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Since your ME/CFS onset, have you caught the Cold & or Flu more or less frequently?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by livingwithcfids, Nov 13, 2011.


Since your ME/CFS onset, have you caught the Cold & or Flu more or less frequently?

  1. More colds & flus since my ME/CFS onset

    24 vote(s)
  2. Less colds & flus since my ME/CFS onset

    147 vote(s)
  3. No difference at all

    8 vote(s)
  1. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Really surprised by the poll results, I have heard people say they never catch anything, but also others who say they are always ill with colds/flu etc, difficult to measure anything that way, wish more people would take the poll, surely that would tell the doctors something??
  2. wdb

    wdb Senior Member

    Of course if you are largely house-bound or bed-bound you are not going to be out and about touching hand rails / door knobs / keypads or shaking hands with people so you are not going to come into contact with cold/flu viruses.
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    The poll needs to be changed to reflect that this can be a lifelong disease and that things can change.

    When I was struck down with ME nearly 30 years ago the onset was acute viral. For at least 10 years after that I didn't get any colds and when ever there was a cold going around in my family I just got the same sore throat/glands as I did at the start of ME.

    Then it changes, and then it changed back.

    I remember one doctor in the 80's saying that when there was a change this was a good thing and that recovery could follow but it didn't for me.

    It may be that some of us will remain the same whilst others will swap between different presentations of this disease as the decades progress.
  4. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    In the year prior to the onset of ME, I caught a cold once a month. Then nothing for years. Now, I have subacute symptoms of what's going around - I think as I am starting to improve a little - I attribute this to the TH1/TH2 imbalance much discussed on the forum - I look forward to being able to have a full imumme response to a cold
    taa2 likes this.
  5. Cath1972


    Oxted, Surrey, UK
    I was just talking about this the other day.

    I always feel like I am fighting something, or going down with something. People around me catch something and are ill for several days and then recover, my 'feel like I am fighting something' just gets worse and lasts for several weeks. My symptoms always seem to be similar to what I always get as opposed to what other people have caught. So they could have a really bad cold, and upset stomach, I always get pain in my sinuses and sore throat.

    The other thing is since getting this 4 years ago, I have never had a temperature/fever. I thinks thats fundamental, because if your body temperature gets to 38*C or over then all the nasties are killed off. I wish there was a way to induce a fever! I remember reading somewhere that someone with CFS claimed to have recovered after they had a temperature! Makes sense to me!
    taa2 likes this.
  6. Alesh

    Alesh Senior Member

    Czech Republic, EU
    "I wish there was a way to induce a fever!"

    There are many such ways, the simplest is a prolonged warm tub-you can measure your temperature in the mouth and it is possible to increase body temperature to 38C after being immersed for about an hour in warm watter but it is quite a dangerous way. Before the era of antibiotics syphilis was cured this way and then by malariotherapy.

    But I am affraid "38*C or over then all the nasties are killed off" is not true.
  7. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

    Tucson, AZ
    I seem to get colds more often and more easily, but I can't remember the last time I had a real case of "the flu". Anyone else have this pattern?
  8. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

    Same as me. Sudden viral onset 20yrs ago nothing for 10 yrs and then started getting flu- like symptoms, not sure if it's related to the flus that are going around or it's something different.

    I still dont' understand why "they" continue to say that getting a cold or flu is somehow a good sign. I actually felt more stable the first 10yrs without all these symptoms I'm experiencing now. I'm still disabled 20 yrs later.
  9. livingwithcfids


    that only explains part of the question, lol

    What about the many of us who are still around people on a daily basis and/or traveling and haven't caught a single cold or flu in years since CFS onset!? Coincidence?
    taa2 and taniaaust1 like this.
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I assume your ME got better as you'd been pulled into TH1 as the common cold and flu virus both put body into TH1. From the TH1 state our body can fight things it cant from the TH2 state.


    Certain viruses thou have their own protective mechanism to try to stop the body from doing that eg herpes viruses eg CMV, EBV, HHV6 can trick the body so instead make it go into TH2 (from which the body then cant fight them well).


    For more info see the quotes from Cheney at below

    "CFIDS patients are Th2 activated. This means they over-respond to toxins, allergens, normal bacteria and parasites, and under-respond to viruses, yeast, cancer and intracellular bacteria."

    "Dr. Cheney explained that the immune system has two different modes of attack, based on the type of invader. One is Th1 (T Helper 1). It goes after organisms that get inside our cells intracellular pathogens. It is also known as cell-mediated immunity.

    The other is Th2 (T Helper 2). It attacks extracellular pathogens organisms that are found outside the cells in blood and other body fluids. Some call this humoral or antibody-mediated immunity.

    A healthy immune system is dynamic, able to switch back and forth as needed, quickly eradicating one threat and then resting before responding to the next. "

    "Th0 are the naive, or unformed, cells of the immune system. They are resting, just waiting for an invader. When infection occurs, they convert to either Th1 or Th2, depending on the type of threat. When the resting cell is exposed to a virus, cancer, yeast, or intracellular bacteria (like mycoplasma or chlamydia pneumonia), the Th1 response is initiated. "

    "How does the naive cell know which pathway to take? It depends on the cytokine information received. The presence of any organism from the left side triggers production of a cytokine called Interleukin 12. IL-12 causes the Th0 cell to move down the Th1 path. On the other hand, organisms on the right side trigger the production of Interleukin 10 (IL-10), which causes the Th0 cell to move down the Th2 path.

