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The Why We Don't Catch Colds Thread aka The George/Gerwyn Tag Team

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Adam, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Adam

    Adam *****

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    I've been ill 13 yrs. In the past I've asked my hospital consultant about some of the supplements. He just shrugs. Never taken anything apart from Selenium (which I later learned was abundant in Brazil nuts, which I now eat religously). For about 7 yrs (yrs 4 to 11 of illness) didn't have any virus symptoms at all despite two schoolage kids and wife regularly coming home with colds and flu. I could think 'It's the brazil nuts' but I don't. For me that would be grasping at straws. So like you, Dys, my money is on science and the americans - bless 'em all. These online doctors, I fear, on the whole (some may be genuine) are just the cyber generation of charlatans who have been around for centuries. Just my personal view. Don't want to offend anyone.

    take care all
  2. JAS

    JAS

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    Hi Adam, I have had this for 17 months, I think that this disease must affect the NK cells to either allow you to get everything going or not get anything at all. For me I always suffered with sinusitis every winter, on my medical records for the past umpteen years I have been on antibiotics every winter...the last year before I came down CFS was the worst and I was on antibotics for around 6 weeks with sinusitis and inner ear infections. However, since I have had CFS I haven't had anything, just the odd eye infection but no sinus problems. I could never clear a cold very easily, the children came home with a really grotty one which passed to my husband, I got it mildly and I fully cleared it without antibiotics which would never happen. I discussed this with my specialist who said that he has known other CFS report this type of thing. I do suffer with the fluey symptoms, nightsweats (crashing today), aches, the odd sharp pains, muscle twitching and burn, temperature problems, brain fog etc but as regards illnesses outside CFS I seem to be escaping them...long may it last! Has anyone else noticed this? Jx
  3. valia

    valia Senior Member

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    I have noticed the same thing, I used to get a couple of colds a year which I couldn't shake off, then would need antibiotcs for Bronchitis, some years ago I stopped taking antibiotics for these bronchial infections and just let them run their course.

    But since become ill with Lyme disease/M.E I have not had so much as a sniffle, my opinion is to catch a cold you have to have an immune response to the virus/bacteria or whatever and we don't respond if that makes sense.
  4. V99

    V99 *****

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    I too rarely get any infection, but when I have, my symptoms have been exacerbated, and after my first bout of flu ever, I immediately developed several new symptoms.
  5. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    I am interested to hear you say this because it is my experience too. I used to get every infection around and took an age to recover; however, since developing ME 30 years ago, I haven't developed one cold. I do get flu-proper, but more feeble viruses my immune system blats at 50 paces.

    I mentioned this to my consultant, and he said that this is a common finding in ME. Can anyone explain what enables our immune system to be so hyper active? It would be interesting to know.
  6. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    A depressed HPA axis would leave our immune system switched on after the initial viral infection.It is thought that mito damage following infection prevents the HPA axis elevation that normally occurs following infection I was the same no infection for years
  7. George

    George Guest

    I've only had this hard core for three years and yep. I get lots of stuff but it doesn't last and I actually feel better when I have a cold or flu or something. I'm guessing this gives my always on immune system something productive to do.
  8. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Strange, I feel better too when I have an infection. It feels as though my immune system is fighting the bug instead of me!
  9. George

    George Guest

    Well, Hell

    B cell depletion. Get it. The immune system is made up of T,B, and NK cells sooooo if those cells are

    1)infected with XMRV
    2) you catch a cold and your T(2) and B cells and do their job eating the invading virus

    then. . .
    3) the B cells go back to the lymphnodes where they are killed and taken off
    4) to be eliminated by the liver and kidneys.

    voilia b cell depletion and symptoms become somewhat better.

    hmmm, this would go towards establishing causality of XMRV to CFS, just like the recent study.
  10. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Hi George,

    Thanks, George, that's really interesting. :Retro smile: I'm no biologist, but it makes sense .....could it be true? I wonder how many other folk feel better when they have an infection....apart from the lurgy lurking within.

    My question to Gerwyn earlier - and I don't know if you have any comments, George - is how come many of us do not develop cold symptoms after we have ME (can't bring myself to use the name CFS)? :confused: I find I get a heavy duty infection - although I can't run a decent fever anymore - but haven't developed a minor bug such as a cold, since I became ill. Have you any theories, George? I'm puzzled because Kurt wrote, quoting a paper, that our NK cells are 60% down. (This is the third time I've posted this question today. :ashamed: Is becoming obsessional part of the picture? :innocent1:)

    Gotta go, the neighbour's cat is howling on my stairs. :eek:
  11. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    Just a thought hyperstimulation of T cells by "swine flu" causes excess nk cells ending up "attacking" lung endothelium if excess NK cells "mopped" up by infection possible depletion of symptoms I still dont understand the conflict in the data on the one hand showing a 60% drop in NK's with other ,fairly convincing, data showing immune hyperstimulation a depressed hpa axis would explain both the general feeling of malaise and flu like symptoms as they are caused by the immune system and not the infectious ageant----how that equates with a nk drop I dont know
  12. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member

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    It has been said that ME is a disease where the normal feedback loops in the body are sluggish, for instance when we are cold it takes ages to heat up. I often think my body doesn't react quickly enough.

