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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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Alcohol-Related Behavior Changes: Blame Your Immune System

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Due to the fact that most of us don't tolerate alcohol I thought it might be interesting to know that the immune system influences on how we react to alcohol. On the other side it's not that useful at all because we get unpleasant effects from alcohol and do not have problems with overdosing.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928211641.htm

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2011) When you think about your immune system, you probably think about it fighting off a cold. But new research from the University of Adelaide suggests that immune cells in your brain may contribute to how you respond to alcohol.

    "It's amazing to think that despite 10,000 years of using alcohol, and several decades of investigation into the way that alcohol affects the nerve cells in our brain, we are still trying to figure out exactly how it works," says lead researcher Dr Mark Hutchinson from the University's School of Medical Sciences.
    Although scientists know much about how alcohol affects nerve cells, there is also a growing body of evidence that alcohol triggers rapid changes in the immune system in the brain. This immune response lies behind some of the well-known alcohol-related behavioural changes, such as difficulty controlling the muscles involved in walking and talking.
    In research published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Pharmacology, Dr Hutchinson's team gave a single shot of alcohol to laboratory mice and studied the effect of blocking Toll-like receptors, a particular element of the immune system, on the behavioural changes induced by alcohol. The researchers used drugs to block these receptors. They also studied the effects of giving alcohol to mice that had been genetically altered so that they were lacking the functions of selected receptors.
    The results showed that blocking this part of the immune system, either with the drug or genetically, reduced the effects of alcohol. While the research was carried out on mice, Hutchinson's team believe that similar treatments could also work in humans.
    "Medications targeting Toll-like receptor 4 may prove beneficial in treating alcohol dependence and acute overdoses," says Dr Hutchinson.
    This work has significant implications for our understanding of the way alcohol affects us, as it is both an immunological and neuronal response. Such a shift in mindset has significant implications for identifying individuals who may have bad outcomes after consuming alcohol, and it could lead to a way of detecting people who are at greater risk of developing brain damage after long-term drinking.
     
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Interesting. Thanks waverunner.
     
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Interesting Waverunner - though I'm not sure how it relates to ME intolerance. For years the taste and smell (like poison) and presumably neural response immediately in the brain made even one drop out of the question. Now 10 years later with some improvement in all systems a glass or two of red wine seems tolerated and indeed sleepier enough to aid sleep. I've had the thought that damaged nerve pathways due to pathogen(s) crossing the BBB were responsible (splitting headaches at that time). But inability to process in the usual manner was gone whatever involved.
     
  4. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    I was going to start a similar thread - about alcohol hangover and how much it is similar to my chronic fatigue. First because of the same symptoms, and second because there's no treatment for it, as there's no treatment for CF. And third - because scientists believe cytokines (immune response) are involved in both of these conditions.
     
  5. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Non-Stop hangover is about the best way I can describe my condition to anyone.
     
  6. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Sooooo true. Same here.
     
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I vaguely remember describing my illness as being like a hangover. It's been so long since I have had a drink that I can't remember what hangover's are like now... I don't think the comparison was ever entirely right, even if some parts of it fit.

    *sigh* I can't believe I've nearly lost my whole twenties to this. I was planning to spend a lot more of the last decade drunk and dancing than turned out to be the case! [end self-pity]
     
  8. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    Do you guys (Recovery soon and Waverunner) have PEM or are you able to exercise? I am able to force myself even with all the bad symptoms and cycle for an hour or more without getting PEM. I finally met someone who, like me, defines their symptoms as "chronic hangover" and that's why I'm so curious about you 2.
     
  9. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Hi Svetoslav,

    as for me I don't have PEM and I can exercise to some degree but my main problem is that I'm constantly infected. I have a chronic cold or whatever, I feel nauseous and dead right now, I can't concentrate and my brain seems deprived of nutrients, blood, oxygen everything. It's hard to describe but a hangover comes close to it with the difference that when I have a hangover this has nothing to do with my sinuses. In this case however my nose is constantly stuffed on one side or both sides and I feel so extremely exhausted and ill. Like a flu that doesn't go away.
     
  10. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, all.

    I just want to note that one major effect of alcohol is to increase the oxidative stress in the liver, where alcohol is normally metabolized. Since ME/CFS already involves oxidative stress (coupled with glutathione depletion) the alcohol just makes this disorder more severe. And the liver is particularly important, both because it is normally the main producer of glutathione in the body, and because PWMEs/PWCs are relying on their livers more than normal, because their skeletal muscles are not able to do oxidative metabolism very well, owing to their mitochondrial dysfunction, also resulting from glutathione depletion and oxidative stress there. The result of this is that the muscles produce lactic acid, and much of this must be processed back to glucose by the liver, using the so-called Cori cycle. When alcohol torpedoes the liver, this process is hindered, and that pushes the PWME/PWC farther into lactic acidosis as well as hypoglycemia. I think that alcohol intolerance might serve as a pretty good biomarker for ME/CFS for this reason.

    Best regards,

    Rich
     
  11. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    I've never been keen on alcohol because of the horrible effects, and I got ME before I was old enough to drink so I've never experienced alcohol tolerance. But, for what it's worth, I'm seven months into a methylation protocol and my alcohol tolerance seems to have improved! I had no ill effects from a glass and a half of wine recently.
    I can think of other things I'd rather have improvement with actually, but if this is a sign I'm on the right track I'll take it! :D
     
  12. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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