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Page last updated

19 December 2001


FAQs about the Guaifenesin Protocol

What do I have to do to be on the protocol? The official protocol instructions are given here.  A copy of the ptotocol instructions will be e-mailed to you if you send a blank post to

What do phosphates have to do with the protocol?

Dr. St. Amand's theory about the cause of fibromyalgia is that it is the result of an inadequate phosphate excretion mechanism.  He feels that this inadequacy is genetic in nature, and therefore has been with fibro sufferers since birth.  All fibro sufferers have this to a varying degree, so we all get ill at different times in our lives, and our illness progresses at different rates. This helps to explain the great variety of manifestations which fibro presents to the world.  We each also have a unique body structure and history which makes us all prone to problems in different place in our bodies. What the guaifenesin does to reverse our illness is enable the body to more effectively excrete the excess phosphates. So far this is only a theory, the exact mechanism of how guai works is not known. The protocol was developed from observation and experience over 40 years of perfecting the protocol on thousands of patients.

What do salicylates (sals) have to do with the protocol?

Sals are impediments to the action of guaifenesin.  Guai works fine if everything else in the body co-operates, but the sals seem to block the action of the guaifenesin.   It's exact blocking mechanism is not known, but it appears that sals, which are absorbed through the skin, are excreted from the body through the kidneys. Sals from foods are broken up and digested in the stomach before they reach the kidneys, so they do not represent a blocking problem for guai. The particular receptor sites in the kidneys that are used to excrete sals, are the same ones used by the guaifenesin to excrete phosphates. If they are occupied by the sals when the body is trying to excrete phosphates, the phosphates will not be able to leave the body.  Instead they will continue to 'cycle' through the bloodstream and eventually be redeposited at various places in the body in the form of 'lumps and bumps' This nullifies the effect of the guai. So for the protocol to be effective, topical sals must normally be avoided.

Do I really have to avoid sals for the protocol to work?

We are all different. The level of blocking which occurs from topical sals, varies from person to person, and from time to time. Some people find that sals do not block them readily, so they can use some sals; but most people are blocked by sals. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that those starting the protocol remain free of topical sals at least during their first few months on the protocol. After this time, a person can evaluate how easily they block and can deal with sals as appropriate for their own situation.

How long does all of this 'clearing' take?

Clearing normally procedes at the rate of 2 months on the protocol clearing approximately 1 year's worth of deposits.  Many people find that the number of years which they must clear is equal to their age, since the phosphates have been building up since birth.  Others find that they need to clear a time interval since their first symptoms.  These time estimates are just that estimates, since we all clear so differently, but after a few months, progress should be noticed.  For some people this progress can become evident much earlier, often in  a week or so.  .

Will I really feel 'well' when I have cleared the excess phophates from my body?

Yes, you should.  Many people feel 'normal' for the first time in their life after they have been on the proltocol for a while.  Most of the symptoms which we experience from fibro are totally reversible, since the body was storing the excesss phosphates in the safest possible places.  Our bodies have the wisdom to store things where they will do the least harm, while protecting our vital organs.   If the fibro has progressed to the osteoarthritis stage, there has been permanent tissue damage, and this can not be reversed by guaifenesin.  However those who already have osteoarthritis can still benefit from guai because further damage can be prevented.  Also it is often difficult to know how irreversible the phosphate deposits are in a given case.  Often complaints that are presumed permanent, turn out to be reversible after all.  Of course the guaifenesin protocol is only going to help those things that are related to fibromyalgia.

Do you have any proof that the protocol works? 

The best 'proof' is the number of people who have been helped by guaifenesin.  Doctors normally only consider that a medication is 'proven' to be effective if controlled testing is done on it.  Currently these tests are being planned.


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