May 172006
 

Many Theories have been proposed for the cause of “Morgellons”, many were gathered at:

http://www.usp-db.com/results/theories.asp

Here’s a selection of some of the more interesting theories:

  • I think this could be a tiny fly (midge) that carries a parasite (something like leishmania). The fly loves to live in hair, and the fly larva loves to live in our skin.
  • CO poisoning, mold, and the Lyme disease?
  • Took wormwood, used sulfur and had round spot- things “explode” out of my pores that hurt. Biting sensation can be pricly to very sharp. Are these hook worms?
  • I have leaned towards man-made govt. botches, bioterrorism, or…..get this…..one of the plagues of the end times
  • I believe that this is a bacterial infection primarily with a secondary parasitic element for the majority of patients
  • I believe this to be some type of fungus, bacteria or mycoplasma that resides in the dermis layer of skin. It is transparent and it attracts parasites that feed on it or its effects through skin pores.It could well be a new bio engineered strain of something that has escaped or been turned loose upon us
  • are military bases….something to ponder
  • I also had a Saltwater Aquarium w/ live rock & live sand. During water changes & moving the live rock, I cut my finger on sharp edge. I believe it is a strong possibility how I was infected.
  • contact with dying patient who supposedly had Norwegian scabies? Touched his rash- no gloves- immediate crawling
  • I believe this is an insect that morphs from one stage into another.
  • I got this from an ac system in a sick building.
  • I do believe that this blight was bio-engineered
  • possibly bug lives within body and crawls thru nasal cavity or tear ducts or when introduced to other insects
  • our government has a patent on Mycoplasma - this needs more research. Stealth Viruses are definitely involved. Government altered nematodes that were originally to be used to damage enemies crops.
  • I’ve research black pedra, which is a fungus of the hair/scalp. I believe it’s a fungus which can spread from hair falling out.
  • I also feel that the slow permeation of the environment with radioactive dust and the imbalance created by electromagnetic pollution has given ‘bad’ fungi and bacteria an edge over ‘good’, creating more food for these super bugs.
  • Maybe the sticky liquid is the fungal infection and the lesions are our skin’s attempt to fight this infection.
  • I believe the string/ lint/ hairs / etc. are both 1. Part of the cocoon structures produced to protect “their” young and 2. A way to transmit along blood to “their” young = via an umbilical-cord or veins….. I believe the sand-like granuals are nymphs / still in development….
  • Maybe this is a way to thin out the population
  • I use to think that I got this from doing crank way back then.
  • I am the only coffee drinker in the house. I used to drink tea but changed to coffee 6 years back. same time I noticed itching no other member off my family has symptoms
  • I think it is a parasite and not a fungus. This parasite can produce toxic substances such as threads and crystals.
  • This is part of the military and federal health care vaccination programs, people who receive the military vaccine and flu shots are heavy mostly asymptomatic carriers, avoid them for your life and especially EVERY vaccine even the new bird flu.
  • The fact that just entering the room people begin swatting at their eyes proves no doctor could claim this to be delusional because they are attacked by being within apex 3 ft of me.
  • One of my dogs has tested positive for Lyme disease
  • My torment is related to bird mites after removing a sparrow’s nest from my garage
  • I had Morgellons lesions on my legs when sewage backed up into my tub
  • No such type of parasite exists in medical circles. They bite and create wounds. They are blood seeking parasites
  • This Morgellons creature has been identified by someone as the same creature that was found within the Frass Meteorite. Perhaps from another planet
  • I think this problem is a result of genetic engineering of enzymes and/or altering insects so or their larva used to controls pests so as to improve crops
  • My house, when I got back from out of town, was covered with black fiber balls everywhere, in every room and that’s how I caught it. It couldn’t of been fungus, and I believe it could’ve been used by most likely our government, in order to test out a new biological weapon.
  • I do believe it is possible Morgellons are “new” or possibly manmade, accidentally or otherwise. I find it curious that many Morgellons message boards have been visited by shady characters and/or harassed out of existence.
  • It seems to me that the most prevalent factors are water damage and dampness
  • These things make themselves in their own image. They take food, & reproduce themselves in my mouth.
  • scabies are a possible way of infection as im sure i had scabies first, and then these took over
  • I am 99.99% sure that my infestation came from a houseplant that I had left outside and brought into my house after several days and watering. I believe numerous types of mites infested the plant.
  • I think there is something else to all of this, but what “it” is, I just don’t know.
  • The nanoflagellar machine. The idea of using bacterial nanocombinations in computers.
  • I believe something the biochemists made somehow mutated from what they thought it was and they are trying to correct it by putting things in the air, they didn’t know it was affecting people, and now, what they are doing is making us worse.
  • my theory is that we have been infected much longer, but some recent environmental change (environmental becuase of it’s diffuse nature among the population) may have brought on the acute parasitic effects or somehow made a dormant infestation become active.

