Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Andy, Feb 22, 2019.
I and my two children returned to our Melbourne home from overseas and were fine for a month. Around the time that our personal effects arrived, there was a heat wave, days of 35 to 40 degrees centigrade. We stayed inside with the windows closed to keep the heat out, unpacking our boxes of things and with the furniture all smelling strongly of fumigants*. The fumigant used was methyl bromide and it was applied in a country where standards can be pretty lax to non-existent. At that time, the house didn't have a cooling system, and so it became very hot.
Soon after this, we developed gastrointestinal problems, a gastrointestinal flu we thought. My daughter was admitted to the hospital with suspected appendicitis and stayed there for three nights with very bad pain, but no problem was ever identified. And that was the beginning of our ME story.
I wonder if methyl bromide and pyridostigmine bromide act in a similar way. Early on, I did try to get the possibility of a poisoning as a result of the fumigant considered but no one was interested. I have mostly moved away from the idea as so many people have ME symptoms and didn't have fumigant exposure. But when things like this come up, I do wonder.
Pyridostigmine bromide is a cholinesterase inhibitor. This review suggests that methyl bromide might be a cholinesterase inhibitor:
A 2012 study:
Two epidemiological studies have analyzed environmental, non-occupational exposure to methyl bromide providing evidence for its health risk to the general public. None of the epidemiological studies addressed its use as a fumigant in freight containers, although recent field and case reports do refer to its toxic effects associated with its use in shipping and storage.
Both the epidemiological evidence and toxicological data suggest a possible link between methyl bromide exposure and serious health problems.... The environmental risks of methyl bromide are not in doubt, but also its health risks, especially for genetically predisposed subjects, should not be underestimated.
Edit - * I'm aware methyl bromide is odourless - the strong smell was the result of its reaction with the sulphur in proteins in things like wool and leather.
So, the military used a Myasthenia Gravis drug as "pre treatment" for exposure to nerve gas and now that might be the underlying cause of Gulf War Illness? This article explains that was how it was done....
I would not expect any less than this from the DoD:
"The FDA, under a then newly enacted interim rule, had granted DoD a waiver from the requirement to obtain informed consent from service members taking this drug, but the rule did not address the record keeping that would ordinarily accompany the use of an investigation drug (FDA, 1990; Rettig, 1999)."
I loved serving my country, but always, always, in the back of mind mind is the little voice reminding me that the case of mono I got after a round of inoculations was the undoing of the rest of my life medically. I am not anti-vax, however, I do seriously question the safety of giving multiple vaccines to anyone in an already stressful situation. Not every immune system can handle that load.
Had the opportunity to meet the mother of someone who was a civilian contractor in the Gulf during that time period. I've never felt so sorry for someone in my life. His life is ruined. He exists in his parents' basement. Only leaves for doc appts. I asked her a lot of questions about him after I explained that GWI looks a lot like my disease and she was interested in that also. She said he left a strong, intelligent, young man with the whole world in his hand and came back essentially a nursing home patient who will live out his life in the basement in poverty. I was thankful to be able to walk at all and sit up for a couple of hours here and there. We all need help, but the severely ill need support so much more. The mom was crying when she told me all she hopes for is that she will outlive him so he doesn't have to go in a nursing home. She knows he couldn't handle all the noise, activity, and light.
I’m glad you made it back. Were I an employer in need of staff, I’d rank an honorable discharge well above a typical college degree.
The overuse of civilian contractors in the second Gulf war is a story that seems to never get told.
Separate names with a comma.