From the paper:
Diffuse Pruritic Lesions in a 37-Year-Old Man After Sleeping in an Abandoned Building“, by Jeffrey Dunn, M.D., Michael B. Murphy, B.A., Katherine M. Fox, B.A., Am J Psychiatry 164:1166-1172, August 2007:
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/164/8/1166

A controversial phenomenon possibly related to delusions
of parasitosis inspiring discussion and media attention
is Morgellons’s disease. As in delusions of parasitosis,
patients describe insects/parasites crawling on or under
the skin, are convinced they are infested and contagious,
and produce physical “evidence” of infestation. In particular,
though, patients complain of fibers extruding from the
skin; such particles produced for examination have been
variously identified as cellulose, fibers with “autofluorescence,”
fuzz balls, specks, granules, Strongyloides stercoralis,
Cryptococcus neoformans, “alternative cellular energy
pigments,” and various bacteria. In no case, however, has
an infectious etiology for these mysterious symptoms
been confirmed. Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded
in the dermatology literature as a manifestation of delusions
of parasitosis (and potentially a means of promoting
patient rapport through destigmatization), despite the efforts
of the Morgellons Research Foundation to promulgate
an infectious rather than a neuropsychiatric etiology.
Until a treatable infectious component is identified, patients
can continue to be treated with neuroleptics—pimozide,
risperidone, aripiprazole—which have been reportedly
effective

Also note eMedicine article by Noah S Scheinfeld, MD, JD, FAAD
http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic939.htm

Savely et al introduced the term morgellons disease to describe a type of infestation characterized by fibers attached to the skin. The entity appears to be little more than a new designation for DP. Koblenzer and Waddell and Burke have discussed the utility of the term, with Murase et al finding the term useful for building a therapeutic alliance with patients with DP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating Morgellon disease.

See also similar sentiments in the Atlas of Human Parasitology, 2007
http://morgellonswatch.com/2007/07/24/morgellons-in-the-atlas-of-human-parasitology/

So it seems that Psychiatrists, Dermatologists and Parasitologists all agree somewhat.

49 Responses to “Morgellons in the American Journal of Psychiatry”

  1. People with the symptoms of Morgellons have been “immediately fitted into one of the conceptual categories prepared by prior experience” (Kuhn, 63).

    Regarding the “good” doctors, “They will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modiciations of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict” (Kuhn, 78).

    “What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see” (Kuhn, 113). While I can conceed that DOP exists, because they EXPECT this to be DOP, they approch the situation with a bias, a closed mind. They see what they expect to see, and they aren’t even looking!

    Source: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions–Thomas Kuhn

  2. A funny thing happens when you’re ill with indefinable symptoms that don’t fit well into any established category of physical illness: you panic, you scan the world for answers, you begin to accept bizarre explanations to match your bizarre experience. So why is it that the doctors, such as Jeffery Dunn et al., think it is appropriate to ask the sufferer what is wrong with them, and then exploit their words by using them as proof that the sufferer must be insane? (circular reasoning) Do you really need me to say it? They don’t really know what is wrong with them doc! They were kinda hoping you might tell them as is generally assumed with the doctor/patient relationship. I sure hope my doctor is not counting on me to tell her when I discover that I have cancer or any other life-threatening illness. If the words of people so thoroughly dumfounded by what they are experiencing offend you, don’t listen or don’t ask since you know they are not equipped to diagnose themselves. Instead of asking them to supply you with a response you can joke about, why don’t you do your job and you find the answer to your own questions. Assume nothing, but attempt to approach the situation with a smidge of compassion. You might find that they are not DOP, and then you won’t have to be an SOB for having further contributed to their suffering by tagging on more insulting and demeaning labels.

  3. Hey Michael,

    I know how you like to play fair and all (cough, choke, gag, deep breath). Anywho, I thought you might want to include some differing opinions of medical professionals on this subject.

    http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/42/11/24-b

    It’s funny what one might find when they take the time to look! Thank you Robert Bransfield, M.D. from the bottom of my fuzzy heart!

    Morgellons Disease
    Robert C. Bransfield, M.D.
    Red Bank, N.J.

    I am pleased to see that in the December 15, 2006, issue, Psychiatric News drew attention to Morgellons disease and that the excellent article gave sound advice on communicating with delusional parasitosis patients. However, I would like to add comments about the distinction between Morgellons disease and delusional parasitosis.

