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ME/CFS and the Magic of the Canine Factor
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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. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I so want to understand all that you are saying but don't have all the background or mental agility. You all are doing such valuable thinking here, I wonder what some of our leading doctors and researchers would say about these hypotheses? Maybe some would care to comment.

    Anyway, I get the idea thanks to George's charming request for clarification from Gerwyn, that the hypothesis is that the first line of defense of the immune system is lowered due to XMRV, then the backup layer is upregulated and not turned off, and this downregulates the HPA axis.

    Why does it depress the HPA axis? And which is true, that the second line of defense succeeds in kiilling off invaders or that it may not and we are fighting them without there being the obvious inflammatory responses and fever?

    Then I read here that there are also depressing effects on mitochondrial functioning. Hope I grasped this much correctly.

    As for my experience, years ago, in my early 30's, I got sick all the time with respiratory and digestive illnesses. Then these became quite rare, focussing mainly on occasional flus--once every two or more years. I'd have a long, slow recovery from those. I consider myself as having gradual onset ME/CFS, definitely since age 45 and now I am 60. My HPA axis is downregulated. I also don't get fevers. But especially when overtired I feel fluish, achey, sore throat and even more brain fogged. I can also feel as though I am fighting a cold for days but then never get it. About the mitochondria, I respond very positively to COQ10, with more energy. So maybe I fit this picture too.

    Sing
  2. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Years ago I read that in West Africa, those with chronic malaria have a much lower incidence of HIV infection. There was a doctor in the USA called Heinrich, I think, who wanted to do some research involving giving some test patients a big dose of malaria making them temporarily very sick, then curing it, with an effect of changing their immune systems to be protective against HIV. I probably don't remember this quite right. Anyway, politically, it was a big stretch for him to do this research and so maybe he never got the money and the go ahead. But there is something to his idea--of permanently affecting the immune system by means of one pathogen, which can later be cured, to protect the body from another pathogen which can't yet be cured.

    Sing
  3. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    I've had similar experiences. Though I always used to catch everything before I got M.E., and the rate hasn't changed much since. Everytime I catch anything I get a fever and am totally DECKED physically and mentally, with all the M.E. stuff getting worse. Takes a LONG time, i.e. at least a month, for all the effects to go away (and sometimes they haven't).
  4. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    This reminds me of the work of Dr Ramsey and Dr Betty Dowsett in the UK. Referring to the early epidemics of ME, they noted that people who had had the illness were immune to polio. Dr Dowsett blamed the rise in ME on polio vaccination. She explained that, as vaccination wiped out infection by polio, this left the body's vacant polio receptors vulnerable to attack by similar viruses such as Coxsackie B, which was/is thought to cause ME.

    A question for our dynamic duo Gerwyn and George: could chronic infection by an enterovirus such as Coxsackie inhibit our immune response to such minor infections as colds? Infection by a mere enterovirus sounds rather downmarket compared to the rather more exotic XMRV, but it may be the answer for a significant proportion of us and is based on the wisdom of those dedicated doctors who were our stalwart champions in the 50s - 80s.
  5. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    I have an inkling feeling, through what I know about autism pathologies, that the main reservoir for xmrv could be specific types of epithelium (lining) tissue, as well as lymph nodes. (also would bet $$ it will also be found in glial cells, esp astrocytes, but probably not relevant for this thread)

    from wiki: Epithelium lines both the outside (skin) and the inside cavities and lumen of bodies. The outermost layer of our skin is composed of dead stratified squamous, keratinized epithelial cells.Tissues that line the inside of the mouth, the oesophagus and part of the rectum are composed of nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium. Other surfaces that separate body cavities from the outside environment are lined by simple squamous, columnar, or pseudostratified epithelial cells. Other epithelial cells line the insides of the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive and urinary tracts, and make up the exocrine and endocrine glands. The outer surface of the cornea is covered with fast-growing, easily-regenerated epithelial cells. Endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels, the heart, and lymphatic vessels) is a specialized form of epithelium. Another type, mesothelium, forms the walls of the pericardium, pleurae, and peritoneum.

    So in theory a chronic virus residing in (some of) these types of cells would fend off common colds etc?

