Category: Ask The Doctor

Candida Infections and CFS/ME/FM

Posted on 01/26/14 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Cally L. wrote me, “I’ve been reading about candida overgrowth. Is this something you think is valid? Something I should be tested for?” A:      Candida overgrowth is a common phenomenon in persons with CFS/ME/FM, probably because NK Cell Activity is low in most patients and it is the NK Cells that are thought to help […]

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Late Lyme versus ME/CFS

Posted on 12/07/13 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Q: Nancy H asks, “Do you treat Lyme patients any differently than a patient with ME/CFS or FM?” A: While there is no known cause of ME/CFS or FM, it is well-acknowledged that infections trigger many cases. While EB Virus (mononucleosis) is probably the most common, I have also seen ME/CFS and FM apparently triggered […]

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What About HBOT?

Posted on 08/01/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Mary V. was inquiring about HBOT, or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.  “What do you think about this?  Is there any danger in trying it?” A:   Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to be helpful for PWCs  provided it is administered in a “solid chamber.”   There are canvas chambers currently selling in the market that don’t actually […]

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Does “Brain Fog” Ever Go Away?

Posted on 07/18/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Q:           Adam W asked about cognitive problems:  “Does the ‘brain fog’ or ‘spaced out’ symptom of CFS ever resolve?” A:            As with most CFS symptoms, cognitive dysfunction waxes and wanes. One report suggests that IQ falls during a flare of cognitive dysfunction, and our personal experience is that memory, attention, processing speed, and other parameters […]

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The Meaning of “M.E.”

Posted on 06/14/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Q:            Michele K asked, “Why do some CFS/ME specialists refer to ME as ‘myalgic encephalopathy’ and other refer to ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’?   Doesn’t this add to patient and public confusion?” A:            The term “myalgic encephalomyelitis” was coined by the British physician, Dr. Melvin Ramsay, in the 1950’s when he described an outbreak that occurred in London.  […]

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Does CFS/ME Lead To Alzheimer’s?

Posted on 06/14/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Deborah B asked, “Do the concentration and memory deficits in CFS/ME lead to Alzheimer’s?” A:            The short answer is “no.”                 The cognitive deficits in CFS/ME include slow processing, poor recall, reduced attention and distractibility.  These deficits wax and wane over time, and do not appear to be permanent.  As PWCs improve their cognitive issues […]

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Is CFS/ME An Immune Disorder?

Posted on 06/14/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Bobby B wrote:  “I often get conflicting answers to this question.  Is CFS/ME/FM an autoimmune disease?” A:            Bobby, I don’t mean to conflict you further but the answer is “yes, and no.”    Autoimmunity is certainly part of the CFS/ME/FM conundrum, but the disorder also affects the central nervous system, endocrine system, the muscles, and […]

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Muscle Spasms & Tremors

Posted on 06/14/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Christopher M. queried, “Is it common for PWCs to have muscle spasms and tremors?” Spasms, fasciculation (worm-like or “crawling” muscles), cramping, myoclonus (brief jerking movements, especially at night), tremors and other neurological symptoms are actually fairly common in CFS/ME/FM.  Muscular phenomena (spasms, fasciculation, and cramping) are usually due to reflexive muscle problems. That is, CFS/ME […]

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Overlap Syndromes

Posted on 05/22/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Geraldine O’S asks, “Why is it that so many women with CFS/ME/FM have been diagnosed with endometriosis?”  A:            PWCs are several times more likely to have concomitant medical problems or comorbidities than unaffected individuals.  The most common is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, experienced by up to 60% of PWCs. The next most common is irritable bladder […]

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Coping With Chemical Sensitivities

Posted on 05/22/12 by Charles W. Lapp, MD

Wendy M. asks, “What is the best way to cope with chemical sensitivity syndrome, especially when everything makes you sick but you need to take antibiotics or medications?”  A:            Unfortunately, the only way to manage multiple chemical sensitivities is to avoid the offending chemical, odor,fume, or smoke.  Exposures can trigger headache, nausea, respiratory symptoms, wheezing, […]

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