    I’ve evaluated and treated Morgellons patients, spoken with researchers and other clinicians who work with these patients, read the limited literature on the subject, and reviewed a database of 3,000 Morgellons patients. The Morgellons patients I have seen had surprisingly similar symptoms, with an abrupt onset, often following a toxic exposure. Before the onset of their illness, these patients’ mental status appeared to be quite representative of the general population, and some (including physicians) were high-functioning professionals. The condition appears more common in nurses, teachers, and in family members in the same household, which suggests a contagious component.

    After the onset of the illness, these patients report surprisingly similar symptoms. They have a combination of bizarre dermatological sy mptoms, cognit ive impairments, mood disturbances, and sometimes paranoia and suicide attempts in later stages of the illness.

    Their symptoms are not compatible with schizophrenia, bipolar illness, substance abuse, or other recognized causes of delusions. When patients complain of fibers protruding from their skin, examination with a low-power digital microscope can visualize and photograph the presence or absence of these fibers. In addition, many Morgellons patients test positive for Lyme disease. The mental symptoms seen in Morgellons are similar to those of other chronic general medical illnesses with psychiatric manifestations, since the mental symptoms fluctuate in a pattern similar to that of the general medical symptoms; and this suggests that the mental symptoms are probably associated with immune and/or toxic effects upon the brain.

    When these patients are treated with modest courses of antibiotics, their dermatological and psychiatric symptoms often show significant improvement. Without a thorough assessment, Morgellons patients are commonly given a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis, resulting in a delay in proper treatment. Whatever Morgellons is, it is something very different and unique and should be considered as a condition needing further study and possibly listed in the next edition of the DSM.

    In summary, Morgellons disease and delusional parasitosis are two distinct clinical entities. Morgellons does not appear to be an imaginary or delusional illness and merits the research effort that we see with any other emerging and serious illness.

  4. Robert C. Bransfield, M.D. is a board member of the MRF. Of course, that does not disqualify him from producing evidence. This paper has be brought up here three times since it was published last year. It does not actually say anything new, other than Bransfield believes in Morgellons. He also believes, very strongly, that a lot of mental illness is caused by Lyme Disease.

    He says that he can photograph fibers with “a low powered digital microscope”. Then why does he not do this? Simply take five people who have morgellons (and five who don’t). Photograph their fibers (and the corresponding lack of, in the others), and viola, you have all the evidence you need to start some real studies.

    Why, over and over, do we have to rely of the word of people like Wymore and Bransfield when they ask us to believe this is a distinct disease? If this is so incredibly easy to eyeball, then why on earth don’t they simply SHOW IT TO A DERMATOLOGIST!

    I know that many Morgellons patients feel they do not get adequate treatment from dermatologists. However, if a professional such as Wymore, Casey, or Bransfield were to accompany them, and show the dermatologist the evidence, then why would that not work?

  5. Because there is no evidence!!

  6. I never once felt like “bugs were crawling on me” so how in the hell did one dumbass doctor give me that DOP diagnosis? Good points Aherah, really good! Maybe they should have called it “illusions of Parasitosis”

    Let’s talk Lyme Disease now….funny, the gd symptoms of Lyme match the symptoms of being hit with electromagnetic weapons! The chronic fatigue part- hehe…who in the fresh hell would not be tired after being microwaved and acoustic waved to death?? Thank God I didn’t send $300-$500 bucks to good, ole ‘Bowen Labs’ for my Lyme test. What a farce. But what I don’t get is why the hell the monitary damages to one’s personal stuff? That just doesn’t add up and breathes further antipathy and hatred.

    London

    PS:HEY TC!!

  7. Why did Bransfield become a member of the MRF? I imagine if I were a thorough doctor who found my frantic patients to be suffering from an illness I was totally clueless about, I might feel awful that I cannot help my patients. I might even be so brave as to tarnish my career and suffer eternal professional ridicule by joining the one organization devoted to learning more on the matter. So, why do you think Bransfield joined? Is he making more money? My guess is that he would be losing it by joining. Are you making money Michael? No, you’re making friends (wink wink).

    Hello London–hope you’re doing well.

    Aherah!

  8. Hey London,

    I never really felt like what I feel are bugs either. I feel a snap, crackle, pop..pop..pop sensation. My son said that he felt bugs. For me, it was actually other people to whom I described my symptoms that said “bugs.” At least with “bugs” we can put a face on the culprit.

