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Lack of flue / cold / other common disease

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by AndrewR, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. AndrewR

    AndrewR

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    Hi there. Rather quick question, cause im wondering if this is just me or others experiencing this aswell...

    I have not had the flu / cold or stomach diseases since I got sick with ME/CFS. I find that very suspicious since
    before that I got cold atleast 1-2 times a year. And most of the times I also got stomach diseases etc. that was floating around in the city. And I am not bedbound so I am out seeing people and not being totally isolated.
    Also my girlfriend has had viruses / cold / flu several times wich somehow, does not get passed on to me.

    I find this strange. Cause before ME / CFS symptoms appeared I got atleast a solid cold 1 a year, if not 2.
    Feels somehow that I am "shielded" .....

    Others experiencing this?
     
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  2. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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    Same here.

    It was like you for 2-3 years (no cold and no symptoms at all), but as the disease progressed, I now still don't get a cold or anything (no fever, cough, sore throat etc.), but once someone in my household gets sick, my symptoms immediately worsen dramatically (esp. fatigue, headaches, palpitations) and it then stays that way for 1-4 weeks depending on the severity of the infection for the other family member.

    But for a while it was just like in your case, I didn't get sick and didn't feel any worsening.
     
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  3. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    They always say with ME you either get everything or nothing. I used to get everything, but get nothing now!
     
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  4. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I can't remember the last time I had a cold or a flu. It's probably been years. I also use to get 1-2 colds or flu's year but not any more. What I have learned, at least what I think I have learned.:)

    Is that my TH1 or innate immunity, is high from my ME/CFS. The innate immunity is the first line of defense against viral infections, like colds or flu's.

    When it's high, colds and flu viruses are a lot less likely to be able to survive long enough in the body to establish an infection.
     
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  5. AndrewR

    AndrewR

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    Is that measurable in any blood test?
     
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  6. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I think cytokines for the innate immune system can be tested for with a blood test that is looking for them. To find out if they are high.
     
  7. AndrewR

    AndrewR

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    Interesting. Thank you for that tip. Would we gain anything by medicine that might "normalize" this if the result turns
    out high?
     
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  8. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I don't know of any medicine or drug that has been found to help significant numbers of people with ME/CFS or high innate immune cytokines.

    Some people are helped by antivirals or other drugs that modify the immune system. It's very individual though, who gets helped and who doesn't.
     
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  9. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member

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    Yes, this is the same for me. I had a cold for the first time since 2009 earlier this year and my symptoms improved drastically while I had the cold (especially neuro symptoms). Before that I got multiple colds per year all usually resulting in bronchitis and taking up to 2 months each time to recover (I think having undiagnosed MCAS was amplifying my cold and flus).

    I also don't think it's because I'm "shielded", I think we actually do pick up the colds but we don't produce the usual symptoms that other people do. I think in my case my immune system is so burnt out that its no longer capable of sustaining the immune response typical of a cold, flu or gastro bug.

    The immune response is actually what causes most of the symptoms rather than the cold or flu itself and this is why people with strong immune systems are more at risk of serious complications from flu.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  10. Howard

    Howard Senior Member

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    @AndrewR

    I've always felt I never catch any run-of-the-mill illnesses because my immune system is hyper-vigilant and attacks absolutely everything with a vengeance… The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown (which could also be the title to a Clint Eastwood sequel, or perhaps even a CFS infused parody starring Keanu Reeves).
     
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  11. CreativeB

    CreativeB Senior Member

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    Maybe because my CFS isn't severe or because I'm still working but I still catch colds/bugs etc and they seem to be worse than my colleagues because they aggravate my CFS symptoms.
     
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  12. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    This is an important point, because when people get a cold, most of the symptoms are produced not by the virus but by their immune systems. We may produce fewer symptoms because our immune systems are less competent – or, paradoxically, because they're more competent due to being activated the whole time, and don't need to produce much of a response to a low-threat cold virus.
     
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  13. Mel9

    Mel9 Senior Member

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    I went through a time when I got everything. Then for years, nothing, even at times when my whole family had the flu. I now am back to getting infected with viruses again (or my immune system is reacting to viruses again?) and hope that is a good sign.
     
