Thick Blood – a 15th year Retrospective

Before Dave Berg of Hemex Labs retired (and the Lab sold), I had several occasions to talk with him, both at CFS conferences and hosting online interviews. The transcriptions are available here:

For those not around and interested in CFS back in 1999, I should provide some links to his publications:

There were many presentations / poster papers that year, including this one at AACFS Conference. My family had panels done at Hemex and with remission, the panels normalized. A few blood draws were sent to a different lab, and the results were similar. My panels are in the PDF of my 1999-2000 remission.

Science Dropped The Ball

Standard scientific practice is to have another lab/person attempt to replicate the results using the same methods that were described (to make sure it was not a lab error). No one stepped up to do this. The result is that his findings, some 15 years later, are still not confirmed or disputed. They are largely ignored. His model did not interest any one doing research.

A new perspective on thick blood

Recently I was introduced to the histamine model for CFS. Histamine is released from mast cells. It was interesting to discover these have “many granules rich in histamine and heparin.”  Last night a light shone — mast cells releasing the contents of the granules is the result of chemical signals. One signal (to release histamine) is an allergic reaction, the other signal (to release heparin) may be low oxygen levels (or some related condition that suggests heparin is needed).

Consider this scenario, thick blood triggers the granules and while the amount of heparin released have the desired effect, the amount of histamine is more than the body can handle — i.e. histamine overload (just like you can get heparin overload).

Checking PubMed for histamine and altitude, some studies suggests that histamine release increases with altitude [1985], I suspect as a result of the body trying to get more oxygen by thinning the blood (by releasing heparin).

This suggested that for a histamine reduction treatment, that there are three facets that should be considered:

  • Altering volume of bacteria that converts histidine to histamine
  • Reduced consumption of histamine and histadine
  • Improving blood circulation and oxygen penetration into the tissue (to reduce the chemicals asking granules to discharge their contents).

This also means that histamine overload can be a factor for a subset of CFS patients — especially those that have some low level hypercoagulation (which may not clinically present). For those patients, heparin — either injections or sublingual — may reduce the histamine sensitivity because the heparin is being obtained without the release of histamine.

We are back to the story of blind men describing an elephant. It is all one creature with various textures and characteristics. If we feel around long enough, the parts start to form a complete picture of what we have.