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It's all in the Gut. Why we get ME/CFS

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by redo, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    I'd really like to hear what you guys think of this:

    - Might it be that most of the CFS symptoms come from unwanted microbes in the gut?

    Sounds far fetched? Here's how I think it may be:
    We all (healthy and sick people) have different types of microbes in the gut. And when some of those microbes get the chance to overgrow, the person get's ill. That's the case when someone get's c. difficile. The body can handle the disease in some cases, in others it can't.

    The body is in a constant struggle trying to get wanted microbes to outnumber the unwanted ones. If the unwanted microbes get to grow, and really establish themselves, it can seem like an impossible task for the body to clear that out by itself.

    Here's what a microbes in the gut sample could look like:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, we have much of some, and few of others. And if that balance shifts. I guess we can really be in trouble.

    What happens if the unwanted ones, some specific unwanted ones can outgrow the wanted ones?

    - We can get severe problems with the breakdown of dopamin and noradrenaline. What this means, is that if we try to concentrate mentally for some minutes, we will get really high levels of those substances, which in turn would make us feel really ill.

    - There is a large possibility that we could get uncomfortable socializing. Just like the mice who got the wrong microbes in the gut, we may also feel uncomfortable in new situations.

    - We could get lots of memory problems, vision problems, problems with a overactive immune system and other things because the body (meaning immune system) is constantly fighting this pathogenically high levels of the unwanted microbes.

    Now. How does all of this match with XMRV?
    Well, it's not hard to imagine that a immune suppressive virus could make it a lot harder for the body to get the microbes in the gut under control.

    How does this match with psychological stress (making CFS worse)?
    Stress may defiantly alter the body's (meaning immune system's) ability to keep the unwanted microbes in the gut under control. This could also be the case for vaccines.

    How does this match with HHV-6, EBV, and other infections?
    Everything which effects the immune system makes it harder for the body to keep this under control. And stuff like HHV-6, EBV and others can give symptoms on their own.

    High levels of clostridia bacteria have also been linked to autism. It may be that a major reason for autism is that something (such as a virus) messes with the body's ability to keep unwanted gut microbes at bay, and when the unwanted ones grow, and get the upper hand, they change how the brain developes (in early child stage)/or causes ongoing autism symptoms because it's active for the rest of their lives as well.


    So, what if it's all (or mostly, is a more appropriate word) in the gut?

    Results from Australia show that CFS (and MS, parkinson and RA) gets a whole lot better, when they just replace the gut bacteria...

    Please be the devils advocate. Please try to think of things which might disprove my hypothesis. Tell me what I've overlooked, or why I might be wrong.

    Thanks!
    Wayne likes this.
  2. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    I think you're right redo.

    Every ME doc I've seen thinks the gut is at the root of our problems, but none knew what to do about it. However, I did have colonic irrigation in the early years of my illness, and started to improve.

    Jenny
  3. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    Well, thanks. I think I am onto something too. Here's another article (same guy who's interviewed, Sven Pettersson).

    I'd really like to hear some reasons as to why I could be wrong. So if someone can "poke holes" in my hypothesis, then please do :)
  4. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    It makes a lot of sense to me. So, what can we do about it?
  5. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Assuming the gut milieu is disrupted my first question is: What causes the imbalance/overgrowth.
  6. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    We could do what's done here. If you'd like to take a discussion about which "tools" we have to correct this, then please continue that one in that thread :) I think there's plenty of things we could do. When we get the diagnose straight, we'll have a whole tool box to choose from. Such as clostridia specific abx (they much be specific for the correct subclass), faecal transplants and immune modulation which makes it easier for the body to fight this off.
  7. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    Lansbergen. As I see it, we all (or most of us, healthy and sick) have microbes which can be pathogenic if they appear in large enough quantities (such as c. difficile, which most have).