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  14. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    Yeah, for years I'm free of the cold/flue now, ever since I got ME. With me it's because my cortisol is low --> causing the immune system to run in full Diva-mode --> defeating any virus that even thinks of giving me a cold.

    I only got a cold once in the past 10 years and it was during a stress full time. This caused cortisol levels to rise and subsequent suppression of the immune system.

    Earlier this year I did get a stomach bug. The kind you get from someone not washing their hands after using the loo and then handling food. Puked my guts out, had the shits. This runs its course in a few days. Can't prevent it with a Diva immune system, I guess.

    btw, cortisol also governs the stomach acidity. If your levels are low you might experience nausea faster after eating. A bit of diluted lemon juice or HCL pill helps.

    btw2, because my bodily cortisol production is now faulty (Addison's disease/ Adrenal Insufficiency) I supplement, with Hydrocortison. I now experience weak fases in my immune status. A bit of a soar throat after spending time with people (and having supplemented extra on cortisol). Reducing back to normal dosis, vitamine C and Zinc get me back to normal in 2 days.
     
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  15. Pendergast

    Pendergast Spain

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    The same here... I have just got a cold, with cough, mucus, headache and even slight fever (37.5°C). This has been the first time in 10 years.

    Before I got CFS/ME (and during the first years with the illness) I usually had 4-6 very hard flus per year, with very, very high fever ( 39-40°C) and my symptoms got better a couple of days after each infection.

    Now I also experience what @Wonkmonk says:

    Definitively there is some clue hidden in this stuff.... o_O
     
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  16. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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    @Pendergast I also suspect this is a major clue. In fact, I suspect that my CFS is because of a chronic intracellular herpes simplex 1 infection and that the immune system is permanently overactivated because of that, so it helps fight off infections, but once an infection is coming, the herpes virus tries to reactivate ("cold sore") and that makes me worse until all the pathogens are removed from the body and the activation of herpes virus stops.

    But that's just a theory.

    I know @Gingergrrl (who might be interested in this thread, too ;)) also reported never getting sick, and herpes virus (EBV) is strongly suspected to have caused or contributed to her CFS. Plus in her case Rituximab is helping, which is killing off EBV.
     
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  17. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member

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    I've been on high doses of prednisone at multiple times during my 9 years of no colds and it didn't change anything.

    I'd be very surprised if our not getting colds had to do with our immune systems being very strong / vigilant against viruses. That just doesn't gel well with those that have viral reactivation nor with the immune system burn out theory nor with the hypometabolism theory (a hypometabolic state wouldn't magically not affect immune cells). I honestly can't think of a single reasonable theory for this illness that would fit well with having abnormally strong viral immunity especially for many of us who were abnormally susceptible to viruses before switching into this state of cold and flulessness.
     
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  18. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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    This is interesting because my symptoms clearly follow a circadian rhythm that is inversely related to cortisol (worst right after waking up -- very low cortisol -- much better during the day).

    Of course, it could be a host of other factors, but maybe the immune system is strongly active at night when cortisol is low and has less activity during the day when cortisol is higher. The immune overreaction might worsen the symptoms (and have caused them in the first place).

    It also seems that when I sleep very long (>8 hours) my symptoms are worse upon waking up than when I sleep just 6 hours and another two during the day.

    I might try to interrupt my sleep during the night and split it in 2 phases, maybe that works better. I have also read somewhere that this is a primal human sleep pattern and that sleeping 7-8 hours in a row has been the usual sleep pattern only in modern times, so interrupting your sleep shouldn't harm your health if total number of hours stays in the 7-8 hour range every day.
     
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  19. Pendergast

    Pendergast Spain

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    This happens to me too. I feel better if I sleep 3-6h or even if I don't sleep at all than if I sleep 8, 10 or 12h.

    I'm still totally disabled and obviously I feel sleepy during the day but the symptoms get transiently better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  20. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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    Have you ever investigated Herpes simplex as a possible cause?
     

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