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In Brief: Muscles and the 'myalgia' in ME/CFS
In the first in a new series of 'In Brief' articles, Andrew Gladman provides a helpful insight into the science behind fairly common topics and explores how they relate to ME/CFS. This time he looks at the muscles, exploring how our reported symptoms might be associated with our...
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new article "Bell's Palsy"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Jody, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I've written a new article for empowher.com called Recognizing Bell's Palsy

    It's not about CFS. But some members here have asked me to post any and all of my articles so I am doing that.

    I am finding in some of my unrelated-to-CFS articles, that I am learning more about things I need to know.

    More about how the brain works, and interacts with the body. What happens when the brain glitches this way or that.

    Learning about inflammation and its causes and effects in the body, infection and where it comes from and what it does ...

    Anyway. This one is on a condition called Bell's Palsy.:rolleyes:
  2. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    CFS, Infection and Bell's?

    Jody,

    Thanks for the link to your article on Bell's Palsy. I know that it isn't common but last summer during the worst flair I have ever had (neural, immune/infectious, cardiovascular issues - 10 weeks of hell), I awoke one day with the right side of my face/lower jaw slack and numb/slurring my speech. It wasn't severe (no eye involvement) but it was clearly Bell's Palsy (we have a niece that has had three episodes in the past 5 years). It was disconcerting but not my most pressing issue (I was admitted to the Heart/Lung ward for septic shock, was experiencing daily TIA's and my retina was being damaged by extreme BP spikes). The Bell's resolved quickly once we got everything else (BP and infection) under control. Out of control infection/inflammation can clearly lead to the nerve damage that causes Bell's.

    Shane
  3. My Dad and his Mum have both had Bell's Palsy. Nasty disease.
    Really hoping I don't get it as well.
    Wondering if it is on the same spectrum of auto-immune diseases as ME?

    Rachel xx
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Rachel,

    It can unfortunately run in families.

    On one site I found this. I didn't mention it in my article because I couldn't find any other sources about it but it made an impression on me. --

    ... vascular, infectious, genetic, and immunologic causes have all been proposed. Patients with other diseases or conditions (eg, Lyme disease)13 sometimes develop a peripheral facial nerve palsy, but these are not classified as Bell's palsy (see Differentials).

    Viral infections: Clinical and epidemiologic data lend credence to an infectious origin, with inflammation and/or a related autoimmune response resulting in local demyelination of the facial nerve.


    So yeah, could be autoimmune. They just don't really know much about this condition, lots of guesswork. (What else is new?:rolleyes:) The only positive thing that can be said is that it usually goes away completely.
  5. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Shane,

    That's awful. What a terrible experience. :eek:

    I am finding more and more as I'm writing these articles for empowher, that even though most topics are seemingly unrelated to CFS, an astonishing number of them have at least some small thing that might be helpful information for us. And I guess, maybe that is not so surprising after all.

    When you're dealing with multi-system breakdown as we are, all kinds of things are affected and information from many areas could be relevant.
  6. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Trying not to be an idiot

    Yeah, until last year I only thought that CFS was going to shorten my life but that it was willing to take it's own sweet time. It was a huge eye opener. I had overdone it and 4 moths later I had gone from a 50 on the Bell scale to fighting for my life. Luckily, I was very fit before I came down with CFS and I had a number of very caring and smart docs on my side.

    The take home for me was that you cannot underestimate this disease. My goal for this year is to not do anything too stupid so that if new underlying causes and treatments are on the horizon, I will be in good enough shape to benefit from them.

    As Dr. Montoya says (with my blessing) - "You know how you respond to doing too much. Don't be an idiot!"

    Shane
  7. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Shane,

    I've been working on getting the "Don't be an idiot" thing down, myself. :D

    Surprisingly difficult, :eek: but I keep trying.:rolleyes:
  8. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Jody
    This article gives some natural treatments that have been successful for Bell's Palsy, including acetyl-l-carnitine, Vitamins B1,B2,B6,B12 and MSM,but most interesting is the use of Mitochondrial Resuscitate as Bell's apparently has a link to low ATP.

    http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/n...rain-nervous/bells-palsy-treatment-00168.html
  9. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Thanks liverock.:Retro smile:

    I appreciate any and all input. I am so new at this it's crazy.:rolleyes:
  10. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

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    My mom got CFS when I did. She had Bell's Palsy for some months about 2 years after onset.

