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 New Hope for People with Fibromyalgia

(Click Here for a Printable Version of this Article)

March 2017 – “Hope”and “healing” are words that are very seldom used by people who have Fibromyalgia. The idea that someone can actually do more than just “manage their symptoms”but could actually go on to be completely cured of Fibromyalgia seems to go against everything we know about the condition. But, contrary to popular belief, Fibromyalgia is a treatable condition and there has been an increasing number of reports of Fibromyalgia patients who have experienced complete relief from all their symptoms with a return of “normalcy”to their lives.

A great number of these patients who have been cured of Fibromyalgia are a direct result of the study and practice of Dr. Daniel Dantini, who himself suffered from Fibromyalgia for many years, was eventually able to cure himself, and has gone on to help many other people find relief from this ailment.

Fibromyalgia Linked to Viruses

Dr. Dantini has discovered a key connection between the Fibromyalgia symptoms and certain combinations of viruses in the body. He discovered that in following a certain protocol for treating the viruses, as well as other contributing factors related to the Fibromyalgia (especially that of hidden food allergies), the symptoms of Fibromyalgia could be completely eradicated in a high percentage of Fibromyalgia patients.

Since this discovery, there have been several scientific studies conducted and an increasing number of scientists and doctors who have been adapting Dr. Dantini’s protocol for treating Fibromyalgia patients.

Dr. Dantini does not claim to have all the answers, but as a full time doctor to Fibromyalgia patients he has found that once the food allergens and viruses have been treated 75% – 80% of his patients “respond fully” and find lasting relief from what was previously seen as an incurable condition. Their pain is gone, their energy levels return to normal, they are able to sleep better, think clearer, and they are able to stop taking their pain and anti-depressant medications.

The remaining 15% - 20% of his patients had very little to no response to the antiviral treatments, which has lead to consideration that there may very well be multiple causes for the same set of Fibromyalgia symptoms, which could explain why scientists have not been able to find a “one size fits all” solution for Fibromyalgia.  

The simple fact that Fibromyalgia is characterized by symptoms and has no definitive test that can be conducted to “prove” that someone has Fibromyalgia, leads to the very likely possibility that a percentage of Fibromyalgia patients have been misdiagnosed and may have a completely different condition all together with a completely different cause behind the symptoms which closely resemble that of Fibromyalgia.  

Dr. William Pridgen is another doctor who is in on the groundbreaking discoveries of viruses and the role they play in Fibromyalgia patients. Dr. Pridgen was not looking for a cure for Fibromyalgia and was not even treating Fibromyalgia patients originally, but as he treated other conditions in his patients he discovered that a great many of his patients were experiencing relief from their Fibromyalgia symptoms after taking certain antiviral treatments.

Seeing that he had stumbled across a groundbreaking discovery, Dr. Pridgen went on to conduct several tests to try and determine if there could be a connection between viruses and Fibromyalgia. He concluded, based on the data collected by his team of scientists, that viruses are an underlying cause and possibly the “key” to understanding and treating Fibromyalgia.

The Viruses That Wreak Havoc

In Dr. Dantini’s book, “The New Fibromyalgia Remedy” he lists the four different viruses that he has found to be responsible for causing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The four viruses are:

1) Cytomegalovirus

2) Epstein-Barr Virus

3) Herpes Virus 6

4) Parvovirus

He goes on to say that the majority of his patients have two or more of these viruses actively affecting the body, the combination of which creates the vast and varied symptoms that pertain to both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

The different possible virus combinations can help to explain why no two cases of Fibromyalgia are alike. And the idea that viruses are at the root of the Fibromyalgia symptoms can also help to explain why the symptoms seem to “flare up” and go through phases of frequent change, since that is a common characteristic of viral infections.  

Each of the four viruses contain a different set of symptoms, so people with Fibromyalgia can each have different symptoms (and differing degrees of symptoms) depending on which combination of viruses the person has and the extent to which those viruses are active in the body.