    In 2004 (had this since 92), I was diagnosed with DOP after saying “Morgellons,” not bugs. As the shrinks in Michael’s piece explain, the two terms are becoming synonymous to the medical community.

    How professional.

  9. Quote for the day:

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    Bertrand Russell

  10. I never once felt like “bugs were crawling on me” so how in the hell did one dumbass doctor give me that DOP diagnosis? Good points Aherah, really good! Maybe they should have called it “illusions of Parasitosis”

    There are problems with terminology. The term “delusions of parasitosis” is somewhat unevenly applied. There are actually three forms: Primary, secondary functional and secondary organic. There is no “it”.

    Some people also use “illusions of Parasitosis” for variants, some for a misinterpreted sensations (“I’m itching, must be parasites!”), and some for actual visual hallucinations (“I can see bugs on my skin, look!”).

    A “delusion” is a false belief, an “illusion” is a false perception. But use of language is not consistent, so you get overlap, even within medical literature.

  11. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    Bertrand Russell

    I’ll second that. Doubt is good, doubt is the foundation of true science.

    I am 100 percent convinced that Morgellons is a real disease pathology.

    Randy Wymore, PhD

    There’s no question in my mind that it’s a real disease

    Rhonda Casey, DO

  12. So, why do you think Bransfield joined? Is he making more money? My guess is that he would be losing it by joining.

    Bransfield says that depression, OCD, panic disorder, social phobias, variants of ADD, episodic impulsive hostility, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, dementia, various cognitive impairments, psychosis, and a few cases of dissociative episodes are caused by infectious diseases, particularly Lyme.

    So, yes, I suspect he is actually making money. He takes patients who have mental health problems, he convinces them they have Lyme (which makes them very happy that it’s not all in their mind, so they think he’s a brilliant doctor), he treats them (probably with long term IV antibiotics, expensive, unproven, and dangerous).

    Joining the MRF, and writing letters for them, simply expands his client base.

  13. From December 1, 2006. Jeffrey Meffert, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio

    Morgellon’s Disease: A Dermatologist’s Opinion

    http://tinyurl.com/3ckftn

    I highly recommend his lecture, and slide show.

  14. Fascinating. Is there audio? I could just see the slides.

  15. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    Bertrand Russell

    The Evidence Indicates:
    1. The fibers are environmental and unrelated to any illness
    2. Morgellons is not a distinct disease
    3. People who think they have “Morgellons” probably have a mixed variety of physical and/or mental illnesses

    I’m thinking “cock…sure” when I think of a couple of people who post here quite regularly. In their uneducated, highly emotional perspective, they seem to think they have it all figured out.

    Regarding Wymore and Casey, we both know they take a strong stance to rebut the stronger stances that have prejudged and pigeon-holed this bunch. The “cocksure” have been disproportionately on the other side of the issue. Wymore and Casey are just trying to level the thinking field–invite some truly objective scientists into the investigation, making full use of their multiplicity of knowledge.

    Personally, I don’t know that Morgellons is a disease. Define “disease.” I feel quite certain that it is something, I just don’t know what. There’s no doubt it feels diseasish. Just because you can’t put your finger on this one so easily doesn’t invalidate it. Even your attempts in what has become your motto (above) are a just perspective from someone who tells others that they must be wrong about what they experience. (Nevermind that you just put your hand on the burner and screamed bloody murder, the evidence indicates that you did not burn your hand since we see no blisters or reddened skin.) We don’t know that it is or is not a disease. I believe it is certainly a phenomenon. Why such a phenomena came about, then, is peculiar in itself. Since I first reported fibers to my doctor at the young, healthy, happy age of twenty-five (1992) when I knew of no one of this planet that was experiencing what I was experiencing, I certainly do not believe that this phenomena was created by the MRF, lymebusters, or even my mind. I feel quite justified in saying that this phenomenon deserves a good scientific look, and I deserve some solid answers.

  16. God I hate it when I catch my own grammatical errors. BLAH!

  17. So, yes, I suspect he is actually making money.

    Yes, I suspect he is earning an income as well. I also suspect that, with his skills, he’d do much better earning an income staying far, far away from the lyme-ridden morgellonites. I’m a bit surprised by some of your response though Michael, do you think that chronic, untreated lyme (which is caused by a bacterial cousin to the spriochete that causes syphilis) won’t cause neurological disturbances? I guess you and I are so much not on the same page that any sort of discussion is a mute point. Yea, I at least believe that chronic, untreated disease can affect a person’s mind.

