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March 29, 2011 / zzirf

From Near Hell to Near Health with Anti-virals

Dr Montoya speaks a lot about the herpes viruses found in CFS and the differing anti-viral approaches to these various subsets of infection.

The ability of these pathogens to persist for years without killing the patient suggests to him that the immune system is able to throttle the pathogen as it comes out of hiding in the cell but can’t remove it or bottle it up entirely, leaving patients vulnerable to an ongoing immune response causing fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, etc. In this scenario the immune system is (mostly) doing its job; it is choking off the infection before it can kill the patient but the low-level infection it leaves behind is making the patient sick.

The Autoimmune connection: Do patients with CFS show evidence of other auto-immune diseases in their family members?  Dr Montoya points out that his answer is anecdotal and from the stories that patients tell but the answer is “yes”.  The other indicator of a possible autoimmune disease is the fact that most mothers with CFS experienced a relatively healthy pregnancy but an exasperation of the disease after childbirth.  I can vouch for that with my first child.

Self Treatment Warning – Dr Montoya has acknowledged that stimulants like coffee, Provigil and Ritalin can improve fatigue levels in the short term in some patients but it is only a temporary improvement which most often led the patients to overdo it and then crash anyway.

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