1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
There are three of us here and for many years, none of us ever got hungry. When our brains would turn to mush, when our faces would go numb, and we would start the invisible vibration which is the signature dance of ME/CFS, we knew we needed to eat.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Has anyone gotten CFS after a physical trauma (major car accident, burn, etc) ?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Whit, May 9, 2012.

?

CFS started for me after:

  1. A serious physical trauma (car accident, burn, etc)

    5 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. An infection (cold, virus, bacterial, travelling)

    25 vote(s)
    71.4%
  3. Emotional distress (stress, depression, etc)

    3 vote(s)
    8.6%
  4. I don't know, CFS just started without any known trigger

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  1. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    Has anyone wound up with CFS after/from an incident of major physical trauma? By physical trauma I mean a major car accident, a serious burn something like that. I'm not talking about emotional trauma or an infection, however serious. You would have been hospitalized for this kind of physical trauma. Most of the time when someone has an idea of what started CFS for them, it seems to be an infection of some sort. I am curious if it can also be caused by physical trauma.

    By CFS I am referring to symptoms of fatigue including post exertional malaise. If you got CFS after trauma, please list your specific symptoms and any signs of physiological illness like high viral tiders, deficiencies, etc.

    If you know someone who wound up with CFS after trauma, please post, or ask them to answer the poll!

    Thanks! :hug:
  2. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    41 views, and only 3 votes? Come on guys! Let me know if anything is confusing.

    Interesting that one person got CFS from trauma. Care to share? You don't have to of course, but it could help.
  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes:
    1,755
    Australia
    Does vaccination count as infection? ;)
  4. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes:
    537
    Scotland
    Could I make a couple of suggestions? Firstly, rename this thread to "What triggered your CFS?" (or possibly "ME or CFS"). Otherwise people will only click on it if their ME did start after trauma, and you will get uneven results. Secondly, some people had a combination of those triggers, so the poll options should reflect that. Mine was triggered by flu plus burn-out, for instance. You may find that there are people whose CFS was triggered by physical trauma plus another factor, for instance a hospital infection or emotional trauma (physical traumas being fairly likely to cause PTSD, after all). It's never simple in this field, after all.

    I believe you can ask a mod to change a poll, and you can certainly ask them to change the thread title.

    If you're looking for the broader CFS rather than the narrower ME, and remember that this is an ME forum, then it's worth discussing that in more detail as well. I think a few people will be looking at "any signs of physiological illness" with distrust, as it implies that CFS is not really a physiological illness. What did you mean by that?

    I'm also wondering whether you actually mean CFS, since chronic fatigue alone is not the same thing, nor is CFS the same as ME. Could you elaborate there, please?

    I'll be watching this thread with interest.
    ixchelkali likes this.
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,798
    Likes:
    1,883
    UK
    I have known people to post that their ME started after having operations, dental surgery, accidents, cancer treatment etc. All these come into the physical trauma category.
  6. filfla4

    filfla4 Senior Member

    Messages:
    215
    Likes:
    138
    I'm not sure how to vote and I haven't voted yet, so please advise:

    I was involved in a major car accident when I was 17. I had severe whiplash, a fractured cheek bone, a nasty gash from my lower lip down my chin, and a fragment of glass was lodged sort of behind my nose which could only be removed by making an incision between my upper lip and my front teeth (if you know what I mean).

    I always thought I had recovered well (except for the scar on my face) and never really thought of myself as having been "traumatised". Throughout my 20's I had a few medical problems but never considered myself to be "sick". I had recurrent low-grade fevers and persistent right-sided abdominal pain for many years. After gynae and other investigations, I was eventually operated for "appendicitis". I never had acute appendicitis but the surgeon decided that it was a rumbling appendix and wanted to operate because I was of childbearing age and it could get complicated.

    Fast forward several years, and in 1993 (aged 32) I became severely ill after a throat infection which was eventually diagnosed as glandular fever, which never went away...at that point I became housebound for about three years. I am still sick and have been through remissions and worse periods over the years.

    18 months ago I started being treated by Prof DeMeirleir in Brussels. He began by taking down a very detailed medical history. He was very interested in my car accident and also my so-called appendicitis. As you know his theory is all to do with the gut. From what I have understood, he believes that the trauma of the car accident may have made me build up certain food intollerances/allergies progressively over the years. These, in turn, would have caused gut complications and would have compromised my immune system, making me vulnerable to all sorts of co-infections.