    The gut is a "double edged sword". The microbes which are in the gut are really powerful. They can break down muscle and flesh (meaning the meat we eat) in just some 24 hours. And we need that. The body are dependent on those bacteria. But if the wrong subclasses overgrow, then we can be in trouble. The body is in a constant struggle to keep the right microbes in the right quantities in the gut. It has been vital for survival as long as life has existed. But keeping the right microbes in the right quantity is not a easy task (think of the gut as a "dark room" in the body, where "food is thrown").

    The body has some "tools" to get the right microbes in the gut.

    • One is that if we have too much of a certain strain (such as c. difficile) the body tries to empty the intestines as often as possible (diarrhea).
    • Another is releasing more of the wanted bacteria (this is not confirmed, but many think the cecum serves such purpose (keeping "good bacteria" and releasing it when needed)).
    • Another is using the immune system to fight off the bacteria: Inflammation, and other normal immune responses (although it's harder to reach the bacteria, because they ain't in the blood stream).

    Psychological stress is one thing which might interfere strongly with the body's ability to keep the right bacteria in the gut. Viruses (such as XMRV, HHV-6 and others) can also do the same thing; making the body get more trouble with it's job with maintaining the right balance in the gut.

    Once that balance is broken, it's hard to fix. Because the unwanted bacteria all want's to survive, and does it very best to do so...
  8. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Pretty certain too redo the problem statrs in the gut overwhelming the Immune system and allowing other pathogens kept at bay normally to run riot. Still left with the problem of what triggers and allows latent viruses to reactivate.
  9. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    Enid. Well, I see it the other way around. The (microbes in the) gut is kept at bay, but when other pathogens or stressors (such as HHV6, EBV, vaccines, psychological stress) come, the body is no longer capable of keeping the unwanted microbes in the gut at bay. The unwanted microbes get "the upper hand", and then we're sick.

    The way the gut microbes makes us feel sick may very well be (among other things) via disrupting/modulating/over activating the immune system, and then we feel ill.

    So the triggers can be just about anything which makes us unable to keep the unwanted microbes in the gut at bay. That might be HHV6, EBV, vaccines, psychological stress (as mentioned). But it may also be food poisoning, surgery or other stressors (which act like triggers).

    If a XMRV/MLV is needed to get ill (which it very well may be), then it might be that the triggers (such as vaccines, HHV6, EBV etc) go via XMRV, and the XMRV disrupts the gut. I can explain what I mean with that. Say you have a latent XMRV, and you get a vaccine. The vaccine sends the XMRV into overdrive. And when the XMRV is in overdrive, the body is no longer capable of controlling the gut flora in the correct way. And that's when we get ill.
  10. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    There must be something that triggers it.

    Redo you write stress. I say stress is caused by stressors. Which stressor do you think causes it?
  11. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    Physical stress is caused by stressors. But psychological stress was what I was thinking about.
    If you read this article: http://www.healthfinder.gov/News/newsstory.aspx?docid=651146 (the link was broken, so I changed it to another website with the exact same story)
    You can see that psychological stress can be enough to trigger problems in the gut, which in turn gives us immune system problems.

    I think all sorts of stressors can trigger these problems. Such as vaccines, HHV6, EBV, surgery, food poisoning, psychological stress and so forth. Basically most things which may "overload" the immune system for a given period of time.

    (I just specified that I was writing about psychological in the main post)
  12. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    There's another thread here about TPN which also suggests it's all about the gut. It's a promising lead for sure.
  13. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Sorry Redo but messages like you point me to are worthless for me.

    Anything that puts pressure on an organism can cause problems but you can not convince me that everyday "psychological" stressors cause ME.

    Watching stools is one of the tools one has to monitor animal health. A stool that is different from normal is a sign something is out of the ordinary and reason to examine and watch the animal closely but it does not mean that psychological stressors are the cause.
  14. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    I've never written that everyday psychological stress can cause ME/CFS. I wrote that psychological stress (severe psychological stress) can be one of many triggers. There are some who've had ME/CFS break out after going through a lot of severely stressful things. And I think the reason for that is because that stressor may also (in addition to others) be enough to disrupt the immune system for long enough that it breaks out. It's very seldom, but it does happen. And it does really "confuse", I guess, the doctors who are trying to work out what ME/CFS comes from (in general).

