According to a recent review of literature, when it comes to treating chronic fatigue syndrome & fibromyalgia (CFS/FM), physicians are often at a loss because, to date, there is no FDA approved diagnostic test or bio-marker in order to standardize a diagnosis for either of these two afflictions. It is conservatively estimated that four to seven percent of the population suffers from CFS/FM.
To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia is subjective as the patient must state that they have been in pain for at least three months and must also feel pain upon palpation of 11 out of 18 trigger points.
A diagnosis of CFS is also subjective as the patient must state that fatigue is not improved after rest for at least 6 months. Patients must also state that they have experienced four or more of the following conditions: sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, low grade fever, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, non-refreshed sleep, and malaise after activity.
Both CFS and FM are frustrating for health care professionals because there appears to be no clear cause, laboratory diagnostic or treatment. Patients are often prescribed muscle relaxers, anti-seizure medication, anti-depressants, and pain killers. These drugs are very often ineffective because they fail to address the underlying cause of the problem. In addition, these medications have a long list of side effects to include GI upset, headache, insomnia and anxiety.
In March 2011, The Wall Street Journal did a series of articles based on the discovery of the XMRV retrovirus in prostate cancer and people with chronic fatigue syndrome. This new information turned up the volume amongst scientists and advisory committees around the globe. It escalated into a ban on blood donations from people with chronic fatigue syndrome out of concern over the findings of this new retrovirus.
Patients suffering from CFS/FM complain of the following symptoms:
Chronic Fatigue, widespread joint & muscle pain, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, low grade fever/chills, head aches/migraines, chemical sensitivities, skin rashes, canker sores, restless leg syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, unexplained chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, brain fog, sleep disorders, dizziness, “My skin hurts”, “It feels like I’m walking on glass.”
A current review of literature indicates a strong chronic viral link responsible for the debilitating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome & fibromyalgia. The viruses implicated belong to the herpes class, Parvo B19, Adenovirus and the enterovirus family which includes coxsackie A&B and echovirus. Once infected, with these particular viruses they tend to stay with us for life. Keep in mind that many of these viruses have an affinity for the nervous system. The symptoms of these viruses mirror the complaints of CFS/FM. Viral map can be found at www.instituteforwellbeing.com.
Patients with symptoms of CFS/FM who also test high for viral titers, respond well to treatment with a natural anti-viral and a simple anti-viral protocol. More information can be found at www.instituteforwellbeing.com