  18. Thanks Michael for the clarity/explanations regarding the wording.I didnt know
    how interchangable they used those definitions in the med world. I still never had a delusion or illusion though!well, I takethat back. When the perps first splattered my house with cocoons, feathers, flying-twisting toilet paper, puddle of red blood on floor, asbestos fibers coming out my air vents, red-looking lil quarter sized octopus/starfish peppered thoughout carpet, and yes those jumping black dots of carbon….well, I think they pumped some type of hallucinagen thru the air ducts too….THIS WAS THE ONLY TIME I HAD AN ILLUSION!! jEEZ, I wish they did that gas more often to tell you the truth. But atlas, no more illusioning or delusioning for me, I just stayed swollen, tired and sometimes got shocked by electric volts…blah, blah…but thanks for the clarification Michael.

    Miss Smiley,

    Man, I wanted to see what you found us but could not get thru with your link. It said this when I opened the url address: System.InvalidOperationException: WM64Lite# is not a valid player type

    so being the computer illiterate (plus lazy) , I need help to view it…shout back when you can..

    Thanks,

    London

  19. The Evidence Indicates:
    1. The fibers are environmental and unrelated to any illness
    2. Morgellons is not a distinct disease
    3. People who think they have “Morgellons” probably have a mixed variety of physical and/or mental illnesses

    The Evidence Indicates. That’s the key. I’m not cocksure of anything about Morgellons. But the evidence indicates that the most likely explanation is the above. “Indicates” as in “points towards”. My 1,2,3 is simply what the evidence points towards.

    More relevant, the evidence does NOT indicate a distinct disease.

  20. Yes, I suspect he is earning an income as well. I also suspect that, with his skills, he’d do much better earning an income staying far, far away from the lyme-ridden morgellonites.

    I’d heard that LLMDs make a LOT of money. Bransfield is carving a niche in that market by focusing on people with mental illness.

    Of course late stage Lyme occasionally is associated with neurological problems. But it seems like Bransfield is simply finding people who are mentally ill, diagnosing them with Lyme, and charging them a lot of money for what is essentially a validation that makes them feel better.

    See Merck:
    http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec17/ch190/ch190l.html

    The lack of a definitive test for Lyme disease causes some difficulties. In areas where Lyme disease is common, many people who have painful joints, have trouble concentrating, or are always tired (chronic fatigue) often become concerned that they have late-stage Lyme disease, even though they never had a rash or any other symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease. Few of these people actually have Lyme disease; most of the time their symptoms are caused by other conditions. In people who never had symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease, the tests for Lyme antibodies are not reliable enough to make an accurate diagnosis. If a doctor makes the diagnosis based solely on the results of antibody tests, many people who do not have Lyme disease will be diagnosed with it. This typically leads to long and fruitless courses of antibiotic therapy.

  21. London, I’ve posted a link to the original PowerPoint file here, maybe you can view that:

    http://morgellonswatch.com/2007/08/06/a-dermatologists-opinion/

  22. Concerning that above link, I’d found it on proboards’ fiber disease message board. And, yes, the video has audio, and the slide presentation goes along with the doctor’s lecture. It is so cool. The doctor breaks it down, and he’s entertaining in the process. There are a few teeny-weeny disrepancies along the way, immaterial ones, that you’ll know when ya hear ‘em, if you’re one to keep up with “morgellons disease”. It’s a beneficial video (like your blog is, MG), for anyone who can get it.

    Maybe this link is better one…

    http://129.111.156.214/medical/viewer/?peid=8105660d-2dce-45ff-aa68-d3749493051f

    That guy, Dr. Jeffrey Meffert, is also one of the editors of this article…

    http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic939.htm

    P.S. Hey, London. Seen Ted Nugent lately? Hahahehehe. TC & I love ya!

  23. Excuse me, MG. I hadn’t refreshed me screen. You may delete the above comment, as well as this one, if you wish.

  24. The Evidence Indicates:
    1. The fibers are environmental and unrelated to any illness
    2. Morgellons is not a distinct disease
    3. People who think they have “Morgellons” probably have a mixed variety of physical and/or mental illnesses

    Did you collect “the evidence”? Do you have first hand experience with “the evidence”? What exactly do you call “evidence” and how did you determine what is and is not “evidence”? My “evidence” indicated something different than you post here altogether. Too bad I didn’t know you then, eh Michael. Too bad I couldn’t have contributed to your “evidence.” Have you requested evidence from other fiber producers?(rhetorical question) Why not?

