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M.E, depression + glandular fever link?

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M.E, depression + glandular fever link?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
54 replies 8.4K views
metro_gnomemetro_gnome Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
A post about a good priced Sadlight http://forum.moneysavingexpert.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Urgents;action=display;num=1105130176
started a discussion about several health issues to do with ME and depression. I can't seem to find a thread on these subjects so am kick-starting one:

There is a theory that m.e can caused by the body not absorbing nutrients from food properly - which can be an after effect of glandular fever. My daughter had Glandular fever so I have been doing a lot of research about all this (she also suffers from depression - had a bad bout before getting G.Fever) I try to get her to take mega supplements, which I gather can really make a difference, but she is a teenager.....

I'd be very interested in finding out what other people know about these illnesses.
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Replies

  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
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    I started the thread in Grab it now forum in which highlighted a cheap Sadlight for the treatment of Seasonal Depression. I’ve used light therapy in the past and feel it does have a therapeutic role for some depressives however as I feel it isn't the sole answer and needs to used in conjunction with exercise, diet and lifestyle changes I provided a summary of these as well as the link to the Tchibo Well-being light. Following my inclusion of St John’s Wort further discussion was raised and this lead to a question relating to ME and Depression and this I felt was straying further off topic for the Grab it Now forum. So here’s my understanding of ME/CFS and the Mental and/or Physical illness debate.

    First I should point out that I come at this from an oblique angle as I had Polio as a child and now suffer the Late Effects of Polio (Post-Polio Syndrome) the symptoms of which are indistinguishable from those of ME/CFS. Where I base my understanding on recent research I will highlight one typical example (as above) but if anyone wants further examples then there will be several at Pubmed.

    The reason that I feel I have to be careful as an outsider to the ME/CFS mental/physical illness debate is that I know it is a controversial matter for many of those involved who are quite livid at the approach taken by the Medical Research Council here. With substantial sums of money being devoted to lines of enquiry which may only prove effective for a small proportion of patients it seems perverse that the vast amount of research showing promise in other directions is being ignored. For those who aren’t aware of the details it might help to imagine several similarly based jigsaw puzzles have got mixed together and dumped on the table. Because each have some features exactly the same as another we need to piece together the parts which are identical before we can understand the bits which differ. Fatigue is a feature of several chronic conditions; PPS, MS, ALS, CFS, FMS, Parkinson's, irritable bowel syndrome, arteriosclerosis and many, many others and underlying or causing this fatigue is INFLAMATION which is the bodies response to INJURY- including viral and bacterial infection, cuts, strains, operations, etc. and STRESS - including major events such as death of a relative, divorce, and job loss, but also including milder, repetitive stress that is encountered every day. The bodies first reaction to injury or stress is for the cells to release a chemical messenger. This messenger, called a proinflammatory cytokine, tells specialized cells, whose job it is to protect you from invading organisms, to come to the site of the injury or stress. At the same time the proinflammatory cytokines activate resident cells and cells that have migrated to the injury and all of them produce more proinflammatory cytokines setting up a cascade of events that involve the entire body. This link leads to a Model of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) development which explains why any summary I try to present is bound to be inadequate.

    Two proinflammatory cytokines, lnterleukin-1 and Tumour Necrosis Factor-a, are especially important in triggering an acute immune response, the body's first line of defense. The acute immune response involves developing a fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleepiness and other symptoms. It goes away within a few days. However if the injury/stress is repeated often - say if a person with PPS/ME/CFS/MS/FMS etc. persists in that stressing situation/activity -then a chronic immune response will set in. This response to chronic stress involves the entire body including the brain and it will produce central fatigue, new muscle weakness, problems with short term memory and word finding, irritable bowel syndrome and other symptoms. There is a clear connection between the presence of proinflammatory cytokines and central fatigue. Psychological stress - the kind that doesn't involve overdoing physically - is perceived in the brain and the brain produces proinflammatory cytokines. This can cause profound fatigue, inability to concentrate and other symptoms.

