Dr. Mercola on XMRV and CFS

K

_Kim_

Guest
November 12, 2009

Gammaretrovirus Thought to be Important Cause of Chronic Fatigue

Earlier this month, a study published in the journal Science answered a question that medical scientists had been asking since 2006, when they learned of a novel virus found in prostate tumors called xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV: Was it a human infection?

The new study provided overwhelming evidence that XMRV is a human gammaretrovirus the third human retrovirus (after H.I.V. and human lymphotropic viruses, which cause leukemia and lymphoma). Infection is permanent and, yes, it can spread from person to person (though it is not yet known how the virus is transmitted).

That would have been news enough, but there was more. XMRV had been discovered in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, a malady whose very existence has been a subject of debate for 25 years. For sufferers of this disease, the news has offered enormous hope. Being seriously ill for years, even decades, is nightmarish enough, but patients are also the targets of ridicule and hostility that stem from the perception that it is all in their heads. In the study, 67 percent of the 101 patients with the disease were found to have XMRV in their cells.

Many people dont realize how severe this illness can be. It is marked by memory and cognition problems, and physical collapse after any mental or physical exertion. The various co-infections that occur only make matters worse. Many patients are bedridden. And recovery is rare. A significant number of patients have been ill for more than two decades.

It is estimated that more than a million Americans are seriously ill with the disease. (Not everyone infected with XMRV will necessarily get chronic fatigue syndrome in the same way that not all of the 1.1 million Americans infected with HIV will get AIDS.)

Sources:

The New York Times October 20, 2009
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or as it is more recently called, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), has only been recognized by the CDC since 1988. Fortunately, most doctors have now abandoned their view that CFS is just something in your head, and no longer view it as a psychological disorder.

The CFIDS Association estimates that some 800,000 Americans suffer from this debilitating condition, with a mere 16 percent having been diagnosed.

The characteristics of CFS include:

Extreme fatigue and weakness

Muscle and joint aches and pains

Chronic headaches

Sore throat, swollen glands, and periodic fevers and chills

Numbness and tingling of the extremities

Cognitive dysfunction

Insomnia

The Search Goes on for the Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Despite many researchers making claims theyve found the cause of CFIDS, there is no agreement about what it is. Much of the research that has emerged over the past ten to twenty years points toward an infectious agent, particularly various viruses. But as to which one, its anybodys guessand it could be that multiple microorganisms are responsible.

But is a virus causing chronic fatigue syndrome, or is chronic fatigue syndrome itself making people more susceptible to infections?

Over the years, several infectious organisms have been blamed:

In the early 1980s, Dr. William Crook, author of the classic book The Yeast Connection, theorized that CFIDS was a result of yeast overgrowth (Candida) in the body. Interestingly, many may not realize that Dr. Crook was actually my initial inspiration to enter natural medicine.

Mycoplasma bacteria have been found in a significant percentage of CFIDS patients, as well as those with fibromyalgia, AIDS, cancer, MS, CJD and other neurosystemic diseases, causing some researchers (including Garth Nicolson) to believe this is the culprit. Mycoplasma has also been an important part of my early protocol of the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Another group of researchers found that more than 80 percent of CFIDS patients tested positive for enteroviral particles from a common stomach virus that had spread from their gut to their central nervous system, heart and muscles--another explanation for CFIDS.

Other viruses have been blamed including Epstein Barr, cytomegalovirus, herpes, and parvovirus, which have all been found to produce symptoms very similar to those experienced by CFIDS sufferers.

Ross River virus and Coxiella burnetti virus are currently being studied as possible causative agents.

Infectious agents arent the only theory out there about the cause of this perplexing disease.

Some scientists believe CFIDS results from an abnormality of blood perfusion of the brain. And some camps profess that CFIDS arises from a toxic environmental exposure of some kind. Still others believe CFIDS is a dysfunctional emotional reaction to stress and/or trauma.

All of the above theories have been sent to the presses as significant breakthroughs in the cause of this frustrating syndrome--yet so far, no one theory has survived the test of time and been proven to be THE cause.