    Perhaps I should take a poll among lyme doctors. I’ll ask them if they believe it would improve their career and income to join the MRF. Then, if they say “yes” as you suggest, I’ll ask them why they haven’t done it. Do you think they will say yes Michael? Hmmm…if I only had the surplus time of a bored retiree.

  25. “I’d heard that LLMDs make a LOT of money.”

    Wow that sounds so credible. I hear a lot of things too, but I don’t use that as a basis for believing something and then drawing grand conclusions from it. My mother does this “they say” thing that drives me crazy. Who the hell are THEY????

    Did the same “they” provide your evidence that LLMDs make a LOT of money? Be carefull about what “they” say…I’ve heard “they” are a cult of “them” whose intentions are to mislead. I wonder if “they” live here. Now that makes sense.

  26. Thank you both for the video instructions. No, Ted has not been around within the last 10 months or so but Prince sure has. Constantly singing “Purple Rain” to me as rose pedals fall from the ceiling. The artist says that he hates Wymore and Savely-no explanation given, just more gyrations and piercing looks when I asked why….go figure.

    okay, I must know…..

    Who’s the smartest between Michael and TC? Yes, I know it’s not relevant but I wanna know anyway. Smileycins will always be on the leader board ahead
    ( that’s the only reason she was excluded from the survey) that, and the fact that girls rule.
    ….perhaps we shall have an online spelling bee one day….

    G’night all-

    London

  27. London, Michael is obviously smarter, but he doesn’t recognize his own emotional interests in a particular outcome; he thinks he is objective. TC is psychologically reflexive. He hates himself for his obsessive behavior that, for a number of years, was focused on Morgellons. He is trying to purge himself of his Morgellon-sins by denouncing it altogether. He probably thinks he’ll win back his soul if he just keeps at it.

  28. okay, from the article they referenced above, it states these synonyms:

    Synonyms and related keywords: DP, DOP, insect infestation, matchbox sign, monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosis, delusion of infestation, delusional parasitosis, delusional infestation, folie à deux, folie partagé, morgellons disease.

    Well Damm Hell Ass Kings, TC was right all along…..there is no disease! Someone really screwed up when they picked Magellans, oops, I meant Morgellons! Lady Sabrina’s Fiber Disease is much more fitting. Never once did I bring bugs into my docs office, nor did I ever tell her I felt like bugs were crawling on me…NOT ONE DAMN TIME! Hell, I never itched except that one instance when my shower water was spiked with acid of some sort. Go F-ing figure….

    fibers, that acts as conduits of energy….

    Are there any doctors specializing in nanotechnology? Does anyone know? Im thinking “NOT” here since our country’s own FBI could not even identify them….Please guide/ advise if anyone knows of any specialist. (spare me w/ even entertaining the idea of me wasting a trip on consulting with Ginger S).. and please, no referrals to the TamTam. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    London

  29. “I’d heard that LLMDs make a LOT of money.”

    Wow that sounds so credible. I hear a lot of things too, but I don’t use that as a basis for believing something and then drawing grand conclusions from it. My mother does this “they say” thing that drives me crazy. Who the hell are THEY????

    I was basing it on this thread from LB:
    http://lymebusters.proboards39.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=rash&thread=1148324262&page=1

    London2146:
    Curious here- Is it true her apointments range in the astronomical figures these days?

    Patti:
    London, I know that sounds (and is) so expensive but all the LLMDs charge these huge figures.

    01tr3v (trev)
    Her fees are $1000 to see you and she also has some type of structured telephone fee with is rediculous. Its something like 200 for the first 15 minutes, then 175 for the next 15 minutes and so on.

    tonie
    Yes, the fee to see her is correct. I’d gotten the info emailed to me,

  30. Did you collect “the evidence”? Do you have first hand experience with “the evidence”? What exactly do you call “evidence” and how did you determine what is and is not “evidence”?

    The evidence is what is presented by Wymore and the MRF. Nothing.

    If you or someone else had evidence that you could show me, then you could show it to a doctor, they would be convinced, and there would not be this problem. Since this is not happening (10,000 people can produce any evidence to a single doctor?), then that is actually evidence itself.

    The evidence is that there is no evidence.

