter
      May 15 - 4:40 am

      Interesting Annesse. I developed type 2 diabetes 3 years after I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. I sometimes wonder which symptom is caused by which illness. If it wasn’t for the severity of the muscle and cognitive fatigue I suffer, plus neurological symptoms I have such as myocolnus, I would suspect my diabetes or that I have had pre-diabetes for years and it was missed when I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. I Have often wondered if all of my symptoms would have been put down to diabetes if the diabetes had been diagnosed first.

  14. Linda Bright
    Apr 18 - 12:42 am

    This was an excellent by someone who is listening to his patients
    .. It describes exactly what is happening to me. I tell my doctors this:  
    I am a nurse(at least I was) and an Educator(as least I was)I have worked in with
    side. I will drink alot of fluid before i stand up which helps.  I have episodes that feel like an Insulin reaction. I get nauseated & weak, shaky & sweaty with blurry vision. If I don’t sit down almost immediately I will pass out. I’m even better off if I lay down on my left side. I will drink alot of fluid before i stand up which helps. If I am at home I will eat a small bagel with Strawberry Cream Cheese and the nausea goes away. I tell them furthermore if I have to walk a long distance or up a flight of stairs, I will also have Kuschmal respirations and must sit down fight or flight gets triggered. I can visualize physiologically what is going on.
    It feels like I have no oxygen and to much CO2. I have said I need to get a blood gas at that moment because I am sure I am in a compensatory resp. Alkalosis with a metabolic acidosis. I have also complained of severe low back pain with any activity even something as simple as showering and washing my hair at the same time, how I have to run and lay down quickly. I stay laid down untl the Kushmal respirations eases up and the back pain stops. I describe my back pain as being like Angina of my back. (ischemia) It comes on quickly, is very severe and goes away when I lay down and rest.  Sometimes I wonder if a little nitro would open up the vessels so the 02 could get into the back tissues . It takes along time to shower and dress since I have to jump out of the shower every 5 minutes to run lie down to relieve the back pain, when it’s gone I get up and go until the severe Back pain returns then down again. I do no take pain medicine for this severe pain. Lying down relieves my pain.
    if I have to walk a long distance or up a flight of stairs, I will also hade Kuschmal respirations and must sit down. I am breathing pursed mouth Because I am automatically adding a grunting sound to force more CO2 out.can visualize physiologically what is going on. I tell my doctors this:  I have episodes that feel like an Insulin reaction. I get nauseated & weak, shaky & sweaty with blurry vision. If I don’t sit down almost immediately I will pass out. I’m even better off if I lay down on my left side. I will drink alot of fluid before i stand up which helps. If I am at home I will eat a small bagel with Strawberry Cream Cheese and the nausea goes away. I tell them that I feel like some looks while having a reaction and furthermore if I have to walk a long distance or up a flight of stairs, I will also have Kuschmal respirations and must sit down. Because I am a nurse I can interpret what I can visualize physiologically what is going on. It feels like I have no oxygen and to much CO2. I have said I need to get a blood gas at that moment because I am sure I am in a compensatory resp. Alkalosis with a metabolic acidosis. I have also complained of severe low back pain with any activity even something as simple as showering and washing my hair at the same time, how I have to run and lay down quickly. I stay laid down untl the Kushmal respirations eases up


  15. Annette Vasile
    Apr 18 - 3:31 am

    Cort, you collect the Best information! So many people and some doc’s… just don’t get all these triggers we get and think it is really in our heads! Which it does affect are coping skills with lack of oxygen. So actually reading your Data and reports IS like a Breath of Fresh Air. You reinforce us. I can feel your passion and energy. Thank you so much… for sharing and educating us on all the new information coming out….
    I would to hear about you and story & journey thru all this and what has worked for you and things you have tried thru the years. You sound like you are thriving like Dr.T.
    I might have to nick name you inspiration man! Best Wishes Darlin~

  16. Tanya marlow
    Apr 18 - 4:30 am

    This was REALLY helpful, thank you. I had been thinking for ages that what was wrong with me was my heart, because my main symptoms are breathlessness and extreme muscle weakness a few days after over-exertion. But when I was in the ambulance, my O2 sats were just fine, and my heart stuff came back okay. So I had started to think, what if the supply of oxygen is okay, but the cells can’t do anything with it, so the body reacts like it’s not got enough oxygen, even though it has?

    This, as far as my non-scientific brain can work out, is what you are arguing for here.

    This was really helpful.