Now that were into the third decade of investigation, advanced tools from human genome research and high-tech imaging studies have caused CFIDS investigators to circle back and look at the relationship of all these potential factors, from immune dysfunction and infectious disease to emotions, as well as risk factors and precipitating triggers.

But the cause and cure remain elusive.

Now there is new evidence that a human gammaretrovirus XMRV is present in a significant number of CFIDS sufferersand these researchers have concluded this little-known virus may be causative.

And the Winner Is

It seems to me that the common denominator in all of this, which isnt normally mentioned, is actually the key: the failure of the immune system to function properly.

With a healthy immune system, you are less likely to be a host for microscopic invaders, regardless of which ones are lurking about. I have always believed the answer lies in strengthening the body, rather than hoping for some new pill or other pharmaceutical invention to rescue you.

A number of studies have supported the view that CFIDS is related to unresolved emotional responses, especially those in early childhood. Traumatic events, stress and negative emotions not only contribute to the development of CFIDS but they can affect your overall physical health. Your emotional health may make the difference between recovering and spending many years being miserable.

Please realize that this is not the same as saying your disease is all in your head. It is simply acknowledging the connection between mind and body, and recognizing the need to address healing on both levels.

The best way to recover your health is with wise lifestyle changes and energy work. Taking this approach will automatically improve all measures of your immune system and allow you to resolve any infection that might be contributing to your illness.
Easing Chronic Fatigue Symptoms the Natural Way

My natural treatment program for CFIDS is a five-pronged approach:

1. Bio Energetic Normalization

Emotionally traumatic events can leave energy blockages for many years, which then interfere with your overall health, including immune function. Bioenergetic normalization of previous emotional traumas is the single most effective treatment I know of for CFIDS at this time.

There are many different techniques that can be used here, but the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT) is my favorite. MTT is a procedure that borrows from the much-heralded discoveries of Albert Einstein (everything, including your body, is composed of energy) and from the ancient wisdom of Chinese acupuncture.

In essence, MTT is an emotional version of acupuncture without the need for needles. Instead, certain release points on the body are stimulated by tapping them with your fingertips. Furthermore, the basics of MTT can be learned by anyone and can be self-applied (usually in minutes).

2. Dietary Changes

Beware of anyone recommending a specific chronic fatigue diet. One persons food may be another persons poison. Instead, look into nutritional typing.

We all process different types of food differently. Just as everyone is different in outward appearance, every person has a unique biochemistry and genetic profile with respect to nutritional needs.

When you adopt a diet based on your nutritional type, it is very likely you will resolve most of your health problems over time, including CFIDS, because your body will be have the resources it needs to heal itself. Avoiding sugar, processed food and chemicals is an important part of this dietary change since those things can damage to your immune system and prevent you from recovering.

3. Exercise

People suffering from either the fatigue of CFIDS or the pain if Fibromyalgia (a closely related cousin to CFIDS) tend to shy away from exercise, and understandably so. However, research shows that a combination of aerobic activity and strength training can improve pain and fatigue symptoms. Gentle exercise such as yoga can be an excellent part of your exercise program--and yoga benefits the mind as well as the body.

Many people with CFIDS battle weight issues, and regular exercise can help with this by boosting your metabolism and normalizing your blood sugar.

4. Avoid Toxic Substances

Avoiding processed foods and artificial sweeteners is a good start. But beware of chemicals in your environment, alsoair, water, and products that contact your skin.

Many cleaning products and personal care productslike soaps, shampoos, and creamsare laden with toxic chemicals that further compromise your ability to heal. Also avoid fluoride in your drinking water AND bathing water by installing good quality filters for both.

5. Sleep

Good, restorative sleep is critical when you have a chronic illness. It isnt just the amount of sleep but also sleep quality that is important for healing. Your body cannot restore itself unless you are getting into deep, restorative sleep each night.

As tempting as it is to wait for science to find a miracle cure, the time to turn around your health is NOW.

There is no magic bullet, so there is no point in waiting around for one before taking action. You can make a huge difference in how you feel by using the natural approach, and it will be effective no matter what the causative factors are.
 
K

_Kim_

Guest
There's more...

