Lab Testing Options
Hello Everyone and Welcome,
When my struggle with Morgellons began, I was very blessed to have a solid relationship with my primary care physician, Dr. Shannon Zamboni. She was as perplexed as I was about what was happening to me, but she knew that I wasn't delusional.
Shannon is a delightful person and a true professional. She did NOT try to sweep all of this under the rug and hide her lack of understanding behind the standard DOP (Delusions of Parasitosis) diagnosis. Instead, she embraced the challenge with me and stood by me to protect me from myself and others while we investigated the disease and experimented with my options.
Modern science has developed some amazing tools that can peer into the human body and deliver a wealth of valuable information (See Pharmacogenomic Testing below). While there is still no definitive "Morgellons Test", there are testing options that can help your doctor assess where you are now and monitor your progress as Shannon did for me.
A CBC (Complete Blood Count) will give your doctor a good deal of information about the number and types of cells in the blood and help them identify infections, conditions such as anemia and many other disorders. A blood smear or live blood microscopy can render even more information about the number, type and shapes of the blood cells.
A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is a blood test that measures your sugar (glucose) level, electrolyte and fluid balance, kidney function and liver function. This panel measures the blood levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, protein, albumin, bilirubin, and liver enzymes.
There are a number of further tests your physician may want to run, such as:
Inflammatory Markers such as CRP (C Reactive Protein) and TNF
Serological test for Lyme, Chlamydia Pneumonia, or other pathogens
Heavy Metal Toxicity
The standard CBC (Complete Blood Count) and Metabolic Panel will reveal much about your metabolic status and specific challenges. The G6PD testing may be important in long term Bactrim therapy (should your doctor choose to put you on it) as well as use of MMS. Methemoglobin testing may also be considered in people using long-term Bactrim or MMS.
Further Testing Options
Once you stabilize on the protocol, your doctor may wish to consider further testing to identify specific challenges (infections or infestations) and gain insight into any remaining metabolic imbalances or inefficiencies. Great Plains Labs and Metametrix Labs offer Comprehensive Stool Analysis and/or Organic Acid Testing to screen for a wide number of pathogens and measure the endpoints and byproducts of metabolism.
In their Case Study, Morgellons.org lists the laboratory tests that were done along with some of the possible reasons for some values being out of norm. Most of these tests are included in standard testing your physician will be familiar with and will probably want to run. There is also a list in the Case Definition page of Common Laboratory Abnormalities.
Common Laboratory Abnormalities
Elevated cytokines: TNF-alpha, IL-6, TGF-beta; Elevated inflammation markers: C-reactive protein and TNF-alpha; Immunodeficiency markers: low CD 56 or CD 57 number, low C1Q, low IgG subclasses 1 and 3; Hematological abnormalities: low hemoglobin and hematocrit with abnormal RBC indices; and Biochemical abnormalities: elevated blood glucose, insulin, calcium, and serum Homocysteine, and low serum potassium and magnesium.
The consistent finding of numerous unexpected biologic agents at atypically high levels (some thought to be non-pathogens, others definitely pathogenic) strongly supports that an immune deficiency state exists in Morgellons patients. Agents identified serologically include many zoonoses (intermittently and in low numbers) such as Borrelia (at least five species) and Babesia, a single recently found gram negative bacterium, most herpes viruses, some strongly activated such as VZV and HHV-6, several mycology species (esp. Tineas), and particularly in those we have labeled Morgellons patients, parasites (species will be elaborated following PCR sequencing). This case study suggested Chlamydia pneumonia (Chp) is one candidate for the initial etiology of Morgellons disease via generation of an immunodeficiency state.
Those who take the time to read the Forum back to the early days will notice that our protocol has evolved over time as new challenges to those in our community have been identified or as new information or new technology has emerged. One such advance that I am only now embracing is in my humble opinion the most exciting advance in medical history. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a particular drug interacts with the genetic makeup of an individual, and offers physicians incredible insight into optimizing the selection and dosage of a particular drug.
Given the difficulty of finding compassionate medical care for those in this community and the risk of adverse drug responses with so many pharmaceuticals, we have strived to make available safe natural alternatives to support one's bioterrain without a prescription. Those who have the means and the opportunity to seek professional treatment have always been encouraged to do so, and now with the availability of this testing, you may do so with the confidence of knowing that whatever drugs you are prescribed are compatible with your genes and are being prescribed at the optimal dose. If you are interested in learning more about this invaluable testing, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might want to print the following document and give it to your doctor:
I hope this helps you in your quest for renewed health.
God Bless You All, those who never gave up HOPE, got well!