  31. Aherah, Hey- we must always be posting at the same time…seems I never see your post until right after I post mine. Perhaps you are the fastest typer of us two. Maybe you have more nanofibers that propel your muscle control and fast twitch ms.fibers to phenomenon speed….oh hell, what in the world are they doing to us???

  32. “The evidence is that there is no evidence.”

    So then you should change your wording to “the no evidence that I’ve been waiting on others to present indicates.”

    Wouldn’t that be more accurate? I mean, you make it appear as if you actually did some work to come up with your motto. When you do nothing, you get nothing. Be honest.

    Aherah!

  33. “10,000 people can produce any evidence to a single doctor”

    See Michael, this is where your logic is obscured by your repressed emotions. The evidence that 10,000 people have been producing for their doctors is called “the matchbox sign.” All one has to do is try to present evidence to his/her doctor, and that doctor will write you off from the moment your say “hello.” In such cases, they write you off for every other medical aliment that you will ever have–you’ve been canned, labeled, and tossed on the shelf for eternity. Now, are you going to pretend that none of the people you have corresponded with who claim to have the fibers coming from their skin (such as myself) have had such an experience? Do you think after having such an experience, the person would feel comfortable reapproaching their doctors a second time? Would it be in their best interest to do so? Doctors can’t figure this out, and they’ve been trained to handle it as a mental issue. In most cases, a doctor is the WORST person to turn to when stricken with this fiber issue.

    As far as the two or three who claim to be researching this, they ARE finding some strange similarities amongst the ill. I believe Hildegard Staninger found that all of the samples sent to her (which is not a “good” manner of evidence collection) were determined to be a double polyester tube with a silicon center. Now, you might say “this sounds like a clothing fiber.” I don’t have the scientific knowledge to debate that fact (she would), but I find it incomprehensible that the thirty samples or so that she received from all over the world had THE SAME CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE. Aren’t any Morgies wearing wool? Cotton? Yea, that seems uniquely odd to me. And that does not mean that I am prepared to accept the chemtrail theory, etc. I am merely looking at what conclusions can be drawn from THE EVIDENCE.

  34. Doctors are trained to first investigate for possible physical causes. Of course there are some bad doctors out there, but are there 10,000? You are suggesting that 100% of doctors are ignoring guidelines for handling these cases. Yes there is a “matchbox sign”, but it’s just a sign. What if someone came in with some lice in a ziploc bag? Or scabies?

    http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic939.htm

    Lab Studies

    * No laboratory test can help in diagnosing DP; however, laboratory tests can help identify other diseases that can mimic DP.
    * To exclude infestation, a mineral oil preparation should be used to eliminate scabies, and a microscopic examination of skin and hair should be performed to exclude louse infestation.
    o Neurologic pathology due to toxins or vitamin deficiencies can be evaluated with the appropriate tests.
    o Tests to assess other causes of pruritus (eg, low iron level, liver or kidney disease) can be performed if clinically indicated. Examples include evaluation of the complete blood cell count; urinalysis; liver function tests; thyroid function tests; and determinations of levels of serum electrolytes and glucose, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, serum vitamin B-12, folate, and iron.
    o Unless dermatitis herpetiformis needs to be excluded, skin biopsy is usually more useful to reassure patients of the lack of pathology than to diagnose DP.
    o Use of cocaine, methylphenidate, or amphetamines must be ascertained, and if occurring, it should be stopped.
    o It is useful to examine the “proof” that the patient brings in so that one may truthfully say that the material was examined and no parasites were found. One authority anecdotally relates how he found ants in the debris and, after explaining that these arthropods did not live on or in humans, was able to give practical advice to reduce the problem.

    Imaging Studies

    * In rare cases, neurologic impairment (eg, tumors, neuritis, multiple sclerosis) can mimic the symptoms of DP.
    * Causes of such impairment should be excluded with MRI or CT scanning if they are strongly suspected on the basis of the clinical findings.

  35. “Is it true her apointments”

    Who is “her”? If you are referring to Ginger Savely, I managed to get FREE medical advise from her, and it only required a polite email conversation. I know there was a time when she had to cover the expenses of living to two expensive cities (SF and somewhere in TX), and flying back and forth to treat people in both areas. That would require a lot of (extra) money. Have you even investigated why any of these people charge the fees they do or do you prefer to just believe the fees are unjustified?

  36. “Doctors are trained to first investigate for possible physical causes. Of course there are some bad doctors out there, but are there 10,000? You are suggesting that 100% of doctors are ignoring guidelines for handling these cases. Yes there is a “matchbox sign”, but it’s just a sign. What if someone came in with some lice in a ziploc bag? Or scabies?”