The Cytomegalovirus can cause symptoms such as:

* Fatigue

* Fevers

* Chills and/or sweats

* Muscle aches

* Decreased appetite

* Enlarged lymph nodes

* Sore throat

* Headache

* Visual problems

* Retinitis (inflammation of the retina)

* Pneumonia

* Shortness of breath

* Gastrointestinal tract issues

* Ulcers in the digestive tract

* Diarrhea

* Hepatitis / Jaundice

* Encephalitis (Inflammation of the brain)

* Confusion

* Leg Weakness

* Jaundice

* Behavioral changes

* Seizures

The Epstein-Barr Virus can cause symptoms such as:

* Extreme Fatigue

* Fever

* Chills

* Loss of appetite

* Skin rash

* Sore or inflamed throat

* Tonsillitis

* Swollen glands in the neck

* Weakness

* Body aches

* Sore muscles

* Headaches

* Mononucleosis

* Bloating

* Night sweats

* Dizziness

* Rash

* Swollen liver and/or spleen

* Jaundice

* Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

* Inflammation of individual nerves

The Herpesvirus 6 can cause symptoms such as:

* Fever

* Rash

* Infections

* Allergies

* Respiratory issues

* Neurological problems

* Behavioral changes

* Anxiety

* Poor growth or poor weight gain

* Poor concentration

* Memory problems

* Sleep problems

* Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

* Hepatitis

* Seizures

The Parvovirus can cause symptoms such as:

* Joint soreness

* Red rash

* Chronic anemia

* Malaise

* Headache

* Muscle pain

* Nausea

* Rhinorrhea

* Bruising

* Myocarditis

* Vasculitis

* Glomerulonephritis

* Encephalitis (Inflammation of the brain)

* Asymptomatic Infection

The symptoms of these viruses may develop slowly and may not all occur at the same time. A person may also have only some and not all of the symptoms associated with the virus, and symptoms may “come and go”. But when you look at the list symptoms that the different viruses can cause, you can see how a person who has any combination of these viruses attacking the body simultaneously would essentially have all the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Outside the Box Viral Testing

Because there is a percentage of Fibromyalgia patients (about 15% - 20%) who do not have high counts of the viruses and do not get any relief from taking the antiviral treatments, the first step in the treatment protocol is to order blood tests that can help to determine if any of these viruses are active in the body.

In listing the blood tests that need to be conducted, it is important to note that physicians are generally taught that IgG results have no bearing on whether an infection is active or not. In other words, just because the viruses appear on the test does not guarantee that they are actively affecting the body, the same viruses would appear on the tests even in their dormant an inactive state. But Dr. Dantini (along with many other doctors, including Dr. Lerner and Dr. Montoya) believes that very high IgG levels in the presence of an illness really does indicate an active infection, whereas low IgG levels (or high levels with no symptoms or illness) would tend to show the viruses as being dormant in the body.  

The following is a listing of the blood tests that should be ordered:

1) CMV AB IgG (Cytomegalovirus Antibodies IgG)

2) EBV AB VCA IgG (Epstein-Barr Virus Antibodies Viral Capsid Antigen IgG)

3) HHV-6 AB IgG (Human Herpes Virus 6 Antibodies IgG)

4) PARV B19 AB IgG (Human Parvovirus B19 IgG)

When having these tests done, it is important to have results that show how your values compare to the median of a normal population, since the mere numbering on the charts is often calculated differently by different laboratories. If the test does not show how your results compare to what is considered "normal" or "common", the director of the laboratory should be able to tell you where your numbers are on their scale. The laboratory director should have the statistics from the studies that are conducted in the process of licensing their tests, and from the statistics they should be able to help you determine where your levels are on their scale.

