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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. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    I really don't think, for me at least, it's about a lack of contact. I have had one illness in 30 years, during the best part of my remission, that may have been the flu. I have had no colds but have had laryngitis several times - almost always following inoculations. I have been surrounded by and in contact with people with colds and flu and nada, zip, zilch for 30 years.

    I did come down with a febrile illness marked by a rash, particularly noticeable on my face but also on my body, and swollen glands on the back of my head where I had no idea I had glands, within the first couple of years but it was not a flu or cold.

    I have had years of sore throat and swollen glands - less so in the past ten years but not gone.

    I have had many bacterial infections, some odd and some very stubborn. But, only one or, perhaps two, new viral illnesses - as opposed to reactivation of Herpes viruses, has declared itself in 3 decades. I think that is so odd! Must say, though, I'm not complaining!
     
  2. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    I'm another one who has had no zero colds and flu since the ME took me. This despite frequent visits from grandkids and daughters, who are often in the early most infectious stage, coming down with some virus or other. The babies have put snotty fingers in my nostrils at times. I used to put my seeming immunity down to my immune system working overtime, trying and failing to deal with the ME, so that ordinary wimpy viruses do not stand a chance.

    But have I gathered right, is it possible that I am actually taking the viruses onboard, and not having the fever and rhinitis that the body uses to defeat the infection? Thereby gaining some new unwelcome passengers to ride along with the XMRV or whatever it is? Increasing the viral load?

    'Scuse me if I've got the wrong end of the stick...
     
  3. Adam

    Adam *****

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    Yeuch. Kids eh, you gotta love 'em? :Retro tongue:

    I think I have the same understanding Jace. The symptoms we do not develop, are, I assume, part of the initial immune response. The one we lack? (assuming) XMRV or similar is at play. We could therefore be fighting off the virus without being aware or fully aware of it.

    Some answers would be nice wouldn't they?

    Oh well, I guess we can wait a bit longer can't we?
     
  4. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Could "spontaneous relapses" and "no more obvious infections" be the same?

    I have noticed similar observations as other posters here. At some point it increasingly became difficult to distinguish between CFS symptoms and getting "sick" from a regular infection (ie cold or flu). Then the frequency of definite viral episodes had diminished but this was not fully accounted for by lack of contact. Also, I would occasionally feel something coming on after a delay of being exposed to people who were sick (or people who seemed OK but turned out to be sick later and may have already been contagious), but then it went away after a few days or so before turning into a full-blown episode.

    However, reading this thread has made me wonder of the following possibility. Some patients have spontaneous relapses or worsening of overall CFS status that may last several days or weeks. Some patients no longer notice definitive viral infections. I suspect these may sometimes be the same thing. For most people in general, the source of a virus isn't always or even usually obvious. Many CFS symptoms are flu-like anyway, but perhaps the immune response of some CFS patients to ordinary common viruses (cold and flu) has been altered so that there are no longer any distinct additional symptoms from viral episodes but instead there is just an overall worsening of CFS status. Or perhaps the virus may not fully catch hold like normal but the body is having trouble getting rid of it properly and remains stuck in the "something is coming on" phase for longer than usual.

    In my experience these observations only occurred after the illness changed course some years after onset, it wasn't like that in the beginning. Other CFS patients seem to have increased viral episodes instead, they may have a different immune profile? Although it is possible that many CFS patients have somehow become extra "immune" to common viral episodes, I wouldn't rule out the possibility our immune response has been altered in such a way that we still catch these viruses but experience them differently than before. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend testing your luck with the more serious viruses going around!
     
  5. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    just adding my 2 cents, i never get colds or flus & never really have - primary diagnosis is fibro not CFS.
    so glad to hear it's not just me! i've been wondering why i never get em for a long time!
     
  6. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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    Yep another one here !! CFS for 11 years, I hardly catch anything anymore and If I do I actually feel better when I have a cold. however what I do notice is, if my tummy goes bad, perhaps something I've eaten that's bad then my cfs flares up!
     