    Re: xpr1 receptor being the one that xmrv uses, again not that much is known about this and esp how it links to other membrane proteins - very interesting from HIV research how several receptors have been for decades thought to be THE ones for its entry, it later transpired that those are not only xlined in many ways but that HIV can also adapt to environment and use many other co-receptors... meaning to say we cannot assume that xmrv uses, and messes up with, one receptor exclusively.

    btw there was a study published recently looking at xmrv DNA integration sites, it looks like amongst other places it integrates near chemokine receptor genes - ccr7 intron site was the one spotted - so one can only guess what effect it has on ccr expression and function (ccr's are one of main cell membrane receptor types used by wide range of viruses to attach to and enter the cell)
  6. bee33

    bee33

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    This is what Dr. Klimas said about this issue (I don't exactly understand it but I'm posting it thinking it could be a useful addition):

    Q: Do you believe there could be a connection between the effect of ME/CFS on the immune system and the fact that I and other patients I know don't seem to come down with colds, or shake them off more quickly?

    Dr. Klimas: Two reasons – first you do isolate more, and may avoid exposures. But I think the bigger deal is that you up-regulate interferon - your body’s natural antiviral - which can stop an infection before it takes off.


    Source:
    http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?id=8646&t=CFIDS_FM
  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, all.

    With regard to the lower incidence of colds and flues among PWCs, I don't think anyone has a proven hypothesis about this.

    Many PWCs have reported that they get colds or flues less often or not at all since they have had CFS. Many have reported that if they have been able to recover, they start getting colds and flues again as they recover.

    I think the best hypothesis to explain this is the one Nancy Klimas mentioned: that the RNase-L system as well as the other interferon-activated antiviral systems are activated full-time in CFS, in an effort to deal with other viral infections that are already present, such as those due to reactivated herpes family viruses. These systems are meant to be stop-gap measures that carry out a holding action against viral infections until the cell-mediated immune response is able to deliver a specific immune response for the particular virus that is present. However, in CFS, the cell-mediated immune response is dysfunctional. As a result, the interferon-activated systems remain activated.

    So when the cells are exposed to a new virus from the outside, such as a cold or flu-causing virus, the interferon-activated antiviral systems prevent it from getting a foothold. One of these systems is specific against influenza viruses.

    As I wrote, this is not proven to be the reason for the absence of flues and colds in CFS, but I think it is the best hypothesis I have come across.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  8. Alex

    Alex Guest

    I'm another one who never gets sick. I haven't had the flu since coming down with CFS in 1993 and I've had 1 cold in 5 years that went away in a day. This despite the fact my husband tends to catch things easily and works in a large medical center. It's amazing really.
  9. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    One of my discoveries on this forum was Freddd's report that he never got other illnesses - because that has been my experience. I had been wondering why, other than the DD, I was totally illness-free all this time. I'm on Freddd's active B12 (and other stuff) protocol, and I was thrilled when I got a cold for the first time in 2 or more years; it seemed to me it meant my immune system was starting to function more normally. I know that other people seem to be susceptible to everything going, so my guess is that it's just a basic autoimmune screwup, one way or the other. Part of the murky mystery that is CFS/ME.

    Hope that cat's quiet now, cat-howling is a noise that sends my nervous system into hiccups.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Me too - last cold I had was in 1994 - and while I had it I felt really well!

    Jenny
  11. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    something is dampning down or knocking out our inflammatoty response which produces the symptoms we associate with an infection there are a number of possible reasons Tgf beta 1 underexpression will reduce NK levels switching T1 to t2 reducing If1 the stimulator of the hypothalamal response The LTR of XMRV could be involved We know that low levels of NK and TGfbeta i levels are found in Me so it fits together parsimoniously ,no doubt RNase and interferon elevation play a part even a major one but cause or consequence I have no idea.My own view that tgf beta 1 underexpression along with glutathione depletion produce a myriad of interactions ultimately locking the immune system in T2 mode and leaving cell mediated immunity berely functional.But what initially causes all of this--something is going on a the genomic level but why.What could be a theoretical causative mechanism Retro LTR gene regulation is plausable -it happens in pregnancy admittedly by endo LTR .More and more is being understood about the evolutionary gene regulation affects of endogenous retros so why not an exogenous retro like xmrv at least a plausible explanation
  12. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    But I do get colds and flu. Does that mean I'm a big faker and I don't have ME after all?
  13. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, creekfeet.