Antiviral Treatment

The doctors who have been successful in treating the viruses that cause Fibromyalgia (such as Dr. Dantini, Dr. Pridgen, Dr. Lerner, Dr. Montoya, and others) tend to diverge from other physicians regarding the dosage and duration of the antiviral treatments needed in order to be effective in treating cases of Fibromyalgia. Most doctors are hesitant to prescribe antiviral drugs in high doses or for extended periods of time, but in cases of Fibromyalgia, the standard viral treatments are not powerful enough to be effective. The dosage required is not only higher than the standard dosage for viral infections, but also requires several months to a year (or more) of treatments. The dosage also varies depending on the results of the patient's blood tests, their body weight, age, how long they have been suffering from Fibromyalgia, and other variables.

Optimal Dosage of Valacyclovir According to Body Weight:

Less than 175 pounds:  800mg - 1,000mg, 3-4 times daily

175 pounds:  1,000mg, 3-4 times daily

More than 175 pounds:  1,000mg - 1,500mg, 3-4 times daily

The dosage recommendations mentioned above is considered the general starting dosage for the valacyclovir treatment. Ideally, the valacyclovir should be taken every 6-8 hours, however, it is safe to take as frequently as every 4 hours if the patient prefers to take all the treatments during the day and not have to awaken in the middle of the night for a dose.

The impact of the antiviral treatments tend to differ from patient to patient. There are some patients who do not see any improvement in their symptoms until about 3 months into the treatments, and they may need continue taking the antiviral medication for 6 months to a year.

Other patients begin to see results almost immediately and begin to experience relief from their symptoms as early as 3-4 weeks into the treatment. In such cases, it may only be necessary for the patient to continue the treatments for 3-4 months.

The patients who respond quickly to the treatments are usually those people who have not been sick for a long time and are younger in age. Older patients and patients who have been suffering from the condition for many years tend to take longer to heal.

The valacyclovir is often considered the drug of choice, though there are other viral medications that can be used, including famciclovir, acyclovir, ganciclovir, and valganciclovir.

Dr. Dantini is most commonly known to prescribe valacyclovir or famciclovir in his treatments of patients, though he has been known to use other viral medications upon occasion. It has been his experience that different patients respond differently to different treatments, often depending on which combination of viruses they are fighting, how long the viruses have been active and multiplying in the body, as well as the age of the patient and other determining factors.

Part of Dr. Dantini’s treatment protocol includes a re-evaluation of the symptoms, medications, and dosage in order to implement changes as needed and to provide customized care to each of his patients.

Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better

An initial worsening of symptoms is common at the beginning of the treatments. This is known as a Jarisch Herxheimer reaction and though it may seem discouraging at first, this worsening of symptoms should actually be seen as a positive sign, since it can indicate that the viral treatment is working and that the body is effectively fighting off the viruses.

As the body fights off the viruses, increased amount of toxins are released into the blood stream and the body performs a major detoxification process, which is what causes the sudden increase of symptoms (most commonly achiness and flu-like symptoms). This worsening of symptoms usually only lasts a few days or a few weeks, though it may re-occur if the dosage of medication being taken is too high or too frequent.

If the reaction is too severe, cutting back on the dosage or frequency of the treatments can be very helpful in lessening symptoms while still allowing the healing to continue. Sometimes stopping for a day or two and then beginning again at a lesser dosage can allow for quick relief.

It is also very important to drink plenty of water while taking these harsh treatments. Half a gallon of water a day can really help the body to flush out the toxins and can help to reduce the amount of symptoms experienced by the detoxification process.

Adding a little lemon to the water can also be helpful in strengthening and supporting the liver as it works overtime to process the heavy medications.

Warning: Any serious symptoms such as breathing difficulties, chest pains, significant swelling, irregular heart beat, or other severe symptoms should be given immediate medical attention.

New Treatments On the Way

Currently the antiviral treatments being prescribed for Fibromyalgia are all generic drugs. Because these drugs are not customized for the treatment of Fibromyalgia, the dosage and duration of the treatments is extremely high and very harsh.

