Viruses and Infectious Diseases can be the underlying causes of many of your Symptoms
This is the section that I consider one of the most VITAL to recovery. Addressing viruses and infectious diseases as the underlying causes of my symptoms made a HUGE difference for me, many times over.
Because most of the features of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Lupus resemble those of a lingering viral illness, many researchers have gone in the direction of the possibility that a virus or some other infectious agent plays a major role in the cause of these syndromes.
There are many 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 throughout this chapter. For additional references to sources of information, you can go to the books that I recommend in this chapter 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 also studies that show that Chlamydia Pneumoniae, an infectious bacteria, has been implicated in a number of these illnesses.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 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 include those that cause Lyme disease, Candida (“yeast infection”), herpes virus type 6 (HHV-6), human T cell lymph tropic virus (HTLV), Epstein-Barr, measles, coxsackie B, cytomegalovirus, or parvovirus. See more at: http://www.envita.com/lyme-disease/finally-one-link-established-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs-lupus-fibromyalgia-autoimmune-disease-chronic-lyme-disease
In other words, these 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 are caused by infections that 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 too address underlying 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 a host of interesting articles on the subject, you can go to: http://www.envita.com/
Another study was just done and was presented at the recent American College of Rheumatology annual meeting. The results were very promising. You can read more about it here.
Daniel C. Dantini MD wrote a book entitled “The New Fibromyalgia Remedy, Stop your pain now with a new anti-viral regimen”. He investigates this connection and suggests that antiviral medicine and food allergy treatment can be quite effective. Dr. Dantini, a Florida otolaryngologist who himself has Fibromyalgia, says he believes that Fibromyalgia is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpesvirus 6 and/or parvovirus. He says antiviral medications work in 70 to 75 percent of his patients, along with 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. But 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.
In my case, a number of blood tests that I had done showed high titers in several of the viruses that Dantini lists. I followed an anti-viral regimen with very good results. Within days of starting the anti-virals I felt better and after several weeks I was as close to back to normal as I had been in years.
In summary, based on what I have studied and 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, which involve viral/bacterial/yeast infection or multiple infections, followed by an exaggerated immunological response, which can lead to immune responses and autoimmune disease.
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 is and will do the appropriate testing to discover these and then follow an appropriate treatment protocol, 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. And I likely had contracted Lyme Disease from a tick bite that caused a serious rash when I was younger.
Wow! First of all, that someone found something that actually made sense was a little ray of hope that there may be a resolution. But that I started to feel dramatically better within a couple of months 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 followed 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 probiotics.
I GOT BETTER!!! I FELT GOOD!!
Working with a doctor knowledgeable in viral and infectious diseases, you should be tested for 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 anti-viral and/or antibiotic or anti-fungal drugs will likely be administered to treat what is found, all under that doctor’s care and supervision.
Stabilizing Your Improvements
Once I had been under treatment long enough to get back on my feet, I was able to start working again and taking care of things around the house. When I completed my treatment I had my life pretty much back to normal. I was exercising daily, working, cooking, doing housework, etc. Life was good again and stayed good for a couple of years.
Then I went through a period of very serious stress. A situation blew up and both my husband and I were enthralled in handling something that was very, very stressful, which went on for several months. I was still physically okay through much of it, but then finally it happened – I had a huge relapse. Heavy pain, horrible fatigue and a lot of despair once again swept into my life. I knew I had to bring the stress to an end and we did.
After resolving that situation, I went back to my doctor. He explained to me some very important points:
- The type of pneumonia that I had had was a kind of nanobacteria that can be quite hard to kill. Sometimes if you don’t thoroughly nuke it out, you can relapse.
- These types of viral infections that I had stay in your body, just like chick pox or other known viruses, but the body develops defenses to them so it can hold them at bay and keep them dormant. But if for some reason your defenses are down, your immune system is somehow compromised, they can reactivate, just like shingles does with someone who contracted chickenpox when they were young – it’s the same virus reactivating.
- My immune system was and had been in a weakened state and I would need to work to build it back up and strengthen it if I ever wanted to stably keep these viruses/infectious diseases in a dormant state.
So once again I followed the same protocol that I had the first time. And once again it worked, just like it had the first time.
Over the next couple of years I had to do a fair amount of traveling. We rented our house out and lived for short periods in several different countries where my husband was doing work-related projects. The first time it worked out okay, but each subsequent trip resulted in another relapse of my symptoms. In addition to the travel itself, there were other factors – diet changes, quality of mattresses, quality of water and even air – that ended up being triggers for flares or full relapse.
Finally my doctor suggested that I go onto a lower dose of the antiviral and just take it everyday for the rest of my life. I did that for quite some time and it seemed to help, although after a long travel I often had to go back onto a full dose for a while.
Although there were some advantages to being on antivirals, like almost never getting the flu, I knew there were some long term use side-effects that could hurt my kidneys, liver and digestive tract. So I started researching alternatives.
Low and behold, I found a whole new world of natural solutions to the problem. It was like the final part of the puzzle finally falling into place!