Blowing the whistle on fatigue & fibromyalgia from the clinic.
This report reveals findings, from a medical clinic, of patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Find out why you suffer from these afflictions. It discusses the difference between chronic fatigue syndrome & fibromyalgia, and the relation of these to autoimmune disorders.

Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia Caused By a Virus?

Pam Ross, MMS, PA-C has treated chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia patients since 2007.


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.

Ehrlich GE. Pain Is Real; Fibromyalgia Isn’t. J. Rheumatology 2003 Aug; 30 (8): 1666-7.

Wolfe F. Stop Using The American College of Rheumatology Criteria in the Clinic. J Rheumatology 200;30:8:1671-2.

Holtorf K. MD. Evidence based approach to the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia. A4M Anti-Aging Medical News Spring 2012 102-106.

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.  

See following attachment.  Wall Street Journal March 2011.

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 (see viral map below) mirror the complaints of chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia patients:

Sources: Cann, AJ; Principles of molecular virology

Carter, J; Saunders, V; Virology principles and applications

Sprott H. Z Rheumatol. 2011 Oct;70(8):637-8. Is fibromyalgia a viral disease?  Rheumaklinik und Institut für Physikalische Medizin, Universitäts Spital Zürich, Gloriastr. 25, CH-8091, Zürich, Schweiz

Jones JF, Ray CG, Minnich LL, Hicks MJ, Kibler R, Lucas DO. Evidence for active Epstein-Barr virus infection in patients with persistent, unexplained illnesses: elevated anti-early antigen antibodies. Ann Intern Med. 1985 Jan;102(1):1–7.

Calder BD, Warnock PJ, McCartney RA, Bell EJ. Coxsackie B viruses and the post-viral syndrome: a prospective study in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Jan;37(294):11–14.

Borysiewicz LK, Haworth SJ, Cohen J, Mundin J, Rickinson A, Sissons JG. Epstein Barr virus-specific immune defects in patients with persistent symptoms following infectious mononucleosis. Q J Med. 1986 Feb;58(226):111–121.

Straus SE, Tosato G, Armstrong G, Lawley T, Preble OT, Henle W, Davey R, Pearson G, Epstein J, Brus I, et al. Persisting illness and fatigue in adults with evidence of Epstein-Barr virus infection. Ann Intern Med. 1985 Jan; 102(1):7–16.

Armstrong CW, Wetterhall SF. Epstein-Barr virus and Unexplained Illness (Letter). Ann Intern Med 1985;102:722.

Chia JKS et al "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is Associated with Chronic Enterovirus Infection of the Stomach" J Clin Pathol 2007; doi: 10.1136/jcp.2007.050054.

Archard LC, Bowles NE, Behan PO, Bell EJ, Doyle D. Postviral fatigue syndrome: persistence of enterovirus RNA in muscle and elevated creatine kinase. J R Soc Med. 1988 Jun;81(6):326–329.

Bale J. F. Jr.   Human Cytomegalovirus Infection and Disorders of the Nervous System. Arch. Neurol. 41, 310–320.  1984.

Knight, D. MS, PA-C; Moser, S. MS, PA-C; A Case of Herpes Encephalitis; ADVANCE for Physician Assistants; p16-17 July-Aug. 2009 

Schmutzhard E. Viral Infections of the CNS with Special Emphasis on Herpes Simplex Infections. J. Neurol. 248, 469–477. 2001

Barzilai, O; Ram, M; Viral Infection Can Induce the Production of Autoantibodies; Current opinion in Rheumatology 19(6):636-743. 2007

Dr. Alan Cann; Principles of Molecular Biology

Carter J. Saunders. V: Virology Principles and Applications

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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

How a virus might make you diabetic later in life

Chronic infections including CMV can 'stress' the immune system and when researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre and University of Tubingen Medical School compared glucose regulation with antibodies to CMV (or CMV seropositivity) in over 500 participants of the Leiden 85-plus Study they found that having CMV was associated with type 2 diabetes.  read more at:  WorldHealth Anti-Aging Forum

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