Morgellons folk say they all have the same symptoms.
- You research the internet and so easily discover that Elliot’s disease, National United Skin Parasites Association, the Fiber Disease, and Morgellons are all one and the same. Ironically, all of the people with the exact same symptoms that you have, have been receiving the same faulty diagnosis
What are these symptoms? What does MRF have to say? Well, they have two pages, one on “symptoms, and one that proports to be a case definition. Symptoms:
Most individuals with this disease report disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations, as well as non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures. These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking feature of this disease. In addition, patients report the presence of seed-like granules and black speck-like material associated with their skin.[...] More significant than skin symptoms, in terms of the diminished quality of life of the individual with this illness, are symptoms unrelated to skin, to include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (ME), joint pain, and significant problems with concentration and memory.
Remarkably, not all people with this disease have overt skin lesions, as some individuals report intact skin. The troubling sensations and accompanying physical structures, are the consistent clues to this infectious process
[...]The following case definition of Morgellons disease has been developed by physicians on the medical advisory board of the Morgellons Research Foundation[...]
Now, I’m not going to post the entire thing here, as it’s quite long. But I’ll paraphrase the important parts:
- Lesions may or may not be present, they might be a symptom of the disease, or the result of scratching. They might look like pimples, or hives, and may or may not contain pus.
- Crawling sensations can occur anywhere on the body.
- Fatigue is always present.
- There will be behavioral effects that are diagnosed as psychiatric disorders (the implication is that they do not have these disorders, but the symptoms indicate Morgellons).
- Fibers are reported in and on lesions and on the skin. Fibers may be any color size or shape. Granuals of any size or shape are found on the lesions and skin. Fuzzballs up to 3mm in size are found on lesions and skin.
- Additonal symptoms include: vision changes, neurological changes, gastrointestinal changes, skin changes, Musculoskeletal changes.
Other than the fibers, what we have here is a catch-all of symptoms. Anyone who has some chronic condition cannot fail to have some of these symptoms. NOBODY has them all.
One can become a “Morgellons” sufferer simply by matching a few of your symptoms to the list, and then examining your skin for fibers – which everyone has on their skin.
What about those other conditions mentioned: Elliot’s Disease? Well, Elliot’s Disease research Library links to this article about “this disease”
This gives a simpler definition:
- It is characterized by neurological sensation of movement subcutaneously and/or in deeper tissues and cavities that is usually associated with mucoid cutaneous lesions from which one or more species of arthropods as well as unidentified fibers may be recovered.
Unfortunately, although this is a shorter definition, it’s actually even less precise than the Morgellons.org definition. We have a “sensation of movement” either on the skin or somewhere on the body, usually with lesions but not always, and either with or without arthropods and with or without fibers. Based on that definition – I’ve got it, since my scalp itches a bit right now. Yours probably does too.
Moving on, NUSPA has a nice page of symptoms:
They focus on a very broad range of symptoms of infestation by a parasite, insomnia and the specks and fibers. Nowheres does it mention fatigue or any neurological complain. This is obviously very different to Morgellons.
Then there is “The Fiber Disease” – this seems to be a term popularized by the biology-online forum thread.
Unfortunately, they don’t list the symptoms anywhere I could find. But individual posters report a very wide range of symtoms.
Okay, finally my point:
Not everyone has the same thing.
There are so many different symptoms, it’s impossible to describe this as “a disease” or even “a syndrome”. Everyone has different symptoms, everyone responds differently to treatments. The term “Morgellons” was invented to describe a child’s skin problems, which he is now cured of, and which have no relation to the symptoms described by the vast majority of sufferers.