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New immune responses after addressing mold exposure

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Approximately_me, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Approximately_me

    Approximately_me

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    Hi all,

    A couple years ago I moved into a moldy apartment. I got really sick there. First some kind of virus and then after starting some hormone therapy everything in my body went nuts. The neuro symptoms were the worst, but also fatigue, sweats, anxiety etc etc.

    I stopped hormone treatment (I'm transgender), and treated for yeast which I managed to improve dramatically in that time but still had die-off.

    About a month before leaving the apartment I started suppressing androgen again to bring my testosterone levels down, but did not add any estrogen.

    When I finally moved out of the apartment shortly after my die-off stopped within two weeks. Subsequently I stopped taking NAC and ALA which I'd been taking the max doses of for 8 months to deal with die-off toxins.

    In the next few weeks in my new house I began developing new symptoms. First and immense fatigue and then immnune responses to EVERYTHING. The immune responses result in loads of brain inflammation.

    I have white blood cell counts that are way below the minimum.

    As far as I can tell there are three triggers that may have been the change in supplementation (ALA and NAC), the new house or the lowered testosterone.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?

    Obviously, environment is huge. So it could be something in the new house. But why would my die-off stop if there was something here making me sick? Could my immune system used to attacking mold start attacking me? I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but none of this really does to me.

    Could stopping the supplements cause my immune system to go berserk? I haven't been able to add these back in because my immune response to them is too intense.

    Hormonal change? Could this affect cytokines that much?

    Any help would be fantastic.

    Thanks guys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  2. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Great Plains, US
    Hi Approximately_me,

    Boy, I don't know the answers to a lot of your questions. But I have heard and experienced that when someone moves from a moldy home to a better one, it can cause that person's immune system to become sensitized to mold toxins.

    In my case, it felt like my immune system wanted to make really sure that I didn't expose myself to mold toxins again. So any time I was around mold toxins, or many other kinds of toxins, it reacted in a huge way with inflammation and pain, etc.

    Have you read Dr. Shoemaker's books or websites? It might help you to read his stuff. Also Erik Johnson's stuff. He understands hyper-reactivity to mold toxins really well.

    Wishing you better health!
    Forebearance
     
  3. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Approximately_me
    ME/CFS is often triggered by a combination of bad factors hitting you all at once. Viruses can trigger ME/CFS, but if you speak to people whose ME/CFS began after catching a virus, you typically find that these people were also simultaneously hit with other ME/CFS-triggering factors, such as severe mold exposure or pesticide exposure, which are both linked to precipitating ME/CFS.

    So in your case, the combination of mold and plus a virus may be what triggered your ME/CFS.

    Mold toxins have been shown to reduce the Th1 immune response, which is necessary to fight viruses, and this might explain why when people catch certain viruses at the same time as being exposed to mold toxins, they cannot properly fight off the virus, and develop ME/CFS.

    The immune system has two major modes, called Th1 and Th2, and the immune system can swing from one mode to the other; but if for example the immune system swings to Th2, this automatically reduces Th1, and vice versa.

    Th2 is for fighting off extracellular bacterial infections, and Th1 is for fighting intracellular infections (which are infections that live inside human cells — this includes viral infections). ME/CFS patients in general have too much Th2 response, and too little Th1 response.

    What you can try is supplements that boost the Th1 response, like inosine. Search this forum for more info on inosine. I know one person who had mold-induced ME/CFS who got a lot better after taking inosine 2000 mg daily for a year.


    Whether the hormones you took might have played a role in the development of your condition is a debatable point. Certainly, around 3 out of 4 ME/CFS patients are women, which perhaps suggests the possibility that female hormones might predispose towards getting ME/CFS (though it has not been proven that female hormones are the cause of this 3 to 4 female/male ratio of ME/CFS). Though interestingly, estrogens may inhibit the Th1 response, so if true, this might explain why ME/CFS is more common in women. But this is just speculation.

    In any case, this possible bad effect on ME/CFS may apply more to the estrogens estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) and estrone, rather than the third estrogen estriol (E3).

    Conceivably, estriol might be beneficial for ME/CFS. Estriol levels are increased by a factor of around 1000 during pregnancy, and quite a few ME/CFS patients feel better during pregnancy, perhaps suggesting that estriol has a positive effect on ME/CFS. Certainly, estriol treatment is beneficial in multiple sclerosis, and has been given to both women and men with MS.

    Progesterone may also have benefits for ME/CFS, since it can help block the over-activation of the NMDA receptors in the brain. Over-activation of the NMDA receptors may be the cause of the anxiety and/or "wired" symptoms that many people ME/CFS get. Though unfortunately progesterone may have Th2 rather than Th1 promoting effects.

    I have taken transdermal progesterone cream (dose around 20 mg) myself for anti-anxiety purposes, and it does work. Seems to have some antidepressant properties too. Though I have only taken this on a short term basis, now and then.


    By the way, if you are still suffering from anxiety symptoms, the supplements detailed on this thread can be amazingly helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  4. Approximately_me

    Approximately_me

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    I haven't read Johnson's stuff. I will. Thanks for the tip.
     
  5. Approximately_me

    Approximately_me

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    Thanks for the info on hormones! I was definitely aware of TH1/TH2 and there effect on the immune system. I had a catastophic yeast problem for a year, and read up on this stuff. I was also aware of the difference between testosterone and estrogen (estrogen in a general sense only) and their effect on the immune system. But I was aware of the difference between the different types of estrogen. I'll bring this to my doc when it's time for me to try estrogen again.

    I have tried various things to boost my TH1 response--IP6, Colostrum, Pine Cone Extract and a few others. However, all they did was ramp up my immune system in ways I'm not sure I wanted, so I'm not convinced my immune system is simply TH2 dominant, and interfering with my immune system only seems to get me into trouble. I started with IP6 in December, however, I've more or less had a fever since then. I'm finding through an autoimmune version of the paleo diet, by Sarah Ballentyne, I'm slowly calming my immune system down some, week by week, and I'm having longer intervals without fever or debilitating inflammation, but both are still recurrent.
     
    Hip likes this.
  6. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Great Plains, US
    Hi again. I should have mentioned that Erik is the patient who invented extreme mold avoidance. I think you can find out more about him and his writings on the Paradigm Change website.
     

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