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Simulating low grade fever to decrease viral load and relieve symptoms

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
Fever is the body's way of boosting the immune system to kill pathogens. Also, I know many besides myself experience chills and muscle aches. To that end, I've been simulating a low grade fever in my body using a heating pad, drinking hot tea, and sitting under the sun in pants and a hoodie. I have found total relief from the above symptoms from this, and Improvement of fatigue as well. Cant speak to pain relief as I don't have pain, but I know heat therapy is used for pain relief in general.

Here is a great paper that details all the myriad ways the immune system is bolstered by fever: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4786079/

What stood out to me most was that natural killer cells gain increased cytotoxic ability (since NK cell deficit is believed to be one important component of CFS and ME). That's not to say all the other components of immume response aren't important, because they are. Especially if you believe that your illness is due to the presence of EBV, CMV, HHV and/or other viruses. This holds true for bacteria and fungi as well. Enterovirus is quite heat sensitive, so if plays a part for you (as it seems to for me) thermotherapy may help.

Low grade fever is enough and seems to be the most effective. Its also much safer than high grade, especially long term.

In terms of immediate relief, my muscle aches and chills are eradicated within 15 minutes. Sitting out in the sun improves my fatigue and gets rid of the pressure under my eyes that accompanies it.

I know not everyone lives in a hot climate, so this may not be possible until summer if you don't. It's already getting to 90 degrees where I live though.

Anyhow, my hope is that after a few weeks my viral load will decrease (as well as any coccidiomycosis in my tissues) enough to give my immune system a chance to take care of the rest on its own.

It's pretty cheap (all you need is a heating pad and hot water, sunshine if you've got it), with minimal side effects, so I think it's worth a try.

I haven't seen anything on the forum or in my research about this, so if anyone has further insight, let me (us) know.
 
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Runner5

Senior Member
Messages
323
Location
PNW
Living in a cold damp environment - man I would LOVE to be in the sunshine basking right now drinking hot tea. It sounds really incredibly awesome. I've had a low grade fever for over a week and everything is 10x worse then it was though - but basking sounds nice.
 

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
Living in a cold damp environment - man I would LOVE to be in the sunshine basking right now drinking hot tea. It sounds really incredibly awesome. I've had a low grade fever for over a week and everything is 10x worse then it was though - but basking sounds nice.

If the fever is naturally occurring it makes sense that you feel worse, cause that means you have active infection, which is bound to make you feel crappy. But the fever is happening to get rid of it, which is a good sign.

I wonder what result you'd have if you simulated one when you aren't in the midst of an acute illness.

Even though you don't have lots of sun out there, a heating pad and drinking hot liquids work pretty well to get the effect
 
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Runner5

Senior Member
Messages
323
Location
PNW
When I get to feeling a little better - I do volunteer myself to go to a tropical part of the world and lay on a sunny beach -- for SCIENCE. :-D !! This is just how selfless and awesome I am. I'll even drink hot tea or coffee on the beach - I'm down for it. (Can I pre-order a Stabucks Peppermint Mocha, my favorite - for the beach and have a nice new swimsuit please?)

I'm in a tight spot with my health right now. There is a 3 month wait for me to get in to see my primary and the nurse on call, I mean that's just useless without something straightforward and amazingly obvious. She just frowns the entire time like you are taking up her valuable time and she rather be doing Soduku. The healthcare where I live in the middle of nowhere isn't great - well it's abysmal and about as good as playing Wheel of Fortune with your health, "I would like to spin the wheel to see how much you're going to arbitrarily charge me while not diagnosing me with anything." ( Congratulations you've landed on, "I've got drug samples, take these, lets see what happens since I can't diagnose this.")

My joints have all swelled up and hurt but especially my lower back, it's freaking me out. When the sciatic nerve pinches it feels like my toe nail is getting ripped off. It takes my breath away and I just am terrified of next time it pinches.

I went Vegan recently - anyone think this could be Soy? Sorry that hijacks the convo. I'm just kinda freaked right now and am having trouble not going around and around in my brain, "OMG there is something worse than CFS and now I have to contend with this too and I don't know what to do."

Could really use a nice beach and a vacation from all this bs. I thought when I gave up dairy and eggs and ate my veggies and was doing so well with that - well thought I would FEEL BETTER. Grrrr. :bang-head::(
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,627
Location
Alberta
I tried various healthier diets too, in the hopes that I'd feel better. Didn't work. I did find foods that I needed to avoid, which helps avoid worse symptoms, but the baseline symptoms remain. Also, if you find something that makes you feel worse, try it again after a period of time (months? year?). I had to give up meat for a year or two, but then found that I could tolerate it if I took carnitine with it. After a year or so of that, I no longer needed the extra carnitine. Things do change over time with ME/CFS.

