Recently, a new syndrome called Morgellons Disease has been making the rounds in the media. However, little is known about this disease, and misconceptions run rampant. Physicians have misdiagnosed cases, or have simply told patients that it is all in their heads. As more people are finding out, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The symptoms of Morgellons disease are varied, and they may not be present in all cases. Small sores appear on the skin, usually over the entire body. These sores are painful, and regularly emit what appear to be blue fibers, white thread and occasionally specks that appear like sand. In addition to the sores, patients with Morgellons may experience extreme fatigue, brain fog or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, swelling of the joints, hair loss and a persistent crawling sensation over their skin. Many patients feel as if they have thousands of bugs living under their skin.
Secondary complications of Morgellons include a feeling of deep depression. Many sufferers commit suicide after years of dealing with the disease. This may be linked to the treatment that some receive from incredulous doctors, as well as chemical changes that may occur in the brain of the sufferer. Since it is not known if the disease is contagious, people with Morgellons are commonly shut-off from society and may lose their support system.
The constant crawling sensation that many experience with the disease can literally drive a patient insane. When patients bring in the fibers that are exuded from their skin, a common reaction from a physician is that they are faking the disorder. This can be referred to as matchbox syndrome, which is linked to patients from earlier days who would bring in their samples in matchboxes.
The actual cause of Morgellons has yet to be found. The symptoms of the disease are remarkably similar to a disease that was discovered in 1600. When people in the United States began experiencing this disease, researchers discovered a link to what was called Morgellons in the 1600’s. Whether or not these recent cases are indeed Morgellons Disease, the similarities are remarkable.
Since many families experience the same symptoms, it is possible that human-to-human transmission is taking place. Other theories include parasites that live in dark, damp locations, such as under a kitchen sink, which invade humans as a second host or bite them, transferring the disease. This theory has yet to be proven, and more research is definitely necessary.
One physician who has successfully treated patients with Morgellons believes that the disease is caused by resistant bacteria known as Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia, that are commonly found near water.
Some patients with Morgellons Disease have been assisted by antibiotics that treat Lyme Disease. This has given further credibility to the theories that the disease may be caused by a parasite.
Until a more conclusive answer for the cause of the disease is discovered, treatment options remain elusive. With more than 1,300 people in the United States currently suffering from Morgellons Disease, research is definitely necessary.