Catalina Inspired on Etsy - Handmade Tile Jewelry, Crochetwork, EcoFriendly Gifts and More...

Gulf War Syndome & ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia

My husband, a Gulf War Veteran, was doing some research on Gulf War Illness and came across some articles regarding Gulf War Illness and its possible connection with ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia.  One microbiologist in particular, Dr. Garth Nicolson of the Institute for Molecular Medicine, seemed to be leading the crusade.

Summary of the Gulf War Illness/ ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) & Fibromyalgia Connection

(see links below for more details):

The symptoms of Gulf War Illness and ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia are very similar, in fact, almost identical.  The theory presented by Dr. Nicolson was that Gulf War Vets had been exposed, possibly through a vaccine, to a bacterial agent, Mycoplasma Fermentens Incognitus, that was manufactured and patented by the US Army to be used in biological warfare.  The Veterans returning home, spread this so-called communicable disease to their spouses possibly through sexual transmission and the Vets and spouses were being diagnosed with ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases when in fact they were infected with the mycoplasma.

Conspiracy Theory?

Ok, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, although I do keep an open mind on such matters. This theory does sound a bit "far fetched" at first glance but as I delved further into the subject, I found some articles published in reputable medical journals (Journal of the American Medical Association for one) and they seemed to be giving the idea some serious consideration.  

My Doctor's Opinion

I printed some of the articles out and brought them to my very open-minded doctor.  After reading them, she told me that although the theory sounded interesting, she was unable to find any current data on the subject. 


I haven't found any research on the Gulf War Illness, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia connection that's any more recent than 2004 but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  If there is something more recent out there, please email me and let me know so I can include it here. 

Here are links to the articles I found on the subject.  Please keep in mind that some of them are written as long ago as 1995.  Many studies have been done since then which claim to dis-prove the theory, including a clinical study done by the US Army in 2000 (link below).  

Links Regarding Gulf War Illness's Connection With ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) & Fibromyalgia

Institute for Molecular Medicine - Gulf War Research (date ?)

CDC - Absence of Mycoplasma Contamination in the Anthrax Vaccine (2002)

Article by Marjorie Tietjen "What Chronic Disease Have You Been Labeled With?" (date ?)

ProHealth - Mycoplasmas-The Missing Link in Fatiguing Illnesses (2001)

CDC - Gulf War Studies

VA Study - Benefits and Harms of Doxycycline Treatment for Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (2004)

Dr. Garth Nicolson - Treatment of Systemic Mycoplasmal Infections in Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndromes

JAMA - Doxycycline Treatment and Desert Storm (1995)

JAMA - Doxycycline Treatment and Desert Storm - Reply (1995)

Written Testimony of Dr. Garth Nicolson (1998)