The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Microbiome Permanently Altered by Food Poisoning

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Forbin, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    I came across this 2014 article at the National Geographic website which discusses how a biologist and his graduate student at MIT tracked the constituents of their microbiomes every day for a year.

    In the student's case, his microbiome was temporarily altered when he visited Bangkok and suffered a couple of bouts of diarrhea. Meanwhile, his professor's microbiome was permanently altered by a salmonella-based episode of food poisoning.
    Below is the professor's year long chart. The salmonella-based food poisoning event occurs at about day 150. The upper portion shows the relative proportion of the dominant species. The lower section shows changes in each species, with drops in blue and increases in red.

    The article summarizes this paper in Genome Biology.

    http://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-2014-15-7-r89

    - - -​

    I found this article when I went looking for information on food poisoning and the microbiome. Eighteen months prior to the onset of ME/CFS, I had an exceptionally acute case of food poisoning. It knocked me off my feet for days and nearly sent me to the ER. Due to the recent interest in the microbiome, I've come to wonder if this event could have somehow "set me up" for ME.

    I'm curious if anyone else can recall coming down with severe food poisoning or any other acute, but transitory, gastrointestinal illness within a couple of years prior to coming down with ME.

    [Of course, since such illness is not wildly uncommon, the significance of such accounts would be hard to appraise unless it was very common among ME patients.]


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    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I had some serious gut issues during onset of illness 26 years ago, including h.pylori. Around 10 years ago I had food poisoning and was severely ill for 3 days. I was afraid my gut would be permanently affected but fortunately went back to base. No long term problems from that.
     
  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Another thing I wondered was if I had (symptom-less) h.pylori before becoming ill and when my immune system was compromised with the viral infection everything else became activated.
     
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  4. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    This is pretty much what I'm wondering, i.e. if prior changes in the gut might predispose one to develop ME following a "viral trigger." I've seen it said that even the immune response to a respiratory virus can alter the microbiome to a degree. This would be in line with the idea of a "one-two punch" being necessary to initiate ME.
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I had a similar experience approximately 24 months before acute ME onset. I had constant stomach pain/cramping for several weeks afterward, which only went away briefly when I'd eaten something.

    But in retrospect I had short and milder episodes of PEM in the years prior as well.
     
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  6. Rvanson

    Rvanson Senior Member

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    No, I cant..

    That's how my CFS/ME started out, minus previous gastroenteritis illness. Having a meal at a restaurant in1996 with friends. Five hours later I was running for my bathroom with vomiting and extreme diarrhea. I was almost literally heaving my guts out. I dont want to read jack- **** about how this is "all in my head".

    It was as sudden onset as you can get, costing me my fiancee, my job and my endurance in racing and skiing. Like most everyone I had bouts with some bad food before, but this was the beginning of the end for my life, as it was. Anyone who thinks or says this is "all in the mind" can go frakk themselves, for all I care..
     
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  7. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I moved to a new Town two years before I came down with M.E. A few weeks into moving there my partner and I kept getting awful stomach 'bugs', the like of which we had never had before. These went on for about a year before finally settling down. Within another year I had developed M.E.

    My partner didn't.
     
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  8. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    My daughter with prior major depression contracted Salmonella severely enough to spend 4 days in hospital. Following the Salmonella she developed reactive arthritis and has further symptoms such that her doctor wants her investigated for a possible diagnosis of fibromyalgia and/or me/cfs
     
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  9. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

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    My G.I. symptoms started after food poisoning in Bangkok, i had constant diarrhea for a year or two, was then put on ciprofloxacin by an incompetent gastroenterologist and that triggered the ME and inflammatory bowel disease.
    I'm never going to eat streetfood (or trust a Thai doctor) ever again.
     
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  10. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    I just recalled that, in her prize winning 2003 New Yorker article, "A Sudden Illness," Laura Hillenbrand described her first symptom as "an intense wave of nausea." She wrote that later she was "doubled over, burning hot, and racked with chills." Paramedics pronounced it "food poisoning."

    http://www.kenwilber.com/Writings/PDF/A_Sudden_Illness.pdf

    When ME/CFS first struck me (with a wave of dizziness), I remember briefly thinking that it must be food poisoning. Though I'd eaten nothing suspicious, there was a sensation as if "the bottom had dropped out" in my gut, as though a strong cathartic had just kicked in. That sensation passed without effect, but the dizziness remained - - something I had never experienced before. Over the next couple of days I felt like I was recovering. Things went rapidly downhill after that.
     