    • wendy wiese
      May 27 - 1:45 pm

      to tanya, re oxygen utilization…. did anyone answer your question? thx -wendy

  17. Pam
    Apr 18 - 4:36 am

    Thanks Cort for your excellent explanations regarding the problems with our muscles and nervous system.

    This article explains why I do so well on 20 mg Propananol usually twice daily. I take the first dose around breakfast time to keep things steady for the morning and usually need the same amount before I go out in the afternoon for a short walk with my dog.

    If I try and walk in the afternoon without the Propananol then I can get a racing heart, sweating, dizziness and extreme anxiety, its really horrible. But with the 20 mg dose taken at least ¾ before then I feel fine for a 20 minute walk. After that amount of time I need to sit for a while because the energy has run out but with a short sit down I can manage about another 5 minutes or so before I need to go home and rest.

    Propananol also helps me to get over severe muscle aches when my nervous system has gone into overdrive which can happen quite easily with me. It happened the other day when the temperature rose from 2 degrees where it had been for months suddenly up to 18 degrees or so.

    This caused me to have non stop sweating and in the afternoon I felt terrible. I thought it was a low cortisol symptom (I take a full replacement dose of steroids daily together with natural dessicated thyroid) so I took a bit more h/c but all this did was push my bp up too high making me feel awful. I realised then that it was my nervous system going into overdrive so I took 20 mg betablocker, used my oxygen concentrator for 30 minutes lying down and after another 15 minutes though my legs felt very heavy and sluggish I felt ok to go out for a walk with my dog around the park without any ill effects. In fact I felt a whole lot better than before the “attack” started.

    I have never had any side effects from the betablocker probably because I don’t have low bp due to the steroid and thyroid meds. Before I took these I had very low bp due to very poor adrenal function. On some days I also need a tiny bit of Fludrocortisone because my body wastes salt.

    • Gijs
      Apr 18 - 5:47 am

      I used a betablocker. I felt better but then i get verry dizzy and i must stop. But i felt more ‘relax’. It certenly does someting good. Bit i was wondering if the overdrive is not a compensation? We nee to know this before we use drugs to stop this reaction. I think.

      • Cort Johnson
        Apr 18 - 8:53 am

        I agree Gijs; it’s a complicated situation particularly if the SNS is on overdrive when we’re resting and then starts to poop out when we get active. If you’re turning off the SNS even when you’re active I would think you might have problems. This is why Lights idea of low dose propanolol turning down sensory receptors which turns down the SNS is so intriguing.

        Of course, there will be variations on the theme within ME/CFS as well. I’ve been told we should have more answers about what’s going on in some papers that are coming out pretty soon.

        By the way I know someone who’s on alpha and beta blockers!

        • Gijs
          Apr 18 - 9:23 am

          And how is that person responding? Alpha is importent for the regulation of bloodvessels. I believe.

  18. Deborah Dore
    Apr 18 - 5:19 am

    Brilliant article! I have oxygen at home, and going on it relieves pain! I’ve been telling my Dr this for years, but he still doesn’t think my pain and poor oxygen uptake are linked.

    • Julie
      Apr 18 - 12:27 pm

      Can I ask how you got the O2 covered by insurance? I would live to try this!!!

  19. Gijs
    Apr 18 - 7:03 am

    Norepinephrine transporter A457P knock-in mice display key features of human postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Shirey-Rice JK, Klar R, Fentress HM, Redmon SN, Sabb TR, Krueger JJ, Wallace NM, Appalsamy M, Finney C, Lonce S, Diedrich A, Hahn MK. Source Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.

  20. Linda Bright
    Apr 18 - 10:04 am

    I used to drive to the doctors office real quick to document what was happening to me(before diagnosis). I was diagnosed with asthma, got puffers, IV NS and o2. This went on for 3 years. I had 6 car accidents, all my fault, all in route to the doctor Urgent Care Center. No accidents prior to this. It seems non-sensical to warn people to not drive your car when you are in one of these episodes but I was despairate for help and I live alone. Crazy ! I don’t do that any more and I rarely occurs now. Eight month into treatment with a 1000 mg Valtrex 3x/day, my respiratory symptoms(infections) went away. I traded that car off and got a different and I don’t drive it at all dying those dizzy or balance spells with blurry vision. Gotta be 02 deficit. Great validating discussion.

