• Phoenix Rising needs funds to operate: please consider donating to support PR

IMMUNE SYSTEM OVERDRIVE AT NIGHT waking me up!!

grapes

Senior Member
Messages
358
Likes
241
About two years ago, I have been waking up a few times during the night, and trouble falling back asleep.. Looking back, my sleep issues started after I had gone through two years of heavy metal detoxing here or there to get high levels down, plus treating SIBO and enduring the miserable die off of killing high candida...plus the beginning of PEM.

Lately, my waking up has been particularly bad and seems connected to being under a lot of stress right now with caring for a very sick family member who's also not pleasant to be around. And when I wake up in the night, I can tell I have bodily inflammation and I don't feel well. It all goes away once I fully wake up and all day.

And I discovered a journal article titled Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function which seems to strongly describes what I'm going through during the night. They term it immune dysregulation, and it shows a connection to stress, whether psychological (in my case, being uncomfortable with this family member's personality) or physical (a few years of detoxing and dieoffs, then helping her with the house, and experiencing PEM occasionally). Here are few important points:
  • In humans, among other species, one of the systems that responds to challenging circumstances is the immune system.
  • Acute stress also increases blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines [2]. Chronic stress lasting from days to years, like acute stress, is associated with higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, but with potentially different health consequences [3].
  • Those who have experienced early adversity, for example, may be more likely to exhibit exaggerated immune reactions to stress [6, 7]. (More about this under the heading Early life stress)
  • As people age, they are less able to mount appropriate immune responses to stressors.....In addition, psychological stress affects organisms in a manner similar to the effects of chronological age, and chronological aging coupled with chronic stress accelerates immunological aging [18].
  • Research has suggested that older adults are unable to terminate cortisol production in response to stress. Cortisol is ordinarily anti-inflammatory and contains the immune response, but chronic elevations can lead to the immune system becoming “resistant,” an accumulation of stress hormones, and increased production of inflammatory cytokines that further compromise the immune response [18]. (More under the heading Stress, immunity, and aging)
  • How does stress get “under the skin” to influence immunity? Immune cells have receptors for neurotransmitters and hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol, which mobilize and traffic immune cells, ideally preparing the body to mount an immune response if needed [25]. Recent evidence shows that immunological cells (e.g., lymphocytes) change their responsiveness to signaling from these neurotransmitters and hormones during stress [26].
  • However, immunological responses are biologically and energetically costly, and over time, chronic stress produces negative systemic changes both in immune trafficking and in target tissues [6].
  • ...stress has been linked to being in troubled relationships, having negative or competitive social interactions, and feeling lonely, which have each in turn been linked to increases in pro-inflammatory responses to stress [27-29].
  • Stress induces chronic immune activation and altered health outcomes that resemble those seen in chronic inflammatory diseases such as RA [39, 40].
  • Research on stressors occurring early (i.e., childhood and adolescence) and late (i.e., aging) in the lifespan have suggested that individuals exposed to chronic stressors (e.g., abuse, caregiving) can exhibit immune dysregulation that may be persistent and severe.

    Now luckily for me, I stop caring for this family member in 1 1/2 weeks. So I'm going to be very curious if this intensity at night (high cortisol causing wakeups, feeling the inflammation, etc.) will be relieved.

    BUT I still face the fact that I've been waking up at night for two years now after a few years of biological stress. Just not as BAD as it's been going on lately with helping her. So I have to figure out how to calm my body/immune system down!!

    By the way, I am taking lots of calming herbs at bedtime, plus magnesium and lately trying a short run with Benadryl. I have been on cannabis oil which helps me fall asleep faster than Benadryl. Maybe Benadryl doesn't kick in quick enough. Yes, I know I don't want to use Benadryl for long. I'm also needing a bit of cortisol during the day to counter the low cortisol.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/
 

grapes

Senior Member
Messages
358
Likes
241
Right now, the most I can offer is, hmm, interesting.
Yes, it's interesting. And I've read the CFS/ME could include an immune system in overdrive. I'm not sure I have CFS/ME, but I do have terrible PEM and have had starting a year after I have to do my first major heavy metal detox, since some metals were very high.
 

gbells

Improved SEIDs from 2 to 5
Messages
604
Likes
589
Location
Eastern NC USA
The best thing would be to see a psychologist who specializes in stress. The one I saw had me read the book Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers and purchase the Headspace Meditation App to work on stress through learning to meditate daily. The meditation for chronic pain was also very helpful to decrease my opioid use and I was able to quit vicodin and lower my other medications.
 
Messages
12
Likes
22
I also have sometimes problems with sleeping. Drinking chocolatemilk helps me. But it has to be on the sugary side or else it will keep me awake.
 

grapes

Senior Member
Messages
358
Likes
241
The best thing would be to see a psychologist who specializes in stress. The one I saw had me read the book Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers and purchase the Headspace Meditation App to work on stress through learning to meditate daily. The meditation for chronic pain was also very helpful to decrease my opioid use and I was able to quit vicodin and lower my other medications.
Here are my strategies so far that have helped me sleep better two nights in a row, so far:

1) I am taking this at bedtime, but 3 caps instead of 2: https://amazon.com/gp/product/B076DTDZG5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie
2) I've added 400 mg of magnesium to the above, mixed in a dollup of yogurt.
3) I've added a capsule of 50 mg adrenal cortex into the dollup of yogurt.
4) I practice positive thoughts and imagery of the same before bedtime. I'll look into your Headspace app. :) I also have a workbook to control anxiety.
 

Avena

Senior Member
Messages
111
Likes
148
Pantothenic acid at night might also be worth a try. There are some research on it that connects it to raised cortisol levels, improved stress resiliency and acting as a modulating agent for adrenal function.
 

grapes

Senior Member
Messages
358
Likes
241
Pantothenic acid at night might also be worth a try. There are some research on it that connects it to raised cortisol levels, improved stress resiliency and acting as a modulating agent for adrenal function.
I really appreciate you sharing that. I'm taking it tonite for the first time. I just have to figure out how much. I already overreact to B6 or B2 if I take too much. The bottle I got is 550 mg which may be way too much. I can pour out part of it into a dollup of something before bed.
 

Aerowallah

Senior Member
Messages
101
Likes
91
You should probably get a neurotransmitter test before you start knocking down things that aren't elevated. No point in knocking down cortisol if your problem is elevated glutamate or histamines. I have an issue with metals detox, and methylmercury is slow to leave storage sites, probably for good reason. There is a rough on/off pattern to sleep maintenance insomnia--so many nights on, so many nights off. I fall asleep in minutes, but can wake up at 4-ish and have trouble getting back to sleep. It seems that when detox ramps, histamines are released, When they have done their job adrenaline is released by which time I have left deep sleep and entered a light sleep cycle. Benadryl seems to block histamine receptors and thus adrenaline jolts as I enter llight sleep. But it's too late taking it at 4am. Seniors take it for sleep-onset insomnia but that's another issue entirely. I'm not advocating Benadryl long-term but if you respond to it then your issue is probably detox--stress response--histamine release--adrenaline release. You can try liver detox, faster metal clearance with diatomaceous earth and probiotics, and a low histamine diet (so be careful with the probiotics)...and wait.. Also B12 was calming while I was deficient in it, but read up on it and co-factors first and go low and slow.