This is what I consider to be THE most VITAL to recovery; addressing viruses and infectious diseases as the underlying causes of Fibromyalgia. When I refer to infectious diseases, this includes bacterial, viral and fungal/yeast infections as well as parasites.
Because most of the features of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Lupus resemble those of a lingering viral illness, a number of researchers, doctors and treatment centers have gone in the direction that a virus or some other infectious agent plays a major role in the cause of these syndromes.
There are several books and research studies on the connection between numerous viral, bacterial and fungal infections and FMS/CFS as well as Lyme and Lupus, some of which I will list with links and quotes throughout this section. For additional references to sources of information on the underlying causes of Fibromyalgia and CFS, you can go to the books that I recommend below and you can do your own further research as you wish.
It is already well known that Lyme disease comes from a bacterial infection as a result of being bitten by a tick carrying one of several strains. There are other studies that show that Chlamydia Pneumoniae, an infectious bacterium, has been implicated in a number of these illnesses.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients, as well as Fibromyalgia and Autoimmune disease patients, are often found with elevated levels of antibodies to many organisms that cause fatigue and other Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms.
Such organisms that may be the underlying causes of Fibromyalgia include those that cause Lyme disease, Candida (yeast infection), herpes virus type 6 (HHV-6), human T cell lymph-tropic virus (HTLV), Epstein-Barr Virus, measles, coxsackie B, cytomegalovirus, or parvovirus.
In other words, these major syndromes and diseases can have a host of co-infections that have brought about immunological, hormonal, and neuroendocrine changes.
There are a number of studies that have found that alterations in genes can be caused by such infections and these alterations often involve the immune function, intracellular communication and energy transfer.
Envita is a clinic in Scottsdale Arizona that specializes in advanced integrative medicine treating a broad range of conditions using the latest scientific technologies and approaches. Their focus is on cancer, Lyme disease, FMS, CFS and other autoimmune diseases.
They address underlying causes of Fibromyalgia, viruses and infectious diseases, as part of their protocol. They say that CFS is sometimes even referred to as “Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.” In many cases, studies have detected many immune system irregularities. Envita says that almost 100% of the time they find decreased key immune function in CFS patients by running the correct diagnostics. For more information and other interesting articles on the subject, you can go to: http://www.envita.com/
Another study regarding the use of an antiviral protocol was presented at a recent American College of Rheumatology annual meeting. The results were very promising. A study of 143 Fibromyalgia patients that followed a specific antiviral regimen concluded the following:
“A proprietary combination of famciclovir, which we postulate is inhibiting herpesvirus replication, and celecoxib, known to inhibit both herpesvirus replication and reactivation, was efficacious in treating multiple symptoms of FM. Given the simultaneous improvement in many domains and the surprising tolerability of this combination of drugs, we believe this combination warrants further study as a potential new therapy for fibromyalgia patients.”
You can read more about it here. http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/173154/fibromyalgia-promising/
A further good source of information on this topic is a book entitled The New Fibromyalgia Remedy, Stop your pain now with a new anti-viral regimen, by Daniel C. Dantini MD. Here he suggests that antiviral medicine and food allergy treatment can be very effective in treating FMS. Dr. Dantini documents links between Fibromyalgia and several viruses, particularly the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes virus 6 and/or parvovirus. He says antiviral medications work in 70 to 75 % of his patients, along with allergy and sensitivities treatments, massage and other therapies. Using Dantini’s treatment method, most patients see their symptoms improve by “about 20 to 50 percent during the first four weeks,” the book says. By six weeks, most chronic symptoms are totally resolved.
Most people take the antiviral medications for 10 to 14 weeks, while others need the drugs for up to six months.
Throughout the book, there are patient success stories as well as data samples, references, and appendices that provide clinical details.
It would seem that these very common viral infections have the ability to stay within the human body unnoticed for years. In fact, the majority of the population probably has a number of like entities in their system. However, for those of us that suffer with Fibromyalgia, CFS and other similar conditions, these infections get triggered and attack the system again and again with each new flare up.
With a compromised or overworked immune system, other bacterial or fungal infections can develop more easily as the body’s defenses are in a weakened state, making things even worse.