    Viruses, especially herpes viruses like EBV, CMV and HHV6, make proteins that mimic IL-10. The virus deceives the immune system into thinking that the threat is coming from the opposite side! So the immune system shifts from the Th1 mode that attacks viruses to the Th2 mode that does not. The virus increases its chances of survival by diverting the immune system."
  11. Fifi


    Pre M.E. I had lots of colds and coughs, though I can`t recall having the flu. My first signs of flu in fact turned out to be M.E.
    In the begining I caught a lot of colds but as time has gone on that has diminished to next to nothing. I am mostly housebound but the odd occasions I come into contact with someone who has a virus I seem to have the start of a something but then stop! So I can`t recall the last time I had a real full blown cold.
  12. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

    I don't know how to answer that since I've been all over the place before and after getting ME--periods of getting sick a lot and periods of not.

    This year I got sick a lot with colds and mild flu at nearly 7 years into ME. Last year I had one horrendously bad case of flu and that was it and I think it was so bad because as I was getting better someone upset me really badly and I relapsed into a flu/bronchitis hell.

    I've had a cold for 3 1/2 weeks now. I don't get fevers at all when I'm sick. Catching things so easily and so often and keeping them a long time with no fevers doesn't seem like a good thing, immune system-wise.

    I seem to not feel as bad with ME symptoms but I'm not sure if that's because I'm resting more and the cold symptoms are covering up the ME symptoms. I haven't had the constant neck pain which has been nice and I wonder if that's from more rest or something having to do with my lymph nodes and immune system?
  13. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    For me it is due to exposure - when I was attending university I would catch everything going around, the semesters when I didn't attend, I would not catch anything.
    If you spend less time in public, you should necessarily expect to catch less viruses over the years.
  14. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    It was nearly none until the Swine Flu. My theory is, the Swine Flu gets into the lungs differently than regular colds and flu. And whatever has been protecting us from that, we are not immune to the way Swine Flu can get in there. But regular colds and flu, RARE for me. And if I do catch a cold, I throw it off fast. Prior to Swine Flu, I hadn't had a real flu since around 1996 or so, and that one was just as severe as Swine Flu and it was something everyone was getting at the time. And I had been very rundown and got it. That one nearly killed me. But after that, nothing in all these years till Swine Flu. I have, however, had many, many stomach problems over the years, but I now believe that the drugs like Aciphex made me vulnerable to them by stopping all acid production. Since I've been off those kinds of drugs, I get stomach stuff alot less. Mostly, I'm only sick with our illness and related things to it like the thyroid problems. And I've very vulnerable to yeast infections if I dare have too much sugar or bread.

    I've often wondered if this disease was designed as a cure for colds and flu. It's almost a complete immunity from them. But the price we pay is way too high.
  15. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    Don't tell me that. Because it means that I've been getting the worst of both worlds. ;)
    rosie26 likes this.
  16. snowathlete


    For me, it certainly isnt because of lack of exposure. I agree with the logic, but the reality (for me at least) is that my wife or child, or other people I am in contact with get stinking colds and flu, and i never ever catch it. Before ME i used to avoid people with colds if i could, now there is no need. I give them hugs and kisses in the hope of catching something, but it just doesnt happen.

    Compare this illness to other debilitating illnesses where people are housebound, and my guess is that those other people do still catch colds etc.
  17. mellster

    mellster Marco

    San Francisco
    Similar here to snowathlete, I am exposed at home and in the crowded office but have been clear of cold/flu since 2+ years now since onset. But I do have slight cold symptoms now and then and slight sore throat and tender glands since starting LDN. Since my FM onset was fall 2009 I am still considering swine flu here as well (never been tested) besides EBV (which could have been a reactivation).
  18. mrpanoff


    I had frequent sore throats before and not after the onset.

    A brilliant thought.

    Or, alternatively, it could have been designed as a stealth disease disabling you by means your own immunity.
    There have been numerous experimental retroviral vectors created, and I doubt that any of them have ever been completely tamed and used as initially intended. Some of them might sound monstrous, like that one:

    Who on earth will test you for CMV-IE or HIV-TAR?

    So I guess, a number of vectors could have easily escaped the lab, whether inadvertently or, most probably, not.
  19. Renee S

    Renee S

    I was diagnosed with CFS in 1995, about 18 years ago, and I haven't had a 'normal' cold or flu since. When I know I've been exposed to whatever is going around I may or may not feel some minor symptoms for about a day and then nothing. I've often used this as a measure of my CFS severity - the more symptoms I feel from a potential common cold, the better my CFS is doing. While other people are cursing their stuffed up noses, I'm rejoicing, because it means my CFS has taken a step back.
  20. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    I got the flu about two weeks ago, after my fiance did. He slept for a day, blew out massive amounts of snot for another day, and then was fine. I'm still getting fevers (well, almost up to normal temp while feeling very feverish), coughing up yellow crap, blisters on the back of my throat, and generally feeling sick in a non-ME way.

    And in some weird way, it feels great. o_O

    Oh, and my right tonsil is finally un-swelling after 3 months of swolleness creating large crevices the perfect size for capturing food and storing it safely while it rots. :)
    taniaaust1 likes this.

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