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Men vs Women

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Thomas, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas

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    I was chatting with one of my ME Doctors, Dr. Hyde just now. He is such a wonderful man and so thorough at his testing but as you know he is not much in the way of treatment or anything new or cutting edge. But helpful as part of the team nonetheless.

    Anyways, he said that in his experience of seeing thousands of ME patients, that he belives men always have better chnaces at recovery or substantial improvement over women - not because men are physically stronger but that our immune and hormonal systems are quite different. I don't want to offend anybody but do you believe this to be true? We all know more woman than men get this disease (as well as many other major diseases) but we don't often discuss recovery and improvement rates. Not that woman don't improve or recover, they do, according to Dr. Hyde, but men in his experience fair much better over time.
    aimossy and rosie26 like this.
  2. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I think it would be the hormonal system upsetting the immune system ?. I know a lot of us suffer deterioration usually a week before our periods start. And last year I began to start menopause and that was a shocker of a deterioration.

    I think women go through a lot of hormonal changes over a month and our bodies with M.E are very sensitive to any change and this causes us to have a lot of crashes.
    aimossy likes this.
  3. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Rich Van Konynenburg had a hypothesis as to why more women than men came down with ME/CFS. It was hormonally based, if I remember correctly. But I don't remember hearing about men having better recovery rates before.

    I also haven't heard about women having different immune systems before, and I'm not sure that it's even possible. Is there a reliable source for this information?

    For the hormonal differences, it suggests that hormonal therapy could be helpful for women's recovery.

    Does Dr. Hyde have anything to say about recovery rates for post-menopausal women?
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  4. Thomas

    Thomas

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    Our immune systems are different because all our systems are connected and because we have different hormones etc we therefore have different immune systems. That was his layman non-complicated explanation. I didn't ask him about post menopausal woman - I'm a 34 year old pre-middle aged man. I'll see if I can slip that in on my next chat with him. I'll tell him my mom wanted to know ;)
    aimossy likes this.
  5. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    This is interesting. Despite all my annoying symptoms that come with peri-menopause (burning mouth syndrome, hot flashes, poor sleep, etc) I'm actually feeling better overall in the last 3 months. I'm not experiencing immune reactions so my energy level has improved.

    I've often heard of women with ME feeling better during pregnancy.
    L'engle and PennyIA like this.
  6. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Pregnancy is the ultimate state of immune suppression. It has to be in order for the woman to be able to hold the baby without rejecting it as foreign.

    Progesterone facilitates this which is why I am skeptical about doctors that hand out progesterone cream willy nilly.

    Ema
    peggy-sue, justy, aimossy and 4 others like this.
  7. Shell

    Shell Senior Member

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    Ema Internesting as that's when I became ill - I was pregnant with my 10 year old.
  8. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Apparently both cases happen, many feeling better during pregnancy, but many getting ill because of pregnancy (after or during).
  9. PDXhausted

    PDXhausted Senior Member

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  10. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    If I remember the genetic subtype study, some of the more severe subtypes affected women more often than men. But I haven't found the article that I remember reading that from.

    The abstract, which doesn't mention gender:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18057078
  11. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member

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    I experienced a dramatic improvement during pregnancy. It was totally unexpected so my hormones definitely have some place in my dysfunction. I'm guessing that women might have different immune systems as a result of needing to be prepared to carry foreign tissue in the womb. I wonder, if it's true, what men have that gives them a leg up in recovery/remittance?
    justy likes this.
  12. aimossy

    aimossy Senior Member

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    I think this discussion sort of matches with some autoimmune conditions like lupus and RA. pregnancy can put you into remission for a time.
    Does that happen in ME?
    I am not sure if im right but I think lupus and RA also might be more prevalent in women.i could be wrong.

    hormones are such powerful buggers darn it. I have had to come off Oral contraceptive pill 3 months ago......It really has not been fun I got worse with ME stuff straight away. flaxseed oil I couldn't believe it has actually helped me cope.

    I wonder if men get a bit of extra stigma due to the prevalence in women. that could be an extra rough element for men.
    female ups and downs with hormones tho im sure that men will be glad they don't have that.lol
    rosie26 likes this.
  13. Elph68

    Elph68 Senior Member

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    Hi Caledonia,

    maybe the more relevant question is why do more women have IBS than men?
  14. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I have also heard, anecdotally, perhaps on these forums that men tend to have better recovery rates. I think if you take a young male who has been ill for less than 3 years and they rest enough then that person is the most likely to recover.
    I am not sure where though i heard this information - could be an urban myth. What does Dr Hyde say about mens recovery rates. Unfortunatley i am now at the point where i have been ill on and off for so long and recently had antoher downward turn that has set me back two years at least that i no longer believe i will ever recover. I first became ill after i stopped breastfeeding my second child - which creates big shifts in hormones, also condition improved when pregnant with my 3rd and 4th child, but didnt get worse again until after stopping breastfeeding again.

    Personally i prefer to talk about remission rather than recovery - i have had a long remission to near normal functioning in the past and believe it is possible for some.

    There is a higher female to male prevalence in most if not all autoimmune diseases, which is well documented.