  21. Linda Bright
    Apr 18 - 10:09 am

    I am writing on my IPhone and it spells out words for you and if you don’t proof before sending., you get all these inappropriate words. They’re spelled correctly,, just the wrong word. Sorry

  22. Michael Murphy
    Apr 18 - 2:10 pm

    The Pain of Exercise

    Thanks for another great article Cort. You are firing on all cylinders with your writing. I am so glad you recognize and understand the importance of The Pain & Exercise. I have become very de-conditioned because of it, which just makes it worse. Great contribution Cort!

  23. linda burrell swartzen
    Apr 18 - 3:39 pm

    This makes me wonder…I quit smoking regular cigarettes 14 months ago, switched tot he electronic cigs – which would give me more oxygen w/o the smoke – would the nicotine in the E-Cigs make a difference in oxygen?

  24. Someone who really wants to make a difference.
    Apr 18 - 7:27 pm

    Makes since. since I have needed oxygen for many years now. It’s definitely part of it.

  25. Joya
    Apr 18 - 8:44 pm

    Ok, I am confused. The doc (who, I don’t think even believes in CFS) tells me my blood is too thick. (I live at 8000ft. currently, which is something else to correct, but is evidently why I’m producing too much RBC.) In other words, both my hemotocrit and hemoglobin are too high. But how does this fit with “low blood volume”? Is it possible to have lbv and just have too many red blood cells in the blood you have? Any help with this? Seems a saline drip would help both but not sure. The doc wants to just take blood out of me, but if my blood volume is low seems that wouldn’t help. I’m having to sort of do this stuff myself and try to get her to go along with me. It hasn’t been easy.

  26. Jill Neimark
    Apr 20 - 10:26 am

    Mild hbot–very safe but pushes enough oxygen into tissues (partial pressure at sea level is .21 and at .13 ata with a leaky mask giving essentially 50% oxygen from a concentrator is .63–three times as much and pushed into the plasma).

    Just the pressure along shifts one to parasympathetic.

    So its doubly useful, and very safe.

    It’s underutilized, don’t know why.

    Oxyhealth makes the only FDA approved chambers for practitioner and home use. There are others around but there have sometimes been accidents associated with them. Oxyhealth can usually find out if there is a practitioner who has one in your area.

    • Jill Neimark
      Apr 20 - 10:27 am

      Whoops–there seems to be no edit function on here?
      1.3 ata. not .13. It’s 4 psi. Very mild pressure the equivalent of 10-12 feet down in a swimming pool.

      The equivalent amount of oxygen would be pushed into plasma and tissue at 66 feet in a scuba dive on air in the tank.

  27. Carrie Tucker
    May 08 - 8:55 am


    Thanks so much for this article. It explains very well why I have such luck helping people eliminate pain even when there is no evidence of low oxygen saturation. I’m the Life Breath Coach and I help to coach people out of health crisis, but I’m finding that what I do eliminates pain in a huge way!

    This article might be a little challenging for a lay person but it sure spells out why the “Bless Your Heart” model works to get people out of the hospital and back to work!

    Reading this is salve to my spirit!


    • Cort Johnson
      May 08 - 9:41 am

      Glad to hear it. Staci Stevens at the Workwell Foundation uses diaphragmatic breathing to help people reduce pain in ME/CFS.

    • Carole-Oldtimer
      Jan 01 - 1:24 am

      Have been a fibromyalgia sufferer since teen years,but was labeled 1989. Your ideas on the body’s use of oxygen have intrigued me. I have been excited before, but ultimately disappointed. My next move will be to ask my doctor to research with me and attempt some of the things you suggest. If you have data or references that might be helpful please send me the links at my e mail

  28. Robert
    May 22 - 8:12 am

    I’m starting to notice before I go to bed, if I eat several prezzels with salt I have a deeper sleep. I wonder if it is also effecting my pain being less. Found the sites not sure what they mean.

    Salt & Pain:

    Salt & Sleep:

  29. Denise Cataldo Robertson
    Jun 22 - 8:50 pm

    Gosh, this makes so much sense to me and also explains my heart feeling like it has stopped and then restarts and beats like crazy leaving me breathless. I do have mitral valve prolapse but never had any problems until after my diagonsis of Fibro. What can be done to infuse oxygen into these areas? Is that being researched? Thank you.

  30. Nicola
    Jun 27 - 4:27 am

    Re: the blood flow/blood vessel issues that a couple of researchers have been looking at.

