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Anyone tried Erythropoietin (EPO)?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Kenny Banya, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. Kenny Banya

    Kenny Banya Senior Member

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    Australia
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythropoietin

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/front_page/4657010.stm

    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone naturally produced by the kidneys.

    However, this hormone can be artificially produced to improve the performance of, for example, athletes or cyclists by injection.

    Its overall effect is to increase endurance and, in athletics, it is used mainly by long distance-runners.

    It is injected under the skin and stimulates red blood cell production.

    The more red cells there are in your body, the more oxygen that can be delivered to the muscles.

    This delays the onset of fatigue, meaning an athlete can run harder and for longer.
     
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  2. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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    Brisbane, Australia
    There were a couple of small trials into it for ME/CFS, helped with blood volume and I think with increasing bp where it was low but made little difference to other symptoms in the participants.
     
  3. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I think Shoemaker used it in some patients for a while. My hazy recollection is that it reduced blood counts, sometimes irreversibly and did not provide any real benefit to patients.
     
  4. Dan_USAAZ

    Dan_USAAZ Senior Member

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    Phoenix, AZ
    I tried EPO for a few months about 18 years ago. If I remember correctly, it raises hematocrit levels in the blood, which improves the oxygen carrying ability.

    I did not have a noticeable improvement in my symptoms, so did not continue use. I did get blood tested and hematocrit levels went up by something like 25-30%, so a very strong objective measure. Prior to using EPO, my hematocrit was straddling the low end of the reference range (+/- 1 to 2 pts).

    If I had easy access to EPO, I would probably trial it again.
     
  5. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    Seeing as CFS/ME patients may already have thick blood / hypercoagulation and latest Ron Davis discovery found abnormal blood viscosity as well, EPO doesn't seem a very safe option to me. Thick blood and excessive clotting from EPO use almost killed some ultra fit athletes back in the 90's who took it for doping purposes to increase their hemoglobin levels.
     
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  6. debored13

    debored13 Senior Member

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    Vermont, school in Western MA
    source on the ron davis hypercoagulation discovery?? I'm curious b/c i've noticed abnormally fast clotting with my blood personally
     
  7. Galixie

    Galixie

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    This paper could either be of interest or completely off base depending on the reason you're looking at erythropoietin. This particular paper seems to favor the use if you fall into a goldilocks zone of anemia, otherwise they don't think treatment is necessary or effective.

    https://medtextfree.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/chapter-41-anemia-of-chronic-disease/

    I don't recall the title of a paper I read a couple years ago that seemed to favor the use of IV iron and actually acknowledged the quality of life issues around ACD. Of course, regardless of what different papers say, trying to get a doctor to give any treatment of ACD is an uphill battle. The 'no treatment' mantra has taken firm root within the community.
     

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