If you can't travel to a hot place, maybe you can wait for it to arrive (summer) where you are. :)

Hot summer days don't make me feel better though. :(
 

Learner1

Senior Member
Messages
6,305
Location
Pacific Northwest
@Runner5 Sorry you're having so many challenges... But I loved your Wheel of Fortune analogy. Hope you get some better help soon.

Vegetables are great, but you might want to think twice about going vegan. Multiple researchers have found ME/CFS patients tend to have a pyruvate dehydrogenase block and burn amino acids (or fats) for fuel, and we can't do much with carbs, which are predominant in vegan diets.

The metabolomics research also found shortages of B12, and it and carnitine, both found in animal proteins, are essential for mitochondrial function to make energy.

Also in the news last week were heavy metal contaminants in most of the organic vegan protein powders, shockingly.

I understand this news is not likely to be very welcome, but I used to be vegetarian and my mom was a vegan for 5 years, so I'm familiar with the benefits, and unfortunately learned the hard way about what my body needed.

Best of luck to you in flagging down your doctor.
 

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
I thought that the main function of fever was to make the environment (body temperature) more hostile for viruses.

It is one function, but I don't know that is the main one. Activating the immune response is crucial for fighting pathogens. The article I linked above details how fever does that
..
 

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
When I get to feeling a little better - I do volunteer myself to go to a tropical part of the world and lay on a sunny beach -- for SCIENCE. :-D !! This is just how selfless and awesome I am. I'll even drink hot tea or coffee on the beach - I'm down for it. (Can I pre-order a Stabucks Peppermint Mocha, my favorite - for the beach and have a nice new swimsuit please?)

I'm in a tight spot with my health right now. There is a 3 month wait for me to get in to see my primary and the nurse on call, I mean that's just useless without something straightforward and amazingly obvious. She just frowns the entire time like you are taking up her valuable time and she rather be doing Soduku. The healthcare where I live in the middle of nowhere isn't great - well it's abysmal and about as good as playing Wheel of Fortune with your health, "I would like to spin the wheel to see how much you're going to arbitrarily charge me while not diagnosing me with anything." ( Congratulations you've landed on, "I've got drug samples, take these, lets see what happens since I can't diagnose this.")

My joints have all swelled up and hurt but especially my lower back, it's freaking me out. When the sciatic nerve pinches it feels like my toe nail is getting ripped off. It takes my breath away and I just am terrified of next time it pinches.

I went Vegan recently - anyone think this could be Soy? Sorry that hijacks the convo. I'm just kinda freaked right now and am having trouble not going around and around in my brain, "OMG there is something worse than CFS and now I have to contend with this too and I don't know what to do."

Could really use a nice beach and a vacation from all this bs. I thought when I gave up dairy and eggs and ate my veggies and was doing so well with that - well thought I would FEEL BETTER. Grrrr. :bang-head::(

Sorry to hear about the situation with doctors where you live. Honestly I'm having issues with them too, and I live in a big city and have access to specialists thanks to Medicaid. I had much better luck with my GP before moving here, and that was in a city of less than 100,000 people. Unlike everyone I have seen here in Phoenix, he was willing to see me on an ongoing basis and very open to trying any treatments I wanted to try. I was limited in the blood tests I could afford (though he didn't hesitate to order them) since everything was out of pocket for me there. Which also meant I didn't see any specialists.

As for connection to soy, its not generally known to cause inflammation or joint issues unless there is an allergy to it. I've been vegan for about 12 years, and have never had a problem with it. You can try eliminating it from your diet and see if things change. I do eat soy, but prefer to get my proteins from nuts and beans, lentils etc (cooked from scratch, not canned) whenever I can. Before CFS I cooked most of my meals from scratch.
 

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
@Runner5 Sorry you're having so many challenges... But I loved your Wheel of Fortune analogy. Hope you get some better help soon.

Vegetables are great, but you might want to think twice about going vegan. Multiple researchers have found ME/CFS patients tend to have a pyruvate dehydrogenase block and burn amino acids (or fats) for fuel, and we can't do much with carbs, which are predominant in vegan diets.

The metabolomics research also found shortages of B12, and it and carnitine, both found in animal proteins, are essential for mitochondrial function to make energy.

