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Many people with CFS show antibodies to the retrovirus XMRV. The body doesn't make antibodies against a lab contaminant.
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If you have or think you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia, here's what to do:
Have your doctor run blood work to determine if you have one or more viruses.
  • When a virus or viruses are present, your body will create antibodies to fight them. Those antibodies can be detected in blood work.
  • The most common viruses found in CFS and Fibromyalgia patients are Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (HCMV), or human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6) infection.
  • If any of these viruses appear in your blood work, you are a candidate for antivirals.
  • The most common antivirals are Valacyclovir and Famvir. I am on Famvir. I am on the generic version of Famvir. 
  • The antivirals don't kill the viruses. They stop the virus from replicating. That means you have to stay on the antivirals for a long time -- a year or two is common. Cells die off in your body on a regular basis and new ones are created. As your cells die off, the virus leaves with it, and since there is no more replication, the new cells are virus free.
  • When you start the anitvirals you may get much, much sicker. I thought I would die. It was that bad. My doctor told me I should go off the drugs if I needed to, but I stuck it out. I literally could barely move out of bed for about 10 days.
  • By three weeks, I was a new person, although I still had to be careful with stress, getting enough sleep and exercise, I began to have a social life and started research on this book.
  • By five months, I was close to normal.
IMPORTANT -- When your doctor runs the blood work for the viruses, the antibodies will likely appear in a category, which I like to call `the ghost of virus past.' Your doctor will say that the antibodies in your blood work are left over from when you DID have the virus in the PAST and nothing can be done NOW.  Antivirals won't work your doctor will tell you. This is where the traditional medical community has it wrong for whatever reason.  
This is where the process tends to break down between you and your doctor. You will insist that you should be given antivirals and your doctor will refuse and say you don't know what you are talking about. Tell your doctor to call the drug companies. The drug companies will confirm that the antivirals work against the ghosts of virus past. Your doctor won't call and won't give you the antivirals.
So now you have a choice -- listen to your doctor and continue as you are; roam aimlessly from doctor to doctor trying to find one that will treat you with antivirals, or find a doctor who is experienced in treating CFS with antivirals. I will try and build up a data base here of doctors, so if you find one willing to listen, please send me their information to carolineandersondc@gmail.com and I will add it on the get treatment page.
Note: Current research suggests that the the above viruses maybe activated by a retrovirus, currently called XMRV. XMRV testing is available the Whitemore Peterson Institute. XMRV is not controlled through generic antivirals. Antivirals used to treat HIV/AIDS are needed for XMRV

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