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By Colleen Blanco

The following questions were submitted to Dr. Larry Sharp by above named patient. The answers are direct quotes from the doctor who practices in Ft. Worth,Texas.
Q. How long have you been treating patients with CFIDS/ME and why?
"I became aware of CFS/ME in 1987 when my wife and son became ill with (CFIDS). I started seeing patients after that. In 2004, I closed my family practice to specifically dedicate all my energies to CFS.
2. What discoveries have you learned about while treating patients?
"Most patients have hormone imbalances, specifically with reverse T3 syndrome and low adrenal function with reactivation of previous viral infections and increased allergies, sleep cycles interruption and also disruption on the cellular level in that the mitochondria are affected. New research is indicating diastolic heart failure may be present."
3. What is the most frustrating aspect of being a doctor who treats CFIDS/ME patients?
"Probably the lack of understanding how serious the illness is by the public, by family members and by the medical community."
4. Do you make house calls for the most serious patients?
"Yes, I do make house calls for the most serious patient. I just flew to North Carolina to see a patient."
5. Do you think CFIDS/ME is an epidemic?
"With over an estimated million cases in America, it is certainly an important health issue that needs to be addressed."
6. Currently, the CDC is advocating patients over 65 years of age who have had chickenpox as children get the Shingles Vaccine. Do you advise patients with CFIDS/ME to get the vaccine?
"I think vaccines, in general, need to be looked at very carefully in patients with CFS. In fact, we recommend the Flu Mist as opposed to the 'flu shot' because the 'flu shot' causes an imbalance in the TH1/TH2 System."
7. Have you enlisted the help of other CFIDS/ME doctors to educate medical faculties and students on this disease?
"Last year, we had Dr. Paul Cheney come to Texas to speak at a weekend seminar at University of North Texas Health Science Center in Forth Worth. I also am an Associate Clinical Professor at UNTHSC and teach students in my office."
8. In your practice, do you see a shift in the diagnosis of FMS to CFIDS/ME?
"Yes. I think FMS is a much more prevalent diagnosis and often the patient, in reality, has CFS/ME."
9. Contagious or non-contagious?
"It certainly does seem to have an infectious component, which was certainly the case in my wife's and son's illness."
10. What can CFIDS/ME patients do in the event of a national emergency to help patients survive in the event of an attack by terrorists?
"Everyone with CFIDS/ME should keep accurate medical records including copies of laboratory and x-ray tests and medications. As a result of (hurricane) Katrina, we saw people from New Orleans who were on pain medications who had no records to document their illness and treatment, making it very difficult to have continuation of care. CFIDS patients are like a canary in a coal mine, since they suffer from poor immune function. In the event of a major nationwide biological or nuclear catastrophe, it is doubtful that CFIDS patients would survive."

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606