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Stress, Childhood and ME/CFS and Michael Jackson!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Cort, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Deepak Chopra - apparently a good friend of Michael Jackson (and everybody else?) - has weighed in on Michael's plight. His skin problems were caused by an autoimmune disorder. Interestingly stress in childhood is also linked to autoimmune disorders in adults apparently Michael Jackson had a lot of stress in childhood.

    But what about CFS? The CDC is absolutely convinced that stress in childhood is linked to this disease. I disagree with this - my childhood had normal levels of stress - but it's an interesting question given how clear I am at least at my stress response has, to put it mildly, gone completely off kilter.

    But check this out - cortisol is a key immune regulator. Maybe stress in one person causes their immune system to attack their own body. Maybe in another person it causes the innate immune response and the NK cells to fold up (ME/CFS).

    Anyway this blog "Childhood, Michael Jackson and You' is a good one written by a good ME/CFS blogger. Check it out.
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I disagree on the abuse issue as well. I had no more than the average kid to deal with, less than many kids.

    My naturopath say that I am a very sensitive person, in terms of physical stuff (can't wear scratchy wool against my skin), in emotional terms (I used to cry when other people were hurt or sad because it hurt me as well), in psychological terms (I can practically smell it in the air if I walk into a room full of tension or someone is unhappy, I can just ... tell).

    I have been sensitive to food, with a number of sensitivities that have caused big problems over the years.

    And I'm pretty sure that there have been some environmental toxins that have contributed to my CFS. Yet the rest of my family was there too and they didn't get affected the same way as I did.

    Well, actually my husband has FM and one son has CFS so ... guess I'll modify that statement to, most of my family wasn't affected noticeably.

    I'd say, not that we've been through more stressful stuff, but perhaps we are more "sensitive" -- ie. canaries in the mine shaft -- to things that many other people are not.

    And I all my life have had a tendency to anxiety, and to "over-rehearse" (my husband's word for it) worries. So, yeah, I'd say, it is not that there was necessarily greater trauma, but rather a greater sensitivity to stuff.
  3. SDD1244

    SDD1244 Guest

    I didn't have any stress when I was a child and that recent "study" the CDC did, in my opinion, was bogus. The only stress that I had were stressors after my illness. And that is probably why I tend to try to stay away from the CDC's website now. LOL !
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    SDD,

    I couldn't agree more.

    I saw that thing on their website and took their site off my bookmarked sites. I was disgusted.

    Haven't gone back.
  5. Angel

    Angel

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    major childhood stress

    I guess I had major childhood stress. When I was 12 months old my Dad had Bulbar and Spinal Polio. Apparently Mom went with him to the hospital 200 miles away and we three kids went to 3 different homes for a few days at a time. That lasted for 6 months.

    I know it affected me both for good and bad. I also know that I have always been extra sensitive. Mom didn't have to spank, but just look at me with "the Look" and I'd cry.

    The sensitivity is physical also. I cannot put my hands in the hot water that my Mom washes dishes in. It burns me, but she's just fine.

    One Doctor did suggest a connection to the Polio vaccine (sugar cubes) and also the gamma globulin shot that I got when Dad got sick. Apparently the shots given in those years were only 1/2 a Gamma and not full, therefore he said that's probably where my problem started.

    Anyone else get a gamma globulin shot in the 50's?
  6. Jung

    Jung

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    Hense the "Jung" name. I really believe that is it. I am not saying that it is a fact fore everybody, and I am NOT saying it is all in your head og psykological. It is indeed fysical, something like post traumatic stress disorder, but maybe worse( it affects all your cells). It can be permanent stress from emotionel situations that are threatning, and that you may not still be able to cope with, og get out of. You cant go to a shrink and he will cure you from ME, cause it is much deeper than platonic talk - and is physical dissease.
    An article mentioned something about the lack of adrenalin in the body, do to way to much stress from trauma. I am on that side. I might not have explained myself very well, and I might be misunderstood, but I can only tell what I have experienced.
    And I dont care

    I think that the Idear about the immun system attacking the body is a very good version of the same, it is something like that.
  7. glenp

    glenp "and this too shall pass"

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    I think that childhood stress, just as any other stessors such as car accidents affect this illness. I think that some can handle more then others. I don't rule anything out and think it can be different for everyone
  8. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    --cranky pants alert: this topic always brings out mine--

    it doesn't matter what CDC says about CFS because CDC has not been studying people with CFS for quite some time now.

    CDC has mostly been studying a random, unreplicatable group of patients with various fatiguing condiitons, few of whom actually meet Fukuda as written, and few to none of whom have PEM and neurological manifestations (thus, few to no actual ME/CFS patients).

    You could apply CDC results to CF if you want, but CF is not any particular condition or syndrome so there would be little point in that.

    That study should actually be retracted. That would be the only scientific thing to do with it.

    ------------------------------------------

    Now, Dr Nancy Klimas says some ME/CFS patients' disease is influenced by stress, and I will listen to her because she is able to perform differential diagnosis.

    I don't really see any cellular basis for the cortisol theory, however. That could be my lack of education, or it could be that there isn't a cellular basis for it. At this point I'm not sure, but I don't buy the cortisol theory unless someone can explain it to me from a molecular biology standpoint without any fuzzy generalizations. So far no one, including Klimas and Jason, has done this, at least not in any of the papers I've had access to and been able to read. There could be other explanations.
  9. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    I'm not a fan of the CDC but traumatic stress at a young age could affect the biological development of the immune system and the CNS and affect epigenetics for life. Even with the stressful situation decades past, biological changes created long ago may contribute to the ME/CFS appearing later. Noticing a correlation between a traumatic youth and ME/CFS can absolutely be scientific and can absolutely suggest biological changes and causes for ME/CFS.

    ME/CFS is like the chain falling off the gears on a bike and peddle as you may, you're not going anywhere. It's a stable but pathological state with many causes any combination of which may trigger the state:
    • Riding over bumps (traumatic youth)
    • Having an long/loose chain (genetic predisposition)
    • Twigs or debris becoming stuck in chain (XMRV or other [retro]virus)
    • Poorly lubricated/oiled chain (overwork/bad nutrition)
    • others...
    Our bodies are so much more complex than a bike and scientists are still trying to find this chain. Once it's found we'll have a biomarker and once it's understood we'll be able to stick it back onto the gears and have a cure.
  10. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    Theoretically, yes, it could... but if you accurately define ME/CFS, there is no correlation between childhood trauma and this particular disease:

    Taylor RR, Jason LA. "Sexual abuse, physical abuse, chronic fatigue, and chronic fatigue syndrome: a community-based study." J Nerv Ment Dis. 2001 Oct;189(10):709-15. PMID:11708672

  11. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    That same study says "A closer examination of individuals in the chronic fatigue syndrome group revealed that significantly fewer individuals with CFS reported abuse as compared with those who did not."

    Maybe we should thank our lucky stars that the Wessely type folks are not prescribing sexual, physical and death threat abuse as a preventative measure for ME/CFS. :D Point is it takes multiple studies with large sample sizes to prove such things.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Who knows but a very stressful childhood, abuse and years of stressful adulthood (trying to raise a disabled child alone) may of caused my adrenals to burn out. (I have out of normal range, low cortisol). No doubt the stress must of put some strain on my physical body and could of made me more vulerable to the mono I got when a teen.

    As to that study of Wessely's .. i think its bullcrap due to his CFS definations used etc

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