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Is Herpes Virus Connected to Fibromyalgia?

Researchers Want an Answer

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Updated June 13, 2014

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  • NEWSBRIEF: Alabama researchers have announced that they're launching a study on two antivirals as possible fibromyalgia treatments, based on their hypothesis that the condition may be linked to herpes simplex 1.

    This particular herpes virus causes cold sores. Researcher William Pridgen, MD, says he began suspecting viral involvement because of the way symptoms wax and wane, which is typical of certain viruses. Once he began prescribing drugs known to be effective against herpes simplex 1, he says 90% of his patients got better.

    Pridgen says, in his practice, he's seen improvements in gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, anxiety, energy levels, depression and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

    My Perspective

    I've gotten cold sores my whole life, and they're worse in times of stress. When I was still having regular flares, I did occasionally get cold sores along with them.

    Before I had fibromyalgia, I'd start taking the supplement L-lysine at the first sign of a cold sore. It has anti-viral properties and also helps with tissue repair. A few years ago, I started taking it to help with fibromyalgia symptoms such as slow healing and weak fingernails. Now I'm wondering if L-lysine has been more beneficial than I knew.

    It's definitely an interesting hypothesis. It would also help explain why fibromyalgia is so similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, which may be linked to HHV-6, a different member of the herpes virus family.

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