Still think everyone has the same thing?

May 162006
 

DOP is Delusions of Parasitosis (the irrational belief that one is infected with parasites). People who think they have a condition called “Morgellons” sooner or later get an diagnosis of DOP.

This has led to a tendency to equate Morgellons with DOP. I think this tendency is not helping, for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, not all Morgellons sufferers claim to have parasites. Many claim that it’s complication of Lyme disease, or other bacterial infection. Some claim a virus, some claim a depressed immune system for a variety of reasons, some quite outlandish (chemtrails, biowarfare, etc.)

The common elements of a “Morgellons” case are fairly simple:

1) Fibers found on the skin that are thought to be associated with their health problems.
2) Some Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms
3) A belief in misdiagnosis by their physician.

The fibers are generally real objects, although sometimes the patient reports fibers that jump in and out of the skin, and even fly around the room. However most “fibers” are real, and generally resolve to lint, hair or sebum excretions.

Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS) is nothing new to the medical world, and treatment of MUPS has always been a problem. One thing that complicates MUPS is when a patient becomes “difficult”, and begins to self-diagnose in an irrational manner. If the MUPS is suggested to have some somatic or psychological component, the the patient is often very resistant to any kind of psychotheraputic treatment, as they tend to vehemently reject any connection between their mental state or lifestyle and their physical ailments.

Which brings us back to DOP – if the tendency is there to equate Morgellons with DOP, then the patient is far more likely to enter into a diagnostic dialog in a highly distrustful and defensive state of mind. Their conviction in their own self-diagnosis will only become stronger as they mentally reject and retreat from the possibility of a somatic component, or any kind of delusion.

Thus, although it is tempting to equate Morgellons with DOP, it is both incorrect and potentially harmful. Diagnosis of DOP should be reserved for specific cases where an irrational belief in parasites is present. Other cases self-diagnosed as Morgellons would better be described as MUPS, as this is a more accurate description, and less polarizing for both patient and physician.

May 142006
 

People who think they have Morgellons often have a hard time convincing their doctor that they have Morgellons. Despite the reams of information printed out from the internet, and the collections of fibers they bring to the Doctors office, they are invariably diagnosed with something like atopic dermitis, or eczema.

If they continue to insist that fibers are sprouting from their skin, then they may be eventually diagnosed with some kind of delusional disorder.

Because of this, the Morgellons sufferers seek out doctors and other medical professionals who are predisposed to diagnosing Morgellons when a patient believes they have it.

Who are these medical professionals? Why to they offer this diagnosis? Well, it turns out they are very few in number, and they might be doing it for sound business reasons.

The one most active in the news right now is Virginia R. Savely, RN, (aka Ginger Savely). Savely is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She recently moved from Texas to San Francisco, because she could no longer find a doctor in Austin who would supervise her practice. The problem was that she was treating people who had been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme (a debatable disease in itself), with long term antibiotic therapy, something that is not approved by the Texas Medical Board, and is generally regarded to have only placebo effect.

Some quotes for the above article:

  • Savely said she doesn’t blame her upcoming move on her supervising physician. She knows that many traditional doctors consider her a quack, she said.
  • “In all the practice years of doing this, I haven’t seen the (ill) effects” of long-term antibiotics, said Savely, who thinks she developed Lyme after camping in Maryland in 1987 and recovered after a year of antibiotics.
  • “There’s no value in giving prolonged antibiotics,” said Dr. Lisa Ellis, who works in an infectious disease practice group in Austin.
  • Savely was disciplined last year by the state Board of Nurse of Examiners for not following certain protocols and record-keeping requirements in treating a Lyme patient.
  • A 2003 study of 129 Lyme patients, co-authored by Dr. Mark Klempner at Boston University School of Medicine, concluded that a long course of antibiotics was no more useful in treating cognitive symptoms, such as memory and attention problems, than a placebo.
    But Dr. Raphael Stricker, who supervises Savely’s San Francisco practice, said the research was flawed because it considered “long-term” treatment to be three months, and the dose for two of those months was too low to be effective.