This is an older article, but gave me an idea where Mercola was coming from in the XMRV article

November 21 2006

New Research Confirms Powerful Cause for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


CFS

Two new studies suggest that traumatic events in childhood, as well as stress at any period in life, has been associated with the development of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

In one study, researchers compared the physical and mental health of 43 CFS patients with 60 healthy individuals.

Among the many assessments, both groups were questioned about five kinds of trauma they experienced in childhood. CFS patients had higher trauma scores than those without it.

Exposure to traumatic events multiplied a patient's risk of succumbing to CFS as much as eightfold. CFS patients were also more likely to have psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A second study evaluated the incidence of CFS among some 19,000 Swedish twins (some 1,600 patients suffered from it). In two of the analyses performed, emotional instability and stress were connected to CFS. And, in one comparing a CFS patient to his or her twin without it, a stressful life increased a person's risk of the disease by 500 percent.

CFS affects between 400,000 and 900,000 U.S. adults, and is characterized by unexplained fatigue that lasts for at least six months, fails to get better with rest, and interferes with daily activities. It is also accompanied by at least some of the following additional symptoms: extreme fatigue after exertion, difficulties with memory and concentration, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, sore throat, or tender lymph nodes.


Sources:

Archives of General Psychology November 2006; 63(11): 1258-1266

Archives of General Psychology November 2006; 63(11): 1267-1272

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I have long stated that chronic fatigue is related to emotional challenges incurred in early childhood, typically below the age of 5. Now two major studies have been published that support this view, although clearly there are also other factors involved, as not everyone with childhood trauma develops these problems.

Traumatic events, stress and negative emotions not only contribute mightily to the development of CFS, but they can also affect your overall physical health in general.

That really is good news, though, as there are incredibly effective tools that help permanently resolve this. I have had enormous success with patients with energy psychology tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique, as it typically can easily and rapidly address these issues.

One of my readers who has had experience working with CFS made the following comment on these studies: "It further supports the idea that childhood trauma, and emotional state in general, is closely connected to CFS."
 

Kati

Patient in training
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Dr Mercola...

.. was doing real well until the emotional disturbances from childhood and on... Can't they just leave us alone with our childhood? Everyone has been traumatized as a child, and if you haven't been traumatized, well that's a trauma on its own.

And regarding exercice and CFIDS, there is only a small percentage of doctors that know about PEM (post exertional malaise) and cardiac functions related to CFS. The other group that knows about it is the patients themselves. The rest of the world don't have a clue.

I would suggest to the doctors that don't have a clue and that are not interested to stay well away from us- for they are a liability. :p
 
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[Mercola:] Dr. William Crook, author of the classic book The Yeast Connection, theorized that CFIDS was a result of yeast overgrowth (Candida) in the body. Interestingly, many may not realize that Dr. Crook was actually my initial inspiration to enter natural medicine.
Yeah but: he he didnt have any evidence! I read one of his shorter writings on it years back. Anecdotal evidence such as Crook presented means very little. Anecdotal evidence exists in favor of anything and everything. I'm glad Crook made what investigations he did, but they cant begin to compare to the evidence presented by Mikovits et al.
 
K

_Kim_

Guest
Mercola is very dangerous

.. was doing real well until the emotional disturbances from childhood and on... Can't they just leave us alone with our childhood? Everyone has been traumatized as a child, and if you haven't been traumatized, well that's a trauma on its own.

And regarding exercice and CFIDS, there is only a small percentage of doctors that know about PEM (post exertional malaise) and cardiac functions related to CFS. The other group that knows about it is the patients themselves. The rest of the world don't have a clue.

I would suggest to the doctors that don't have a clue and that are not interested to stay well away from us- for they are a liability. :p
Kati, I agree 100%. Mercola is dangerous because his message reaches so many people. His website www.Mercola.com is the 2065:th largest site within .COM domain. Mercola.com averages more than 3,000 new subscribers every day, and, with 10 million visitors each week, is worth more than $100 million if it were ever sold.
 

fresh_eyes

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Duh. I wrote him an email saying he was providing irresponsible misinformation, confusing ordinary 'chronic fatigue' with CFS, recognized by the World Health Organization as an infectious disease of the nervous system. I'm so tired of these guys.
 

