There are many infectious diseases that can lead to secondary fibromyalgia. Lyme disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Reiter’s Syndrome, celiac disease and lupus are common illnesses that produce the aches, pains and other symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is usually classified into two categories: primary or secondary. Secondary fibromyalgia is fibromyalgia with a known cause. Primary fibromyalgia has no etiology or no known cause… or does it?
It doesn’t, for if it did then it would then be considered secondary fibromyalgia. Yet for many of my fibromyalgia patients here in Mesa AZ the cause or causes of so much suffering sometimes can be placed into a possibility “box”. Or, in other words, with a thorough history and examination dominate findings and potential “causes” do arise.
Allow me to explain what I mean. Viruses and bacteria are a common cause of secondary fibromyalgia. Lyme disease for example can cause the body to become debilitated. When caught early a blood marker will identify the disease and treatment can be given. However, bacterias and viruses mutate rapidly. Dr. Sam Donta, a nationally recognized expert on Lyme disease, the Director of the Lyme Disease Unit at Boston Medical Center, Professor of Medicine at BU Medical School, bacteriologist and an infectious disease specialist, has stated that “it is the chronic phase of the disease that causes most problems for physicians and patients, because of the lack of objective signs and the presence of so many symptoms that it causes some doctors to attribute psychological reasons for the patients’ symptoms.” He goes on to say that “Tests for Lyme disease, like tests for other infectious diseases (emphasis mine), are often confusing and circumstantial, and their analysis and interpretation has often been flawed” and that “Once the illness is in a chronic phase, antibody tests are not useful.”
Dr. Donta explains that at some point in the chronic development of the illness, it may become difficult to impossible to accurately identify a bacteria or virus as the cause for one’s symptoms. This means that someone diagnosed with primary fibromyalgia could have been exposed to and infected by a virus or bacteria that cannot be identified by usual blood and /or other lab tests. (www.canlyme.com)
When we discover a strong pattern of this type of fibromyalgia we can appropriately make valuable and useful recommendations that often lead to improved quality of health and well being. In our Mesa AZ fibromyalgia clinic we take the time to discover possible “causes” or “boxes” for your fibromyalgia and then clinically design a treatment protocol that we believe with get you started on a road to recovery. We call this important first step you are taking as our “Discovery and Recovery” phase of healing. There are several potential “causes” or “boxes” and infection is just one of them.
If you have fibromyalgia don’t give up and give in to the illness. The war against fibromyalgia is lengthy but the individual battles we fight daily can lead to hope and possible relief as we learn more and more of how to fight this monster we call Fibromyalgia.
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