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Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

by Uzma Qureshi(more info)

listed in cfs me, originally published in issue 133 - March 2007

I have recently recovered from a devastating illness through very unconventional means using dental appliances. I feel that it is my duty to make patients who already suffer from this illness or may fall victim to it be extremely careful, as conventional medical or psychiatric treatment could do irreversible damage to the sufferers.

Throughout my early twenties, I suffered with various unexplained symptoms, all of which became acute last February when I was 27. From that time onwards my body started to go down hill. I began to experience recurrent ear infections, vertigo, and pain in my jaw. My eyes would regularly become blurry. I had my eyes checked by an optician who said that my vision was fine but could not explain the blurriness any further. I started getting more tired, and also started to lose my vision in my right eye.

Terrible pains travelled from my right ear down the right side of my jaw and under my tongue. This would alternate from pain to numbness and loss of feeling in this area. The symptoms in my head and neck got worse and my body became subject to profound fatigue which concentrated more on the right than on the left side of my body. I would experience unusual tingling sensations in my arms down to my finger tips and in my legs, all of which debilitated me to an extent that I could barely hold a glass up to drink or hold a pen to write. Going to work was extremely difficult and out of the question. I was looking for ways to survive the tragedy that had befallen me.

I developed severe stabbing headaches and noticed that my short term memory was disappearing. I was confused a lot of the time and unable to carry out simple daily tasks and understand simple concepts. I was unable to hold conversations and often stumbled or stammered over my own words. I could see my brain beginning to give up.

As a Scientist in Clinical Cancer Research, I had a demanding job which required a great deal of concentration due to the complexity of my work. This change from a dynamic person to one who was mentally and physically exhausted, almost becoming bedridden, was very hard to accept, and I desperately sought an explanation for my condition. My illness did not fit any standard criteria of disease processes in contemporary medicine.

All of the above symptoms and others that I have not listed here were described to three different GPs as I went along. Each one of them appeared baffled and referred me to different specialists at the local hospital. I was seen by Physicians, Neurologists, Ophthalmologists, Gastro-enterologists to name a few. One of the practitioners, while unable to positively diagnose my condition, advised that I get signed off work for 6 months as I was “over-worked and stressed and was probably suffering from ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”.

The medications I was prescribed (which I did not take) were:

  • Ulcer tablets for my severe heartburn, even though tests proved I had no ulcer;
  • Beta-blockers for anxiety and palpitations;
  • Amitryptiline for the nerve pain in my jaw;
  • Prozac for my supposed depression;
  • Travel sickness pills for my vertigo.

Due to the mechanism of their action and the awful adverse effects of each of the prescribed drugs, these drugs were totally contra-indicated for my condition and if taken I would have deteriorated very, very quickly. In fact, part of the reason for my early cure through Dentistry may be attributable to not having taken these drugs. According to Mr Amir, the drugs, by suppressing the symptoms, allow the underlying cause to continue, damaging various bodily systems and playing havoc with the body.

I was also prescribed Rubinol, which is an anticholinergic drug with intolerable side effects. This was for my unexplained excessive sweating and irritable bowel which, according to the doctors, was caused by my supposed “anxiety and nervous disposition”.

We have controlled drugs and prescription drugs. Statistics will show you that prescription drugs kill more patients each year than any controlled drug ever will. I wonder who should be behind bars: the pharmaceuticals who coerce these drugs onto the market, (as recent papers released under the Freedom of Information Act prove,[1]) or the regulatory authorities, often under the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, or the media, who are under their pay for advertising revenues. I am angry and devastated that I was going to be subjected to a living death.

I was also informed that I should seek Counselling and Psychotherapy for my anxiety, paranoia and my hypochondriacal tendencies. Anxious? Yes, but not paranoid or a hypochondriac!

The final visit to my GP in July 2005 was the culmination of my frustration. I explained to my GP, based in Wimbledon, that I was progressively getting worse to the point where my husband had to feed me; my fatigue was totally debilitating, and I found myself gasping for air. I felt like I was choking. I felt as if I was being strangled and could pass out at any minute.

To my surprise, my GP raised his hands and using a very unprofessional tone accused me of being hysterical. I was blamed for making up my symptoms for attention. However, he contradicted himself by telling me I was stressed and that I was suffering from “post-viral symptoms due to an ear infection and may end up in a wheelchair”, all of which I was “going to have to accept”. I was then asked to leave his surgery, in my distraught state. I cried no end. How could he call himself a caring doctor!

With nowhere to turn, I enquired around a great deal and thankfully came across the help of Mr Amir. During my examination he palpated various areas around my jaws, head and neck, and described many of my symptoms to me before I was able to explain and elaborate on them to him!

On going through the extensive questionnaire that I had to fill out for him, he explained how each symptom was precipitated anatomically and neurologically, starting from my jaws. He explained that my mandibular joint caused a misalignment in my cranio-facial symmetry, and how this led to compensatory deleterious effects on the rest of my body. He showed me how it was affecting my breathing, my sleep, my muscle tone, my digestion, my ears, my eyes, how it contributed to my hair loss and my immune system and many other ramifications throughout my body, including trapping some major nerves in my neck and lower back. He had a far better understanding of this illness than all the other clinicians I had seen put together.