  11. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I had Campylobacter poisoning in 1998 and was very ill for 2 weeks at least but I also had lots of other viruses/infections between 1996-2000 when I had full blown ME/CFS. I am positive these all played a part in my developing the illness.

    A year ago I did the Genova GI Effects stool analysis and it came back with very low diversity despite a good diet and lots of probiotics which I found quite disappointing. Since then I have been taking homemade Kefir daily but haven't redone the test so don't know if there is any improvement. I have also added more fibre in the form of Psyllim husks, ground flaxseeds and chia seeds.

    Pam
     
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  12. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

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    One year before being diagnosed with ME, I caught amoebiasis and was treated -without success- with several courses of flagyl. In 1997, I didn`t take any probiotics along with the drug and there is little doubt that the quantity and variety of bacteria in the gut were severely altered. I began flagyl in 01/1997 and was bedridden in 07/1998 with ME.
     
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I also remember reading that Laura Hillenbrand (author of the book Seabiscuit) said her ME/CFS was triggered by an episode of food poisoning.

    However, unless you perform some proper testing during the period of gastrointestinal symptoms (stool samples), it may be hard to distinguish between bacterial food poisoning (eg, Salmonella, Listeria) from a virally triggered gastrointestinal illness which you may have picked up from someone around you (viruses are shed in coughs, sneezes, etc).

    The enteroviruses linked to ME/CFS (coxsackievirus B and echovirus) can produce as their first symptom a gastrointestinal illness lasting for a few days, in which there is vomiting, diarrhea, lower quadrant abdominal pain, major fatigue, etc. These symptoms are just like those of food poisoning.

    So if someone says their ME/CFS was triggered by bacterial food poisoning, I'd be skeptical, unless it was medically tested to be bacterial food poisoning. I have never seen any research indicating that bacterial food poisoning can trigger ME/CFS.

    (Although the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia can trigger ME/CFS, so Giardia lamblia food poisoning I guess could lead to ME/CFS).
     
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  14. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    I don't think its unreasonable to assume that any sudden infection can disrupt the microbial balance of the gut enough to trigger a long term illness. I always say that my onset was an acute viral infection however about 6 months prior to that infection, I had the norovirus. Perhaps the norovirus was actually the onset of ME and the viral infection was the final straw where there was no going back? I just remember being sick with several acute infections that year - like my immune system was malfunctioning. My symptoms are primarily gastrointestinal and can be improved and/or worsened by antibiotics/probiotics. I've had multiple stool analyses and there is a definite bacterial imbalance and other labs show intestinal permeability.
     
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  15. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Same.

    The dizziness, severe imbalance was the first symptom for me. Then on the third day a very sore throat developed and flu. This was the beginning of my mild ME.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  16. Rvanson

    Rvanson Senior Member

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    I politely disagree. I KNOW that I was fine before I ate dinner at a restaurant with my friends. My CFS/ME was full blown
    after that. I used to be able to eat anything, but after that any strong spice like Curry, Garlic or uncooked onions make me sick as hell. Maybe there have not been many or no tests done to see
    if bacteria of some kind can cause or set off CFS/ME?
     
  17. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Are you saying you had a gastrointestinal illness for a few days after eating a restaurant meal? If so, how do you know it was bacterial food poisoning that made you sick, as opposed to becoming sick from a viral infection you may have picked up?
     
  18. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    I hadn't made any connections... so curious. But I do remember a severe bout of food poisoning about 9 months prior to becoming ill (can only date it because it was my birthday dinner at Red Lobster, last time I ate there).
     
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  19. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    I didn't have food poisoning but just before I came down with CFS/ME I was put on a (to quote my doctor) "skookum" dose of Penicillin and three days later the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. So I definitely believe that gut bacteria is the issue with this illness.
     
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  20. I also got severe food poisoning a few months before I got ill.

    I'm not sure what it means to have your gut biome "permanently" altered. Your gut is never static and it is always possible to improve it with probiotics, fecal transplants, etc.
     

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