Discussions that mention xanax

Lyme Disease board

Its only fair to tell you that I'm a Pharmacist and, well, I know that what I'm about to tell you will be met with a great deal of controversy on these boards, but, I asked those questions are for two reasons:

1) To rule out Lyme Disease
2) To rule out Major Depressive Disorder.

You see, many family doctors would look at your symptoms and say, "Your suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks...take this pill (Zoloft or Xanax) and see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (Psychiatrist) and you'll be fine." Many self proclaimed Lyme Disease Specialist would say, “You have Chronic Lyme Disease…this will take months and maybe years of antibiotics to cure!” However, I am offering you a very different but very sincere opinion. When I asked you about your symptoms and if you feel flu-like much of the time ESPECIALLY after exertion, stressful events, or exercise, this was to pinpoint a very important symptom known as "post-exertional malaise". Basically this term means that exertion makes you ill. Unfortunately, and this is the important thing here, there is only one condition where this symptom is present in every case...It is the hallmark symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, among other things, is marked by physical exhaustion not relieved by rest, sore throats, feeling feverish and ill most of the time, brain fog, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, inability to handle stress, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and post-exertional malaise. These symptoms sound like it could be almost anything so all other possibilities have to be rule out of course. However, post-exertional malaise is the symptom above all symptoms where an effective Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis can be made. I myself suffer greatly from this...I used to be very active in the gym and at work but can no longer handle either one of them. The fatigue and sick feelings I experience after stress and exertions are so debilitating that I can't function at 1/3 the level I used to. The symptoms worsen tremendously over the winter months in many people as they find as soon as autumn hits, they begin a downward spiral until spring time and warm weather finally arrive and provide some relief. This happens to me as well…I can remain somewhat active in the summer but am down and out all winter.

When I first became ill in this way, I was discovered to have a positive ELISA/Western Blot Lyme disease test. My doctors and I figured “ok, I have Lyme Disease...A few months on antibiotics and I'll be ok.” Well, as it turns out, 3 months of antibiotics did absolutely nothing for me. At this point, my doctors sat with me and told me honestly that since the treatments did nothing for me that my condition is more serious than they had originally thought. Since they could rule out Major Depression, Lupus, Sleep Apnea, MS, Fifth Disease, HIV and just about every other illness known to man, the only option for me was a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis. Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome actually is, what causes it, or how to cure it.

Now, the problem is several people will tell you, "Hey, there is no such thing as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you have Chronic Lyme Disease and need to be on antibiotics for a Gazillion years and maybe then you'll have a chance at a normal life." Ok, fair is fair...nobody knows for sure what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so why not believe that Lyme Disease is responsible for all of this? Why not just use the antibiotics for months on end? Why not believe that there is a Lyme Disease conspiracy going on and that medical science is way behind on this? Why not see a so-called Lyme Disease Specialist that is supposed to know everything and believe Infectious Disease Specialists and the CDC are still in the darkages? Well, that's fine for some people, but I have to disagree.

The reason I disagree is because I know from my own education and research that it is impossible for an infection of this type to do this much damage on its own AND there is no way that it could survive the onslaught of antibiotics most people receive when they are diagnosed and treated. The bacteria itself does nothing really on its own to harm your body; it just sits there and does nothing! It literally just invades your cells and just lies there! So what happened to me? Why am I still so sick? Well, it’s when your immune system over reacts and attacks the bacteria that problems and the all too common symptoms begin to arise. When the immune system attacks, the damage left behind can be serious and take years to heal. Ridding the infection with antibiotics, unfortunately, will NOT reverse this condition. The infection will be long gone, but the damage has been done.

The current theories on Lyme Disease and how it is related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are this...it is VERY possible that Lyme Disease is a triggering factor in causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to damage that may have been inflicted on the immune system among other things. In certain people, for whatever reason, maybe its genetics, the body simply may not have been able to cope with the onslaught and the immune system gets stuck in a high alert mode which makes you feel flu-like, tired, achy, and weak all the time. Its fighting a never ending battle against something that isn't even there anymore! In fact, it only serves to cause ever increasing damage and futher deplete your bodies vital resources. This condition becomes extremely debilitating over time and often continues to worsen long before it ever, if ever, gets better.

Remember though, I’m in no way implying that every one that supposedly has Chronic Lyme Disease really has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or vice versa. Medical science has yet to uncover the tremendous complexities of either of these illnesses so the jury is still out. However, if several months of antibiotic therapy have failed and post-exertional malaise continues to be a major symptom for you, I would seriously look into a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis and have that treated accordingly. Read “From Fatigued To Fantastic” by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. He is one of the foremost authorities on the subject and his book goes into great detail about this condition.

Now, you can do either one of two things with the info that I have given you…You can say, “I don’t believe a damn thing you just said, I’m going to a Lyme Disease Specialist and will stay on antibiotics for however long it takes no matter what the cost” OR you can do some of your own research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and consult a physician about what I have presented to you today. The choice is ultimately yours, but remember...a well-informed and educated patient has a greater ability to take control of their health and the decisions that have to be made.

I’m entertaining all comments and questions on this subject…please feel free.