A Doctor’s Perspective: Is ME/CFS Really Lyme Disease ?



By Dr David Bell in ProHealth.


Editor’s Note: David S. Bell, MD is a well-known doctor in the field of ME/CFS treatment and research. Though now retired, Bell was among the first physicians who cared for the group of ME/CFS patients that were part of the original cluster of outbreaks in the mid-1980s. In this interview, Bell uses his expertise to answer the commonly asked question, is ME/CFS really Lyme disease? We’re gateful for Bell’s vast knowledge on a complicated subject both at ProHealth and the ME/CFS community.

Is ME/CFS Really Lyme Disease?

ProHealth: Can Lyme disease result in permanent ME/CFS (Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), even if  the bacteria is no longer detectable? Can the Borellia bacteria that causes Lyme disease also cause ME? Moreover, which is worse: severe ME symptoms, or severe Lyme Disease symptoms?

Dr. David S. Bell: These three questions all revolve around chronic Lyme disease and will be answered differently by every ME/CFS specialist you ask. It is a subject that I had thought about a great deal, and I am aware that is a great deal of contention in the opinions. But with the understanding that we do not know all the answers, I will put forth my opinion:


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