ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Friendly User's Guide for the Timing of Nutritional Supplements

The Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Vitamin D supplementation could ease IBS symptoms

Top Tips to Boost Your Immunity

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls

Vitamin D3 Is a Powerhouse for Your Heart

Mediterranean diet associated with lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer

Print Page
Email Article

Overlapping Syndromes, Post-Polio and ME/CFS: An open letter from Mia Farrow

  [ 81 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ]
By Mia Farrow • • July 3, 2013

Editor's Comment: There are nearly 1.6 million polio survivors in the U.S., most of whom contracted polio in the 1950s and are now seniors. Because the poliovirus, a member of the enterovirus family, caused extensive damage to the nervous systems of polio victims, the symptoms can be as varied as those of ME/CFS. Like ME/CFS, these symptoms can also persist for decades.

Dr. Richard L. Bruno has studied and treated nearly 6,000 polio survivors and is the world's leading expert on Post-Polio Sequelae (PPS). Among his publications, Dr. Bruno has written a remarkable book about the overlap between PPS and ME/CFS entitled, "The Polio Paradox: Understanding and Treating 'Post-Polio Syndrome' and Chronic Fatigue" (published in June 2002 by Warner Books). Dr. Bruno's insightful book makes for informative reading, whether you have PPS or ME/CFS.

Below is a letter written by the actress Mia Farrow, who was stricken by polio at age nine, and her son, Thaddeus, who was paralyzed by polio at age twelve.

For more information, please visit the Post-Polio Institute.

Many thanks to Sheila J. Harris for calling ProHealth's attention to PPS.

Source: Post-Polio Institute

By Mia Farrow



Post-Polio Sequelae (PPS, Post-Polio Syndrome, The Late Effects of Poliomyelitis) are the unexpected and often disabling symptoms -- overwhelming fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, sleep disorders, heightened sensitivity to anesthesia, cold and pain, as well as difficulty swallowing and breathing -- that occur about 35 years after the poliovirus attack in 75% of paralytic and 40% of ''non-paralytic'' polio survivors. There are about 2 million North American polio survivors and 20 million polio survivors worldwide. The existence of PPS has been verified by articles in many medical journals, including The Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and The New England Journal of Medicine.


PPS are caused by decades of ''overuse abuse.'' The poliovirus damaged 95% of brain stem and spinal cord motor neurons, killing at least 50%. Virtually every muscle in the body was affected by polio, as were brain activating neurons that keep the brain awake and focus attention. Although damaged, the remaining neurons compensated by sending out ''sprouts,'' like extra telephone lines, to activate muscles that were orphaned when their neurons were killed. These over sprouted, poliovirus-damaged neurons are now failing and dying from overuse, causing muscle weakness and fatigue. Overuse of weakened muscles causes muscle and joint pain, as well as difficulty with breathing and swallowing.


There is no diagnostic test for PPS, including the electromyogram (EMG). PPS are diagnosed by excluding all other possible causes for new symptoms, including abnormal breathing and muscle twitching that commonly disturb polio survivors' sleep, a slow thyroid and anemia. Other neurological or muscle diseases are almost never the cause of PPS symptoms.


No. But because of damaged brain activating neurons polio survivors are extremely sensitive to, and need lower doses of, gas and intravenous anesthetics and sedative medication. Polio survivors can have difficulty waking from anesthesia and can have breathing and swallowing problems, even when given a local dental anesthetic.


PPS is neither progressive nor a disease. PPS is caused by the body tiring of doing too much work with too few poliovirus - damaged, oversprouted neurons. However, polio survivors with untreated muscle weakness were found to lose about 7% of their remaining, overworked motor neurons each year.


Yes. Polio survivors need to ''conserve to preserve,'' conserve energy and stop overusing and abusing their bodies to preserve their abilities. Polio survivors must walk less, use needed assistive devices -- braces, canes, crutches, wheelchairs -- plan rest periods throughout the day and stop activities before symptoms start. Also, since many polio survivors are hypoglycemic, fatigue and muscle weakness decrease when they eat protein at breakfast and small, more frequent, low-fat / higher-protein meals during the day.


No. Muscle strengthening exercise adds to overuse. Pumping iron and ''feeling the burn'' means that poliodamaged neurons are burning out. Polio survivors typically can't do strenuous exercise to condition their hearts. Stretching can be helpful. But whatever the therapy, it must not trigger or increase PPS symptoms.


Yes. The worst case is that PPS symptoms plateau when polio survivors stop overuse abuse. Most polio survivors have significant decreases in fatigue, weakness and pain once they start taking care of themselves and any sleep disorders are treated. However, because of emotionally painful past experiences related to having a disability, many polio survivors have great difficulty caring for themselves, slowing down and especially with "looking disabled" by asking for help and using assistive devices.


