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Has anyone been completely cured of CFS?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by cosmo, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. barbican1

    barbican1

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    your doctor will say it's incurable because he/she doesn't know how to deal with the illness!

    I agree with the things you have listed, except the metabolism/nutrition - and you left out stress
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    No.

    It is a common myth. The reality is far more complicated.

    Also, what is meant by stress? Stress means many different things in many different contexts. Saying that stress lowers the immune system is not exactly wrong, it is almost meaningless.

    It frustrates me that "Stress" is so often bandied about in a "god of the gaps" type of way. Don't understand it? Blame it on stress.

    The reality is that many of the things that people claim are explained by stress, are not in fact explained at all by such mechanisms. I've tried looking quite deeply at the scientific literature in the past and I've always been left wanting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
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  3. barbican1

    barbican1

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    sorry but you are wrong. It has been proven to be the case scientifically. If you don't believe it, I can't help you!

    The issue seems to be that you are confused or don't understand what constitutes stress - that's a different matter
     
  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    This study looks interesting. It's called 'Evidence for a Shift in the Th-1 to Th-2 Cytokine Response Associated With Chronic Stress and Aging'.
     
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  5. cosmo

    cosmo

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    What studies show it?

    Do you believe CFS to be due to stress, as it is being proven to be linked to different viruses with more conviction then to stress.
     
    SOC likes this.
  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'm not aware of any studies that show ME/CFS to be definitely due to viruses. There are a lot of findings of the presence of certain infectious organisms (which could be opportunistic downstream factors), and a number of theories, ditto with regard to other things, e.g. leaky gut. Causes are likely to be numerous, and a different mixture of causal factors for different people.
     
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  7. cosmo

    cosmo

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    Exactly, so how can it be just stress as th above seems to say?

    There are so many theories out there. But there have been many studies where the sufferers have a virus of some sort in their blood work.
     
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Who has said this?
     
  9. cosmo

    cosmo

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    It would appear Barbican1 is of the opinion that stress is the main factor to causes of CFS.
     
  10. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    I agree with you entirely here. We don't know of a definite cause of ME/CFS, but there are multiple possibilities. I just want to point out that @cosmo said (my bolding)
    which I also agree with. There is more solid scientific support of the theory that ME/CFS is linked to viruses than that it is caused by stress.
     
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  11. barbican1

    barbican1

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    Please read again what I said. Immunity is lowered - this applies to the population as a whole. People become vulnerable to opportunistic bacteria, viruses etc, when that happens
     
  12. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Is it possible that this conversation is becoming confused and/or bogged down because of an unclear definition of the word "stress"?

    There is the popular use of the word which is generally thought to mean something along the lines of "emotional overload". The medical/scientific meaning is broader, including exercise, infection, and other things that require the body to adjust.

    If, @barbican1, you mean that emotional overload alone can cause ME/CFS, I think you're going to get some serious pushback here. If you're suggesting that emotional overload causes sufficient immune impairment to allow serious longterm infections to develop, your argument would benefit from references to specific scientific research studies to support it.

    On the other hand, if the point is that any number of stressors -- excessive exercise, infection, etc -- can perpetuate some illnesses, we probably all agree to some extent.
     
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  13. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Please define what you think stress is.

    I know many stressors. Which ones do you mean?
     
    SOC likes this.
  14. barbican1

    barbican1

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    probably all of the ones you have in mind!
     
  15. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    No, I didn't say it does. I said we might all agree that it can to some extent. I'm not arguing in support of that position, however. I'm happy to retract entirely the statement that we might agree that stressors can perpetuate illness.
     
  16. barbican1

    barbican1

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    try post #164 above and open the link
     
  17. cosmo

    cosmo

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    So Barbican1, do you think that CFS can be cured and if so how?

    As that is the original topic of the thread, I thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
     
  18. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Interesting, but it's only one reference and is specific to spousal caregivers of people with dementia. This means the people studied are under severe long-term physical as well as emotional stress. They are also likely to be elderly themselves, which is a major confounding factor which limits the application of the results to young and healthy persons.

    The conclusion itself is far from definitive,
    (my bolding)

    Note that this does not conclude that stress definitely causes long-term immune dysfunction or persistent viral or bacterial illness.

    In addition, the immune changes described in this abstract are very specific:
    This is not, I think, not similar to the immune dysfunctions being found in ME/CFS patients.

    I, for one, don't doubt that severe, chronic physical and emotional stress, such as being the primary caregiver for a dementia patient, could have a negative affect on the immune system. That does not mean that I agree with the very broad generalization that emotional overload causes a serious long-term neuroimmune illness like ME/CFS. Maybe it's my scientific research background, but I try to be very careful about extrapolating beyond the data given.

    If someone told me that they developed CCC- or ICC-defined ME/CFS after years of physical and emotional stress from caring for a dementia patient, I wouldn't argue with them. I agree that there might be sufficient immune impairment or other consequences of that kind of extreme situation that could result in ME/CFS or related illness. We simply don't know enough about it.

    That's a long way, however, from concluding that ordinary life emotional stress causes ME/CFS.
     
  19. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Thanks for mentioning a study. The study is typical for this sort of thing. They used a singular measure at a singular point in time and it was a case-control study. Ideally you would use a prospective study and measure multiple measures of each aspect and do so at multiple points in time (for example, gene expression, levels of signalling/regulatory molecules in the organ in question, receptor affinity and expression levels). This is necessary if we really wish to understand dynamic systems like the immune system.

    There are many different "stressors" and resulting immune shifts are not simple 'downregulations' or 'upregulations' and these immune shifts have not been clearly linked to increased risk of infection in a clear cause-effect way.

    Nor are subjective reports of psychologically stressful events correlated with immune system shifts.

    This is what I mean by the reality being much more complicated.

    I'm not saying that stress cannot be some sort of associated risk factor, but it is not a clear cause-effect cause of any disease.
     
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  20. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I think that the effects of chronic stress on the immune and stress hormone systems are likely to be broadly analogous to those of chronic overconsumption of carbohydrates in relation to Type 2 diabetes.

    To much carbohydrate leads to extreme fluctuations in blood glucose.
    Extreme fluctuations in blood glucose lead to excessive demands on the insulin secretion/response system.
    Long-term persistence of these demands eventually leads to downregulation of insulin receptors.
    Thus you have insulin resistance, and eventually diabetes.

    By stress I think that most of us use it as a shorthand for emotional stress that leads to release of stress hormones. As others have said, there are other types of stressor that have similar effects.

    So to use the diabetes analogy:

    In chronic stress, stress hormones are chronically raised.
    This may downregulate parts of the immune system.
    Eventually the process may exhaust aspects of stress hormone secretion/response (consequences may include the low cortisol/abnormal cortisol secretion pattern that we tend to have).
    Aspects of the immune system may then rebound, becoming over-active.
    One result of this overactivity may be autoimmunity.

    It may not have been conclusively proven yet, but is consistent with what we know about physiology.

    I do not for a moment believe that any of this can be reversed by psychiatric intervention or exercise, and I use analogies (I love analogies! :lol:) like the impossibility of mending a bullet wound by putting the bullet back in the gun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
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