Kati

Patient in training
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Re: Dr MErcola

I actually peeked 2 seconds on his website- 2 secoinds- the first line was 2 foods you should never eat. It made me close the page right away.

When I hear that, I cringe. I don't want to starta long conversation on food and diet, but Food is out there to be eaten. People telling you never to eat something, whether it's good or bad for you, is wrong.

For instance, corn, potatoes, pineapple- carrots, usually cooked- bananas-
Usually the reason is too high sugar content. Coffee and tea, canned food, bacon, red meat, meat, farmed fish, white flour pasta...
Each food has something to bring "on the table" in terms of vitamin and minerals. Some people can't eat whole wheat anything for fear of bowel obstruction or other medical condition- so white bread is their savior.
You get the message.

Based on that and on the CFIDS opinion, Dr Mercola doesn't have my respect and my membership. I won't even try to change his mind, I will stay well away. Now I like my turkey with gravy please. :)
 
R

Robin

Guest
It is estimated that more than a million Americans are seriously ill with the disease. (Not everyone infected with XMRV will necessarily get chronic fatigue syndrome in the same way that not all of the 1.1 million Americans infected with HIV will get AIDS.)
It's kind of weird that he would address it, since he believes AIDS is caused by drug use, chronic health problems and "rectal glucocorticoids" and not HIV.

(There is a long incubation period for HIV: half of those infected will not progress to AIDS for at least ten years. And, of course, anti-retroviral treatments stave off progression as well. But, only 1-2% of HIV patients are long term nonprogressors, or patients who do not get AIDS after years of HIV infection. To say that not all HIV infected will develop AIDS, while technically true, is pretty disingenuous. )

Mercola is really off the wall. He warns people of the health risks of cooking with microwaves and would prefer that you purchase his turbo oven!

I wouldn't really consider Mercola a credible source on much of anything.
 

oerganix

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sell, sell, sell

Selling stuff is what Mercola is all about. Just spend thousands of dollars on my CDs, supplements, my cookware, my free range ostrich meat, and you'll be well in no time. It's a successful marketing technique: create a scary myth and sell the antidote - works quite well with people who have more money than sense. WHO and the CDC are doing it right now with the swine flu vaccine hoax.


*3 months supply of vitamin D spray, the latest miracle supplement: list price $61.91; :) :) :) -the sunshine vitamin :) :) :)
*alternatively, buy his tanning bed:list price $1897(which promises to reverse wrinkles, improve circulation, relieve pain and give you vitamin D without "overdose"); :confused:
*Meridian Tapping CD: $29 (he explains why nothing works everytime " some people may have a hidden agenda for maintaining their life the way it is, and therefore resist changing". So, if his expensive "cures" don't work, it's because YOU really WANT to be sick. :eek: :eek: :eek:
*Ferrite beads for only $15, to protect you from the brain cancer caused by cell phone radiation.(Available elsewhere on the internet for 2 cents each, without a blessing from Mercola); ferrite beads are what those little bumps on the end of your USB cables are - they are used for suppressing noise in electronics, have nothing to do with "radiation". :eek:
*free range ostrich meat: only $7.70-19.65/lb, plus shipping. (His disclaimer says that HE doesn't eat ostrich because the Bible says not to; HE eats his grass fed bison instead: $6-30/lb, plus shipping. " I believe the Bible is God's inherent word, including the Old Testament, so I am choosing to avoid eating ostrich and instead choose the equally healthy and delicious bison offered on this site.") :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I joined (and left)the Low Dose Naltrexone group on Yahoo and it is saturated with "Mercola as Messiah" folks. That bunch does act like a cult. I asked one poster to stop posting his "newsletter" to the list (against list rules and totally off topic) and was attacked for "blasphemy". The reason given: "Dr Mercola is very popular on this list". So, medicine as a popularity contest, anyone? :p

