Natural Killer Cell Activity
My Natural Killer Cell (NKC) activity improved from 8 to 14 (out of a normal range of 8-170 LU30). So while I'm still at the very low end of the normal range, I've shown some improvement. This is encouraging, but I still wonder if this increase of a mere 6 units could be explained by the vagaries of testing methods and lab conditions. Only further testing in the future will tell for sure. I'd like to think that the immune modulators (Equilibrant and ImmunoStim) are responsible for this increase.
IgG antibodies of HHV-6 remain exactly unchanged since they were first tested in December, 2011. They are still 1:320. This is after 4 months of Famciclovir at 500mg twice a day. I understand that Famciclovir is supposed to be a long term treatment because it merely prevents the virus from replicating. So, as the theory goes, one has to wait for existing viruses to die off of "natural causes" before seeing the benefits. Nevertheless, I became impatient, and allowed Dr. W (my other ME specialist) to convince me to switch to Valtrex. He's been touting Valtrex over Famciclovir, despite the research I found that said Famciclovir may be more effective against HHV-6.
Vitamin D3 is apparently in the optimal range now according to Dr. W - right at 74 ng/mL. This is after supplementing 10,000 IU's per day for seven months. When my Vitamin D was first tested in December, it was at 40. That's when I started taking the 10,000 IU's per day. By February, it was up to 71.
I wondered back in February, if I continued taking 10,000 IU's per day, would my levels continue to rise until I reached toxicity (which starts at about 200 mg/mL). A poster on Phoenix Rising was very adament that this would be the case. Dr. W said that it would not - that instead the levels would flatten out once I reached around 75. He said the body would self-regulate.
It turns out that Dr. W was probably right. My serum levels rose 29 points in the first two month, and only 4 points in the next 4 months, even thought the dose remained consistent.
Now that I've reached an optimum level, I might start cutting back the dosage by 1,000 IU's at a time and see if I can maintain my level in the 70s.
My bilirubin counts continues to drop, probably because of the consistent use of Milk Thistle. My last labs from April revealed the first time in my life that my bilirubin count was in the normal range...but just barely. Now, it is at 0.8 mg/dL, which is the middle of the normal range. As long as I can keep it in this range, I might consider myself to be free of Gilbert's Syndrome, which would theoretically make me one step closer to healthy.
Mercury was measured in my blood at 5 mcg/L. The reference range considers anything below 10 as normal. For a fully health person, 5 mcg/L probably wouldn't be anything to worry about. Dr. W seemed to think that a PWME needs to be as healthy as possible to have the best chance at remission, and that even a mercury level of 5 could be a problem. I'm not sure if there's anything to it, or if this is just quackery. When I get a chance I'll look deeper into it and decide whether I need to do anything about it.
If I decide to do something about it, Dr. W said there's a heavy metal detoxification supplement that he recommends. At this point, I'm reluctant to start yet another supplement. Where does it end?
Everything else checked out pretty much as expected and isn't worth commenting on.
Thanks for reading.