Also in the news last week were heavy metal contaminants in most of the organic vegan protein powders, shockingly.

I understand this news is not likely to be very welcome, but I used to be vegetarian and my mom was a vegan for 5 years, so I'm familiar with the benefits, and unfortunately learned the hard way about what my body needed.

Best of luck to you in flagging down your doctor.

Conversely, animals concentrate pesticides and heavy metals in their fatty tisses, and when you consider that farmed animals take in 6 to 16 pounds of pesticide laden feed or plant matter for every pound of meat, that really gets to be a lot. Fish especially have high levels of heavy metals in their fatty tissue.

Additionally, all the mammalian hormones the body takes in from eating animals and their products can disrupt the endocrine system, which is especially undesirable if you're already dealing with one that's out of whack.

Most (like 99 percent) farmed animals get their B12 from supplements. B12 is is synthesized by bacteria in the soil, and since only a tiny fraction of farmed animals are eating food as it grows from the ground (most don't even get to go outdoors while they're alive) they have to be supplemented with it. And I can assure you isn't the methyl form they're supplemented with, either.

Filtering vitamins through the body of another isn't an ideal way to get them anyway. Back before humans were so fastidious about washing produce, we got all the B12 we needed from soil residue. Now that that's changed the choices are taking a supplement directly, taking supplements indirectly (through consumption of animal products), or try to get it all via nutritional yeast or Brewers yeast (though the latter isn't a good idea for people with candida). Of course you could just eat unwashed vegetables, (from undepleted soil) but that poses its own issues.

Regarding B12 deficiency, that is prevalent in the general population (at least in the United States), most of whom eat copious amounts of meat. This is an industrial food issue, not a vegan issue.

I don't use protein powders so can't comment on that, I've always been suspect of how effective they really are, vegan or not. I think it's better to opt for whole foods when possible.

Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid, which means the body can synthesized it from other foods. For this reason, carnitine deficiency is rare, even in vegans.

I'm curious why you think we can't do much with carbs? Did you mean people with pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency or humans in general? The former is true, but I haven't seen any evidence that veganism causes this. I didn't think metabolic diseases could be induced by diet.

I don't want to get this thread off off track from the original topic (at least not this early on) so perhaps a new thread to discuss diet would be good.
I would like to see the research you're referring to re: pyruvate dehydrogenase and veganism, so if you could please send it my way, or tag me in a thread it's discussed in.
 
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Runner5

Senior Member
Messages
323
Location
PNW
Well side stepping the food discussion until there is a new thread and I can explain why I chose Veganism, "the answer will surprise you!"

I did call up the local clinic for a Rheumatoid Arthritis test. One of my joints just quit working a few years back and I have had chronic joint issues. The fever, the joint problems and the fatigue would be explained by RA. I'm scared to death. :( I have so much anxiety going in to the nurse.
 

Learner1

Senior Member
Messages
6,305
Location
Pacific Northwest
I don't want to get this thread off off track from the original topic
Well, you have.

I was just offering an explanation for why someone with ME/CFS might not feel better when switching to a supposedly healthy vegan diet, not to get into a debate about veganism.

Research by Fluge and Mella, Maureen Hanson, and Chris Armstrong have noted the amino acid issue. See attached as an example.
I can explain why I chose Veganism, "the answer will surprise you!"
There are many factors to consider when choosing a diet. It's still not clear why you did, but it might be worth getting some nutrient testing and see whether your nutrient needs are being met by what you're currently doing.
 

Attachments

  • Fluge Mella amino PDH.pdf
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AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
Well side stepping the food discussion until there is a new thread and I can explain why I chose Veganism, "the answer will surprise you!"

I did call up the local clinic for a Rheumatoid Arthritis test. One of my joints just quit working a few years back and I have had chronic joint issues. The fever, the joint problems and the fatigue would be explained by RA. I'm scared to death. :( I have so much anxiety going in to the nurse.

It could well be RA, and RA alone. If you don't experience post exertional malaise or unrefreshing sleep, you can probably rule out CFS or ME. If its just RA, that's good- there is much more research and knowledge on it that CFS/ME and effective drugs out there to manage it (with more effective ones being researched and developed) and rheumatologists are far more numerous than CFS specialists. If it does turn out to be RA, and you have insurance, get a referral for a rheumatologist. If you aren't insured, look into getting financial assistance from the hospital nearest to you to cover the cost of seeing one (and still get a referral, but make sure it's to someone at the hospital, as private practices don't usually have funds set aside to help the uninsured)

As for the nurse and her behavior, that likely has nothing to do with you. Whatever's going on to make her that way are her own issues. Just keep reminding yourself of that, and hopefully you'll be able to move on to another doctor and no longer have to deal with her.