    So...I can't say that my ME was CAUSED by the car accident as I didn't become very sick until 15yrs later. Or was it the throat infection/glandular fever? How would you like me to vote? I wouldn't like to skew your data!
  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,717
    Likes:
    745
    Hi, Whit.

    Fibromyalgia does often start with a physical trauma. As you probably know, there is a lot of overlap between ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. Some people start with one and develop the other over time.

    I would say that it is more common for fibromyalgia to start with a physical trauma than for ME/CFS to start with that, but I have heard of some cases in which that was part of the history.

    It's a little muddied in that serious physical trauma can require surgery with anesthesia, and these in themselves are stressors. As you probably know, in my hypothesis, anything that contributes to depleting glutathione can be a factor in causing the onset of ME/CFS, and physical trauma, anesthesia, and surgery have all been found to place demands on glutathione.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  8. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes:
    917
    US
    I voted infection. I believe mine began with some kind of flu/cold but it may have been vaccination or both together. I also believe physical injury within a week or two of the cold/flu caused my fibromyalgia, which made my immune system less able to deal with flu/cold recovery. My physical injury was not serious enough to require hospitalization, yet I consider it a life changing event, the fibro has been very hard on me, nearly as much as the ME/CFS. Also some medical people believe fibro is not a separate illness from ME/CFS. I believe if not for the physical injury, I would have CFS but much less myalgias.

    IMO yours definitely started from infection.
  9. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

    Messages:
    292
    Likes:
    184
    Northern Vermont
    I had been under a lot of stress and pain. I was taking Vioxx which stopped the neck pain and gave me an ulcer. Later I had a surgery (cervical disectomy with fusion which launched my undiagnosed ME CFS into orbit. I also had a bad flu before the neck pain and a tetnus shot. Took me five years to figure out what I had. I took the poll and listed severe stress but I feel there were many other factors. I was a severely asthmatic kid in my youth with 65 allergies so my immune system was Th-2 weighted. In 2010 I tested positive for XMRV and EBV CMV C Pneumonaie and the rest. I just got my Nagalase levels at 1.90 well outside the range and hope to start GcMAF in June.
  10. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,717
    Likes:
    745
    Hi, Whit.

    You might want to include exposure to a toxin as a possible cause as well.

    When I reviewed the studies of "risk factors" or surveys of events that occurred prior to onset of ME/CFS, they fell into four categories of stressors:

    Physical, including physical trauma and surgery

    Chemical, including a variety of toxins, such as pesticides, organic solvents, heavy metals and drugs/medications

    Biological, including infections, vaccinations, blood transfusions, and also poor diet and insufficient sleep

    Psychological/Emotional, including conflicts, divorces, death of family member or friend, dilemmas, financial stress, etc.


    In many cases, there appears to be a combination of the above, sort of like a "perfect storm" occurring in the person's life.

    I was able to connect all of these by noting that all of them present demands on glutathione, leading to oxidative stress and the vicious circle mechanism involving the methylation cycle partial block.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  11. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    Messages:
    432
    Likes:
    664
    OH USA
    In 1982 I had a serious back operation, bone in the spinal canal and developed arachtonitis (spinal inflammation) because of an allergy to pantopiqe, an oil based dye in the mylogram. Even though I was young and slim I never felt recovered. For a year I could barely carry a purse and tired easily. I pushed myself for 5 years. My ortho told me I needed a pyschiatrist and a nuero surgeon, said no you need a spinal fusion. After that I really did need a pyschiatrist. Another Dr tested me for TB of the spine. Nothing was found so I carried on. After 5 yrs I lost my job and a boyfriend (at the job) and got the first symtoms of CFS. Two CFS docs believe the spinal inflammation set me up for CFS, then as life happened I went down like the titanic. I was diagnosed in 1988 with CFS and 1993 with CFS and FM. Sometimes things are so cut and dried.
  12. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,289
    Likes:
    6,276
    USA
    Some people may be wary of posting accurate and complete details of their medical condition to be used by an unspecified "prominent researcher in the scientific community". We all know some "prominent researchers" in the ME/CFS field that none of us want to have anything to do with. ;) It would probably help if the researcher would identify him/herself, which shouldn't be a problem if answers here are going to influence future research.

