Choline on the Brain? A Guide to Choline in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
http://phoenixrising.me/research-2/the-brain-in-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-mecfs/choline-on-the-brain-a-guide-to-choline-in-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-by-cort-johnson-aug-2005
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Is M.E. a misogynist?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by fla, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    Does anyone know of a study or paper that explains why M.E. strikes several hundred percent more women than men? That might give us a hint into understanding this disease.
     
  2. jstefl

    jstefl Senior Member

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    I don't know if this is true or or not, but I was told by a prominent CFS researcher that it is because the womans immune system slows down during her fertile time so that the sperm is not attacked.
     
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    At a guess - biological and structural differences only. More chance of "bugs" hiding ?.
     
  4. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I think i read XMRV can be triggered by certain hormones. So if XMRV plays a causative role maybe women have higher levels of the hormones that can trigger XMRV or then they have more spikes and a less constant level of those hormones.
     
  5. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Interesting eric - there must be something in "female" biology that works against us if the male/female difference is indeed a fact.
     
  6. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    The other side.
    Of course the original assumption may be flawed. I don't personally know a lot of people with M.E. but 100% of the one I do know (i.e. me) is male, so I could ask why so few people with M.E. seem to be female.
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    A couple different things I've considered:

    Men are twice as efficient as women in detoxifying alcohol from the body, and apparently have better detoxification capabilities. Toxic exposures and buildup is often associated with ME/CFS onset.

    I've also read that women take common medications that have a high fluoride content. Fluoride toxicity is very similar to ME/CFS symptoms.
     
  8. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    By gosh eric we've got the best on it. My old Dad died of prostrate cancer (links etc well known). You brought up flouride Wayne - is that possible when all around drink the same flouride in their water here.
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Enid,

    If I understand your question correctly, I think the following cut and paste from the fluoride Q & A will answer that:

    8). Is fluoridated water the only major source of toxic fluoride exposure?

    No. In fact, the biggest threat of developing the most severe forms of chronic fluoride poisoning may actually stem from fluoride-based prescription drugs, such as fluorinated antibiotics like Cipro.

    Although prescription drugs dont contain relatively large amounts of fluoride, the forms of fluoride are, in some cases, SO toxic they can induce chronic fluoride poisoning following extended, or repeated use.

    They also mention pesticides as a major source of fluoride, so anybody living close to agricultural areas that use large amounts of pesticides would probably be at risk.

    I researched fluoride toxicity a fair amount a few years ago, and don't recall everything I learned. What I've done since then is assiduously stay away from fluoride exposure as best I can. Last thing I need is to have my body expending lots of energy trying to get it out of my system, and probably not being able to do a good job at it.

    I just noticed on the website that green tea has lot of fluoride. Yikes! Looks like one more thing for me to give up.

    Wayne


     
  12. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Yikes Wayne - me too - more to watch out for !
     
  13. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    I offered a hypothesis for the higher prevalence of ME/CFS in women than in men at the 2007 IACFS conference. The paper is available in the files section of the Yahoo cfs_yasko group's website. Essentially, the hypothesis is that some women (as well as men, but it doesn't have the same effect in men) have a combination of genetic polymorphism in genes that code for enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism: CYP1B1, COMT, the GST enzymes, and the SOD enzymes. This combination, which I have seen in the Genovations Detoxigenomic profile results for several women with ME/CFS, will promote what is called redox cycling, which contributes to oxidative stress. In the GD-MCB hypothesis, oxidative stress depletes glutathione, and that leads to the onset of ME/CFS in people who are genetically predisposed to developing a partial methylation cycle block. So the gist of it is that many women have an additional bias toward the development of oxidative stress because of the need to metabolize estrogens, and the presence of these polymorphisms.

    Best regards,

    Rich
     
  14. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Thanks richvank for confirming biological predisposition - just relieved it's not the usual "feminine hysteria" much beloved by the Psyches et al. It is of course the same thing M or F.
     
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Im thinking the dominant hormone that can help these retro's grow is estrogen dominance which is obviously common in women, especially if on the pill and arent using progesterone to counteract the negative effectives of estrogen. but also middle aged men with that pot belly tend to have estrogen dominance ie high E2 levels and its these men that have a high prevalence of prostate problems which they are finding is from these high E2 levels, it was once thought prostate problems were from DHT but DHT is high in young men too but with little in the way of prostate problems. Optimum testosterone levels in men is also important in prostate health as well as general health in males, problems arise when testosterone aromatises to estrogen in men that health problems arise.

    In reguards to myself, since having cfs i have slowly been putting on weight even though i have been careful with what i eat although exercise hasnt really been ideal, who would be with cfs. Anyway all my hormones were out of whack especially my free testosterone which was low and dhea, my E2 which was high. SO i have been on a drug called arimidex which blocks the conversion of testosterone to E2, this has helped lower my E2 and helped raise my free testosterone levels to normal, i have also started losing weight, especially from the midrift. cfs wise im not sure its helping directly but from all the research i have read, keeping these hormones within correct ranges can help me avoid prostate problems as well as other health problems associated with estrogen dominance like diabetes, cardiac issues etc plus its in the back of my head about xmrv and prostate cancer so hopefully avoiding that too.

    cheers!!!
     
