Ken Nightingale - My story of recovery from ME/CFS and how I intend on staying healthy.
My story of recovery from ME/CFS
and how I intend on staying healthy.
Printed from: http://www.noeticholdings.com/ken/
This article is a detailed version of one that appeared in the September 2005 issue of the Waterloo Wellington Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association's newsletter The MEmo. This version expands on my experiences, provides detailed descriptions of the products mentioned and contains links to the sources of information. Note that links contained within this article open in a new window which may be closed to return to this article.
Please click here to read the disclaimer before continuing.
For people that don't know me:
It turns out that having my gallbladder removed was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me. Ever since my 5th day in the hospital I have felt great!
It's quite a remarkable turn-around considering that on my best day with M.E. I would be in bed for about 12 hours and needed to rest on the couch for another 10 hours. Venturing out to the store would be enough activity to keep me in bed for days. Today, I'm working, active, exercising, travelling and basically doing what any other healthy person enjoys doing. And I'm quite ecstatic to be able to do all of it. I even climbed the stairs of the CN Tower on April 26, 2003 - in a time of 14 minutes 28 seconds.
Before continuing, I'd like to apologize to everyone in the M.E. community for taking so long to tell you of this news. You see, I didn't want to be premature in revealing my good fortune in the event that I slipped back into the chronic illness of M.E. I also wanted to be able to explain what happened to me and the steps I am taking to maintain the health I haven't had for 15 years. There have been many experiments along the way with food choices, supplements, and cleansing programs. I think I have settled into a routine that is working well for me and that I am now comfortable sharing with everyone.
After waiting in emergency for 4 hours in utter agony, I was admitted to the hospital (apparently other people in the waiting room were urging the nurses to take me in next). I remember the doctor asking me how much pain I was in, on a scale of 1 to 10. I said 10 as I had never been in this much pain. However, I discovered another level of pain I didn't know about. Apparently level 10 is when you scream consistently and level 9 is when you scream intermittently. Now I know! Thankfully, I was given Demerol to ease the pain (I love Demerol!) and I could finally uncoil from my fetal position and lie on the bed comfortably. I was given injections of Demerol every 4 hours, for the next 4 days. I don't remember much of those 4 days.
"When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need."
In The Hospital
On December 31 I had an Abdominal Ultrasound done. On January 2, 2003 I no longer needed the Demerol and had a Barium X-Ray done. I was truly exhausted that day - very M.E. like - and I remember the doctor urging me to get up and move around - that wasn't going to happen. I had absolutely no energy and I was freezing cold despite the numerous blankets that covered me.
The next day the nurse hooked me up to an additional IV of TNA (Total Nutrient Admixtures, also known as TPN - Total Parenteral Nutrition). This is a white liquid that provides nutritional support through IV for patients who arenít eating. In my case I received TNA 24 hours a day for 8 days.
Usually, the TNA IV line is inserted through the chest into the vein that leads directly to the heart. But, in my case this was supposed to be a very short-term addition to my treatment, so it was inserted into the veins of my forearms. This created the complication of my arms becoming tender and sore around the insertion point such that the IV had to be moved to a different location, on the opposite arm, every 2 days. Every nurse that saw me was astonished to see me connected up in this manner.
Once I received
the TNA, I began to feel wonderful - my brain became clear,
my body warmed up and I was able to move about the hallways
on my own. Since I was up and about the nurse wanted to
weigh me - I was 125 lbs. - very, very thin for
someone whoís 6í tall!
So now Iím healthy! Or am I? As I recovered from surgery there were thoughts of finding a job. On the other hand, would working have a negative impact on my health and make me suffer with M.E. again? Taking the cautious approach, I did not immediately go out and get a job of any kind.
My parents had fully supported me while I was sick with M.E. and they continued that support upon my return home as they were also wary of a relapse. I owe a great deal to my parents Ė too much to put into words.
Prior to being admitted to hospital I had just started doing website design (a few hours per week) for a couple of people so I continued to do that at a slow pace. As time passed, I had a couple of friends offer me some part time employment which worked out very well. One with a photography business and another with WESA, Water and Earth Science Associates Ltd., doing field work (water sampling mostly) and database management. I also successfully completed three AutoCAD courses (levels 1, 2 and 3) at Sheridan College to add a little something to my skill set. But, my main job was to manage my health.
As I recovered, I considered the impact my diet had on my health and began to seek information regarding good food choices and eating habits. Certainly, what I had been doing over the years was not contributing to good health, so it had to change.
"A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it,
is committing another mistake."