    That said, I know someone who is diagnosed with fibromyalgia which started after a major car accident, but I am not aware of anyone whose CFS started that way.
  13. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes:
    917
    US
    Sad to say I had all 4 :( I still believe the infection was the trigger and that I was likely to get triggered sometime if not then, based on my genetics and being weakened from the emotional stress and toxins. And maybe the fibro already was triggered, I do not know which was first. Then after triggered, I had low odds of recovering due to the emotional stress and toxins and fibro. The fibro was triggered by the specific physical injury but it was worsened by some ongoing physical difficulties.
  14. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Senior Member

    Messages:
    258
    Likes:
    235
    UK
    You've not put on going sleep deprivation or other sleep disorder, in a list of possible triggers, which I believe is the most likely course of my CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia symptoms.
  15. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,717
    Likes:
    745
    Hi, all.

    One more thing. Quite a few people are reporting infections as the things that occurred just before they developed ME/CFS. I think it's important to note that there may have been other factors earlier on that influenced the onset. According to my hypothesis, if other factors had caused some depletion of glutathione earlier, this would have weakened the immune system, and then the infection could have been the result of immune dysfunction, and the resulting inflammation produced by the immune system in its failed attempt to put down the infection would have further lowered glutathione and ushered in the functional B12 deficiency and the rest of the vicious circle in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS.

    What I'm suggesting is that things may have been going on behind the scenes, setting the stage for the infection, which was the thing that was noticed just before onset of ME/CFS.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  16. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes:
    265
    Long Beach, CA
    Your poll is either/or. I had a herniated cervical disk, vaccinations, a bad flu-like illness while travelling, and a high-stress situation at work, all at once just prior to becoming ill, so my answer would be "all of the above."
  17. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    I will try to clear up a few things now, but may have to make a second run since I can't respond to each question right now I'm too tired. CFS is definitely a complicated illness, and makes this kind of thing difficult to frame neatly, so my apologies. Since there is no diagnosis, I'm not really concerned here with Fibro/CFS/ME. We don't really know enough for it to be meaningful to separate them, at least not for the purposes here. And I'm sorry, but this forum says "CFS" in the title, so I don't think it's an ME forum is it? I'm personally not concerned with the name whatsoever, it's not what's important right now. IMO. A name is just a name. But that's for another thread...

    You'll have to trust me about the researcher. Or not, it's up to you. Cort has spoken with him on the phone. I'm not asking for anything personal. Just the story about how you got sick if it was started by a physical trauma. I know there has been a lot of drama around this illness, so I understand the hesitation. But this is a simple, honest inquiry. I'll remove that part, I should have just asked the question and left him out of it...

    The intent here wasn't to take a poll to figure out what caused your CFS. I don't think any of us really know. So maybe I should have left the other options off the poll, or just left the poll off all together. The intent was to figure out if anyone gets CFS directly after a severe physical trauma, with no other likely triggers/causes.

    To further explain my question:

    We are interested to know if CFS can be caused by physical trauma, and nothing else. So an example would be- car accident, hospitalized with trauma for days to weeks, followed by the onset of CFS (or just never fully recovering from the car accident, and the trauma turning into CFS)

    So if you got CFS after a whole list of things, that would not count for this. If you got an infection after a trauma, that wouldn't count. Not because it's not valid, just because it's not clear what caused the CFS in that case.

    This is just a feeler, nothing official. If a bunch of people wind up posting that this happened to them, or they know someone this happened to, it could trigger more inquiry into the idea and asking other sources. I thought I'd try to help by asking here. I'm probably in over my head since I also have CFS and am pretty drained. But it feels good to try to help.
  18. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    I answered a couple of these above, but just want to be really clear.

    I'm not trying to ask "what caused your CFS". If we knew that, we'd be in a much different situation with research, and everything else. We don't know. I'm asking something more specific, and probably should not have included the other options.

    As far as the name, i mentioned that above, but it doesn't matter as far as this question is concerned. I'd rather keep discussion about the name to another thread.

    When I said "physiological signs of illness" I meant things that have come out in tests or can be tested for. I'm not suggesting it's not a real illness. I have CFS and there's no doubt in my mind, believe me. ;) I was just talking about something more quantifiable than lists of symptoms.
  19. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    Hey Rich,
    Thanks for chiming in. it's possible that asking people like you who have talked to lots of CFS patients is the better way to do this. We just thought this would be interesting as well.
  20. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes:
    232
    Bay Area
    grrr so hard to do this kind of thing with so little energy.... :In bed:

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page