These generic drugs can create an issue in cases where patients are simply too ill to be able to take the required dosage for the length of time needed. There are many cases in which a patient began to make progress and saw improvement in their condition, but then they had to cut back in order to lessen the effects of the drugs when side effects would flare up, which can lead to a regression of their condition.

Pharmaceutical companies have already started work on developing new drugs that are intended to specifically meet the needs of Fibromyalgia patients. Dr. Pridgen’s proposed drug combination (known as IMC-1) is currently being fast tracked by the FDA and is already on its phase III trial; depending on the results of the drug tests, this new treatment could be on the market within three years.

Newer, more effective drugs could mean lower doses and lessened side effects which could make it possible for more patients to be able to tolerate the treatments.

More customized drugs could also target the infections that are buried deeply in the body, which could produce quicker results and shorten the duration of the overall treatment.

Food Allergies as a Hidden Menace

In addition to the viruses, food allergies (often delayed allergies) have also been found to be a component in cases of Fibromyalgia. Dr. Dantini believes that hidden food allergies account for about 30% of his patients’ symptoms. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of research being done on this topic, but these commonly overlooked food allergies seem to be a critical component that needs to be addressed when treating Fibromyalgia patients.

Identifying and removing food allergens can alleviate many chronic degenerative disorders and has proven to be very effective in relieving some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia in a large percentage of the patients that Dr. Dantini has treated over the years.

His theory suggests that food allergies arise when damaged intestinal walls (leaky gut) allow food proteins to enter the bloodstream which prompts an immune defense. In this scenario, any food you eat regularly could prompt a strong immune response.

These delayed food allergies are likely caused by the viruses at work in the body and also by stress. In most cases it is enough to avoid these foods for about 6 weeks while starting the viral treatments. In most cases, as the antiviral treatments begin to do their work the intestine heals, the leaky gut syndrome is resolved, the symptoms caused by the food allergies will disappear, and those particular foods can be slowly reintroduced into the diet again.

The treatment of viruses and food allergies simultaneously seems to be the key to a successful treatment. Treating one apart from the other does not often produce the same result or give the desired outcome.

Stress Can Cause Fibromyalgia Symptoms to Return

In many cases, a form of stress was essentially responsible for the compromised immune system, the damage that led to the leaky gut and delayed food allergies, the activation of viruses, and the original onset of the Fibromyalgia symptoms.

That said, it is important to note that even while the antiviral treatments can seem like a “miracle cure” for the Fibromyalgia patients, the viruses that were active in the body are never completely killed off by these treatments but merely go into a dormant (inactive) state in the body.

Once the antiviral treatments bring the viruses back under control, the immune system is usually capable of keeping those viruses in check and preventing them from "awakening" or becoming active again.

It is very common, however, for a person who has experienced relief from the Fibromyalgia symptoms to very suddenly experience a relapse or a return of the Fibromyalgia as a result of another stressful episode or another situation that compromises the immune system.

Even Dr. Dantini, after a full recovery from his Fibromyalgia, shares his testimony of how he experienced a relapse of his symptoms after the stressful events surrounding the death of his father-in-law.

Stress has been known to weaken the immune system and lead to the reactivation of viruses in the body. This is especially true for the Epstein-Barr Virus which has been shown to reactivate even in healthy individuals as a result of stress.

Fortunately, in the case of a relapse (especially if the condition is identified early on), it can be enough to just take a short course of antivirals, in a lower dose than the original treatment. In most cases just a few short days of taking the medication is enough to treat the relapse, suppress the viruses, and return the person back to health.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The four viruses that are said to cause Fibromyalgia (Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus, Herpes 6, and Parvovirus) are all viruses that are very commonly seen in people who are perfectly healthy, so how can these viruses be suspected of causing such serious symptoms in some people while having little or no affect on others?

A: In most cases, these very common viruses are able to be present in the body without creating any serious negative effects, this is because the body’s immune system is able to fight against the viruses and keep them in a dormant, inactive state.

