Alcohol and CFS – a case presentation – the good and the bad

To explain this case report, one of my colleagues notes that alcohol inhibits cysteine entry into the brain and therefore could evoke a rebound induction of methylation cycle block in the brain that later improves CNS glutathione production and possibly improve CNS function. The immediate effect of methylation cycle block would cause CNS depression but then CNS functional rebound later which is what she reports. Initially she feels poorly and even sick after alcohol ingestion but sleeps better with the alcohol and then does better cognitively for the next several days. She calls this a love-hate relationship with alcohol. Another colleague thinks that certain gut pathogens and especially helminth infections can be inhibited and killed by alcohol. On the negative side, alcohol increases gut permeability and puts severe pressure on liver detoxification mechanisms. A CT scan of this patient’s liver shows fatty metamorphosis and in line with this negative view of alcohol on the liver-gut system. Like all other drugs and alcohol is a drug, the good they do must be weighed against the bad they do and this can vary from person to person and is dose dependent in each person.