Overactive immune system

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Hi!

I’ve just discovered that my immune system is “overactive” according to my doctor. Could this signal an autoimmune issue? I thought after my EBV / mono episode I’d be lacking something immune wise but it seems to have not affected me at all according to my blood tests.

I did a lymphocyte subset count and my cd4 is 1640 and the ratio is approx 1.7-2.4. My overall lymphocytes were at 48% and CRP is low 0.3. ESR is 4.

should I be concerned with such a low CRP? My doctor says that it’s “good news” as I’m not suffering from a chronic illness etc.

Despite this, I still feel a lot of fatigue if I’ve had a big day at work or even just at 3pm I feel like I can fall asleep anywhere.
 
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Seadragon

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@Melissa89 You would need to ask your doctor to do blood tests for autoimmune and inflammatory markers such as Anti Nuclear Antibody (ANA), Rheumatoid Factor, CRP, ESR and maybe ANCA. If one or more of these were positive, it could possibly point towards an autoimmune issue.

That said, I myself had high positive RF, ESR and a positive ANA for a while but was negative for all the usual autoimmune illnesses on further investigation by a rheumatologist.

All these markers except the RF and mild positive ANA have since returned to normal levels and my ME specialist thinks they were caused by my immune system over-reacting during a phase when I was getting a lot of chronic low grade viruses with accompanying rashes and vertigo.
 
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Hi!

Just an update with more results:

CD3 (Pan T Cells): 2.52 - above normal range by 0.40
CD4 absolute: 1623 (600-1700)
CD8 absolute: 840. (400-1000)
CD4/CD8 ratio: 1.9 (1.2-3.0)

IGg: flagged as high 18.08
IgG1: flagged as high 10.70

Have been told this could mean anything from Lupus, autoimmune diseases to Multiple myeloma... which is scary!!

Waiting on ANA results but CRP is 0.3, ESR is 14 (in the middle of the ranges). Not sure what CD3 is and what it means as my doctor was rushing for lunch - typical!! I’ve been referred to an immunologist.
 
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I assumed I would have a low T cell but that high took me by surprise! Is this a common issue for people with ME/CFS?
It's possible. There was a finding of T cell clonal expansion in a study (blog here); I haven't heard anything further and not sure if this means I wasn't paying attention, science takes time, or something else. :D

Also too foggy to check if your results are that. Sorry.

Here's labtestsonline on CRP:
https://labtestsonline.org/tests/c-reactive-protein-crp

They don't report any meaning for a low (except resolution of the problem if it had been high), and this site is usually good about listing many potential meanings of various possible test outcomes, so probably low is not significant on that one.
 

andyguitar

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I assumed I would have a low T cell but that high took me by surprise! Is this a common issue for people with ME/CFS?
Over the years differences in the levels of a range of immune complexes have been detected in ME/CFS. The question of why there are those differences and what the clinical significance is has been the subject of a very long runing debate.
Have been told this could mean anything from Lupus, autoimmune diseases to Multiple myeloma... which is scary!!
Yes it is scary but your results might not mean that you have something terrible.
should I be concerned with such a low CRP? My doctor says that it’s “good news” as I’m not suffering from a chronic illness etc
Well your Doc's opinion counts for something don't you think? Relax, wait to see what the immunoligist says. If your Doc thought you had cancer I doubt he would be refering you to an immunoligist.
 
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Over the years differences in the levels of a range of immune complexes have been detected in ME/CFS. The question of why there are those differences and what the clinical significance is has been the subject of a very long runing debate.

Yes it is scary but your results might not mean that you have something terrible.

Well your Doc's opinion counts for something don't you think? Relax, wait to see what the immunoligist says. If your Doc thought you had cancer I doubt he would be refering you to an immunoligist.
I know! It’s my health anxiety going a bit wild again.
It's possible. There was a finding of T cell clonal expansion in a study (blog here); I haven't heard anything further and not sure if this means I wasn't paying attention, science takes time, or something else. :D

Also too foggy to check if your results are that. Sorry.

Here's labtestsonline on CRP:
https://labtestsonline.org/tests/c-reactive-protein-crp

They don't report any meaning for a low (except resolution of the problem if it had been high), and this site is usually good about listing many potential meanings of various possible test outcomes, so probably low is not significant on that one.

wow that was a very interesting article!!
 
