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    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

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oh alcohol....

Prefect

Senior Member
Messages
307
Location
Canada
I have mild POTS, anxiety, and pretty much most of the cognitive and sensory issues people with CFS have, but I don't have CFS and don't get PEM. Bottom line, have no idea what I have. It started 20 yrs ago after an infection.

But what I do know is alcohol gives me a boost. Especially if I start drinking slow and give my body enough time to adjust to the vasodilation (at which point veins in my arms and legs get so gorged with blood they hurt from the pressure while my blood pressure is only 90/60). Once that part is gradually adjusted for, I get more mental energy, amazing mood enhancement, and pretty much feel more human and normal than I've felt all day.

None of the supplements and meds I've tried can do this (I have yet to try any other GABA enhancers, don't see the point if I have alcohol, and benzos are likely worse for you than alcohol)

What does this mean?

Is it the vasodilation?
Reduced anxiety?
Raised cortisol?
Action on GABA?
NMDA antagonism?

All I know if it's the most effective tool I have (including the useless Zoloft I take every morning) to make me feel human.
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,938
I read somewhere that alcohol is an alternative fuel for pyruvate dehydrogenase (i can't find the reference and may be remembering wrong). but if you don't have ME/CFS that should not matter assuming my memory is correct.
 

Diwi9

Administrator
Messages
1,780
Location
USA
Not sure why other than the vasodilation, but I benefit from alcohol too (except if I'm in a crash). This has been discussed on prior threads and it seems like half of us benefit from it, while another half have no tolerance.
 

Prefect

Senior Member
Messages
307
Location
Canada
Also I know Paul Cheney thinks people with CFS suffer from constant oxygen poisoning and resulting chronic alkalosis.

I know for a fact I've been overbreathing for 20 years and it's not even up to me, I wake up in the middle of the night and can tell I've been overbreathing during sleep. My diaphragm is constantly pushed up (involuntarily) into my lungs, especially when I'm standing up, hyperinflating my upper lungs and causing chronic hyperventilation. Breathholding is the only tool I have to make up for it.

In case of POTS I think there is chronic hyperventilation due to peripheral overcompensation for dysautonomia, likely causing reduction in nitric oxide. The benefits I get from alcohol are drastically accentuated when I consume it with 80-90% dark chocolate, which is very high in arginine.

So, 2 more theories:

Alcohol relaxes my diaphragm, reducing hyperventilation, increasing CO2 and cerebral oxygenation? And possibly improving venous return (sort of in the same way propranolol helps POTS)?

or...

Increased Nitric Oxide, improving cerebral perfusion (90% dark chocolate being the accentuator?)
 

drob31

Senior Member
Messages
1,487
Infections like EBV may use up NO, leaving you deficient in it. You could try supplementing with arginine. BH4 converts this to NO. You may need to increase BH4 levels as well with the arginine. Royal Jelly is high in BH4, also starting methylation can raise it.
 

deleder2k

Senior Member
Messages
1,129
I experience the same. I had trouble standing on my feet for 5 minutes. Pain, cramps, dizziness. After 1.5 bottles of wine I could walk several miles and go dancing for hours. Very strange.
 

Marky90

Science breeds knowledge, opinion breeds ignorance
Messages
1,253
I suspect it has something to do with the nervous system. I have almost constant small fasciculations in my legs, and intermittently other places. It all slows down with alcohol, and the lactic acid feeling goes away too.
 

gregh286

Senior Member
Messages
975
Location
Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
I suspect it has something to do with the nervous system. I have almost constant small fasciculations in my legs, and intermittently other places. It all slows down with alcohol, and the lactic acid feeling goes away too.

Its small arteriole/capillary vasodilation. I get identical response in tropical heat. I can almost feel the lactic leaving legs. Our cells can start breathing again going back to aerobic respiration.
Your twitching is low mineral supply to cells.....magnesium..potassium. need to overload a bit on them and use baths...saunas to open up cells.
 

notmyself

Senior Member
Messages
364
I read somewhere that alcohol is an alternative fuel for pyruvate dehydrogenase (i can't find the reference and may be remembering wrong). but if you don't have ME/CFS that should not matter assuming my memory is correct.
there is other alternative fuel ,except alcohol? i feel better with alcohol aswell,but i have couple of times that i get extremelly sick after just one beer,like poisened,it doesn t happen always,but i prefer stay away from alcohol,
 

drob31

Senior Member
Messages
1,487
Its small arteriole/capillary vasodilation. I get identical response in tropical heat. I can almost feel the lactic leaving legs. Our cells can start breathing again going back to aerobic respiration.
Your twitching is low mineral supply to cells.....magnesium..potassium. need to overload a bit on them and use baths...saunas to open up cells.


