Is there any infections that can last over 25 years?

Messages
7
Likes
23
Since 1995-1996 every single day I have felt like I have a low level infection.

I feel like when you have a bad cold or flu after the chills and aches go away but you still feel like you have an infection, it's like that but it never goes away.

My sense of taste has been severely impaired since late 1995 early 1996 every single day as well.

I have a whole mess of other symptoms but the feeling like I have a cold or flu that never goes away is with me every single day.

Just wondering if anyone knows of any infections that could last that long and if so what they are?

Thanks

Jim
 

JES

Senior Member
Messages
1,198
Likes
2,848
Depends what you mean by infection I guess. There is quite a bit of evidence supporting that for example SARS-CoV-2 among other viruses can establish chronic infection or persistent infection, as is the medically more correct term. It is speculated that some of these infections might reach immune privileged sites in the body like the brain/CNS, heart etc. making them harder for the immune system to eradicate.

We also have DNA viruses like herpesviruses, for example EBV, that never leave the body once you are infected, but which a normally functioning immune system keeps in check, so to speak. Those are usually referred to as latent infections, but as everyone knows even those can activate from time to time causing cold sores and EBV itself is suspected to serve as trigger for other diseases like MS.

Having said that, feeling like you have an infection does not automatically mean you have one. People with other chronic diseases like cancer quite often report experiencing something similar as cold symptoms, but without any viruses necessarily being the culprit. The symptoms we experience as coming down with the flu are more or less a product of our own immune system, so a pathogen is not required, only that the immune system thinks there is one or dysfunctions in other ways as in many chronic diseases.

I spent many years attempting to treat chronic bacterial and viral infections with all sorts of regimes with little success, so I became more doubtful over the years about there necessarily being infections involved in ME/CFS. Then again, there is also a big lack of effective antivirals for many of the common viruses even today, so there isn't much you can do against some viruses like enteroviruses even if confirmed you have them.
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
660
Likes
2,408
We know that EBV hides in the bodies immune cells and then the catcher can have a reoccurence of the same Mono disease they had the first time. Chickenpox can break out and infect the nerves as shingles many decades after infection. Covid has been found in the body for people who apparently cleared the virus. I would suspect we never actually clear viruses, they are just held in a corner by our immune system unable to escape until an event weakens it and allows an escape. Given how much the same finding about viral persistance in the body has occurred I would just assume now its very likely we all have infections that last our entire lifetimes.
 

2Cor.12:19

Senior Member
Messages
264
Likes
712
Since 1995-1996 every single day I have felt like I have a low level infection.

I feel like when you have a bad cold or flu after the chills and aches go away but you still feel like you have an infection, it's like that but it never goes away.

My sense of taste has been severely impaired since late 1995 early 1996 every single day as well.

I have a whole mess of other symptoms but the feeling like I have a cold or flu that never goes away is with me every single day.

Just wondering if anyone knows of any infections that could last that long and if so what they are?

Thanks

Jim
Yes. I’ve felt like this, to one degree or another, every day since September 1986. 36 years. As has been previously stated, what we feel is our immune systems overreacting. This is the great mystery of ME/CFS yet to be solved. Why are our immune systems chronically revved up? I’ve been on numerous long term antiviral regimes, not to mention many antibiotics, all to no avail when it comes to that persistent feeling of seemingly viral malaise.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,469
Likes
8,138
Location
Alberta
Why are our immune systems chronically revved up?
Our immune systems may not be 'revved up'; I don't recall any reports showing glaring signs of elevated cytokines or other such markers in PWME. The problem may be more subtle malfunction of some immune cell activity that leads to the 'flu-like' symptoms without being full-blown immune activation.

I wonder whether if I felt today's ME symptoms before my ME first developed, I'd describe them as 'flu-like'. So, I too think I've felt like I've been fighting an infection for the last 20+ years.
 

hapl808

Senior Member
Messages
732
Likes
1,960
Yes. I’ve felt like this, to one degree or another, every day since September 1986. 36 years. As has been previously stated, what we feel is our immune systems overreacting. This is the great mystery of ME/CFS yet to be solved. Why are our immune systems chronically revved up? I’ve been on numerous long term antiviral regimes, not to mention many antibiotics, all to no avail when it comes to that persistent feeling of seemingly viral malaise.
Same here since the late 90's. No idea if it's an active infection, immune dysregulation, ANS dysfunction, etc. Sometimes antibiotics and other things have improved me, but the only time I'd say it 'went away' was the very first time I took antibiotics after 10 years or struggling. Never was able to repeat that experience, though.
 