    As this is getting a bit too long I'll take a break and come back to it later.
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
  • SarahsaverSarahsaver Forumite
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    I had glandular fever as a child - age 11 and it took ages to get over. I was exhausted for months after and nobody thought about it at the time but i was a slow developer which may have been related to it.
    I can imagine it must be hellishly difficult for anyone living with m.e. or cfs to get believed. I suffered extreme fatigue after having a stroke 3 years ago and, to cut a long story short the dss doctor just didnt believe any of my symptoms. He thought i should be knackered all the time anyway because i am a single parent.
    Natural remedies have their place but remember st john's wort reacts with many other medications, and I would always advise your GP as first port of call.
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
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  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
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    Natural remedies have their place but remember st john's wort reacts with many other medications, and I would always advise your GP as first port of call.

    For any medication to be effective it will by definition have reaction. Anyone getting advice from a GP must be aware of the advertising which has gone into providing that GP with the information on which to make a decision. See Which report and Health Matters In fact prescribed anti-depressants are only 18% better than a placebo and Antidepressants cause sexual side effects for nearly 40% if you think you are going to get unbiased information from your GP you will be mistaken. I am not against people taking antidepressants, I've taken enough of them in the past, but one should be fully informed as to the risks and make a judgement by balancing the risks. I'm not saying Johns Wort is without risk, but adequate warnings are given in the Zipvit packaging and catalogue as is the case with prescibed medications.
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
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    I realise I haven't yet address the central theme of your question which I will do later on today. In the meantime you can find research confirming the connection between ME/CFS and Glandular fever here
    where there is also a paper describing in more scientific language the theory (expressed in my first reply) regarding Proinflamatory Cytokines. When I get a moment I'll post what supplements moderate/modulate the effect of proinflamatory cytokines.
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
  • Cat72Cat72 Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Ted - thanks for all that information. Really good. I have had depression for about 7 years and kind of learnt to live with it.
    However in the meantime I have been ill for a year. At first the doctor thought it was my depression getting worse- and put down my extreme fatigue to this.However I had a very bad cold last march and was very ill for 2WEEKS. After it I seemd to lose all my strength and I have became worse. I am only 32 but am constantly tired, feel ill with most foods, have very sore knees, forget things ( had razor sharp memory b4) and get exhausted very easily.I used to be hyperactive B4. I have had to give up exercise since it made me a lot worse.The doc keep saying it was depression. But with depression i dont want to do anything. Now I have tons to do but physically feel too weak.And it is a funny kind of weak -really hrd to explain.Like a balloon with all the air gone.Finally b4 xmas he said I prob have fatigue syndrome. Now im in turnmoil! Sometimes i feel like its maybe all in my head. I have became very sharp tempered , easily irritable and even people who have known me for years have noticed how bloody crabbit I am ! I always thought people with ME could not really walked, I have this image of people with walking sticks hardly able to move. Im not like that just weak feeling, exhausted , mostly having to sleep all day. I apolgys for my sterotype image of ME to sufferers.Because I am still able to be mobile I keep thinking I should be able to snap out of it.It would be great if someone who has experience of ME could give me some advice. Thankyou.
  • Hiya,
    I have had M.E. or CFS or whatever tag anyone feels like using on that day!! for about 7 years.

    Although I would struggle to describe many of my symptoms, reading your post brought a chuckle as you are describing me ;). My memory is not brill, which is why I struggle to describe the symptoms, and I am happy to ignore them when they aren't there!!

    My downward cycle probably lasted about 18months, and at the worst, I couldn't make it up the stairs without stopping for a rest at least once. I am not as bad now, but if I overdo things I can end up bed bound for a day, two at the most.

    The upwards cycle is very slow going, and getting slower, but it's in the right direction, so who's complaining ;D ;D

    i proved positive for having had glandular fever, which was one of the factors in my diagnosis. I managed to work out when the glandular fever had occured, by deciding it must have been the time when i felt most ill! But I had recently started a new job, and worked through it, I'm sure I didn't do myself any favours there.