    I can only speak from my experience, and I’ve heard most people with this fiber problem have had experiences very similar to mine. I’m not passing judgement on doctors (you science types always see the world in terms of dualities good/bad right/wrong). My first doctor’s attempts at “investigation” amounted to little more than “let’s see if this treatment or that treatment makes it go away.” When it didn’t work, I was just SOL and on my own; I had to quit my job and I lost my insurance BECAUSE I WAS SO ILL. That’s the point where they typically start saying “pychosomatic.” If they can’t fix it, it must be in the patients head just as has occured with other illnesses:

    What confused researchers for decades was the observation that most irritable bowel patients who sought medical help also had psychological disorders, in particular, anxiety or depression. But two groups of investigators recently decided to ask whether there might be people with severe irritable bowel syndrome who did not see doctors and whether they also had psychological symptoms. Who Sees the Doctor? The research groups, headed by Dr. Douglas Drossman of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and by Dr. Schuster and Dr. William Whitehead of Johns Hopkins, found that as many as 15 to 17 percent of the population has symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome but that only about 25 percent of those see doctors. In addition, they found that those who did not seek medical care have symptoms just as severe as those who did. But those who did not see doctors also did not tend to be anxious or depressed, the researchers found.

    The researchers concluded that anxiety or depression did not cause the syndrome. Instead, patients with anxiety or depression in addition to irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to show up in a doctor’s office.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=940DE6D71331F931A35751C0A96E948260

    It is my theory that the treatment of the disbelieving doctors may have been the cause of the anxiety and depression.

  37. Excuse me. I know this is not going to be well received, but it’s so unfortunate that you go on and see things the ways you do.

    Aherah, these are clues…

    I have had this disease for thirteen years now, and I have always had elevated iron levels. None of my doctors ever pursued it though.

    Either your iron level was acceptable, or it’s been overlooked. When we are concerned, we owe it to ourselves to ask. Doctors appreciate and welcome questions. Iron toxicity from supplemental iron? Maybe a hereditary condition? Maybe nothing. Look into it.

    I’ve always had period/hormonal issues. I’ve also had Morgs longer than most here. Several times I have had my ovaries checked, and they found cysts; today my doc says that I don’t have polycystic ovarian syndrome, although that’s what I’ve been told I have had my whole life. I never fit the “profile” of a woman with ploycystic ovaries because I’m not overweight, and I managed to have three kids. It’s all just some more weirdness that the doctors pretend to understand but are really totally clueless about. These days, I still either bleed constantly or not at all (for months), and I have painful ovulation. Things have gotten worse for me since they put in an IUD. I’ve had two infections which were unidentifiable in the lab. Wonder what they might be ::). Yeah, I know, but there’s no test to check for that now is there?

    There are a lot of differentials for Polycystic Ovarian Disease…

    http://www.emedicine.com/radio/topic565.htm

    Hormones control everything. Unless you’re unable, educate yourself on what you know from your health history, and go from there. I imagine there is a better way to feel, just waiting on you out there. Have your thyroid checked?

  38. That’s a very interesting point about IBS, if you look the the original (1988) Drossman paper, he says:

    IBS nonpatients have higher coping capabilities, experience illness as less disruptive to life, and tend to exhibit less psychologic denial than patients.

    This ties in with the observations of MUPS patients described here:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1670857&blobtype=pdf

    Although a few unexplained symptoms eventually receive
    specific physical or psychiatric diagnoses, pursuing single,
    specific explanations is usually unproductive. In the past a
    preoccupation with traditional psychiatric diagnostic categories
    may have hindered understanding. Many patients do not
    have a psychiatric disorder, although psychological factors
    (such as erroneous beliefs and anxiety) may affect their
    interpretation of minor physiological sensations. A multicausal
    aetiology is most likely, with physical and psychological
    factors interacting. Although Paul Wood suggested this as
    the explanation for Da Costa’s (effort) syndrome 50 years
    ago, his model has been largely ignored.
    Personality, previous experience of illness, life stresses,
    attitudes to medical care, expectations, and behaviour are all
    factors that predispose to greater awareness and even misinterpretation,
    of minor physical perceptions. That a patient
    with a family history of ischaemic heart disease may become
    worried about medically trivial chest pain, especially at times
    of overwork or stress, is readily understandable. What is
    important and often unrecognised is the proportion of
    patients with non-specific functional symptoms complicating
    major physical illness. Common examples include atypical
    chest pain after myocardial infarction or coronary artery
    surgery,the post-concussional syndrome after head injury,
    and many chronic pain syndromes.