    I doubt that you are a big faker! CFS is a very heterogeneous disorder. Some people have more of an immune dysfunction than others. I would have to know more about your case to make any even half-way intelligent comments about it.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  14. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    I did not get colds or flu for the first 8 years of my CFS. Then something happened, I had used several different treatments so don't know which one made the difference, but suddenly I started getting every cold virus, and often worse than others in my family. But there was no significant change in my CFS, maybe a tiny improvement. Some of the things I changed at that time - I tried a form of self-talk to stop the perpetual fight-flight response (and really did get it to stop), I took a course of B12 injections, and I moved from the moldy east coast to the western desert, right on the edge of the great basin. One of those or maybe the combination caused some shift that has persisted.

    --Kurt
  15. Scarlett

    Scarlett

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    I have been ill with ME/CFS for about two years and haven't had a single cold or flu-like virus during that time, despite my husband and close friends having really nasty ones. One of my closest friends also came down with a glandular fever type illness and I was with him the whole day he first started feeling ill, and didn't develop anything myself. What I do find, though, is that when I have been exposed to colds or flu my symptoms get worse and I am knocked out for the day, sometimes with a heavy, "feverish" head too, but no cold or flu symptoms.

    I've assumed that my immune system is constantly fighting everythin that comes into contact with it, so perhaps when I have just been exposed to a virus it's working extra hard and it makes me worse... anyone else noticed this? After a day I am usually back to normal.
  16. PoetInSF

    PoetInSF Senior Member

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    I haven't gotten cold either since I relapsed permanently in 2008, but I'm choking that up to the lack of social contact. It's not much of consolation anyway when you are constantly sick. ("I haven't gotten sick ever since I got sick!").

    Even if it is a fact (does anybody have a link to a study?), it's just another immune abnormality and we already know some CFS patients have it. There are enough neuro/immune/endocrinal abnormalities, but none are universal enough to be used as a diagnostic marker. So, congrats, the answer to your question is no. Not having one abnormality does not disqualify you from the CFS misery pool.
  17. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I haven't gotten a cold but I definitely have had the flu (proven by serology) multiple times. It can knock me down for weeks. Flu antivirals do help.As far as I know, no formal study of this has been done.

    I pay pretty close attention to my symptoms so when I spot unusual symptoms for myself (hot feelings, nausea,etc.), that's how I know I might have the flu. I think it's somewhat difficult to tell because I feel like I have the flu all the time. Hence, I ask my doctors to confirm flu through testing and I would encourage others to do the same for both treatment and curiosity purposes.
  18. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Thanks for the reassurances, Rich, Kurt and Poet. It would be so disappointing to feel this bad and not actually be sick.

    But seriously, it's interesting to know that my illness may someday enter a colds-and-flus-free stage. It would be a scrap of silver lining in what seems otherwise an unlined cloud.
  19. strawberry

    strawberry Guest

    I do catch colds. They totally put me on my back and I take longer to get over one than a healthy person. I manage to avoid getting them too often though. I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet, but I am definitely not resistant to upper respiratory viruses.
  20. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    As a child and teenager I got everything going around. I'd get colds every time the season changed too, could have been allergies but it seemed like a cold instead. After mono, I'd get reoccurring strep throat and then just reoccuring sore throats and then only occurring when I'd pushed myself too hard. At some point it changed from a 'germ' assault from the outside to a 'germ' assault from the inside. My immune system seemed underactive and now it seems overactive.

    I don't have a lot of social contact, but if my husband brings something home, sometimes I avoid it altogether or get a lesser version of it.

    Wondering how this ties in with other co-existing autoimmune illnesses? I have endometriosis which is suspected to be autoimmune. I've read some form of POTS are suspected to be autoimmune, if it's caused by Pernicious anaemia, that is autoimmune. There are a few overlapping illnesses that PWC have that also have an autoimmune component.

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