The New Diet
I began excluding from my diet:
Fruit juice on the other hand, may be made with moldy fruit. Consider that the fruit farmer is going to sell the good looking, good tasting fruit as a whole fruit and that it's probably the leftover, bruised and battered fruit that will be used for juicing.
"Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat."
Beginning to have irregular bowel movements was a concern for me, because I had suffered with diarrhea-dominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for the duration of my illness with M.E. It seemed liked a constant struggle to try to figure out how to manage the diarrhea without taking medications. I eventually settled in to eating lots of plain pasta, pita bread and mozzarella cheese, which did help my bowels work better, but almost certainly caused me to have gallstones. I had always wondered whether I had some other bowel disease such as Celiac or Crohn's but I didn't have much faith in the accuracy of the diagnostic tests, nor the manner in which they were conducted.
Another concern was that I had experienced some M.E. type symptoms - fatigue, lethargy, problems concentrating and a general lack of stamina. Luckily, these symptoms did not persist for more than a few days at a time, but, it reinforced the notion that I was only in remission from M.E. and that it might be possible to slip back into illness if I wasn't careful.
At some point I decided to stop eating all grains, even rice. This change provided better digestion and reduced my eczema tremendously. I had learned 2 things later on which may be issues for my body:
I had tried various supplements claiming this and that. For the most part they were beneficial, but when I would stop taking them my "symptoms" would worsen. The problem was that I didn't want to have to take supplements (some of them very pricey) for the rest of my life. I figured that there had to be other options. So I pressed on.
In Dr. Young's book The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health I learned about the alkaline diet and the importance of its impact on the body. I also learned from this book the proper way of fasting (more on this later).
"Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet
but one of the most vital."
An adequate amount of water is 1/2 oz. (15 ml) of water for every pound of body weight (or 7 ml per kilogram of body weight). So, if I'm 140 lbs. then I should drink 70 oz. (2 litres or almost 9 measured cups) of water throughout the day. Drinking 1 cup of water nine times a day is no big deal and I often drink more than that. I could drink a cup before breakfast, drink a few cups between breakfast and lunch, drink a few cups between lunch and dinner, then drink 2 cups between dinner and bed time. Voilŗ, nine cups.
I no longer drink tap water or bottled water. I purchase water at The Old Kitchen Cupboard on Belmont Ave. in Kitchener. They have a water purification system that uses a sediment filter, carbon filter, reverse osmosis filter and ultraviolet light. There are containers available for purchase which can be refilled inexpensively.
"Tell me what you eat,
and I will tell you what you are."
I now believe that nutrition is much more important than calories, which is why I no longer consider the calorie content of my meals. Here is a list of the macronutrients of my meals:
I find this method of eating very satisfying. I don't feel deprived in any way and I know that I'm eating nutritiously. It can be a bit tricky to eat on the run or eat in restaurants, but I do the best I can.
Why do I only eat carbohydrate-dense foods when I'm exercising? Dr. Udo Erasmus explains why we cannot eat carbohydrate dense foods if we are sedentary.
There are two oils (fats, fatty acids) which are known to be essential (called EFA's or Essential Fatty Acids). Our body cannot manufacture these oils so we must ingest them. These two oils are omega-3 EFA and omega-6 EFA. It turns out that being deficient in either oil can cause various kinds of symptoms or illnesses. So, it's important to eat these two oils, but it is also very important to eat these two oils in their proper ratio, as in Udo's Oil. Read Dr. Udo Erasmus' explanation of how this works, be sure to read all 7 parts.
The George Mateljan Foundation writes: "... omega-6 fats are the precursors for pro-inflammatory molecules--the molecules that promote and maintain inflammatory reactions. Omega-3 fats, in contrast, are the precursors for anti-inflammatory molecules."
Supplements that I am currently taking are:
Several authors recommend not eating within 3 hours of bedtime. This allows the stomach to completely digest the latest meal and then empty its contents into the intestines. If a meal is eaten within 3 hours of bedtime it is quite likely that this meal is still in the stomach upon waking in the morning and does not get properly digested. This can lead to undigested food particles being interpreted as allergens by the body thus leading to various kinds of symptoms. Having last night's meal in the stomach upon rising will also create a feeling of fullness while starting to eat breakfast, thus reducing the amount of food eaten for breakfast.
To maintain a perfectly good sleep, it is recommended to not drink anything within 90 minutes of going to bed. This will help prevent the need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate.
"Let your head be more than a funnel to your stomach."