    This reminds me very much of the research that the Australian doctor, Les Simpson was running in the late 1980s/1990s. He was looking at the red blood cells themselves, and found that high levels of lactate in the blood tend to push erythrocytes into temporarily deforming and becoming more rigid. Moreover, he found that ME/CFS/CFIDS patients had higher levels (than healthy people) of erythrocytes that had become rigid and stuck in odd shapes, and that that level increased even further during/after even minor exercise. Since erythrocytes are meant to be floppy so that they can squeeze down the smallest of capillaries, this is a big problem.

    Either way, whether we’re talking about capillaries that are too small for blood cells, or blood cells that can’t fit down the capillaries – or both – we still end up with a subset of symptoms that are rather reminiscent in their effect on the patient, of sickle cell anemia.

  31. Maggie
    Jul 26 - 8:06 am

    I have aoways had a slow metabolism. ..poor circulaion and low blood pressure. ..I have had Mono more than once..I’ve had many times in my life where over exertion led to inabilty to walk do to extreme muscle pain…I have very small veins and am not an easy stick…veins roll…I couldn’t even donate blood for my own surgery’s…I think this makes perfect sense. Thank you!

      Oct 07 - 3:34 pm

      Hi Maggie

      I heard from people that before going to do the blood test drink pleinty of water or fluids
      because it will open up the small veins so that you will be able to do the blood
      test,and for the low blood pressure try to take salt in foods maybe you are deficiency just to make sure you are just take a simple blood test from a doctor ask it.
      And for the poor circulation problem it might be the varicose veins on your legs,
      I sujest do your own research on google like I do for my self I don’t rely only on
      doctors but also on google search for my self so that I could also help people.
      And for slow metabolism we have different metabolism, try enzyme products
      at the pharmacy named le naturiste,plus exercise will increases metabolism
      system into your body, try also Metamucil which is fiber while you are eating so
      that will help digestion also enzyme will help digestion I believe it’s related to help you for your slow metabolism because slow metabolism will cause overweight and overweight causes cholesterol and diabetes. Exercices will help you boost your poor metabolism, do cardio on trill or walk or running if you can, exercices will also increases the enzymes in the body that burn fat, improves metabolism, and circulation problems, and also blood pressure but drink pleinty of water for not to depleted into your body, every thing in moderation I subjest you. Hoped that helps you. Take care yourself. Sara

  32. Mindy Campbell
    Sep 10 - 2:13 pm

    I have been on oxygen for 1 year & 3 months as a result of a sleep study. My last overnight oximetry test in August 2013 indicates I do not need the oxygen; however, I swear it helps me with fibromyalgia and CFS. I can’t keep it if insurance doesn’t pay. Any idea how I can get the O2 covered for fibromyalgia/CFS? I have multiple other diagnosis as those of us with these conditions usually do. I am DESPERATE to keep O2, so ANY advice is very, very much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your much appreciated time.


  33. Chris.S
    Sep 21 - 3:43 am

    Excellent article Cort! Been discussing this exact theory with some very smart minds recently. I find it 100% true as well.

    I have felt ‘starved and suffocating’ at the cellular level for quite a while now – especially since my big crash a couple years ago.

    It seems this theory is very accurate. What is needed is to dilate the tiny blood vessels to let in the blood & oxygen to the tissues – deliver nutrients and excrete toxins. Know what does this? Sam-e! Even years ago when I didn’t know the specifics of this mechanism, I used to explain to people that Sam-e “Opened up thousands of tiny floodgates” throughout the whole body. 1-2hrs after a tiny dose of Sam-e I could feel all this “flow” happening at the very base cellular level in the body! All of a sudden my tissues didnt feel starved of oxygen and everything flowed well and I could function much better.

    However! As stated in your article, this later caused a long period of pain flare up (inflammation) systemically. It’s like the body is shutting off the tiny blood vessels to reduce the inflammation it causes. However I find I *have to* keep taking even very tiny doses of Sam-e to keep going at all (im more severe than most though). Without it all flow just totally shuts off to my tissues.

    Taking oxygen by mask/tank etc does not help this problem at all. It *must* be a substance that dilates the tiny blood vessels. Extra oxygen via the lungs doesnt help this at all.

    Interestingly, things that clear/purge the liver (in my case the liver is the most severe problem in the body) increases blood and oxygen flow to other tissues. But it always comes with a cost of systemic pain/dysfunction while that’s happening.

    • Cort Johnson
      Sep 21 - 11:33 am

      Thanks Chris!