    Nothing personal Aherah, I have no idea what is wrong with you personally.

  39. Sickykins, you are the last person who should be dispensing medical advice to me, or anyone else. Don’t think you can diagnose (or even speculate) based upon a few vague comments I’ve ever made concerning my health. According to my present doc, I’m too thin to have PCOS. Butt out.

    “Nothing personal Aherah, I have no idea what is wrong with you personally.”

    Actually, I didn’t quite get your point in the last post, but I’m growing tired of this place again so who cares. I’ve got work to do. In any case, I’d belong to the non-patient group these days as I vow to never consult a doctor about this ever again. Regardless of how I am doing now (which is rather well), I know that Morgellons is no joke, despite the efforts of many a person (many of whom are noted within this site) attempting to cast it in that manner.

  40. Here’s a post on the charges for LLMDs, seem like it varies a lot, with some being more expensive/exploitive than others. There are always quacks around.

    http://www.groupsrv.com/science/post-1987009.html

  41. You know that your link proves nothing until you compare it to the standard practices of specialists. At the very least, I’d agree that it’s getting to the point where very few can afford medical treatment, lyme or no lyme.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-fleetwood/52-of-americans-disguste_b_32495.html

  42. So perhaps the LLMDs make the same as other specialists. Yet their diagnoses and treatments fly in the face of evidence based medicine. They diagnose many people with Lyme who do no have it, and sell them long and fruitless antibiotic treatments.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/issues/v43n9/40897/40897.html

    There is no convincing biologic evidence for the existence of symptomatic chronic B. burgdorferi infection among patients after receipt of recommended treatment regimens for Lyme disease. Antibiotic therapy has not proven to be useful and is not recommended for patients with chronic (>6 months) subjective symptoms after recommended treatment regimens for Lyme disease (E-I).

    Therapeutic modalities not recommended. Because of a lack of biologic plausibility, lack of efficacy, absence of supporting data, or the potential for harm to the patient, the following are not recommended for treatment of patients with any manifestation of Lyme disease: first-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, carbapenems, vancomycin, metronidazole, tinidazole, amantadine, ketolides, isoniazid, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, fluconazole, benzathine penicillin G, combinations of antimicrobials, pulsed-dosing (i.e., dosing on some days but not others), long-term antibiotic therapy, anti-Bartonella therapies, hyperbaric oxygen, ozone, fever therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin, cholestyramine, intravenous hydrogen peroxide, specific nutritional supplements, and others (see table 4)

    Sure Stricker disagrees. But, as with his Morgellons theories, he has no evidence.

  43. Crooks. I thought the comment from the person who only has a $20 co-pay (lyme disease, versus chronic, I reckon), was particularly interesting. The name was Smiles, too, I think. Hahaha, it isn’t me!

  44. Michael, you seem to keep adjusting your points to skate away from uncomfortable confrontations.

    You also know for every doc that says Lyme is a crock, there is one to say it is the fastest growing health threat to date. There all just subjective opinions.

    Also, the term “evidence based medicine” is humorous since the human body has been one of the most difficult to understand. The “evidence” once stated that postmenopausal women should take estrogen; later the “evidence” showed that the hormones were causing breast cancer in these women. My mother just went out a bought a load of folic acid because he doctor told her she needed it; then she read an article in which the scientific “evidence” stated that folic acid in seniors can speed-up the rate of cancer growth. When it comes to the human body, the “evidence” is all over the place. Even the MD’s have a hard time of keeping up with the “evidence based medicine” trends.

  45. Aherah, doctor prescribed folic acid may be a better option for your mother. Is she, indeed, a cancer patient?

  46. So, we should ignore the evidence, and base medicine on anecdotes and gut feelings?

  47. You follow your evidence, and I’ll follow mine.

    Worship your imperfect Gods, but I’ll abstain, thank you very much.

  48. Aherah, I’m sorry for being unable to understand you. I hope that your mother doesn’t have cancer, and that she has communicated her concern over the article she’d read on folic acid to her doctor, by now, and gotten everything cleared up, as opposed to allowing the fear of something that may not even pertain to her to influence her into not treating what does.

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