Fasting can be beneficial because it eliminates the food source for critters such as parasites, candida, bad bacteria and fungi that may be within the intestines or other parts of the body. As these critters die off, typically around the third day, they release toxins into the body so fast that the person experiences this as illness or very unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are referred to as a healing crisis.
A kinder, gentler approach to fasting is herbal supported cleansing, which I have also found to be beneficial. Cleansing is the process of helping support the digestive system while at the same time aiding in the proper elimination of toxins through the bowel, liver, kidney, skin and lungs. There are also cleanses specifically designed to kill and remove candida and parasites. Of the many products on the market, I have used:
The nice thing about these products is that I could eat normally while receiving the benefits of the cleanse. I did notice that my bowel movements were a bit looser when taking the Renew Life products, but I still had plenty of warning to find the facilities when nature called.
A very important aspect of cleansing is ingesting extra fiber. Toxins get bound to fiber which aids their removal from the bowels. Bentonite also helps eliminate toxins from the body if taken along with fibre. Bentonite works a little bit differently than the fibre does in removing toxins from the body. I have taken Renew Life's FibreSMART every morning with 2 tablespoons of liquid bentonite.
Cleansing Protocols and Descriptions
The Renew Life product CleanseSMART contains a 30 day supply which involves taking 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. This product is recommended as a beginning cleanse which supports detoxification of the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and skin and supports cleansing of the colon.
The Renew Life product LiverDETOX contains a 30 day supply which involves taking 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. This product promotes healthy detoxification and cleansing of the liver.
The Renew Life product FibreSMART contains a 30 day supply which involves taking 1 scoop daily. This product may help "lower cholesterol levels; normalize blood sugar; improve bowel function; feed intestinal bacteria; inactivate intestinal toxins; decrease intestinal permeability".
The Para Purge Pak, a combination parasite and candida treatment, contains a 10 day supply which involves taking 9 capsules in the morning and 9 capsules in the evening. This treatment may be repeated after 3 days of non-treatment.
Clarkia Extra Strong Tincture is a parasite treatment. It is to be used for 2 weeks then not used for 1 week. This cycle of 2 weeks on and 1 week off is to be repeated 3 times (for a total of 8 weeks of treatment over 11 weeks). Instructions come with the product that explain how to start with one drop 3 times per day and increase to 20 drops 3 times per day. I started on my first day taking 20 drops 3 times a day without any ill effects.
I've also taken the individual components of the parasite cleanse (Black Walnut Hulls, Cloves and Wormwood) by following the directions on the bottles. I chose to take them for two weeks then rest for a week.
"Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself."
The Parasite Cleanse
The literature from the Para Purge Pak states:
"A parasite is an organism that lives off a host. Your Body is that host! This foreign invader eats the food you eat, eats your cells, steals your energy, and your vitamin and mineral supplements. After eating, the parasite deposits its waste and poisons in your body where they are absorbed into your blood stream to pollute your body and destroy your health.
There are over 1,000 species of parasites that can live in the human body. ... All parasites secrete toxins or poisons into our systems. Our body is then forced to deal not only with the invader, but also with the poison the invader leaves behind. Someone who is constantly fatigued and sick may have a weakened immune system caused by a severe parasite infestation.
You can get parasites from contact with pets, children playing with other children, shaking hands with fellow workers, undercooked or contaminated food, polluted water, or from eating raw fruits or vegetables that contain parasite eggs."
Dr. Hulda Clark states in her book The Cure For All Diseases that parasites are THE cause of all diseases. Not only do they behave as stated above, but they also harbour bacteria and viruses (like parasites within the parasite). And once the parasite has found a cozy place inside a body, the bacteria and viruses can emerge to enjoy their new home too!
In her book Renew Your Life, Dr. Brenda Watson explains how illness can result from an unhealthy digestive tract - one filled with parasites, candida, bacteria (the bad kind) and fungi. I found this book to be an excellent source of information on how a person can try to take control of their own health. She also explains how a poor diet contributes to an unhealthy digestive tract and gives advice on how to create a healthy digestive tract.
I like the fact that I'm getting rid of any parasites that are using me as their food source and sewer system. Doing a parasite cleanse is also necessary before doing a liver cleanse.
"There is no shame in not knowing;
the shame lies in not finding out."
The Liver Cleanse
A liver cleanse clears the liver of liver stones and may eliminate allergies completely, according to Dr. Clark. Iíve learned that the soft liver stone (made of pure cholesterol) can become a gallstone once it becomes trapped within the gallbladder. Gallstones develop a hard coating while trapped inside the gallbladder, making them difficult, and perhaps painful, to pass into the intestines.
