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Correlation between H2S urine test and Epsom salt tolerance

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by richvank, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, all.

    I want to ask for help in testing a hypothesis. Some of you have taken the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) urine color change test, and some of you know whether or not you can tolerate Epsom salt baths.

    I would like to know what the correlation is between the result of this test and whether or not a person can tolerate Epsom salt baths. (Note that some time ago, Susan Owens, the owner of the sulfurstories internet group, started a separate group about Epsom salt intolerance. We kicked this issue around a little there, but haven't reach any conclusions about what's going on in these cases. I think that this new urine test may provide some insight.)

    My hypothesis is that people who test positively on the H2S test do not tolerate Epsom salt baths.

    The rationale is as follows:

    The urine color change test gives a qualitative measure of the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the urine. It has been suggested by Dr. de Meirleir that when the H2S level in the urine is high, it means that there are bacteria in the gut that are producing large amounts of H2S, so much that the normal sulfide oxidase enzyme in the wall of the gut is not able to oxidize all of it and convert it to thiosulfate, so that it passes into the blood and is then filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

    If this is true, it must mean that there is a significant population of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the gut of a person who has a positive H2S urine test, since these are the types of bacteria that produce H2S.

    Epsom salt is composed of magnesium sulfate. As far as I know, there is no pathway in the human metabolism itself that can chemically reduce sulfate, and normal, healthy people are able to tolerate Epsom salt baths and to benefit from them, as their body absorbs both some magnesium and some sulfate through the skin. Both are normally found in the body and perform important functions. One of the functions of magnesium is to relax the muscles. One of the functions of sulfate is to help the cartilage in the joints to retain water, and thus to cushion the joints. Epsom salt can thus help both muscle and joint pain in a normal, healthy person.

    If a person is intolerant of Epsom salt baths, I think the reason is that some of the sulfate is chemically reduced to hydrogen sulfide by sulfate-reducing bacteria in the gut. Some of that is oxidized to sulfite by the human sulfur metabolism. Both hydrogen sulfide and sulfite are toxins if they reach high enough concentrations, and they will both produce unpleasant symptoms.

    So far I've heard from one person who tested positive, and three who tested negative, and all four are consistent with this hypothesis. Four is not a big number, and I would like to accumulate some more data for a preliminary test of this hypothesis.

    So I would appreciate it very much if those of you who have taken this urine test, and also know whether or not you tolerate Epsom salt baths, would post this information together. It would also be interesting to me to know what the symptoms were for those of you who did not tolerate Epsom salt baths, when you tried it.

    The purpose is to get a better understanding of one of the mechanisms of this disorder. Gut dysbiosis is a big factor in CFS, and the more we understand about it, the better position we will be in to correct it.

    Thanks very much.

    Rich
  2. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Well I can't tolerate Epson Salt baths. When I first got sick I had a very negative reaction to them. Now I'm not as bad, but I still can't tolerate them. I haven't taken the H2S test. But I do have pretty bad GI symptoms.
  3. bettine

    bettine

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    Hi,
    I did the H2S test twice. One positive, one negative (or slightly, slightly positive - if you really wanted to, you could see the urine turning slightly green).

    I have no experience of Epsom salts, I don't think we have them over here.

    I do know that as a child, years and years before I got sick with ME/CFS, my skin was allergic to all creams that contained sulfur.

    No idea if this is in any way related to the H2S thing.
  4. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

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    H2S and Epsom Salts

    Hi, Rich,

    I got a strong positive on the urine test, plus have all the lovely symptoms.

    As far as I can tell, Epsom Salts helps my pain and stiffness and does not cause problems.

    I get indigestion from some sulfur containing foods (onions and garlic), but in the past have been able to take MSM without noticeable effect.

    It's always possible with me that I misattributed a reaction to something else, unfortunately. But I would know about the Epsom Salts, right?

    Kelly
  5. SaraM

    SaraM Senior Member

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    I did not do the test. Epsom salt has no effect but MSM makes my muscle burning pain much worse.MSM is one of the two supplements I can not tolerate at all. I have no GI symptoms. GI test showed low bifidus.
  6. rajulko

    rajulko

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    H2S test negative

    I did Kenny's H2S test and it is negative.My husband and I did it both and there was almost no change in color. But I Have CFIDS in all its parade :(
  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Athene.