Further, although I have largely talked about viruses, however bacterial infections, such as Chlamydia Pneumoniae, and yeast infections such as Candida, can also be major or at least partial culprits.
Candida, short for Candidiasis, an overgrowth of a type of yeast in the digestive tract, can also cause many similar symptoms, including fatigue, IBS, compromised immune system, cognitive problems, genitourinary infections, arthritis-like symptoms, food and chemical allergies, MS-like symptoms and more.
It is not uncommon for Candida to flare-up after a round of antibiotics, as while the antibiotics kill the bad bacteria causing infection, it also kills a high amount of the good bacteria in your body which is a vital part of your immune system, allowing yeast/fungal infection overgrowth throughout the digestive tract.
In summary, based on the extensive amount of materials on the subject that I have studied and on my own experience, there is no doubt in my mind that Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue as well as Lupus and Lyme disease are related diseases that involve viral/bacterial/yeast infection or multiple infections, followed by an exaggerated defense reaction by the body and a compromised immune system.
I sincerely believe that it is a matter of finding a doctor who is competent and a bit more cutting edge in the fields of virology and infectious diseases. Dr. Dantini’s book lists a number of such doctors. If you find one who will do the appropriate testing to discover these and then follow a real treatment protocol, then you too may have a miraculous recovery.
I saw many doctors and tried many treatments, none of which gave any lasting resolution to my symptoms. It was very disheartening. As time went on, the pain and fatigue took its toll, combined with the despair that I may never be well again. This all changed when I went to a doctor who was a specialist is virology and infectious diseases. My tests showed that I had a type of walking pneumonia (Chlamydia Pneumoniae), Epstein-Barr Virus, HHV6 and Candida. It is also likely I had contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite that caused a serious rash when I was younger.
Wow! First of all, the fact that someone found something that actually made sense was a ray of hope that there may be a resolution. I then started to feel dramatically better within a couple of months, which was nothing short of a miracle to me!
I took a longer round of antibiotics to address the pneumonia, along with eating a lot of yogurt and taking high quality probiotics throughout and afterwards (particularly as I already had a yeast overgrowth in my gut and antibiotics would make matters worse).
I then followed an antiviral regimen using Valacyclovir, which I took for a couple of months. Lastly, I followed a protocol to handle the yeast overgrowth with a specific diet, an anti-fungal regimen and replacing the good bacteria in my gut with numerous forms of probiotics.
I GOT BETTER! I FELT GOOD! I was able to go back to work full-time. My husband and I started our own small marketing firm and grew it into a steady, thriving company. I got my life back! So, I am convinced that you can too!
You should work with a doctor knowledgeable in viral and infectious diseases and get properly tested — a complete viral panel as well as other more common infectious diseases including common bacterial and fungal infections found to be connected with these syndromes.
The appropriate antiviral and/or antibiotic or antifungal medications will likely be administered to treat what is found, all under that doctor’s care and supervision.
My main doctor, Marcus Spurlock MD of Dallas Texas, was fantastic. He is very experienced in the field of viral disease and is a specialist in treating the underlying causes of Fibromyalgia and CFS.
His practice, is Renewed Vitality, located in Dallas, TX, www.renewedvitalitymd.com.
Once you have done an initial visit and exam with Dr. Spurlock, he will also perform additional appointments by phone if you do not live nearby. You can get any lab-work that he orders done at a lab in your own local area.
Dr. Teitelbaum’s book, From Fatigued to Fantastic, is excellent and I highly recommend it. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is the director of The Annapolis Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies and his website is https://secure.endfatigue.com/tools-support/view-treatments.html. He also does consultations by phone.
Dr. Rodger Murphee is another excellent resource, along with his book Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Much more information is available on his website and blog: http://drrodgermurphree.com/
There is also Envita, a highly recommended clinic located in Scottsdale, Arizona (link above).
Dr. Dantini practices on the east coast of Florida.
If you are near any of these clinics or are willing to make a trip, then I would recommend them. If not, then you will need to do some research and talk to your PCP about options of specialists that you could see that are near you who will treat the underlying causes of Fibromyalgia.