The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Alternate Immune System Mode?

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Wishful, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I was thinking about how many of us report that we don't seem to suffer from colds or other viral infections since developing ME/CFS. Maybe it's an alternate mode for our viral defences. I have no idea of the timeline of our t-cells' evolutionary development, but maybe our distant ancestors faced a challenge that the modern t-cell response wasn't effective on, or maybe it was the normal mode then, replaced by 'newer, better'.

    When triggered, the t-cells produced a signal which switched mitochondria into this lower function mode, which in turn made us suffer less from the viral attack. I don't know if we're less vulnerable to viruses, kill them quicker, or just suffer lesser symptoms, but however it works, we seem to benefit from ME/CFS in that way. Given the appropriate viral environment, it could have been enough for evolutionary selection. However, maybe we've lost the 'off switch' somewhere along the way. The mechanism for the off switch might have been blocked by later genetic changes, and without the original threat, there would be no selection against the loss of the switch.

    I don't have any suggestions leading from this hypothesis, but maybe it will trigger speculation in someone else.
     
    Wonko likes this.
  2. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    I didn't feel sick for over 2 years. Turns out I was immunodeficient and couldn't mount an appropriate immune response... Getting IVIG allows my body to fight things off now, with fevers, etc...
     
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member

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    I get infections very frequently, which last for a lot longer than they used to (e.g. small cut on my finger will get infected and not heal properly for 8-12 weeks). I think the immune system is involved somewhere along the line but I don't think we all have the same response to infections.
     
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  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    You might like to read Rich Van Konynenburg's immune hypothesis of why most (but not all) ME/CFS patients only rarely catch colds.

    There is also a small minority of ME/CFS patients however who catch everything going, and not only that, but the ill effects of the infections they catch linger for months (it takes them a long time to get over the infection).
     
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  5. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Approximately 12 years into the illness I get viral infections every few week/months. It usually starts with vertigo.

    I never get colds though.
     
  6. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Are you sure that's not just reactivations of existing viral infections?
     
  7. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Hip I feel it is re-activations. All the testing via RNA PCR didn't show any positive viral infection. The only time both HHV6 and EBV (IgM etc) came back positive for active infections was when I took immunodulators. Ever since that relapse years ago I constantly experience what I believe to be re-activations. I could be wrong, but what else could it be?

    It seems the immunmodulators woke up the 'beast' because before that, except for the initial viral onset (start of M.E), my immune system was calm for 14 years.
     
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  8. happy

    happy

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    Which tests did you have to discover that? I don't get colds either and when I used to, I didn't get a fever. Haven't had a fever in 15 years now.
     
  9. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    I had tests for:

    Immunoglobulins and subclasses
    NK cells
    CD57 panel
    Herpes family infections
    Atypical pneumonias
     
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  10. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    The immune hypothesis link was useful. I had wondered whether a simply weakened immune system wouldn't show itself by major responses to a normal viral attack. The answer is that the immune system isn't simple anything. The part causing flu-like symptoms may be overly active, while the parts actually controlling viral replication is working without major observable symptoms.

    I doubt that the answer is as simple as glutathione depletion. That should show itself by changing with diet. I tried NAC, with no effect. If some other molecule was deficient, surely something in my diet over the years would have contained it. I still think it's a feedback loop involving the immune system and mitochondria, and the normal 'off switch' isn't clicking properly. I'm hoping that boosting the right cytokine or helper molecule in the cells will snap the switch over properly.
     
  11. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Its complex. Not likely to be solved by a specific supplement. It takes a comprehensive approach.

    That said, NAC can help bust biofilms where infectious agents hide.

    There are also many immunomodulating supplements.

    But, if your immune system isn't strong enough to fight them and is continually depleted of resources, you won't get well. I had a hidden case if EBV that didn't show up on multiple tests as my immune system was too dysfunctional to react, but it was there all along...

    It takes detective work to find the exact situation, then treating for it.
     
  12. Isaiah 58:11

    Isaiah 58:11

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    A Sun-Scorched Land
    This is not a cure, obviously, but maybe try other amino acids to raise glutathione? Mine shot up when I started supplementing for a methionine deficiency.
     
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  13. mhrps

    mhrps

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    As I see it, I think since I developed ME/CFS my body was too weak to let me know that infections occurred. To put it simpler I guess that in healthy people there is a stronger manifestation of infections (mucous, redness, inflammation) and also overactive immune system. As soon as you become weaker these symptoms diminish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    Learner1 likes this.

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