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Villagelife,

    I was discussing the gut issue with someone today. We were wondering if the ME/CFS turns the gut on as the first symptom in a bad crash or if a gut episode caused by something else could precipitate a bad ME/CFS crash.

    Bad gut = scary bad ME/CFS.

    Adrenal? Blood volume? Some crazy propensity to go into shock?

    Something is up with that, though, of that much we were quite sure :worried:
     
  8. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    Hi vereyone

    I rarely post due to svere brain fog. Just want to add, i was reasonably well childhood with some issues. A period of a bout 5 years were I became increasingly and ridiculously sucsebtible to infections and virus. Then it stopped dead but I went into a much more sever state of health overall. From ltd capacity to housebound and bedbound at times and sever brain fog. When i was getting infections I studied for a degree, was lively and quick on the uptake. The other day someone had to help me make a snadwhich because I couln't remember how. (Incidentally it was sliced banana straight onto wheat free bread not an opus). I thought I would just mention this because I have had 2 colds in about three months since taking LDN - the night before the first I had an actual profound sleep - if thats what happens with well people no wonder they feel great - like slipping away to fairyland! I also felt better, less marked dysautonomia. This could be the LDN I am struggling with it even at untra low doses a few times a week, increases fatigue, get depression plus when the colds actually go things are just the same. Sorry if this is impossible to understand. Thanks for such intelligent comment.
    helsbells
     
  9. Leanz

    Leanz

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    Oh my goodness! Just randomly found this site, my diagnosis is fibromyalgia (but no tender points). Since starting with "whatever" in 2005 I have never had an illness, flu or cold - till this week! I joke at work that I have an "amped up immune system." After reading this, seems I am not alone.
    This week I have a cold -1 rotten day and quickly recuperating, but my body feels great! Usually so sore that I can barely walk. Unfortunately the temperature control mechanism is still broken.

    Keep the wonderful info coming

    Lesley NZ
     
  10. sela

    sela Senior Member

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    helsbells,
    i have been on ldn also and until i discovered silymarin, i was having trouble sleeping. immediately upon my first dose, i slept through the night and now tolerate 3 mgs per night with great sleep.



    and for the record, re colds and flu, i didn't get them. until this winter, then two vicious flus . why? ldn? hadn't been sick in 20 years at least , if not more.
     
  11. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Near Cognac, France

    That's me all over. I often think, if I caught a cold, flu or virus, how would I know? I don't doubt that we are exposed to these things and catch them regularly, but its a combination of having a depressed immune response, and continually experiencing the typical symptoms of an immune response, that means we rarely notice anything different.

    Another problem we have, not related to catching bugs, is having so many symptoms that we run the risk of not picking up on new or increased symptoms that could point to another illness outside of ME. Which does kind of put accusations of hypochondria or symptom watching into perspective.
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I think I'm probably repeating myself, but I'm of the 'don't catch colds' variety, except that very occasionally, I will be in the company of friends when a kind of "24-hour flu" develops where I seem to go through all the symptoms of what would normally be a cold lasting a few days. On one occasion I even checked to see if anybody had had a cold and got one person to list the symptoms in order of occurence, which were exactly what I'd experienced in the space of a few hours. Fevers, sore throats, shivering, temperature, etc, the standard stuff, all quite intense but gone within 24 hours. I picture it as my immune system being constantly in readiness to respond to any invader, and perhaps quite efficient at dealing with them as a result.

    I'd be really interested in sub-categorising these observations. Is there any way we can distil these experiences down further? Could we sub-categorise our cold-catching behaviour, perhaps?

    As a start:

    1. 'Always' catch colds
    1.1 Feel wiped out by them and take a long time to recover
    1.2 ??

    2. 'Never' catch colds
    2.1 When catching a cold, recover from it very quickly
    2.2 ??