Booble

Senior Member
Messages
1,207
Likes
2,403
Depends what you mean by infection I guess. There is quite a bit of evidence supporting that for example SARS-CoV-2 among other viruses can establish chronic infection or persistent infection, as is the medically more correct term. It is speculated that some of these infections might reach immune privileged sites in the body like the brain/CNS, heart etc. making them harder for the immune system to eradicate.

We also have DNA viruses like herpesviruses, for example EBV, that never leave the body once you are infected, but which a normally functioning immune system keeps in check, so to speak. Those are usually referred to as latent infections, but as everyone knows even those can activate from time to time causing cold sores and EBV itself is suspected to serve as trigger for other diseases like MS.

Having said that, feeling like you have an infection does not automatically mean you have one. People with other chronic diseases like cancer quite often report experiencing something similar as cold symptoms, but without any viruses necessarily being the culprit. The symptoms we experience as coming down with the flu are more or less a product of our own immune system, so a pathogen is not required, only that the immune system thinks there is one or dysfunctions in other ways as in many chronic diseases.

I spent many years attempting to treat chronic bacterial and viral infections with all sorts of regimes with little success, so I became more doubtful over the years about there necessarily being infections involved in ME/CFS. Then again, there is also a big lack of effective antivirals for many of the common viruses even today, so there isn't much you can do against some viruses like enteroviruses even if confirmed you have them.
That's an excellent answer. Thank you for taking the time to write that out.
 

2Cor.12:19

Senior Member
Messages
264
Likes
712
Our immune systems may not be 'revved up'; I don't recall any reports showing glaring signs of elevated cytokines or other such markers in PWME. The problem may be more subtle malfunction of some immune cell activity that leads to the 'flu-like' symptoms without being full-blown immune activation.

I wonder whether if I felt today's ME symptoms before my ME first developed, I'd describe them as 'flu-like'. So, I too think I've felt like I've been fighting an infection for the last 20+ years.
@Wishful The theory of an over active immune response has been around almost as long as I’ve had ME. It goes along with the possibility that ME is an autoimmune disease. Recent research seems to back that idea.

When the following study came out I wasn’t surprised. My husband was treated for hep C for 12 months with interferon and the side effects he experienced were remarkably the same as my ME/CFS. It was uncanny. He had always been sympathetic and supportive of me, but he had a much better understanding of what ME/CFS is about after that. Thankfully he recovered after treatment.


“For the first time, we have shown that people who are prone to develop a CFS-like illness have an overactive immune system, both before and during a challenge to the immune system.”
Lead researcher Dr. Alice Russel
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324032#Altered-immune-response


Dr Charles Shepherd, the ME Association's medical adviser, said: "This research adds to the growing weight of scientific evidence which indicates that the body's immune system is playing an important role in the causation of ME/CFS.
The study is one of five research projects funded by the Medical Research Council into the causes of M The study is one of five research projects funded by the Medical Research Council into the causes of ME.
Chronic fatigue: Overactive immune system 'may trigger ME-like symptoms' Chronic fatigue: Overactive immune system 'may trigger ME-like symptoms'

ME Association UK:
King’s College: Clues to chronic fatigue syndrome in overactive immune response
 
Last edited:

Seadragon

Senior Member
Messages
703
Likes
1,533
Location
UK
The symptoms we experience as coming down with the flu are more or less a product of our own immune system, so a pathogen is not required, only that the immune system thinks there is one or dysfunctions in other ways
I am the same and believe this is what is happening - feels like my immune system needs an "off switch" of some sort - can't find the magic button though :rolleyes:
 

Seadragon

Senior Member
Messages
703
Likes
1,533
Location
UK
As has been previously stated, what we feel is our immune systems overreacting. This is the great mystery of ME/CFS yet to be solved. Why are our immune systems chronically revved up? I’ve been on numerous long term antiviral regimes, not to mention many antibiotics, all to no avail when it comes to that persistent feeling of seemingly viral malaise.
I agree when you say this is the great mystery of ME/CFS yet to be solved. Don't know why more of the current ongoing research is not being directed that way.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,469
Likes
8,138
Location
Alberta
The Medical News story fits my theory better: that the immune system is malfunctioning (producing the wrong levels or ratios of something) rather than it being simply "overactive". It's interesting that the abnormalities they measured existed before developing ME and disappeared once ME developed.