In cases of Fibromyalgia, there is often a point of time in the person’s life in which their immune system was compromised which originally lead to the onset of the Fibromyalgia symptoms. In these cases, the immune system is not able to keep the viruses in check and they turn into an active infection that runs ramped in the body.

Dr. Pridgen’s explains it this way, “There's a group of people who are genetically damaged in a way. There's something that's wrong with the immune system such that most people can force the virus to go into dormancy. These patients can't. The body thinks there's an ongoing war 24/7; everything gets amplified."

Q: Since antiviral medications aren't specifically approved for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration, would people face obstacles with insurance coverage?

A: Most insurance plans will cover the medicine when prescribed by a doctor. A copy of the viral tests is often sent along with the insurance claims and the viral testing and treatments are usually covered.

Q: What types of circumstances might compromise the immune system to the point of being unable to guard against these common viruses and at risk of these viruses becoming active in the body?

A: Any major illness, injury, stress, or trauma can lead to a compromised immune system. Car accidents, loss of family member, serious health issues, drug abuse, poisoning, chronic insomnia or sleep deprivation, radiation or exposure to heavy chemicals or metals, damage to the central nervous system, etc. Even problems with the endocrine system or hormone glands can lead to a compromised immune system.

High stress is a huge culprit as it has the ability to alter immune response and suppresses the digestive system, leading to both the body’s inability to fight the viruses as well as the increased likelihood of developing delayed food allergies (leaky gut syndrome). These two issues in combination are exactly what Dr. Dantini suspects to be the cause of Fibromyalgia, and most often stress is one of the key contributing factors.

Q: Is it possible for someone’s test results to show high levels of these viruses and yet the person does not respond well to the antiviral treatments?

A: Yes, there have been cases in which the blood tests showed high counts of these viruses in the body but when taking the antiviral treatments the patient had little to no improvement of their condition.

In some of these cases it was just a matter of increasing the dosage or frequency of the treatments, or switching the patient to a different antiviral medication before the desired results were achieved; but even then there are some cases in which even these adjustments to the treatment plan did not result in an improvement in the person’s condition.

Essential what the antiviral treatment does is interfere with the virus' ability to multiply in the body, making the condition less “overwhelming” for the immune system to be able to handle. However, for the actual destruction of the viruses, the immune system has to step in and actually fight against the viruses, so if the immune system is not identifying the viruses as a threat or is not doing its job of fighting against the viruses, the effectiveness of the antiviral treatment is limited.

Dr. Lerner's studies suggest that many of the patients who have elevated titers but who do not respond even to long-term antiviral treatments may have other, undiagnosed infections (such as Lyme Disease). With any condition in which the immune system has been compromised (especially a condition that has been going on for a long time) it is very common for there to be multiple conditions that need to be addressed, so the viruses may just be one of many issues.

If a person shows high levels of viruses in their body but does not respond well to the antiviral treatments, further testing for bacterial or fungal infections may also be necessary.

Q: I have heard that acyclovir and valacyclovir are very similar drugs that essentially produce the same results in the body, so can the acyclovir be used as an alternative to valacyclovir?

A: Yes and No. There have been cases in which Fibromyalgia patients were successfully treated with acyclovir, and even Dr. Dantini has been known to use acyclovir upon occasion.

There are, however, some distinct differences between these drugs that really need to be taken into consideration.

For one thing, the valacyclovir tends to be a lot stronger than the acyclovir, it is more quickly absorbed into the body, and it tends to stay in the blood stream longer. With this being the case, if you were to use acyclovir as a substitute for valacyclovir you would actually need to take the acyclovir more frequently than the valacyclovir; so, if you would normally be taking the valacyclovir 3-4 times a day, you would likely need to take the acyclovir 5-6 times in a day in order to have the same effect. A higher dosage of acyclovir may also be necessary.