Is this why baking soda seems to help sometimes?

Most people are extremely defficient on magnesium as well.
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,938
there is other alternative fuel ,except alcohol? i feel better with alcohol aswell,but i have couple of times that i get extremelly sick after just one beer,like poisened,it doesn t happen always,but i prefer stay away from alcohol,
i believe there is, BCAA, ketogenic amino acids and so forth. I bet someone has made a list on PR, but i don't have a link handy
 

pattismith

Senior Member
Messages
3,926
I read somewhere that alcohol is an alternative fuel for pyruvate dehydrogenase (i can't find the reference and may be remembering wrong). .

Are you sure? PDH activity converts pyruvate to Acetyl CoA
Alcohol has antivitamine B1 (cofactor of PDH) activity, so if PDH is already impaired by ME, it makes it worse, leading to more acidosis.

Alcohol metabolism via several enzymes (alcohol DHAse, Aldehyde DHAse, acetylCoA synthetases) produces Acetyl CoA.

Maybe this AcetylCoA production provides some relief to some people, by giving fuel to the citric acid cycle?

i believe there is, BCAA, ketogenic amino acids and so forth.

and fatty acids metabolism ?
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,938
Are you sure? PDH activity converts pyruvate to Acetyl CoA
Alcohol has antivitamine B1 (cofactor of PDH) activity, so if PDH is already impaired by ME, it makes it worse, leading to more acidosis.
We do not have deficiency of B1 and supplementation is not a recognized treatment of merit.

Alcohol metabolism via several enzymes (alcohol DHAse, Aldehyde DHAse, acetylCoA synthetases) produces Acetyl CoA.

Maybe this AcetylCoA production provides some relief to some people, by giving fuel to the citric acid cycle?
Thats essentially what i was getting at, though my mechanism was probably wrong.
 

pattismith

Senior Member
Messages
3,926
We do not have deficiency of B1 and supplementation is not a recognized treatment of merit.

I didn't meant to pretend that ME people have B1 deficiency, I just said that PDH activity seems impaired in ME, and that alcohol has antivitamin B1 activity, and that B1 is cofactor for PDH...:)
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,938
I didn't meant to pretend that ME people have B1 deficiency, I just said that PDH activity seems impaired in ME, and that alcohol has antivitamin B1 activity, and that B1 is cofactor for PDH...:)
Fair enough, i don't think its going to make us worse by PDH though, people who use large amounts of alcohol don't have ME/CFS level fatigue never mind those who only take it occasionally. It does make you tired but thats a different likely GABA related effect.
 

deleder2k

Senior Member
Messages
1,129
I've tried pyruvat supplement from iHerb. Didn't help. What else can those of us who respond to alcohol try?
 

Prefect

Senior Member
Messages
307
Location
Canada
But the benefits I get are within minutes of consumption. Would these complex metabolic processes the knowledgable patrons here are discussing even have time to kick in within such a short period? I develop explorative and positive mood that I've been missing all day within minutes. It's got to be a GABA thing...? Or dopamine? But if it's anxiety it's addressing how come my 150 mg of Zoloft a day isn't doing a fraction of what a glass of alcohol and dark chocolate can do? I can watch shows after it and follow plots. I can socialize without sensory overload and brain freeze, etc, etc, etc, etc
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
Messages
2,938
But the benefits I get are within minutes of consumption. Would these complex metabolic processes the knowledgable patrons here are discussing even have time to kick in within such a short period? I develop explorative and positive mood that I've been missing all day within minutes. It's got to be a GABA thing...? Or dopamine?
Why does it got to be one of those. We can't prove its anything mentioned in this thread at all, even my replies about alcohol in this thread are little more then supposition.
But if it's anxiety it's addressing how come my 150 mg of Zoloft a day isn't doing a fraction of what a glass of alcohol and dark chocolate can do? I can watch shows after it and follow plots. I can socialize without sensory overload and brain freeze, etc, etc, etc, etc
This is very contentious to answer so i wont get into it, there is a lot of money behind promoting antidepressants and facts are no match for them.