So, Savely moved to SF to work with Dr. Raphael Stricker. Stricker has an impressive looking resume, and currently works as Medical Director at Union Square Medical Associates (USMA).

USMA pushes six things:

Fertility treatment, specifically a novel treatment of “immunological abortion” with “intravenous immunoglobulin” (an infusion of antibodies from blood donors).
Viagra - If you want it, it costs $400 for an initial consult, then $15 per tablet. They will accept accept your personal check, major credit cards (VISA or MasterCard), and (oddly enough) cash.
Weight Loss – with “magical” medications
AIDS treatment – but only with DNBC (Dinitrochlorobenzene), a novel treatment with limited, yet promising clinical studies.
Lyme disease – which is not very common is California. Stricker recommend extended courses of antibiotics.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – usually used to treat decompression sickness, now an experimental treatment for many conditions.

What’s common about these treatments? The common factor is they are NOT COVERED BY MEDICAL INSURANCE.

Now, I’m sure Dr. Stricker is a fully qualified doctor – but it seems like the USMA is focused on selling Viagra, diet pills, and unconventional, expensive, “therapies” that often require multiple treatments.

In short, the collection of treatments on offer at the USMA seems ideally suited to establishing patients as revenue streams. Since the treatments do not need to be justified to the insurance companies, they can be continued for as long as the patient feels that they need them. As long as the patient can afford it, the USMA is able to give it.

Dr. Stricker is also on the Medical Advisory Board of the Morgellons Research Foundation.

Back to Savely – in Austin she had 400 Lyme patients, to whom she was prescribing long term antibiotic treatments. All these patients make up Savely’s livelihood. She also had “over 50” Morgellon’s patients, who she gave much the same treatment as her Lyme patients. Savely was making a living by prescribing a treatment not approved by the Texas Medical Board. They ran her out of town, and now she has set up shop with a like-minded Doctor in San Francisco, and continues to publicise Morgellons, which will inevitably lead to more patients coming her way.

There is nothing wrong with earning money – but when dealing with health issues, the patient needs to be aware of potential conflicts of interest that the medical professional treating them might have. Do they want to make you well, or do they want to sell you something?

May 132006
 

People suffering from Morgellons are constantly going to see doctors. These doctors are generally dismissive of the symptoms of fibers coming out of the skin.

The Morgellons Community claims there are thousands of people with Morgellons. Many also claim that it is a contagious disease.

If so, then why have none of these skeptical doctors ever been infected with Morgellons?

Think about it, if 10,000 people have Morgellons, they have probably been to see a doctor at least 10 times, that’s at least 100,000 times a doctor has been in contact with a Morgellons sufferer. (Probably more like 1,000,000).

Why, over all those visits, being in close contact with the patient, has a skeptical doctor never been infected?

This lack of infection proves with a very strong degree of confidence that either Morgellons is not a contagious disease, or that conventional Doctors are somehow immune to it.

May 132006
 

Recently (April 2006) a member of the Morgellons Community, a young man, died of a drug overdose. He was one of several patients of Ginger Savely, a Texas Nurse Practitioner who offers diagnoses of Morgellons to those who seek it.

This young man was very intelligent and well-spoken. He was also a self-admitted drug abuser, taking a wide range of drugs including heroin. He was very open about this, and discussed his extensive drug use, and his related health problems, at great length on a large number of internet posts.

After he was “diagnosed” in early 2005, he apparently became increasing depressed and paranoid, believing that he was the subject of biological and electronic harassment.

His passing is very sad, but it is made sadder in that the Morgellons Community will memorialize him as a victim of Morgellons. I think that “Morgellons” probably did contribute a little to his fate, but not in the way that Savely and other would suggest.

It is very, very, sad.

May 102006
 

From “greta” at LymeBusters:


Scott F. Stoeffler, Senior Research Microscopist of McCrone Associates, Inc. “identified” my fibers. Got the actual bill today $820.00! They told me it would
be $600 charged on the credit card.