Generally speaking, the valacyclovir tends to be used in cases that require a regular, daily treatment, especially in cases where the treatment needs to be taken for an extended period of time. The valacyclovir can also be used as a preventive medication to reduce the chances of periodic outbreaks.

In contrast, the acyclovir is used more as an episodic treatment, to be used more sporadically (or “as needed”) whenever an outbreak occurs. In severe cases, the acyclovir may be prescribed for regular, daily use, but this is extremely rare (especially when a treatment needs to be taken for an extended period of time) due to the fact that the body can build up a tolerance to the acyclovir drug after repeated use, thus rendering it useless.

In conclusion, of the two viral treatments, the valacyclovir really appears to be the best option for treating Fibromyalgia.


The New Fibromyalgia Remedy: Stop Your Pain Now with an Anti-Viral Drug Regimen

by Dr. Daniel Dantini

Offering new hope for advances in treatment, the discussion covers the difficulty of diagnosing fibromyalgia, the overlaps with chronic fatigue syndrome, the unrelatedness of arthritis, and the possibility that food allergies may trigger attacks.

Patient success stories along the way encourage readers while data samples, references, and appendices provide clinical details.



* “The New Fibromyalgia Remedy: Stop Your Pain Now with an Anti-Viral Drug Regimenby Dr. Daniel Dantini

* A Fibromyalgia Doctor Steps Out: Dr. Dantini on Antivirals for CFS and FM (Pheonix Rising)

* A New Fibromyalgia Remedy: Antiviral Drugs (U.S. News)

* Evaluation of Antiviral Antibodies against Epstein-Barr Virus and Neurotransmitters in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience)

* Study Links Fibromyalgia and Herpes Virus (Center for Biology of Chronic Disease - CBCD)

* Dr. Pridgen on Doses, Fixing Broken Bodies, and Why the Next Fibromyalgia Trials Will Be Better (Shimmaron Research)

* A-Z Guides: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) (WebMD)

* Harvard Health Topics A-Z: Cytomegalovirus (Harvard Health Publications)

* Diseases and Conditions: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection (Mayo Clinic)

* Health A-Z: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Symptoms (NHS Choices)

* Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

* New Findings with Epstein Barr Virus: The Sleeping Giant (Wellness Resources)

* Epstein-Barr Virus Infection (eMedicine Health)

* Epstein-Barr Virus (Health 24)

* Everything You Need to Know About Herpes 6 (HHV-6) (Natural Medicines and Family Practice)

* Symptoms of Human Herpesvirus 6 (Live Strong)


* Parvovirus B19 and Fifth Disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

* Parvovirus B19 Infection Clinical Presentation (Medscape)

* Underlying Causes (Fibromyalgia Free)

* Dr. Martin Lerner's Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Antiviral Treatment Protocol (Health Rising)

* Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments (4Fibromyalgia, Dr. Daniel Dantini, M.D.)

* The Herxheimer Reaction – Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better (Silver Colloids)

* Herxheimer Reaction (Chronic Illness Recovery Counsel Liaison Education)

* Drug Dosage (Mayo Clinic)

* Valtrex vs. Acyclovir: What's the Difference? (ViaMedic)

* Differences Between Valtrex, Acyclovir, and Famvir (ViaMedic)

* Dysfunctional Neurotransmitter Systems in Fibromyalgia, Their Role in Central Stress Circuitry and Pharmacological Actions on These Systems (Hindawi)

* Antiviral Combo May be Next Blockbuster Fibromyalgia Drug (National Pain Report, May 2016)

* Innovative Med Concepts Announces Receipt of FDA Fast Track Designation for IMC-1, a Novel Treatment for Fibromyalgia (PR Newswire, January 2016)

* New Drugs/Drug News/New Medical Devices (P&T Communities, March 2016)

* Adrenal Fatigue and Your Immune System (Adrenal Fatigue Solutions)

* Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk (Mayo Clinic)

* Weakened Immune System (Diagnose Me)