Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized Chronic fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as an actual disease, and not just a multitude of symptoms. This is a major breakthrough for those who have suffered from the disease for many years. More often than not, CFS patients have endured the scorn of both doctors and the general public. For ages, those who have battled CFS have been called lazy, hypochondriacs, and leeches to the social service system, for the help they needed and received, due to their illnesses.
It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—now classified as an authentic disease. The CDC believes that only 20% of CFS sufferers actually get diagnosed. This is due, in part, to the lingering belief that CFS is a psychological illness and somehow imagined. CFS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue, sleep difficulties, problems with shortterm memory and concentration, and typically accompanied by flu-like symptoms.
In August 2006, Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, Professor of Physiology and Internal Medicine at Free University of Brussels in Belgium, released a new study on the advances of CFS testing and treatment. The study showed a wealth of confirmed biochemical abnormalities in CFS patients. Dr. De Meirleir’s research showed that CFS patients could be differentiated from healthy people with 99% accuracy based on his test of low molecular weight (LMW) RNase L in the blood.
Dr. Jonathan Forester, of Pineville, Louisiana has been studying CFS in his medical practice for over 20 years. At one point in his medical practice he began noticing the striking parallels between his CFS patients and his Lyme disease patients. He began testing his CFS patients for Lyme disease and over 90% came back positive for Lyme. Of those 90%, when he began treating them for Lyme disease, 80-90% were able to get into complete remission of the disease.
Dr. Forester said, “Until proven otherwise, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is Lyme Disease.”
Lyme Disease has been given the nickname of “The Second Great Imitator”. The original “Great Imitator” was syphilis, which is a spirochetal disease just as Lyme disease is a spirochetal disease. Lyme Disease is notorious for being difficult to diagnose and treat due to its similar symptoms to other diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease), Lupus, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Many a Lyme patient has received one or more of those diagnoses prior to getting their Lyme diagnosis.
In recent studies it has been shown that Multiple Sclerosis has been thought to be of a bacterial origin. When treated with long-term antibiotics, many of the MS patients had a significant return of bodily function. Many who had been in wheelchairs are now walking after treating with long-term antibiotics. New studies in Alzheimer’s patients are showing the borrelia spirochete in both spiral and cyst forms in almost 95% of the autopsied brain tissue samples. Similar results have been shown in studies involving ALS and Parkinson’s disease.
I just find it curious that all these diseases that Lyme sufferers were misdiagnosed with having, prior to getting their Lyme diagnosis and treatment, are now actually responding to the Lyme treatments of long-term antibiotics with great results and return of bodily functions!
Could it be that there may be one common denominator? Could the borrelia spirochete possibly be behind all of these? I suppose only time and more research will tell. At least for now, we know through research that ALL of these diseases are responding to one common treatment…the long-term antibiotic treatment used for Lyme disease. Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name, that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet…”. Shakespeare makes a good point! Call it what you want…ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, Lupus…. but if it responds to Lyme treatment…give me the antibiotics and call it want you want! I prefer to keep my ability to walk and form clear thoughts. Let the scientists argue over what to name it…just give me the treatment that works!
After all, it should be an issue of informed consent, right? In a perfect world, patients would be made aware of these new research findings and given the chance to make the choice of available treatment options…but alas, we live in a day where every research foundation wants to collect dollars for their particular designer name disease, while the patients are left of suffer. Let the researchers call a rose “a daffodil” if they like, just give us the water for the roots!