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Is glutathione depletion in M.E. distinguishable from sickness behavior

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by fla, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    In the front page article Dr. Peterson talks about sickness behavior. The evolved function of sickness behavior is to act as an energy-conserving, risk-minimizing, immune-enhancing state appropriate for a body mounting a short-term, all-out attack on an invading micro-organism (Hart, 1988; Kent et al, 1992).

    The theory is that in M.E. sickness behavior, which is designed to be a short-term state, is stuck in the "on" position perpetually. If we were to take a healthy cohort and do the tests on them (the tests that richvank suggests we do prior to going on his protocol) and repeated those tests on these normal people at various stages of the flu through to recovery what would we see?

    Would the normal people's test results with the flu temporarily look like us? How about the mitochondrial tests that Dr. Myhill uses?

    It's possible that with rituximab, what's left of the immune system is unable to produce sickness behavior.

    All doctors treating our symptoms say that our bodies seem to "want" these symptoms. Fighting the results is difficult since the body is trying to do something. Rituximab blows away the system with a shotgun.
  2. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, fla.

    I think this is a very good question, and I don't know the answer. I think it is true that the glutathione level does drop some in people who have a variety of conditions, but it either does not drop enough to provoke formation of the vicious cycle mechanism I've proposed for the pathogenesis of ME/CFS, or the genomics of people who do not develop ME/CFS are such that the vicious circle mechanism resolves itself.

    I think that people who have studied "sickness behavior" have done experiments in which they put in cytokines and observed what looks like "sickness behavior," and this has led to the argument that cytokines are what cause it. I suspect that when the immune system becomes activated and puts out proinflammatory cytokines, the accompanying inflammation probably lowers glutathione to some extent, also. So they may go together in the cases in which there is an immune response to some pathogen. However, I think there are other cases in which major exposure to a toxin could be what is depleting glutathione, and there may be other causes in other cases. The symptom picture may differ among these various cases. For example, fever is sometimes considered part of "sickness behavior," and this can be induced by giving a cytokine. Some PWMEs/PWCs do have fevers, but many do not, and in fact have a low peripheral body temperature. So I guess I would say that glutathione depletion and sickness behavior can go hand in hand, but there may not be a one-to-one correspondence between them.

    I do think that the studies you proposed would be interesting.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    fla likes this.
  3. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    Montreal, Canada
    Really appreciate the answer. Writing a few posts during the rituximab buzz day caused a crash (PENE).

    I have low temperature but if I have an outing that lasts over three hours I will develop a fever due to the exertion. So glad the Dr's Light look at gene expression following exertion and the Pacific Fatigue Labs Stevens' protocol does too since response to exertion is the main problem.

    If MD's were auto mechanics and people came in saying their cars have no power at highway speeds they would do extensive tests with the car at idle and conclude that nothing is wrong.
  4. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    I've had similar thoughts about medicine since I've been ill. When you consider how dynamic (continually changing) the human body is, how can doctors measure parameters like blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate, etc once under very limited circumstances and think they know what's going on? I mean really, ONE data point? One data point and a whole lot of assumptions is what they use. You'd get laughed out of any engineering field for that kind of "science".

    Let's see.... I measure the position of the sun once and conclude it's always sunset. I measure the outdoor temperature once at 78F and conclude the weather is wonderful here. I record my position once and conclude I'm always in the bathroom. No need for me to buy sunblock, sunglasses, winter gear, or even any clothes, cuz, heck, I'm always in the bathroom. Yup, that's great science, that is.
  5. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    I agree - I never thought the PEM/PENE responses were primarily brought on by pathogens although pathogens likely are an important factor in developing this. It is more the body telling you to slow down and conserve all the resources you have - there might be a problem with improper messaging where the body can get stuck in this state but at least for some time I believe this response to be adequate and necessary. IMO building up the immune system and getting rid of the payload (pathogens) can likely restore the bodies normal reactions to exertion and tame overly inflammatory responses and I think proper supplementation effecting adequate glutathione levels are of utmost importance. This is at least my experience going from strong PENE (the threshold is obviously different for every individual) to fairly light, tolerable PENE (for ~24 hours) on moderate to strenuous exertion (albeit with a time limit) on ~20 different supplements plus immune modulating drugs and therapies for 6 months on a daily basis and even when recovery has set in I believe we need to continue to supplement for a long time to indefinitely - which is not that much different from healthy aging people taking on more (natural) supplements to counter the metabolic imbalances that come with age.

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