Also, re-reading your first post, you mentioned a pinched sciatic nerve. This sounds like disc compression to me. If thats the case, stretching your spinal column could provide some relief (and prevention) by decompressing your vertebrae.
 
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AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
Also want to add that if you have (or suspect you have) an autoimmune disorder thermotherapy is probably not a good idea; you don't want to be further activating an already overactive immune system.
 

Runner5

Senior Member
Messages
323
Location
PNW
So if I have RA do I get kicked out of PR? :p

I do Yoga so trying to get in that spinal space, if I don't I'm screwed so I try to fit that in twice a day so been stretching now for about six years. When you hurt and you're fatigued it's the last thing you want to do though - - ugh, I just want to sit, watch Youtube and be left alone generally speaking.

My vision is sometimes blurry, sometimes not - it comes and goes so I get to see the eye doc this week too. I have fevers all the time.

Chucking it all in the bucket. I don't think there is much they can do for me and I can't afford much so I hope a blood test and wallah - here is some kind of answer. I'm one of those rare unicorns in America right now -- middle class. So I have just enough insurance to cover catastrophes I guess and I don't qualify for assistance. I have a $7,000 deductible so nothing even picks up until I pay 7k. Yikes.

My hip has been bad for awhile, like getting into my car I physically pick up my leg and put it in beside me, I've had a neoprene velcro brace for awhile if I have to walk much and I have to sleep with a special pillow to support the leg and hip. My joint problems pre-date the CFS. I also get PEM and unrefreshing sleep, but Yoga doesn't generally trigger PEM but I don't jerk my joints into crazy positions. I have to do slow, easy, gentle yoga. Rapid transitions between poses and I'm toast. I have muscle weakness in my arms so a lot of inverted stuff, down-dog, it's a no-go.

My Mom had the same issue with joint pain and would wrap herself in an electric blanket on high and cocoon in the warmth. To make a segway back to the original topic - heat really helped her symptoms. About five or six years after her symptoms started along with her own battles with fatigue that left her penniless and out of a job, she moved back in with my grandmother and a few months later passed away suddenly.

A lot of the joint wraps I have are padded with wool which makes the joint warmer. So yeah, if you have joint pain there are woolie wraps and they're pretty awesome.
 

AlwaysTired

Senior Member
Messages
174
So if I have RA do I get kicked out of PR? :p

I do Yoga so trying to get in that spinal space, if I don't I'm screwed so I try to fit that in twice a day so been stretching now for about six years. When you hurt and you're fatigued it's the last thing you want to do though - - ugh, I just want to sit, watch Youtube and be left alone generally speaking.

My vision is sometimes blurry, sometimes not - it comes and goes so I get to see the eye doc this week too. I have fevers all the time.

Chucking it all in the bucket. I don't think there is much they can do for me and I can't afford much so I hope a blood test and wallah - here is some kind of answer. I'm one of those rare unicorns in America right now -- middle class. So I have just enough insurance to cover catastrophes I guess and I don't qualify for assistance. I have a $7,000 deductible so nothing even picks up until I pay 7k. Yikes.

My hip has been bad for awhile, like getting into my car I physically pick up my leg and put it in beside me, I've had a neoprene velcro brace for awhile if I have to walk much and I have to sleep with a special pillow to support the leg and hip. My joint problems pre-date the CFS. I also get PEM and unrefreshing sleep, but Yoga doesn't generally trigger PEM but I don't jerk my joints into crazy positions. I have to do slow, easy, gentle yoga. Rapid transitions between poses and I'm toast. I have muscle weakness in my arms so a lot of inverted stuff, down-dog, it's a no-go.

My Mom had the same issue with joint pain and would wrap herself in an electric blanket on high and cocoon in the warmth. To make a segway back to the original topic - heat really helped her symptoms. About five or six years after her symptoms started along with her own battles with fatigue that left her penniless and out of a job, she moved back in with my grandmother and a few months later passed away suddenly.

A lot of the joint wraps I have are padded with wool which makes the joint warmer. So yeah, if you have joint pain there are woolie wraps and they're pretty awesome.

Ok so you may have CFS then.

I don't have joint issues so a regular heating pad is enough for me.

You won't be kicked out of PR for having RA. You'd have to do something awful (like constantly berate people or make a threat to someone's safety) for that to happen

I'll PM you about the other stuff you mentioned
 
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