Polio survivors have spent their lives trying to act and look ''normal.'' Using a brace they discarded in childhood and reducing overly-full daily schedules is frightening and difficult. So, friends and family need to be supportive of life-style changes, accept survivors' physical limitations and any new assistive devices. Most importantly, friends and family need to be willing to take on taxing physical tasks that polio survivors may be able to do but should not do. Doctors, friends and family need to know about the cause and treatment of PPS and listen when polio survivors need to talk about how they feel about PPS and lifestyle changes. But friends and family shouldn't take control of polio survivors' lives. Neither gentle reminders nor well-meant nagging will force polio survivors to eat breakfast, use a cane or rest between activities. Polio survivors need to be responsible for caring for their own bodies and ask for help when they need it.

Whether you had polio or not, please COPY and MAIL this letter to your doctors. With your help every doctor will learn about the cause and treatment of PPS and give polio survivors the care we so desperately need. Thank you!

Signed, Mia Farrow, polio survivor and Thaddeus Farrow, polio survivor

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
FibroSleep™ Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: NaBubs
Jul 22, 2013
My mother had polio in 1946. Seven years later she had
4 more children; the two closest to the polio both have
CFS as well as a granddaughter.

I first heard about the connection in National Organization
meetings in Portland, Oregon in 1989/1990. At that time the physicians found 40% of people with CFS had a parent, or sibling who had had polio. This idea was dropped. I am glad to see some connection being made. Both have impacted our family greatly.

At that time I had CFS for 15 years. I was lucky to hear
presentations by Dr. Paul Cheney and Dr. Jay Goldstein.

Thank you Mia for bringing our attention to this.
Reply Reply

Had CFs for 35yrs.
Posted by: libby4u2
Nov 4, 2013
I'd just like to say, I have no family members that had Polio, but I have read that where there was an outbreak of Poilio, the people who got CFS where Immune from Polio, so yes i did have Coksacki B virus6, a viruse in the polio family, I got rid of it maybe 10 yrs into disease..pain all over got better, took German drops..Homeopathic..

and eventualy I got rid of the difficulty swallowing..

but I think allot of Mitro damage came about over the years..take CoQ10 and Aycetal L Carnatine,

Nada, Magesum, and Vit C, w/biflaviods, B vits, Methy B, and active Folate 5MTHR to keep my liver pathway open..methylation pathway, had detox , twice and got thru it..and will have to stay on the rest of my life..I take adrenal support, and l-trypohane for sleep and melatonin..seritonin,

I try and stay off of sugar , drink more water, and have an allergy diet to foods..

I do not have Fibromyalgia, thanks God this rubics cube has been it when it was called Epstien bar, I had that too, a red herring to a weakened Immune system, and yeast over growth..that I take oregano, and garlic oil, but not everyday or will lose it, have to rotate foods..

i have tried every type of desetization I could, and will be open..but none have worked..I'm try MSM,'s a good antiinflammatory..and now Turmeric by the teaspoon, good for fibrin, and anti-inflamatory, also I take acidolfolis several times a week like about 4..milk free..I don't drink alcohol, or smoke, and rest often..sleep as much as I need, but it came with a price,no children, or husband..for 35yrs..If I stayed I'd be dead..he was an abuser, emotionally, physically, and a sex addict..could not say no to any women, really fat ugly, didn't matter, it's not about that. it a damaged mind..won't go into it.. I took allot of Vit C IV up to 60 grams with extra calcium, and pushers, I found a Dr. here that does these too..I have went once, in Paridise Vally AZ,

will make an appoinment soon, and start the longway to stablization..Good Luck to you..
Reply Reply
Optimized Curcumin Longvida with Omega-3

Featured Products

Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get Energized with Malic Acid & Magnesium
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%

Natural Remedies

Strengthen Cell Function with Energy-Boosting Niagen Strengthen Cell Function with Energy-Boosting Niagen
Ubiquinol - A More Advanced Form of the Energy Producing Nutrient CoQ-10 Ubiquinol - A More Advanced Form of the Energy Producing Nutrient CoQ-10
Rejuvenating the Brain - How PQQ Helps Power Up Mental Processing Rejuvenating the Brain - How PQQ Helps Power Up Mental Processing
The Crucial Role CoQ10 Plays in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS The Crucial Role CoQ10 Plays in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS
Joint Aches May Have Met Their Match in Curcumin Joint Aches May Have Met Their Match in Curcumin

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2018 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map