    All the best, Justy.
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  15. aimossy

    aimossy Senior Member

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    I think I should throw out the idea ive had of waiting to get better before having a baby. mind you it will be a mission finding the right man while this ill.lol ....and then not neglecting the poor bub after it arrived.
    Hats off to you justy!!! well done!! 4....awesome.im hoping my wee sister will sprout triplets and ill get to pinch them and teach them to be naughty sometimes.;):rolleyes:
  16. Ruthie24

    Ruthie24 Senior Member

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    http://www.nova.edu/promo.html?id=c...3&subtitle=Introducing the new GWI Consortium

    At Dr. Klimas' conference in Jan. of this year, Dr. Broderick discussed this very issue. If you view this video it's at 23:30 where he discusses the vastly more complicated female immune system vs the male immune system. He attributes it to pregnancy which is not just a hormonal event but also an immune event as the immune system has to be suppressed in order to allow the fetus to survive.

    Basically he shows that the female immune system is about 3 times more complicated so it would seem to make sense that more women get auto immune diseases if there are that many more places in the system where things can break down?

    Just from reading threads on here, it has seemed to me that males have had better responses to antivirals and other treatments in general than woman, although that's obviously a generalization and there are many specific cases where that doesn't hold true.
  17. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Sounds like a plan! My no 3. was born in your neck of the woods - South Island of NZ :)

    I agree, best to get as well as you can first

    Take care,
    Justy.
    aimossy likes this.
  18. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    Rich said somewhere that estrogen contributed to oxidation. At least 2 of the guys here have detox problems re estrogen. Including me. I also had rapid-cycling Bipolar which is a gal thing as well as thyroid problems and now ME. Before I lost weight after getting my colon out, I could have probably used a training bra! Still could use some support :)

    I wonder what percentage of guys with ME are in the same boat regarding estrogen levels. Oh, and I agree that the IBS/gal thing is interesting Elph68.
  19. Elph68

    Elph68 Senior Member

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    Hi Brad .... even with no colon the bugs can still be in your throat, prostate, urethra and small intestine giving you grief ..... Strep is the most dangerous bug on the planet ..... Doctors haven't figured that out yet .... And all these other issues mentioned are probably right .... it is how ones body reacts to the inflammation that causes ME etc ..... and that is probably genetic as you say ....
    stridor likes this.
  20. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    Elph68
    Yeah, I finally found a place that has the probiotic that I want to try next. Probiotics help me to absorb B2 and likely others - it's just that the B2 is so easy to track with urine colour....that, and I get symptoms easily. Most probiotics give me intestinal discomfort but this one is human-derived and I did OK with it 3 years ago.

    I have been interested in the gut/ gut-brain/ inflammation story since way before I had problems myself. Wakefield (research now questionable? Anybody read his book?) found inflammation in the guts of about 70% of kids with autism which was twice the control group or something like that.

    I have alway identified with those on the spectrum. It came up on another thread and I debated wading into the discussion but I have seen autistic kids with fatigue and post-fatigue symptoms. Anyway...yeah, I think that my life is "poorer" without my little friends living in my colon and I wish to hell that I didn't have to take their home away :(

    As I sit here I have a little article in front of me called, "How Bacteria in your Gut Affect Your Mental Health". I remember reading that there are fringe Drs who think that antidepressants work in the 90% of serotonin nerves in the gut - not the 10% in the brain. I love this kind of thinking.

    I have low glutathione, as we all seem to have. Mine must be either more pronounced or my genetics have allowed for greater expression. The Bipolar presentation that persisted for decades is oxidative/low glutathione and so is the ME. The polyposis is also a low glutathione condition. The gut gets glutathione from the liver and those of us with any GST variants should take note. My colon (and anyone else's) derived the glutathione it needed from what made its way down the pipe as supplied in the bile. There is little ability to get it from the blood.

    This is one of the reasons that Gerson's Cancer protocol uses coffee enemas. The palmatates in coffee stimulate glutathione-s-transferase production and release. In a failed attempt to save my colon, I used 8 gms of curcumin a day until I became sensitized to it, as it also increased GST. You can buy palmatate at the health food store.

    In spite of my gut issues, not absorbing some things .... and yet absorbing some other stuff that I shouldn't be = food sensitivities plus stomach problems, polyposis....the gut is not the origin of my problems. Mercury was. This is not to say that gut issues have not contributed to things; it is to say, that had I never been exposed to mercury as a boy, then my methylation system might have been able to get along fine. My glutathione levels, along with adequate methyl groups to silence certain genes may have been enough to avoid any gut problems.

    They talk about "Crohn's personality" - I used to think that this was some form of adaptation to having a chronic illness and spending too much time in hospitals and the dependency associated with that. Do you find people with IBS have personality traits associated with the illness?

    One thing else that I would like to mention and it is totally off topic for this entry but back on topic for the thread is that I think testosterone has to be addressed and that all gals should be tested. For gals most of the testosterone comes from the adrenals which take a beating with ME. There is a form of fatigue/depression/ lack of interest that is associated with this.

    It has so much in common with the symptoms of ME that it would be hard to measure the response to supplements or the protocols found on this site with it "running" in the background. I have seen first hand the difference that testosterone can make in one gal that I know. She did not have ME but it sure looked like it and she is fine today.

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