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Recovering From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia – The Lerner Way
Monday 15 August 2016
Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – The Lerner Way
Recoveries or near recoveries from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and/or fibromyalgia don’t happen often but they do occur. For some recovery stories bring hope and new ideas, but for others they bring up feelings of sadness or frustration. They remind some of an outcome they don’t see as possible anymore, and are not an occasion for hope, but a reminder of all that has been lost.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia are frustrating in their variability and uncertainty. I see them as being “big-tent” diseases that are so riddled with subsets as to make any discussion of personal recovery problematic. Until we know which subset we belong to, and the appropriate way to treat it, the recovery story situation and treatment in general is going to be confusing.
It’s possible and, perhaps likely that the treatment approach that returns you or I to health has not have been created yet. Or – perhaps more agonizingly given the plethora of choices and most people’s limited resources – your treatment has been created and you just haven’t tried it yet. Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to determine which applies. Recovery is a puzzle we haven’t begin to put the pieces together in a coherent way yet.
It’s good to know in the meantime, though, that some people do recover and do recover fully – sometimes even after decades with these illnesses. If Dr. Lerner didn’t produce recoveries in most of his patients, the evidence suggests that many of his patients did improve significantly, and some did recover.
Dr. Martin Lerner
Dr. Martin Lerner was an infectious disease specialist who he became disabled with ME/CFS in the 1970’s. Ten years later after he recovered, he devoted himself to ME/CFS and engaged in research and developed treatment protocols.
A couple of years ago I passed around a request to ME/CFS doctors to have patients who had recovered send their recovery stories to me. Dr. Lerner was the only doctor who replied. Over the next month or so he provided my request to patients he was seeing. During that time I received thirteen recovery/recovering stories from Dr. Lerner’s patients.
Antivirals have been an obvious treatment of interest given a viral trigger and findings of activated herpesviruses. It’s not clear how many ME/CFS/FM doctors embrace antivirals but it’s probably safe to say that few have done so with greater enthusiasm than the late Dr. Lerner.
Lerner believed that a smoldering or reactivated herpesvirus or other infections including Lyme disease were present in many people with ME/CFS. His aggressive, high dose antiviral protocols – sometimes lasting longer than a year – could be hard on the pocketbook but clearly could be very effective.
Not all of his patients did so well – his own research bore that out – but many, many people benefited.
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