    I imagine it like a teenager that keeps saying "in a minute" and takes ages to get round to it. :Retro smile:

    Many of the things we think of as signs of disease, runny nose, fever are actually the body's response to a bug, not the actions of the infection at all.

    I wonder if we actually get infected but don't mount a full blown response. Many infections are subclinical, we are never aware we have them because the immune system beats them before the overt responses kick in. It might be that we are fighting them off for ages.

    I can't remember the details of the sequence of the body's response. I must look it up again.

    Mithriel
  13. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    Initial infection produces the inflammatory response by the production of cytokines TNFalpha IL1 and Il6 There are others .There is a two way communication process between these chemicals and the hpa axis.Of particular interest is Il1---I will hopefully get there

    Nk cell levels are controlled by tgf beta 1 some studies report an elevation which could account for the reduced nk levels in cfs

    A reduction in NK cells switches off cell mediated immunity called Ti and hyperstimulates the production of antibodies by the T2 system.The cytokines of this system inhibit IL1 leading to a downregulation of the HPA axis.The upshot of all this ,very crudely put,immunology is this

    The immune system now produces virtually no inflammatory response-----no fevers etc but is hyperactive in its ability to detect and kill viruses and bacteria we dont get the normal signs of infection and if infected kill off bugs very quickly but the effects on the HPA are disasterous
  14. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    The gene forTGF beta 1 is apparently inhibited in ME this molecule controls life or death decisions of T cell lymphocytes .Inexpression of this gene affects T cell apoptosis by influencing death receptors.TGF beta 1 inhibition disrupts a particular mitochondrial membrane potential condemming nk cells to death and inhibits the recruitment of new ones.TGF Beta i protects NK cells at various points in the death pathway AND IS ESSENTIAL FOR MITOCHONDRIAL INTEGRITY What causes the inhibition of this gene who knows but viral induced gene silencing used by xmrv is a possibility.
  15. George

    George Guest

    In English Please

    I don't suppose you could translate that to basic English could you??? (grins, batting doggy eyelashes)
  16. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    sorry basically there is a gene in the immune system in ME that is unexpressed. The molecule that this gene codes for acts as a rescuer of T cells in general and NK cells in particular .Without this gene Nk cells die faster than new ones can form so Nk cell numbers go down as per Kurts comments.A decline in NK switches the emphasis of the immune system from the bit that gives us fevers chills illness etc to the bit that recognises and destroys foregn bodies sometimes called the secondary system which is hyperstimulated and inhibits the chemical that raises the HPA axis.This goes down.
    We are left with an immune system which produces virtually no outward signs of infection and also is hyper efficient at repelling borders like viruses and bacteria.But the cost is a depressed HPA axis neuroendocrine proplems etc.Gene silencing is an ancient human defence against retroviral infection so a retroviral infection could result in the silencing of TGF beta 1 the regulator of our immune system.Rich would know a lot more than me about this.The lack of this gene also damages the mitochondrial membrane which is mostly where the mitos produce our energy
  17. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    So, this is why we "don't catch colds"! I've long thought we simply didn't mount an immune response which did not make complete sense. This is much more interesting, elegant and logical.

    I only wish I could fully understand it! I think I have it and then it slips away...
  18. George

    George Guest

    Beautifully written Gerwyn, I understood all of it. Wow, and it does fit so well with the Retroviral model. Thank you for taking the time to write this out for me. It's another piece of the puzzle that I've been trying to get my mind around. I understood about the T1 and T2 disregulation but not about the TGF beta 1. Now I get it!!!!!
  19. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Awesome Gerwyn!

    So our state could be an emergency defence mode, turning parts of the immune system down or off when the system itself is compromised? Compromising by allowing manageable vulnerabilities (MCS or common cold) in order to contain a more dangerous threat?
  20. George

    George Guest

    I'm going to try to reiterate it

    I always find that if I reiterate it to myself and others that it sticks alot better. We remember 15% of what we read but 90% of what we teach, kinda thing.

    So as per Dr. Kerr and others gene studies we know that this specific gene is turned off in ME patients. Sense we had normal function before we began express ME symptoms then this is a case of epigenetics turn this particular gene off.

    T,B and NK cells are all part of the white blood cells that function as our immune system. Once this gene is turned off then we can no longer replenish our NK or natural killer cells as fast as normal. Mother nature in her infinite wisdom however provides back up systems to keep us going in the event of a Retroviral attack. So the T cells now kick in to pick up what the NK cells, can no longer do, due to low numbers.


    The secondary system of T1 and T2 however have the problem of creating a chemical imbalance that effects the HPA system, in effect dis-regulating the hormones that regulate many of the bodies other functions via signals from the pituitary gland et al. So we get gut problems and problems with pancreatic function and other glands.


    So the bugs come in but they don't get out. Hence the frequent sore throats and swollen lymph glands that are criteria for ME. The system is on the job 24/7 without a rest. That could explain the constant fatigue. Plus dysregulation of the hormones for creating energy.

    True that Rich is a very smart man but you got the lid off of the peanut butter jar for me!

    Thanks millions

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