Morgellons Interview – Apr 14, 2009
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Coast to Coast Summary
Physician, Dr Amelia Withington, RN, Trisha Springstead, and Dr. Randy Wymore discussed the mysterious symptoms of Morgellons Disease and the history and science behind it. Morgellons is characterized by a number of symptoms that affect the skin including biting and crawling sensations, lesions, and thin fibers or filaments that can be extracted from the lesions. Wymore said he’s done testing of the fibers and confirmed there are no living cells associated with them, yet they don’t appear to be artificial like textiles. Withington cited reports from the 16th century that might be the first known cases of Morgellons– sick children that had strange hairs fall out of their backs.
Dr. Withington noted that in many cases sufferers have had some contact with soil, and the disease could have a vector like tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease. She said patients also suffer from “brain fog,” insomnia, and symptoms that look like depression. In the past, Morgellons sufferers were often incorrectly diagnosed as having mental problems.
Springstead said many different diagnoses are proffered by doctors including neurodermatitis (inflammation of the neuron endings), acne, eczema, psoriasis, Gulf War Syndrome, and MRSA. She suspects there is an environmental cause, as many patients turn up positive for heavy metal exposure such as barium and mercury. Morgellons cases turn up highest for nurses and teachers, leading Springstead to speculate that they may be exposed to workplace chemicals. Withington suggested that the disease could be jumpstarted by a reaction between a virus or bacteria mixed with pollutants. She currently uses holistic methods to treat patients and a number of people have found relief from home remedies such as hot baths and drinking vinegar.
Flesh Eating Bacteria
First hour guest, Marla James talked about the flesh eating bacteria, Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF) which she survived herself. After her illness, she started a support group to help others. NF occurs when invasive bacteria such as strep enters the body, sometimes through just a small cut or injury. The rapidly reproducing bacteria has to be surgically removed before it gets into the bloodstream, she explained.