  16. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    1) Evolution has made it so that women have better immune systems than men:
    • as the "breeding unit" they must survive, but men are "throw aways" (seriously)
    • men have higher variation than women, the bell curve is inverted as it were, so as male, you get higher chance of being a moron or genius, psychopath or autistic etc (evolution wants variation to find good survivors, it can afford to lose many males, since only takes 1 male to fertilize many females)
    • women develop more phobias of poisonous critters when menarche hits (to protect them)
    • all those are just TENDENCIES, but they do skew some things, like women tend to get more autoimmune disease probably because whne fertile, their immune systems are so strong they can over react, and when menopausal it gets screwed up.

    2) Women are siically much more capable than men, and are more likely to talk to their doctors about embarassing problems or about illness that suffer BIGOTTED ABUSE, grrr (yes, us ME/CFS folks, similar iwth HIV/AIDS)

    3) ME/CFS usually has very severe effects on the HPA Axis, like in my case, Pituitary is no longer regulating testosterone production as it should (note, pituitary releases a control hormone, not testosterone itself)
    Men have typically have at least 10 times as much testosterone as women, so any change could have a more severe effect on females as there's "less room to manouver" with a problem that lowers it.

    4) Men ABHOR being weak, for many reasons, no damn fun for a woman either of coruse, but for men it is grossly deemening. this would lead to higher rates of suicide and self destructive behaviour as well as "keeping it to themselves"

    5) Men tend to have much greater body mass, which would help with dealing with toxins, by the way. I could drink most folk under the table cause I was much bigger than them, so the dose was diluted, not 'cause I was "magically immune" :p
    (though Buckfast wine knocked me on my ass more than spirits did, ick! hate that vile stuff, lol)
     
  17. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I don't know the answer of course, but i would disagree with some of this (no offense meant though).

    I don't think that it just seems women have ME/CFS more often than men. Unless you have a very mild case, i can hardly imagine it's possible to keep it to yourself that you have this. If you can't work normally anymore etc. people will realize it wheter you like it or not. So i think those statistics are basically correct.

    And i don't think it would make sense for men to be "constructed" in such a way that they are less likely to survive, because the presence of men certainly enhance the chance for women to survive, so it would be an advantage if the men survive. But if some don't survive it's no problem for the rest of course :tongue:
     
  18. justinreilly

    justinreilly Senior Member

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    Are auto-immune diseases the only diseases related to ME that affect more women than men. I assume you would find very good clues from looking at the research as to why women are more prone to (other) auto-immune diseases. Rich van K may have already implied this in his post; sorry i can't tell since i don't understand science! btw, Rich so glad you are active in the patient community!
     
  19. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Eric
    Human males DO have greater variation, as said, Evolution means it's good idea to throw higher rates of variation into us, as we're less of a loss than females, so males tend ot more extremes of all types (which increases chances of positive variation and the negative variations are, Evolution wise, not such a loss)
    and females to health norms (as they are absolutely required to be healthy, since mammalian reproduction rates are so low)
    you can go read up on it :)
    iirc, Womens' immune systems are typically about 10% better than Mens'
     
  20. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    There is very little written about this but that is not surprising because given that diagnoses of M.E/CFS are for the most part based on criteria and case descriptions which are based solely on symptoms. Without knowing underlying cause it is impossible to come to definitive conclusions about the differential roles of male and female physiology. Given the reliance on symptom description and the lack of any controlling rigour in the use of the diagnosis, diagnostic bias has to be considered to be a factor in the reported female/male prevalence ratios.

    Androgens the male suite of hormones have a suppressing effect upon the immune system, this leaves males more open to serious and catastrophic infections than females whose higher expression of estrogens suppresses (to variable degrees) expression of androgens, leaving females more effective at fighting off infection. The downside for females is that their more active immune systems are more prone to self activation (auto-immunity) while the dampened down male immune system is relatively freer of auto-imune problems.

    There is no evidence of gender preference by infective agents viruses, bacteria or parasites, other than behaviour or physiology mediated vulnerability. Limited population observation can sometimes suggest a gender preference for instance in the US HIV appears to be a strongly male preferenced infection, but this is a function of US male behaviour (higher levels of intravenous drug use, higher levels of unprotected sex) and male physiology relative to behaviour (sex practices -lesbians rarely get HIV, gay men are heavily prone). When the global picture of HIV infection is considered the gender difference breakes down because in much of the heavily affected regions, women are more exposed to HIV through a) lack of autonomy in sex choices (lack of condoms, refusal of partners to use them etc) and b) economic disadvantage leading to high rates of sex trade participation.

    The reported gender differential in M.E/CFS presents a problem for those who argue for a single infective agent because even if one invokes a post infection differentiating effect (some unknown auto-immune process) the level of infection required to explain a 3:1 gender difference, requires that 100,000s of men worldwide are getting the infection each year but are not getting noticeably ill, (or else they are dying of unexplained or misdiagnosed infection !).

    IVI
     

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