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N
Over the years differences in the levels of a range of immune complexes have been detected in ME/CFS. The question of why there are those differences and what the clinical significance is has been the subject of a very long runing debate.

Yes it is scary but your results might not mean that you have something terrible.

Well your Doc's opinion counts for something don't you think? Relax, wait to see what the immunoligist says. If your Doc thought you had cancer I doubt he would be refering you to an immunoligist.

You’re absolutely right. I was slightly nervous with the news but he did not seem to concerned at all!
He said “sometimes our bodies do things we can’t explain..” He is concerned more with CFS/ME than anything else.
 
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@Melissa89 do you usually feel worse in winter? I've recently been reading new research on the immunosuppressive effects of UV light and wondering if those of us with active immune systems might benefit from more time in (cool not hot) sunshine.

I noticed the link between the seasons and my wellbeing a few years ago, and this year I made a very determined effort to get more sun over autumn and winter. it's now spring where I am and I feel better than usual! I'm trying to unpick what this might mean at a biological level, given that the old "vitamin d" theory is a dead one now.
 
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@Melissa89 do you usually feel worse in winter? I've recently been reading new research on the immunosuppressive effects of UV light and wondering if those of us with active immune systems might benefit from more time in (cool not hot) sunshine.

I noticed the link between the seasons and my wellbeing a few years ago, and this year I made a very determined effort to get more sun over autumn and winter. it's now spring where I am and I feel better than usual! I'm trying to unpick what this might mean at a biological level, given that the old "vitamin d" theory is a dead one now.
Yes! I have. I noticed it about 6/7 years ago after I came down with a viral chest infection that lasted 7 weeks. I think that was the crux for my immune system going in to hyperdrive. My vitamin D is low(ish).. not entirely deficient but it definitely was concerning. I started getting psorias on my legs (very faint but noticeable to me) and more acne breakouts in winter and my thyroid became a bit sluggish too. I’d sleep a lot more and felt a lot more muscular pain/tension headaches.

I noticed that summer/spring I’d hop out of bed at 6am and feel refreshed. The psorias would disappear and my skin became smooth again. Energy levels came up significantly too. I’m going through the same thing now that it is summer again where I am. It’s all very strange but I just put it down to the winter blues - I can definitely see the vitamin d link now.

To note - in my younger/vainer years I did use a UV light solarium (I know they are awful and cause cancer) and I was ironically the healthiest I have ever felt. I got less infections, never picked up the flu that was going around in the winter and just generally really happy & energised.
 

Art Vandelay

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I’ve just discovered that my immune system is “overactive” according to my doctor. Could this signal an autoimmune issue? I thought after my EBV / mono episode I’d be lacking something immune wise but it seems to have not affected me at all according to my blood tests.
Hi @Melissa89 I think I recall you saying that you live in Australia? Unfortunately my doctor has had to retire so I'm on the hunt for a new doctor. If in the unlikely event that you're in Adelaide, would you mind passing on your doctor's name? (either here or via private message) No worries if not.
 
Messages
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49
Yes! I have. I noticed it about 6/7 years ago after I came down with a viral chest infection that lasted 7 weeks. I think that was the crux for my immune system going in to hyperdrive. My vitamin D is low(ish).. not entirely deficient but it definitely was concerning. I started getting psorias on my legs (very faint but noticeable to me) and more acne breakouts in winter and my thyroid became a bit sluggish too. I’d sleep a lot more and felt a lot more muscular pain/tension headaches.

I noticed that summer/spring I’d hop out of bed at 6am and feel refreshed. The psorias would disappear and my skin became smooth again. Energy levels came up significantly too. I’m going through the same thing now that it is summer again where I am. It’s all very strange but I just put it down to the winter blues - I can definitely see the vitamin d link now.
Hi @Melissa89 I think I recall you saying that you live in Australia? Unfortunately my doctor has had to retire so I'm on the hunt for a new doctor. If in the unlikely event that you're in Adelaide, would you mind passing on your doctor's name? (either here or via private message) No worries if not.
Hi! Sure - I‘ll send you a DM.