I would consider 'immune system overreaction' to be something like exaggerated responses to cold viruses or allergens, maybe to the point of being critical care from what in most people causes just a minor response.
 

Booble

Senior Member
Messages
1,207
Likes
2,403
The Medical News story fits my theory better: that the immune system is malfunctioning (producing the wrong levels or ratios of something) rather than it being simply "overactive". It's interesting that the abnormalities they measured existed before developing ME and disappeared once ME developed.

I would consider 'immune system overreaction' to be something like exaggerated responses to cold viruses or allergens, maybe to the point of being critical care from what in most people causes just a minor response.
Malfunctioning is a good word.
 
Messages
7
Likes
23
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I have thought for a long time that what it "feels" like and what it actually is might be worlds apart.

When I first started feeling like I had the flu that never went away constantly I figured that maybe once I actually got the flu then it would go away. But after all these years and loads of colds/ flus or whatever and that constant feeling of infection has never gone away.
 

Treeman

Senior Member
Messages
553
Likes
1,500
Location
York, England
I don't recall any reports showing glaring signs of elevated cytokines or other such markers in PWM
I remember the research by Montoya that showed high levels of cytokines.

There's also the something in the blood theory by Prusty, OMF etc,

As I understand it there are over 120 known autoantibodies and if a patient has one they may well have more. I tested positive for two, but haven't been tested for many more.

Could it be possible that I have a particular mix of autoantibodies, others have their own mix? Each causing energy production dysfunction? This could go some way to explaining why some herbs/supplements/ medication help them and not others because it's suppress their particular autoimmunity?
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,469
Likes
8,138
Location
Alberta
I remember the research by Montoya that showed high levels of cytokines.
I haven't followed such research closely, but my impression is that some studies show elevated cytokines, and some show no elevation, so that could be subsets who have active infections, or downstream effects or some other explanation. Since the studies disagree so much, I don't consider them glaring signs of elevated cytokines.
 

ljimbo423

Senior Member
Messages
4,576
Likes
12,291
Location
United States, New Hampshire
To make things even more complicated, as if they are not already complicated enough. I have chronic congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose and have for years. I think I have Nonallergic rhinitis.

Nonallergic rhinitis doesn't involve the immune system. Yet causes sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose just like a cold, a flu, or a true allergy.
 

Carl

Senior Member
Messages
347
Likes
431
Location
United Kingdom
Biofilm protected pathogens can persist for decades. The pathogens which cause my CFS have survived for 40 years and nothing, including prescribed antibiotics have ever destroyed them. A multi layered biofilm gives the pathogens multiple opportunities to adapt to anything which harms them.

I have successfully managed to remove their biofilm but that is only one biofilm and I have at least 5 that I know about and possibly more smaller ones which I don't know about. Bringing down the biofilm is the first step, then the task of destroying them begins and that is complex because they are unidentified pathogens. They could be gram positive, gram negative, yeast/fungi or protozoa. Their efflux pumps need to be dealt with to prevent their antimicrobial resistance

I consumed some Turkey tail mushroom which I got for free with an order and it was a coffee drink with multiple mushrooms and it had the strongest effect against them than anything else has ever done. The 2nd time I drank it, nothing because they had adapted to it and were resistant. Unfortunately I had not removed their biofilm when I drank it because if I had done it, it might of eliminated them without giving them a chance to adapt.

That is an example to everyone here and what you are all up against. Taking antimicrobials, herbs or antibiotics will only make it harder to destroy them because they will not work when they are used again. This is why CFS/ME/Fibro is so resistant and difficult to get lasting results. Few succeed except for the fortunate lucky ones.......