Interesting how he covers all bases, with a solution to sell for any possible scenario. First he concedes CFS may be viral, but all you need to do is buy his supplements and CDs and your immune system will take care of all viruses and bacteria. Then he covers the psychiatric angle as well, with the same solutions. :confused:

And if you want to get in on the filthy lucre end of the business, he has 6 job opportunities available, including "copy writer" :D for his "newsletter". Must be able to write "scientific studies show..." and "may" and "might" multiple times per story. :D
 
R

Robin

Guest
Selling stuff is what Mercola is all about. Just spend thousands of dollars on my CDs, supplements, my cookware, my free range ostrich meat, and you'll be well in no time. It's a successful marketing technique: create a scary myth and sell the antidote - works quite well with people who have more money than sense. WHO and the CDC are doing it right now with the swine flu vaccine hoax.
Well, I agree with you on the spend spend spend part. Americans pay out $33+ billion a year in alternative medicine and Mercola wants his piece of the pie, for sure!

I disagree about the flu vaccine being a hoax. Studies show that the vaccine is effective in creativing antibodies to H1N1. This subject is rather personal for me; my brother's coauthor died from H1N1 in France three months ago. It was a horrible death of gradual organ shutdown and respiratory failure. I spent one afternoon hearing about his decline and coma until his death. I'll never forget it. He was a healthy man in his late 20s. A vaccine, if it had been available, most likely would have prevented his death.
 

Martlet

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This subject is rather personal for me; my brother's coauthor died from H1N1 in France three months ago. It was a horrible death of gradual organ shutdown and respiratory failure. I spent one afternoon hearing about his decline and coma until his death. I'll never forget it. He was a healthy man in his late 20s. A vaccine, if it had been available, most likely would have prevented his death.
I am so sorry to hear this, Robin.

I lost two friends in the flu epidemic of the late Sixties.

It was because of these young deaths that my husband and I decided to have the H1N1 vaccine, even though I am in my deepest crash in many, many years. I was concerned that if either of us caught the flu, we might pass it on before we are aware we are sick and potentially harm some young person or a pregnant woman. It gave me an even further dip into ME/CFS, but I'd rather this than risk what you just described for someone else.
 

oerganix

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Flu "pandemics"

I'm sorry for your losses.

But the assumption that a vaccine would have prevented them is not born out by the facts. I, too, have lost loved ones to the flu. One died because of complications of vaccination and one died after having had the flu shot.

Right now, several governments in Europe are trying to get their money back from BigPharma for vaccines that probably were never needed because the "pandemic" never was. It was created by officials at WHO who are paid consultants for vaccine makers. This is just another episode in a string of flu scares that are made up for the benefit of vaccines makers. See here for just one story:

http://www.theoneclickgroup.co.uk/news.php?start=3120&end=3140&view=yes&id=4146#newspost

Quotes from the article:

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine in Germany, epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization of independent scientists evaluating all flu related studies, noted the implications of the privatization of WHO and the commercialization of health:

one of the extraordinary features of this influenza -- and the whole influenza saga -- is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn't stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur. SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization (WHO)? Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They've built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there's a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding...18 When asked if the WHO had deliberately declared the Pandemic Emergency in order to create a huge market for H1N1 vaccines and drugs, Jefferson replied,



Don't you think there's something noteworthy about the fact that the WHO has changed its definition of pandemic? The old definition was a new virus, which went around quickly, for which you didn't have immunity, and which created a high morbidity and mortality rate. Now the last two have been dropped, and that's how swine flu has been categorized as a pandemic."

and:

In a relevant footnote, the Washington Post on December 8 in an article on the severity, or lack of same, of the world H1N1 pandemic reported that with the second wave of H1N1 infections having crested in the United States, leading epidemiologists are predicting that the pandemic could end up ranking as the mildest since modern medicine began documenting influenza outbreaks.

This is just one more case of creating a scary myth and then selling the "antidote". Several hundred thousand people die every year of "ordinary" flu. A lot more have died already this year of flu, than have even contracted "swine flu". And by the way, Tamiflu, another of BigPharma's creations, has been found not to have any affect on the outcome of flu, according to researchers in Europe.