I did not need any more convincing, and I immediately embarked on his treatment. To make a long story short, a myriad of unbelievably simple dental devices which he constructed specifically to correct my asymmetries started correcting my misalignment and the 20 to 30 symptoms I was experiencing started abating almost instantaneously.

Unlike the abuse I suffered at the hands of the medical profession, he explained that I was very fragile and needed very careful adjustments to the appliances that he provided. I had to visit each week, and if I did not feel well I could see him on demand which is what he preferred, as he said that the healing process must not be interrupted by any irregularity of the appliance or to make good the further demands on my healing body.

Over the months, I have improved remarkably and all my symptoms have now virtually disappeared. My Medical Consultant in the hospital where I work was astounded and wrote to Mr Amir.

An additional point that I wish to bring to the attention of the readers is that from the age of 16 up to just before I was fitted with my brace, I had always weighed 71/2 stone. My metabolism was very high; I was always gasping for air and sweating excessively. My body produced so much heat, I felt like a walking furnace. No matter what I ate or how much I ate, I found it hard to put on weight. I am now 9 stone and my metabolism has normalized.

From utter desperation, I have been able to return to work and resume normal activities, including overseas holidays, in contrast to the sentence my GP passed of being bed-ridden and wheelchair bound. I wonder how many other patients have not been able to escape the clutches of the medical and psychiatric professions and are now bed-ridden.

I experienced a great deal of abuse from the total ignorance of the members of the medical profession. I have completely lost my faith in them, especially GPs who treat patients they can’t diagnose as a nuisance. Maybe it is our fault. We are going to the GP when we should be going to the Dentist, which is quite analogous to visiting a Shoemaker for a haircut.

Nine months into my treatment, I am on the road to a definitive recovery with a method with its very subtle intricacies pioneered, figured out and perfected by Mr Amir, and almost certainly ignored by most in a position to bring about healing in the patients. He has been providing this treatment for some 10 years. How many patients have become bedridden during this time? None of the medication I was prescribed had any bearing on my condition. Being in the medical field I can now categorically say so.
Without this treatment I would have been paralyzed and bed-ridden. I could see it coming. I was literally saved by the skin of my teeth!

References

1.    What doctors don’t tell you, Approve our Drug or Else:  How drug companies follow the scientific method. E-news broadcast No. 296 - 28th September 2006.
2.    Dr. Mark Loveless, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR. www.cfids-cab.org/excerpts.htm
3.    Dr. Phillip Peterson, Minneapolis, MN, in conjunction with Hennepin County Medical Centre.
    http://tertius.net.au/foothold/untold.html.

About the Dentist

Mr M Amir BDS MSc (U of London) LDS RCS (England) practices in London and specializes in the treatment of medical problems emanating from dysfunctioning temporo-mandibular joints. He may be contacted via amir2647@msm.com

The Dentist Practitioner Comments

Mr M Amir BDS MSc (U of London) LDS RCS (England)

One study to measure the functionality of patients who are ‘admitted’ to the category of CFS, clinically documented it to be near end stage AIDS patients.[2]

Another study concluded that CFS has “greater functional severity than heart disease, virtually all forms of cancer, and all other chronic illnesses”.[3]

The reader must realize that patients are categorized into ME/CFS only after they have been completely debilitated. I feel that the whole concept has gone astray and a number of factors have conspired to create this new western illness. The illness has as much to do with the negligent treatment of the earliest symptoms symptomatically, either with drugs or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), both of which suppress the underlying symptoms as the patient’s health continues to deteriorate behind the scenes culminating in what is now called ME/CFS.

My experiences place these patients firmly in the realm of Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction. A perfect smile is synonymous with good health. However, this is not always so. The slightest departure from ideal symmetry in the Cranio-facial complex can lead to severe health problems. This is a vast subject and cannot be adequately explained here. Suffice it to say that if the patient’s symptoms include tooth grinding, jaw clenching, neck and lower back pain it is imperative that the patient be examined for jaw asymmetries. Many Alternative Practitioners do that by palpating the muscles around the lower jaw, mainly the pterygo-palatine muscle, which will always be very painful in ME/CFS patients.

Treatment involves the wearing of various dental appliances and the recovery is very rapid if the patients are seen at the early stage of their illness. It is slower in cases where the lack of proper timely treatment has made the condition more chronic.

Uzma also had a beautiful smile and the last observation that anyone could have made was that her jaws might be responsible for her illness. However the jaws were not in harmony with the rest of her skull, and her jaw muscles were extremely painful and tender. Early intervention led to recovery of a case which in a very short period of time could have lead to being bed-ridden for the rest of her life.

Comments:

  1. Ali stone said..

    Very interesting indeed. I was eventually diagnosed with CFS/ME after a Glandular fever type virus and bacterial infection which was a huge abscess which pushed the whole of my face out of line. After reading this article I am wondering if the jaw has been displaced and is, was, as I am much improved, responsible for my awful symptoms. Dentist didn't say much. I do attend regularly. Will mention this next time I see him. Kind regards Mrs Ali Stone age 49.


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About Uzma Qureshi

Uzma Qureshi BSc (Hons) MSc is based in University College London and is involved in translational academic research, her keen interest being Histopathology and Tumour Biology. Her work primarily involves investigating mechanisms of action involved in novel anti-vascular targeting agents and anti-cancer drug therapies. She may be contacted via u.qureshi@medsch.ucl.ac.uk

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