    Once again. I've never written that it (psychological stress) is the cause. I wrote that it may be one of many triggers.

    And the way it may trigger ME/CFS is by indirectly causing the gut flora to get unbalanced. When it does that, and the harmful microbes are ready to grow, and manage to grow, then the result may very well be ME/CFS.
  15. JPV

    JPV Senior Member

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    Bear in mind that lack of reading comprehension is epidemic around here

    Anyway, whenever I get stressed out, my symptoms are extremely aggravated. From my experience, stress definitely contributes to my condition.
  16. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    So you say it can happen in some who have to deal with strong psychological stressors. That leaves out the people who had not to face it.

    Strong enough stressors can make the immune system not work as well as it should but it does not necessarily make the gut flora the main problem.

    Stressors increase stress hormone levels and it is generally known cortico's influence immune response.
  17. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Interesting thoughts redo - I've pondered that especially as my onset was an unrelenting sore throat and cognitive decline initially - any recognisable gut problems coming later.Can't tie to anything extraneous but did know I was unwell - and that it was viral. One just knows it from illness reaction to past bugs. Much enjoying the work I was doing at the time so no particular stress. Sort of chicken or egg situation. I just do not know but gut problems closely linked.
  18. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    Whether it's Dysbiosis or whatever, I have long believed Gut problems to be at the core of this illness (at least for me). This theory is nothing new (see Chia, KDM, etc), but as experience accumulates, I become more and more a believer.
  19. redo

    redo Senior Member

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    @JPV. The way I see it, with regards to this microbes in the gut hypothesis, is that there are two ways psychological stress can make someone worse.
    First we have the immediate effects of something. Now we're talking hours afterward. When a healthy person gets stressed, they release massive amounts of cortisol, dopamine and noradrenalin into the blood stream. But when a CFS patient gets stressed, the body isn't able to break down the noradrenaline and dopamine, so it just builds up in the body, making one worse and worse. I guess it's the same mechanism which makes many of us worse after concentrating on something: We aren't able to break the signaling substances down as quickly as we should, so they accumulate into (way too) large numbers.

    And then we have the effects of long term stress (now we're talking many days, or many weeks) which may "pull the carpet underneath the the immune systems feet" (I am not sure if "pulling the carpet" is an expression in English, but put some goodwill into it if not, and you'll see what I mean).


    I am not quite sure what you mean here Lansbergen.
    "So you say it can happen in some who have to deal with strong psychological stressors"
    I am saying that some (a minority) of the PWCs do have that (psy. stress) as a factor in the onset of their disease.

    "That leaves out the people who had not to face it."
    I am not quite sure what you mean by this. The vast majority are anyways left out of having psy. stress as their trigger, because it's only a trigger in a small minority of the cases. So - yes - most PWCs don't have that as a trigger in their illness.

    "Strong enough stressors can make the immune system not work as well as it should but it does not necessarily make the gut flora the main problem."

    I've not said that it necessarily makes the gut flora the problem. I've said that I think it goes in the direction stress -> gut flora -> immune system problems. It may also go in the direction stress -> (temporary) immune system problems. And it indeed does. The question is only if it does both, and not just the latter.

    And -- it may go in the direction stress -> (temporary) immune problems -> XMRV activation -> CFS causing gut flora imbalance.

    I am not sure. I am not saying I have the answer. But what I am saying is that I do believe psy. stress can be detrimental to the immune system, causing it to temporary get "semi out of play", and while that is happening, other problems may arise, which the immune system is unable to handle once it's "back in play".

    Anyway, let's not make this into a discussion about if psy. stress can be one of many triggers. It's not important to the main point in the thread.
  20. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, redo.

    I think you have a strong ally in Dr. Kenny de Meirleir. He has believed for a long time that the gut is the origin of ME/CFS, and he has been accumulating evidence for it. He probably does the most thorough testing of the digestive system of anyone in the ME/CFS community, and he does very specific treatments based on the test results. I recommend that you check into his work, some of which can be found on PubMed.

    Best regards,

    Rich

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