CFIDS and FMS Support Group of DFW

Dr. Cheney on MSM: Pain Relief, Detox, Anti-Yeast, Allergy Relief

Written by Carol Sieverling, this information is based on tapes of her October 2000 visit to Dr. Cheney. He gave permission to share this information, but has not reviewed or edited it.

Regarding the supplement MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Dr. Cheney stated "I really like it. It's wonderful stuff." He recommended the book The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain by Stanley Jacob, William Regelson & Martin Zucker. He said, "Great book. Everything you'd ever want to know about MSM, written by a physician who's used it for 30 years in his patient population."

Dr. Cheney described five benefits of MSM.

(1) "MSM itself has the toxicity of water - it's non-toxic. But it's a very potent detoxifier. If you take too much MSM, you can mobilize too many toxins too quickly. It can even mobilize heavy metals, so you have to be cautious about the dose. Start low and go slow - work up gradually to the therapeutic dose, which is 6 to 9 grams a day. Most CFIDS patients can work up to 6 gms a day, but from there it can be a rocky road."

(2) "MSM is a very potent anti-yeast medication. It causes yeast to blow up. Well, basically they melt. Their cell walls are destroyed. Again, you see herxheimer reactions if the dose is too high."

(3) "Pain relief from MSM can be significant, particularly at 6 to 9 gms a day. This applies to most any pain, because most pain is toxicity related. Some of the pain relief accounts are pretty impressive. It's typical to hear at 6 gms, nothing, 8 gms, no relief, then suddenly at 10 gms the pain is gone. There seems to be a threshold you have to reach and then boom. The threshold will vary from person to person. I encourage patients to work gradually up to 9 gms. If the pain still has not resolved, I may try to push some patients to 12 gms. I always get a little bit concerned though, when they get to 12 gms because of one patient's experience, which I'll tell you about."

(4) "MSM also helps allergies. The mucous barrier is a sulfur barrier, and the sulfur binds to allergens and keeps them away from your nasal and sinus mucosa so you don't get allergies."

(5) "Another reason for CFIDS patients to take MSM is that if you measure sulfur levels in their blood and urine, most patients are usually very low. Patients get sulfur depletion very quickly trying to cope with the toxicity of this illness."

Dr. Cheney had one patient who decided on his own to start with 12 grams of MSM a day. About a week into the treatment he had what Cheney called "sudden spontaneous detox". He was extremely ill with diarrhea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms. He also experienced what Cheney referred to as "suicidal ideation" - he wanted to kill himself. The episode lasted almost 12 hours and then abruptly stopped. The patient then felt much better. Cheney believes that the suicidal urges were the result of toxins that had been mobilized by the MSM and carried to the brain before being eliminated. The toxins destabilized him psychologically for a time. Obviously, this is very dangerous and definitely to be avoided. Start with a low dose and advance slowly. Cheney has never had a patient who gradually worked up to 12 grams experience an episode like this, but he warns patients to be very cautious with the higher doses.

Cheney stressed the importance of buying a pharmaceutical grade MSM. As already mentioned, sulfur binds to toxins, which makes it a very potent and effective detoxifier. However, it also means that if manufactured in a non-sterile environment, it will pick up whatever is in the environment. Think of it as a sponge for toxins. If itÌs made in a garage in Mexico, it will absorb the toxins in the garage. MSM can be among the most toxic supplements on the market if itÌs exposed to toxic materials during production. Buy a quality product. Both NEEDS (, 1-800-634-1380) and ProHealth (, 1-800-366-6056) carry MSM. 

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