    If I remember correctly it went away on its own after a few months.
  11. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Interesting.....My sister's mother in law has CFS without a doubt. We have all the same symptoms. Last year she got Bell's Palsy and apparently was a pretty severe case as she said she was so miserable. At the time her son, my sisters brother in low, was going through a stem cell transplant and almost died several times. I wonder if the stress triggered her Bell's Palsy. She has gone through years of pain and cannot work fulltime. She lost her car and can't afford internet. She has been unable to get a diagnosis, even though, she has CFS. Back to the subject :)........I do think that Bell's Palsy could be another co morbid condition. Thanks for posting this Jody. I wish my sister's MIL had internet so I could forward it to her.
  12. Advocate

    Advocate Senior Member

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    You probably know that it's linked to Lyme Disease.
  13. Hi Jody. A favourite motor cycle racer of mine (Chris Walker) has this condition. I'd seen it before as there was an eldery lady in my village that as a youngster, children used to tease as she had a twisted face. :( From an interview he gave he said he had lots of physiotherapy that helped, although he has to use eye drops as he said he couldn't blink in one eye! Rather hard when racing a motorcycle I can tell you.

    Is it viral? Apparently people wake up with it and the nerves are affected, which sounds rather scary. Not that ME CFS isn't scary, but at least people cannot taunt us on facial disfigurements. One blessing.
  14. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Bell's and the role of iinfection

    Hi DysautonomiaXMRV,

    The specific causes of Bell's aren't entirely clear nor is there just one suspect. However, it is often thought to be brought on by the inflammation associated with either viral or bacterial infection. My most severe co-infection according my CFS doc is HSV-1, a leading culprit (Holland NJ, Weiner GM (2004). Recent developments in Bell's palsy. BMJ, 329: 553557). Lyme's is one of several possibilities.

    The function of the 7th cranial nerve is disrupted, (most often due to pressure on the nerve as it passes through channels in the skull - inflammation, fracture, tumor, etc.).

    Here's another great summary: http://www.neurologychannel.com/bellspalsy/index.shtml

    And Wikipedia has a nice general summary with a drawing from Grey's that depicts the nerve and the channels it runs through. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_palsy). Not much extra space in these channels and so it's easy to imagine that inflammation could pinch off the nerve and cause dysfunction.

    Eye care is the most pressing concern (aside form some of the rarer yet nasty causes; ie. tumors - sarcoidosis). If you can't blink the eye and you don't feel irritation, the eye drys quickly, gets scratched and you'll lose the eye (happened to an uncle who deliberately had the nerve severed to stop cluster headaches - my niece is constantly applying Thera-tears).

    Hope this is helps.

    And yeah, all of the wind and dust while riding could make the lack of tears and irritation a huge issue.
  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Nobody knows for sure what causes Bell's Palsy but there are some strong theories that any number of viruses could be a cause. Interestingly, some of the same viruses listed as possible causes or some of the same ones we see that seem to be connected to CFS.

    I agree, that we are lucky in one way that CFS is an invisible illness.:rolleyes: You're right, at least we aren't afflicted with a distorted face. Except for those with CFs who have had the double whammy of also having Bell's Palsy. There are more of those than I realized, before I did this article.

    Makes you wonder just how interrelated some of these virus / nervous system / immune system dysfunctions really are.
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I came across this in my research too. Initially I was surprised. But the more I research all these seemingly disparate brain / nerve dysfunctions ... I guess I should stop being surprised.
  17. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Yeah, I think you could be right, about Bell's Palsy being another co-morbid condition.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Your family has really been taking a beating.
  18. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Man! This CFS / Bell's Palsy thing is more common than I thought. Quite a number of people just in this one thread have seen it or had it.

    I'm glad to hear your mom was one of the luckier ones to have it go away on its own. Nasty condition. Terrible to have it on top of CFS.

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