I got the written report too, my fibers were identified as follows: black wool fibers, red wool fibers, blue wool fibers, colorless wool fibers, colorless polyester fibers, a blue polyester fiber, colorless cotton fibers, blue cotton fibers, a pink acrylic fiber, and a green acrylic fiber. They were examined by polarized light microscopy. He sent one photomicrograph depicting typical woolen fiber from one of my samples.

And from “Sidney”


The NPA worked with McCrone’s – Chicago, back in the 90′s, when Dr. Walter McCrone was still living, interested in the fiber-skin issues, and either Dr. McCrone or Dr. John Shane, McCrone’s chief researcher at the time, designed a protocol for us to follow. Participants strictly adhered to the protocol. As I recall there may have been twelve of us who submitted “specimens” to McCrone’s Research Laboratory.Shower, shampoo, air dry, no towels, no hair dryers, no sitting on upholstered furniture during the process of combing and collecting from our skin.Results same as yours! Various fibers identified by content and color including Flax, Wool, Lycra, Cotten, Polyester, etc.

Thanks for sharing this information and naming the lab involved. Maddening that it was such an expensive process for you. I recall that it was an expensive process, but the amount you were charged is outrageous.

Okay, so a whole bunch of people had their fibers tested, under fairly rigerous conditions, and the results were that the fibers were regular household fibers.

Yet the response is simply to deny the results, and complain about the cost. Why would the labs make up results? Seems like the submitters had already made up their minds about the fibers and were just seeking validation.

Fibers are everywhere. They float in the air and land on you after showering, and they also remain on your skin even after showering.

Here’s McCrones:

http://www.mccroneassociates.com/techniques.html

Seems reasonable to me.

May 092006
 

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:
http://morgellons.org/symptoms.htm
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

http://morgellons.org/case.htm
[...]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”
http://explorepub.com/articles/omar_10_2.html#top
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:

http://www.skinparasites.com/id12.html

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.
http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about1958.html
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.

May 082006
 

Karla McLaren was a new-age healer and teacher. An author with several books like “Emotional Genius” and “Becoming an Empath”. A self described “full-fledged member of the New Age culture for over thirty years”.

Then, a few years ago, she became a skeptic, and she wrote this wonderful article that explains in part why it took so long.

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/bridging_the_chasm_between_two_cultures

In a very similar manner we have two cultures in the area of Morgellons. One of rational skepticism, and one of alternative beliefs. What these two culture have is a failure to communicate. Karla gives a heartfelt request that I’m sure many Morgellons sufferers would agree with:

I would ask you to respect our humanity, and approach us not as if you are reformers or redeemers. I would ask you to approach us as fellow humans who share your concern and interest in the welfare of others. I would ask you to be as culturally intelligent as you are scientifically intelligent, and to work to understand our culture as clearly as you understand the techniques, ideas, and modalities that have sprung from it. We are a people, not a problem

May 062006
 

This article is mostly about Chronic Lyme – yet it describes a more general set of “Medically Unexplained Symdromes” (MUS) and discusses some of the implications of these problems. Well worth a reading in full.

http://www.ehponline.org/members/2002/suppl-4/607-611sigal/sigal-full.html


In the final analysis there is a struggle over
who defines a new and emerging disease:
patients, their chosen clinicians and advocacy
groups, or the biomedical establishment’s
physicians and scientists. It is clear that the
scientific community faces a formidable challenge.
Unexplained suffering and fear of the
unknown are far greater than fear of even the
worst, incurable disease and drive these
patients to extreme measures. Dealing with
the phenomenon of chronic Lyme disease, a
new constituent of the MUS syndromes complex,
requires an appreciation of its complex
psychopathogenesis. We need to appreciate
and study the aporology of MUS conditions—
to describe and heal the sense of being lost,
hopeless, and vulnerable”

May 042006
 

Mr Schwartz, a recently defrocked doctor, is one of the supporters of Morgellons sufferers.

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/36346.html

Schwartz said he talked to a man who said he used to work with the CIA, and the man told the doctor about a government-developed bacteria that got out of control in France. That theory would substantiate claims that Morgellons has come from bottled water from France, Schwartz said. Schwartz said he is not sure what to think of the theory that the disease comes from imported bottled water because some of his patients don’t drink bottled water

One wonders then, why there would not be more Morgellons in Europe?

Schwartz is either a quack, exploiting people’s fears for money, or he simply shares and reinforces the delusions of those he “treats”. Good job he can no longer pescribe medicine or peddle narcotics.