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The Cold Connection?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by msf, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    I´ve just caught a cold. This doesn´t seem to happen very often, so I guess I am probably still in the stage where the immune system is overactive (I´ve only been ill for two years). When I do catch a cold I notice that the general ME symptoms (aches and pains, unrefreshing sleep) I have increase. I assume that other people experience the same phenomenon.

    So here is my question: does this tell us anything about ME? I know that these symptoms are very general ones, but is this pattern (of increasing aches and pains and unrefreshing sleep after catching a cold) seen in RA patients, for instance?

    One of the problems here is that I´ve forgotten what it is like to have a cold without having ME, although I am sure the effects are more severe now - I don´t feel like doing anything when I get one now, whereas I used to still be able to go to work, etc., before I had ME.

    Is it too simplistic to say that the cold makes an already overactive immune system even more overactive? Is there a more specific effect that colds have on the immune system (on the gut, say) that might mimic the immune changes in people with ME?

    Any one feel up to tackling this one? It requires more thought (and looking things up) than my aching body and brain will allow today.
     
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  2. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Sorry, I´ve just realised that I was doing that annoying thing of asking a very complicated question and expecting people to answer it in its entirety.

    So I will be more specific: since I (and I assume others) find that diet has an very strong influence on those general symptoms I listed above, does that suggest that a cold has its influence on those same symptoms through its effects on the gut? Or could it effect those same symptoms (which after all are very general) through a different mechanism? Could an increase in gut permeability be to blame for a rise in cytokines for the first, and the immune reaction to the cold virus be to blame for a rise in cytokines for the second?

    I think the answer to the last couple of questions is yes, that could be the case. Is there any way, though, to determine whether it is the same mechanism or different mechanisms that result in the same symptoms? Has anyone done any research into the effect of colds on people with ME?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  3. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    I'm the same as you... BUT... I've seen loads of posts on PR whereby folks actually look forwards to getting colds because it REDUCES symptoms... So I guess the jury's still out on that one!
     
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  4. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Could that be because they have an underactive immune system? Or is it that too simplistic again?
     
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  5. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    I see it as the opposite... the immune system kicks into action hard to fight the cold, and a side effect of that is the body battling against CFS for a whiles... until the cold is overcome, then it's back to normal.

    I really have no idea tho heh
     
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  6. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    That´s what I was suggesting too, except that in patients the overactive immune system this increases symptoms because of sickness behaviour, and in the underactive immune system it restores their cytokine profiles to normal? And that makes them feel good for some reason?
     
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  7. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Perhaps some strains of flu or cold have a trigger in them and others don't. Even though both my onsets flu and flu-like cold triggered life-changing illness in me. I have had other colds since where I felt better ME-wise during a cold.

    Maybe some of us have some pathways in our ME connected to arthritic-like illnesses and cold seems to affect these kinds of illnesses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  8. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    @msf I am the complete opposite, I get total remission, I can exercise and all and feel great. Everybody makes fun of me because I am like looking horrible red nose, horsy voice and I am walking fast or trying to do all kind of stuff and like ohh I have a cold. My doctor was joking that I should spit on a jar and have it every day :)
     
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  9. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    I'm the exact opposite with respect to severity of colds. Although I rarely get a cold (once every seven to nine years since getting ME more than 25 years ago), my post-ME colds have been much less severe, symptom-wise, than they were when I was otherwise healthy.
     
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  10. Rick Sanchez

    Rick Sanchez

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    It's weird.

    For me I can feel like my body has some sort of bug that it is fighting / trying to fight. But I hardly get any cold symptoms at all, and havn't had any for at least 2 years now.

    I just sneeze a lot, get a tiny amount of phlegm but that is it :/.

    Body crashes out pretty hard though.
     
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  11. Mel9

    Mel9 Senior Member

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    Me too
     
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  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I do better with colds - PEM is reduced. But getting the flu kicks my butt.
     
  13. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I'm like @Rick Sanchez and @Mel9 - my body tries to get sick, doesn't quite make it, but I crash ME wise hard. I have apparently both and overactive immune response (high NK cell expression and positive ANA) and another section that is supressed - I know it sounds crazy but it seems to mirror how I feel.

    Anyway, that doesn't answer your question which quite honestly I cant understand and feel to brain fogged to try...hope you feel better soon.
     
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  14. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Haha, perhaps you can´t understand it because I am too brain fogged!

    I have the same reaction to colds as Rick Sánchez and Mel9 - the cold symptoms don´t last for long, but the ME symptoms increase.
     
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