    I suspect so. Your positive result on the urine H2S test suggests that you do have intestinal bacteria that can produce H2S from sulfate. The body itself, as well as bacteria, have means of converting other sulfur forms to sulfate.

    Rich
  8. xlynx

    xlynx Senior Member

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    Hi Rich,

    I have taken the H2S test and it turned dark blue and then black within 10 seconds.

    I tolerate Epsom Salts well and often makes me feel very relaxed.

    I actually bought two tests and am going to test again next week to see the reliability of it. Some people seem to have a positive result and then a negative result at a different time.

    I wonder if the fact that I took an epsom salt bath the night before the test or if the food i ate the night before affects the test results.

    Thanks, Jerry
  9. xlynx

    xlynx Senior Member

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    I have retaken my second H2S test and was positive again with in 5 seconds dark blue.
  10. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Jerry,

    Did you do anything different this time, i.e., did you do Epsom salts bath the night before?

    Thanks for the update,

    Maxine
  11. xlynx

    xlynx Senior Member

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    Hi Maxine, I didnt take any Epsom salt for 10 days and did not eat any carbs the night before just a chicken meal and tested immediately positive again in the morning. I have serious candida overgrowth and am waiting for a CDSA to come back next week which I am sure is going to show quite a bacterial mayhem which is probably the cause. Jerry
  12. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    OK, Jerry, thanks for the clarification.

    Would you be willing to share the results of the CDSA when it comes back?

    Thanks,

    Maxine
  13. xlynx

    xlynx Senior Member

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    Yeah sure, I am hoping the doctor will also give me some good suggestions to treat it, thanks Jerry
  14. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I tested very strongly positive to the H2S test and I have been using Epsom salts in a rub-on cream form for about 10 days. I went madly itchy for the first few days, several hours after rubbing the cream on, but that stopped after the first few days. I've had no ill effects since then and I am feeling a bit more energetic, though I would say the effect is minimal. I wonder if I am getting too low a dose? What are the main improvements people notice? To be honest this has been a non-event for me!
  15. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    I'd be interested to try this test - I seem to have a tolerance for Epsom salts. But I don't know what an H2S test is or where to get it or what the cost is. Enlightement for the ignorant?
  16. Tony

    Tony Still working on it all..

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  17. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I tried slapping on a very large amount of cream last night to see if I could get a clearer idea of what it is doing.
    I have pretty bad palpitations today, which I get if I accidentally eat something with sulphur commpounds or other sulphites in it. I don't have any of the other symptoms of asthma, eggy burps, tummy upset and wind. I suppose that could be because I didn't take it orally??? I don't know. It's still very inconclusive and therefore frustrating.
    If anyone has an idea on how I could come to a definite conclusion either way on this, please make a suggestion!
  18. dsdmom

    dsdmom Senior Member

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    Rich,
    I'm sorry I can't give you the information you requested right now but I had a question for you. I haven't taken the H2S test but plan on doing so soon. I have, however, tested positive for SIBO from Genova Diagnostics. A few months ago I tried taking MSM and had horrible reactions - like the worst flu/achy feelings imaginable. I have taken MSM in the past (before I got sick) with no problems and was trying to figure out why it was eliciting such a reaction now. I thought maybe it was detoxing or something but this thread makes me wonder if it has something to do with the baceterial overgrowth and your above hypothesis. What do you think?
  19. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi dsdmom,

    I would like to know about the MSM thing too. I have tried to take it on several occasions. I kept reducing the amount down further and further until it was only very small. I managed to still have nasty reactions. At the time, I belonged to a forum where people kept telling me to keep decreasing the amount and go slowly, but I could never get there. Could it be the involvement of MSM in the Phase I or Phase II detox pathways?

    Thanks,

    HW
  20. stressman

    stressman

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    Hi again Rich,

    My daughter ("Curly") tested very positive to the H2S urine test a year ago, and has had two further bouts of antibiotics since for H2S flare-up.

    In the past few months Curly has been bathing in Epsom salts and has also taken the mag chloride form transdermally. Her reaction to the Epsom salts was "a lovely warm feeling", whereas the chloride was a "hmmm - no".

    Cheers,

    stressman.

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