By Carol Ryland
Autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to diagnose due to the variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms and lack of laboratory testing methods. Millions of Americans suffer with these disabling conditions, most of them women. In fact, whether or not you have one or both of these overlapping syndromes yourself, you probably know at least one or two people with these conditions… because statistically, more than one in fifty people have them!
Fibromyalgia symptoms include painful points on the body, tenderness in tendons and muscles, extreme fatigue, mental “fog” and memory problems, insomnia, anxiety and depression… and dozens of other conditions that can vary widely from one individual to another. On the other hand, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is identified by debilitating fatigue that lasts for six months or longer. The “Center for Disease Control” (CDC) estimates that between 4 and 10 people in 100,000 have chronic fatigue syndrome. For both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, the prime age for diagnosis… particularly in women… is 25 to 45 years old, although it’s diagnosed in both sexes, and all age and socio-economic groups.
Most difficult to overcome for people suffering with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome has been the belief by many that these problems are mental… not physical. Because fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have only been widely recognized as real medical problems in the last couple of decades and cannot be scientifically proved, some physicians still refer patients with these bizarre symptoms to psychiatrists instead of rheumatologists or other physical-medicine specialists. However, all the disbelief and uncertainty about these illnesses may be about to change… for the better.
According to some sources like US News – Health and the CDC, we may be on the verge of revolutionizing the treatment and prevention of some types of autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctor Daniel C. Dantini, a Florida otolaryngologist who also suffers with fibromyalgia, has authored a book detailing the use of antiviral drugs as a means of overcoming these debilitating illnesses. Doctor Dantini says that he believes that fibromyalgia is triggered by physical or psychological stress, but that the underlying cause may be viral. Many private researchers and the CDC scientists have agreed.
Suspected viruses include Epstein Barr (which causes mononucleosis), parvovirus, cytomegalovirus, or herpesvirus 6. Even hepatitis and Lyme disease may be a possible cause, since any chronic infection may give rise to these types of symptoms. In fact, one upcoming theory is that a combination of viruses is responsible for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndromes.
Breakthroughs in antiviral drugs which may be used in the treatment of such chronic infections include famciclovir and valacyclovir. The drugs themselves may cause allergic symptoms in people who are infected with an active viruses. So, if you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome and your doctor is considering this type of treatment for you, you should educate yourself about the possible side effects and follow up with your health insurance company regarding coverage.
To learn more about how you can overcome the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome without drugs, click the link below.
Click here now to find out how to survive fibromyalgia!