Solving the mystery of lyme and chronic disease by Richard Horowitz, MD http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...e-your-fibromyalgia-symptoms-due-lyme-disease Dr Horowitz Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness "Lyme disease is the number one vector borne spreading epidemic worldwide, and mimics common diseases such as Fibromyalgia (FM), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis), autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS, as well as psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. The CDC recently released new statistics showing that ten times more individuals have been affected with Lyme than previously suspected. Since the blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease have been shown to be unreliable, we would expect that a certain percentage of those diagnosed with FM are in fact suffering from Lyme disease. This has been my personal experience. In the last 26 years, I have seen over 12,000 chronically ill individuals with Lyme and associated tick-borne disorders, many of whom have been to 10-20 doctors looking for answers for their chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain. Lyme and associated tick-borne infections were often one of the underlying causes of their problem." "A diagnosis of FM was previously established using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1990 classification criteria, where a certain number of specific tender points were required on physical examination. This was recently shown to be an insensitive method for making the diagnosis and has been revised. Newer criteria include diagnostic variables such as the widespread pain index (WPI) associated with cognitive symptoms, unrefreshed sleep, fatigue, and a number of somatic symptoms. Unfortunately, these symptom criteria overlap other illnesses and are not specific. They don’t tell us why someone develops FM." "It is essential in medicine to get to the root cause of symptoms. In addition to an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, which can cause fibromyalgia, we find that patients often have multifactorial causes for their illness. I call this syndrome Lyme-MSIDS. MSIDS stands for Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome, and represents sixteen potential overlapping medical problems contributing to persistent symptoms in my patients." "The first point on the MSIDS map is infections. Ticks are now containing multiple bacterial, viral and parasitic infections which can be transmitted simultaneously with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. Patients infected with Lyme disease and associated co-infections are much sicker and resistant to standard therapies. An example of a viral infection causing FM symptoms is human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6). Nearly 100% of adults today have been exposed, and it can reactivate later in life secondary to immunological and environmental factors. HHV-6 has been linked in the scientific literature as a possible cofactor in ADD, autism spectrum disorder and MS, apart from its links to CFS and Fibromyalgia. It is therefore one of many infections that can cause chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain." "Medicine has long searched for a common etiologic mechanism to explain diseases that share many symptoms in common, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and persistent Lyme disease. Professor of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, Dr. Martin Pall noticed that the above disease states share many symptoms in common. These symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pains, memory and concentration problems, mood disorders including depression and anxiety, and an inability to sleep. Back in 2001, he postulated that these illnesses with similar symptoms can all be initiated by a variety of factors, such as viral infections, bacterial infections, physical or emotional trauma, or exposure to environmental toxins, such as volatile organic solvents (VOS), pesticides, etc. These diverse stressors can all increase nitric oxide. Although nitric oxide has been shown to have extremely beneficial effects in the body such as lowering blood pressure and vasodilating the coronary arteries, it also can also have deleterious effects under certain conditions. What are the negative effects of nitric oxide?"