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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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  1. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    As you inhibit viral replication your immune system is able to better kill infected cells. Your viral load goes down, so they really do die. While I agree the word "herx" is kind of wrong, we don't have any other word. There is definitely something going on when you first start an antiviral, no one knows exactly what it is. I always hear the same or very similar symptoms whether it be valcyte, valtrex, olive leaf extract, cimetidine, etc. They are mostly encephalitis and other neurological symptoms--headache, head pressure, spine pain, and neurological flares, and an exacerbation of fatigue. Even Montoya used the phrase "herxheimer reaction" in his Valcyte paper.

    I'm just taking a probiotic.

    Interesting, keep us updated :Retro smile:
     
  2. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    Yes, the viral "die off" or "herx" is a much debated experience. I even asked my doctor how an anti viral would cause a herx since it stops viral replication and doesnt kill the virus, he really couldnt even answer it. He gave me some different possibilities but couldnt come up with a straight answer. He believes adjustment to the drug has very little to do with it.

    That is anti virals though. If you are stimulating your immune system to go after the virus, wouldnt you then have an actual viral die off? That would be a true herx reaction then wouldnt it?

    I have backed way off on my dose. I dont feel great and there is so much conflicting information I became over whelmed. I also dont like the idea of some one mentioning an increase in Candida. The only way that would make sense to me is the lack of HCL from taking an antacid.
     
  3. faith.hope.love

    faith.hope.love Senior Member

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    I didn't want to get into another debate, but no -- antivirals do not kill the virus. Your viral load goes down because the antivirals forced them into suppression; at least herpes viruses like HSV and herpes zoster. They hide in your neurons, like the sacral ganglia, so it can't be detected in your peripheral blood stream. That's why you can donate blood if you've had HSV or chicken pox -- because it's latent, it's in your nerve cells. Other types of viruses can infect and kill the host cell, but herpes viruses do not kill their host, they take it over, replicate and infect new cells. Antivirals just stop them from infecting new cells, stop the replication, and allow the immune system to suppress the virus back into the neurons. Nothing dies. Decreased viral activity = decreased viral load. Unless, of course you're talking about the common cold or the flu -- viruses that can be eradicated from your body. I WISH herpes zoster could die off, I wouldn't be here right now! :Retro smile: It's possible that the antiviral is killing SOMETHING in your body, some pathogen perhaps, but unfortunately it's not a herpes virus.
     
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i agree with you faith/hope. i could never understand having a die off with antivirals, just like u said they dont kill the virus just stop replication. Maybe like said earlier about viral load being down immune system has strength to kill other bugs floating around. I never had any die off from av's but have read somewhere that higher dose can kill viruses, maybe why dr lerner prescribes 4000mg a day of valtrex. I do know that with antibiotics, bacteriostatic antibiotics like doxycyline which stop bacterial replication become bacterialcidal at higher doses and can then kill bacteria, but thats apples and oranges.i think people on valcyte feel worse on the drug because its so toxic.

    Something i thought was strange was when ofF av's for a short while like a week, where i started feeling crappy with old cfs symptoms returning and then went back on av's, i actually felt even better then before on av's. I wonder if letting the virus reactivate exposes it to the antivirals again and drops the viral load further. someone else on prohealth board use to have good success with cycling off and on av's. So much we dont know??
     
  5. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    Faith-

    I wasnt debating, I was agreeing. I was just saying that I even brought that up to my doctor as we all know that anti virals only stop viral replication so why the "sicker before better" or "herx like" reaction? No one can really answer that question. All the anti viral doctors say that as you kill the virus off you will most likely go through a "die off effect" of some kind. Some even say the sicker the better. Doesnt make sense to me either. One researcher thought it might be a Cytokine storm???
     
  6. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    That's what we all said. Who are you disagreeing with?

    Only Herpes-Zoster and Herpes-Simplex remain latent in neurons. EBV, CMV, HHV6, 7, and 8 establish latency in white blood cells.

    Viral load is the number of viruses you have--suppressing them doesn't make the viral load go down. Killing infected cells does. The immune system kills virally infected cells. Of course, viruses can't die because they aren't living in the first place.
     
  7. faith.hope.love

    faith.hope.love Senior Member

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    Michelle, THAT was the debate I was talking about. ;)

    We can agree to disagree, but viral load is not the number of viruses you have in your body, it's how "infectious" or contagious you are at that moment in time. Let me give you an example. Let's say there are 10,000 herpes cells in your body. That's total, in your neurons and circulating in your blood. Let's say only 5,000 are active and circulating in your blood, (able to infect other cells) the rest are still in your neurons (latent). Your viral load would indicate the number of active viruses in your bloodstream. Let's say you took some valtrex, and 3,000 of them went back to your neurons by suppression. Your viral load just decreased. That's scientific fact, not an arguable point.

    Edited to add: I'm talking about herpes zoster in the context of this conversation. I'm not referring to XMRV, HIV, or HCV.
     
  8. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    Do you have a reference for this? I don't think valtrex can cause the viruses to leave one cell and "go back" to a different cell. As far as the "nothing ever dies", cytotoxic T cells are perfectly capable of killing cells infected with viruses--that's their job.
     
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Is it possible that av's sort of castrate the virus so to speak and cant reproduce properly, then the virus sort of dies of old age??? I know this might sound funny or strange but how long can a viral infected cell live for?, surley it has some type of life span and if you can cut of its ability to reproduce then u can get rid of it. An example would be if something was put in the drinking water of humans that stopped us from reproducing, within 100-120 years the world population would likely be zero.

    Get my drift???
    something to think about!
     
  10. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    This discussion intrigues me and I wish there was an explanation for the "die of like experience" people go through on anti virals. It cannot simply be the toxicity of the medication or why would some have a "die off" with natural anti virals. There are so many threads with people taking anything from Monolaurin to Olive Leaf that experience the same "die off" as people on anti virals.

    Yesterday I was at my doctors and he still is pushing the Valcyte. He still called it a "die off" and couldnt explain why. He just said he felt that if it was just toxicity to the drug people wouldnt experience the die of at different times and in waves. He told me that out of 500 patients he has treated (with Valcyte), not one has had liver issues or white blood cell counts drop. He said when he starts slow and works up, their WBC's just slowly climb as well. He did say they almost everyone "gets their butt kicked" from all the dead virus." He is also a very humble man and it surprised me when he said 75% of his patients see improvement and their viral loads drop.

    I am not trying to turn this into a Valcyte discussion so no need to start a new thread. I just really would like to know what IS going on with these virus.' Heaps had an interesting observation. I like picturing them not being able to replicate and slowly dying off...

    I would just like to get rid of the darned virus'!!!

    Michelle
     

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