Apparently, the stones form over time within the biliary tubing of the liver. This tubing is used to transport fluid, metabolic chemicals and toxins. As time goes on, the stones get larger and clog the tubing. It is believed that the detoxification ability of the liver decreases as the stones increase in size. This means toxins cannot be efficiently detoxified as they pass through the liver. This made sense to me, so I went ahead and tried it.
Initially, I attempted the liver cleanse without doing the parasite cleanse, and I didn't collect any stones at all. So then I waited a week to start the daily treatment for parasites and did the liver cleanse again, two weeks after my first effort.
The liver cleanse basically gives you one day of diarrhea and the stones emerge that way. It was painless and I actually felt quite good while going through it. The full treatment says that you should do a liver cleanse every 2 weeks until 2,000 stones have been removed. WOW! Who knew I had liver stones as large as a half inch (1.25 cm) in diameter? I figure that if I eliminate 2,000 stones at an average diameter of 1/4" (6.3 mm), then that means I have the equivalent of one large stone that is 3.15" (8 cm) in diameter. That's the size of a tennis ball. YIKES! I have now done four liver cleanses with an estimate of about 200-300 stones eliminated throughout the day of each cleanse. So, I'll need to do a minimum of 7 cleanses to reach the 2,000 mark. I figure I'll just keep doing the treatment every 2 weeks until I no longer see a significant number of stones.
My method of the liver cleanse is based on Dr. Clark's description of the liver cleanse. I usually go to bed later than 10 p.m. so I time-shifted the protocol to fit my own schedule. Typically, I did everything 2 hours later than described in her time schedule. I did use epsom salts, fresh grapefruit and olive oil as described. However, instead of Black Walnut tincture, I used 6 capsules of Black Walnut - I poured the contents of the capsules into the olive oil/grapefruit juice mixture (threw out the empty capsules) mixed up the potion thoroughly and drank it that way. I found it surprisingly easy to drink without the use of a straw. I also did not take the sleep aid Ornithine - I found that I didn't sleep well, but well enough.
My skin feels fantastic after each liver cleanse and I believe the rest of my body is also benefiting from these treatments. The skin can be the first organ to show signs of illness as well as the last organ to regain health. I also like the theory of the treatment - to unclog (or decongest) the biliary tubing of the liver - it just makes sense to me.
"We must become the change we want to see."
My next cleanse will be using the product from Renew Life: Heavy Metal CLEANSE. I would also like to find a dentist able to properly remove silver amalgam (mercury) fillings (i.e. not poison me in the process). If anyone could point me in the direction of a good holistic dentist, please pass along their name to me at I would definitely go in for a consultation.
I'm also going to try taking Bovine Colostrum (a supplement that may strengthen the immune system) to see if that has any effect on my health.
Once I've finished doing the remainder of the liver cleanses and cleaned up any heavy metals residing in my body I would like to try introducing grains back into my diet. I would start with gluten-free grains and if that goes well I'll give some of the other grains a try. If I can start eating a variety of grains then it would be possible to try to become a vegetarian, but that's still way off in the future.
I shall continue with my exercise regimen of weightlifting (resistance training), biking, jogging, climbing stairs and playing hockey. I'm currently 140 lbs. and would like to gain about 15 lbs. of lean mass (that's muscle, not fat). I have read that a person can only gain about 10-15 lbs. of lean mass per year - the wait will be worth it.
Other than that, I'm going to continue to read, watch and listen to anything having to do with health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and longevity and incorporate anything that seems worthwhile into my diet or lifestyle.
Before I finish, I should mention a few things about my fatherís experiences. His health had been declining over the years: gaining weight, losing energy and increasing his use of medications. In April of 2003, he was 68 years old and 265 lbs. at 5í9Ē tall. He is a type II, adult onset diabetic and was taking Metformin and 120 units of Insulin daily to control his blood sugar. He was also taking different pharmaceutical drugs to control each of:
He now takes much less medication to control his blood sugar: Metformin and Insulin (about 10 units per day, or about 8% of what he used to take). He no longer takes any other pharmaceutical drugs. He currently weighs 170 lbs., sleeps 8 hours a night and is active throughout the day - without any need to rest. Seeing his transformation provides additional evidence to me that diet is crucial to being healthy. It also helps motivate me to stay on the diet.
With his cooperation, my goals for my dadís future are:
"The alimentary canal is thirty-two feet long.
You control only the first three inches of it.
Control it well."
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