    I'm now in the position where I can't have a proper job as I am unable to say when and for how long I will feel okay (and, actually I'd rather remain at a constant okay-ish than have the severe ups and downs doing too much causes). But the DSS don't believe that so I am not entitled to incapacity benefit. Incidentally, I was told in the process of tribunal that if I claimed for depression I would have probably won the case. Great isn't it. For IB, you are 'awarded' points for your inability to do certain tasks. Answering for a bad day, I was on about 3 times the number of points needed to claim, for physical problems. I didn't claim any mental points as I luckily don't suffer depression (although I do get very down sometimes-not the same thing). The DSS awarded me no points for physical problems (no, none at all, there's a joke) and 1 point for mental problems.

    Roughly translated.....it's all in my mind >:(. Now, why didn't I realise that and save everyone the trouble! :-X

    In the time I have been on this site, I have received pms from people with M.E., which are always helpful because it makes me realise I'm not alone after all! PM me if you want a chat, or just feel like ranting on for a bit. As more people notice this thread, you'll prob see them post similar stories. And then I'll prob notice things in their posts that I'd forgotten about!!

    I hope you haven't got M.E., but if you have, you will learn to manage your life in a way that is best for you. And I, and others, will help you. you might not feel like it at times, but I have really found it helpful just talking to others in the same position as me, and these forums are great for that.
    *** Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly ***

    If I don't reply to you, I haven't looked back at the thread.....PM me :)
  • Cat72Cat72 Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Thankyou so much for your reply, it was really good to hear of your experiences. Your first few lines made me laugh and definately struck a cord. ;D
    Im really sorry about the Dss its awful the way you get treated by them. I am in a slightly similar positon as was dismissed from my job last september and realise that I am not able to work. ( this is killing me as I have always been a work acholic ! ). My income has dropped dramartically and i am really struggling financially. However I am luckier than you that I am getting invalidity benefit ,for the moment, but they keep sending me in forms + they are sending me for their medical soon.People who are ill, especially with illness made worse with stress ( me , depression) really do not need the hassle of all the questions + fear of poverty. Money worries just make it a lot worse. With my depression I have always been able to work - I have never really been off work ill - but now it is impossible. Who is going to hire someone who does not know if they can make it out of bed from one day to the next. So I hope something works out for you, but realistically you should not have to be proving your ill. Its a disgrace that you had to go to a tribinal.
    Can I ask how you found out you had ME and how it was diagnosed ?
  • elonaelona Forumite
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    Cat72

    I know this is a long shot but the exhaustion you mention really strikes a chord with me, especially feeling down BECAUSE you are exhausterd not vice versa.

    After years of feeling awful I saw a different doctor who did blood tests which showed I was hypothyroid and although it took at least a year to get medication to the correct level - I now feel much better both physically and emotionally.

    It is more unusual for men to be hypothyroid but it might be worth getting a book from the library and seeing what you think.

    When I first read up on it I was a textbook case and could not beleive it had taken so long to find out what was wrong.
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  • Cat72Cat72 Forumite
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    thanks Elona for your reply. I am not exactly sure how hyperthroid effects someone.However my doctor finally decided in December to treat me to pratically every blood test he could think off and hyperthroid was one off them. I tested negative for everything.! I am glad that you finally found out what was wrong with you and are now feeling better. I think not knowing makes things a lot worse. But I am glad you posted here as probably a lot of people with hyperthroid will be able to relate  + gives them a chance to discuss it , especially since its not that common.
    Good luck for the future  ;D
  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
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    Proinflammatory cytokine levels in hyperthyroidism.


    Will try and devote more time to this thread tomorrow but I do find reading these metabolism research abstracts very hard going. The more I read though the more convinced I am that Omega 3's and Carnitine supplementation provide a moderating effect on brain metabolism.

    Urinary excretion of carnitine in patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism: augmentation by thyroid hormone.

    A further link for those with thyroid problems Major Revision of Hypothyroid Diagnosis Guidelines for those who want to know where to get Natural thyroid mention in the article can ask Dr. Mansfield who I know used to supply it
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
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