    Can anybody continue this classification scheme? Are there just two versions, or more; what are the apparent differences in people's descriptions on this thread? (Including all described phenomena of course). We could add quotes from this thread to describe the x typical versions of responses to colds, and then do a forum poll (assuming there isn't one already that I've missed!) to see what proportions we have of people with these different responses to colds.

    Hope somebody else likes this idea and decides to run with it...of course we could repeat the model in relation to other, similar threads on specific symptoms, etc etc...thinking aloud, we have the possibility on the Polls of having an "Other" option and then having people post their option that differs from those presented, and modifying the Poll criteria to add that option...so the Poll could evolve and I think you can go then back and change your choice in Polls...we could get a little system going and find out some fascinating stats quite quickly, potentially...

    if your experience with catching colds doesn't quite fit either of the two described above, perhaps you could start by expanding the above categorisation so it includes you...
     
  13. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    almost never catch colds etc - despite having been around people who are dropping like flies from them - on the rare occasion I do catch something it's over in a morning - and in the afternoon I feel a bit heatlhier than normal for a few hours
     
  14. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    But do you feel LDn benefit or just more colds? Sorry only just seen this :)
     
  15. jackie

    jackie Senior Member

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    so weird....my t-cell (cd4) count is nearly 1500 (on the higher end of high - but not outrageously high) - yet i have chronic reactivated VZV (chronic shingles, meaning ALL the time - for several years now!)

    Can't catch a cold to save my life! but get easily "infected" from small cuts or burns. also very swollen lymph nodes, sore throat etc.
    just for fun...ideas? (already on HIGH acyclovir 4 yrs)
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

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    Count me in. Within the first few years after the onset of my symptoms in 1983, I noticed that I just wasn't getting any colds or flus. Even after I largely recovered (apparently by treating Candida overgrowth in my case), my "immunity" to colds and flus persisted for about 15 years. In more recent years, I have only rarely had the flu and when I did it was often oddly truncated - like a one-day spike of high fever and that was pretty much it. Last summer, a one-day bout like that caused a brief recurrence of some of my earlier symptoms, but they fortunately subsided within about a month.
     
  17. sela

    sela Senior Member

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    helsbells,
    i don't know if ldn was the cause of my ability to get a flu, i was just surmising. that IS about the only real variable that i can think of however. and the ldn is pretty subtle in my case. i sleep well, feel rested, and there is an indefinable uplift that i wouldn't notice until i take a break from ldn. i wish there was more.
    s
     
  18. 2bushes

    2bushes Guest

    Hi Jas,

    The very same thing with me, when I was in the 8 year remission or whatever you can call it I had sinus infections every year at Christmas. Knock down sick in bed ones. Now that I am sick again my head is clear as a bell and has been since last April when I crashed. I could not tolerate the sun when I was sick before and I cannot now. I have a bit of OI, I am sure. It all went away and I was even outside painting in 100 degree heat. I cannot tolerate it again. This illness is very strange, I vote for XMRV as the cause.

    Margaret
     
  19. 2bushes

    2bushes Guest

    Hi Helsbells,

    Would you mind telling me what dose you are on? I worked up to 4.5 and don't seem to be noticing any change. I have read that some people need less that the 4.5. I am going down to 3.0 tonight. I have been on it over 6 months but they do say it can take a year to really see a difference so I am going with that.

    Margaret
     
  20. andreamarie

    andreamarie Senior Member

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    I do catch colds. I have a killer one right now; I'm sure I caught it at the wedding I went to last Sunday. Was sick by Tuesday. My CFS doc says her patients catch everything.
    However, when I have a cold intially my interstitial cystitis goes into total remission. Unfortunately, when I get better it flares like crazy. And I've noticed the more I'm out in the world, the more I get things.
    I have a distinct autoimmune profile: lupus, Sjogren's, Crohn's. Fortunately, they all appear to be in remission.
     

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