      Very interesting about Sam-e. I don’t know anything about it. It sounds like something I should try. I’ll definitely look into it. Thanks for the input :)

  34. […] Progressive muscle relaxation and gentle stretching  allows oxygen to get to not only the muscles so they can function properly, but also to the brain allowing the nerve connections to have the power to bring proper functioning to all of the systems in the body.(3) […]

  35. Lucie Montpetit
    Oct 29 - 3:29 pm

    Thank you for summarizing the latest research and what I have seen in my clinical practice since I started treated ME/FM patients after I have been personally through that downhill roller coaster ride. Research is starting to build a model for the cellular dysfunction and finally doctors are starting not to push exercise as if those patients would benefit from exercise as depressed and anxious patients do.

    L Montpetit, OT (C)

  36. John
    Jan 01 - 12:18 pm

    My wife has been suffering with FM/CFS for over 20 years and recently her fatigue has gotten worse. I read with interest your references on the impact of oxygen utilization and would like to explore this area I greater detail. Is there a practitioner I the San Francisco area that specializes in this aspect of CFS that you can recommend? Thanks, John

  37. Lee
    Feb 03 - 9:34 pm

    For more than 15 years, I’ve had little progress with CFS. I’ll spare you the details, other than the fatigue that came with the most god-awful sickness, constant, 24/7, for years.

    Than, a little over a year ago, I was able to convince the Doctor that the med for depression was killing me, and maybe I should to be on ADD meds.

    She didn’t like the sound of that at all. Better to die while on Zoloft, than on Ritalin. But she gave in, and I’m still here, and better now.

    Right away, I could work again for a few hours at moderate exertion. Now, as long as I don’t get carried away, I can handle about half of what someone my age can do in a day (60yr).
    I’m not able to keep that up all the time, because it’s an inconsistent state of affairs for me. Overdoing any labor will cause the sickness to come back. It may take days to recover.

    The above is just enough info for you to compare yourself to me, and may at least find a little help from the things below that has made my life much better, even if I’m not completely well.

    (Water): I find that if I drink about 70 ounces of water each day, it keeps my system working fairly well. This is turn causes me to sleep better. Better sleep = more energy.
    Drink most of your water thru the day, slow down at night or you lose sleep jumping up and down going every 30 min.
    I also try to get enough salt (sea salt), because too much water may deplete your system of salt and other minerals.
    The source is from a book: “Obesity Cancer & Depression: Their Common Cause & Natural Cure by F. Batmanghelidj

    (Gator Aid): The Ritalin causes me a lot of joint and back pain.
    I suspect many meds do this to people, and we may never think to question the possibility of chemicals being deposited in our joints, because maybe the liver is over worked, and doesn’t have enough free water in the system to move the toxins out.

    The water alone does help, but is not enough in my case. Kudos for Gatoraid. I walk around without the pain now. I mix one near full scoop of GA power in 10 ounces of water each day, maybe 4 days a week.

    (Deep Breath): The CFS also brought with it a drastic reduction in mental ability. Brain fog and the loss of memory are just some of the problems people with CFS have. Most of you likely deal with at least some of this.
    The only thing so far that has made much of a dent in cognitive failure is doing breathing exercises.

    The one I use most is; taking a deep breath thru the nose, than slowly release it thru the mouth with pursed lips, or use a straw to blow thru (+/- 3 sec. in, and 10 sec. out).

    You may want to do this once every minute or two, several times. Do this as many times thru out the day as you feel foggy.

    It will seem that it’s not working while you are doing the exercise. It takes me about 10 minutes before I notice that it has begun to wake my dead head.
    I do this in the morning when a pound of Starbucks coffee, nor God him self can bring me on-line.

    The source for breathing:

    (Protein Power): Sometimes when I’m going to be working, I’ll mix a glass of Whey powder into Almond or Coconut milk.
    This will help, and I’ve even worked full days without a crash, or having to pay the piper the next day.

    Even with all this, sometimes everything just stops working, and for days I don’t function. Who knows why?
    Some day folks like us may experience “normal” again?

    Better health to ya’ll

    • Cort Johnson
      Feb 04 - 11:00 am

      Thanks for all the tips! I’ve always wondered about Ritalin because my guess is that cognitive issues are really important not just for brain-fog but possibly physically as well.

      I have forgotten about that breathing technique- thanks for reminding me :)

  38. […] of feeling unwell, which can lead to increased anxiety and yet more breathing. This is STRESS! Some recent studies have linked ME/CFS/FM with low oxygen in the body tissues, especially in muscles after exertion. This could provide a compelling […]

  39. rekha
    Apr 30 - 10:25 pm

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