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Auto-inflammatory diseases – What can they tell us about ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Immune: Autoimmune and Mast Cell Disorders' started by Woolie, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Jonathan Edwards

    Sorry to trouble you. That response is very interesting. I suspect most of us who have been referred to specialists will, at some time, have been asked whether parents or siblings have suffered from anything similar, and will generally have answered "no".

    Do you think that your response has implications for the question that should be put? Could having a parent with, say, ankylosing spondylitis, increase ones risk for developing an idiopathic ME type illness, and should the possibly relevant conditions be specified? I suspect that most patients would not realise that AS in a parent might be relevant to the answer.
     
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  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think it all becomes too speculative to link a relative with AS to ME. But it would be an interesting epidemiological question as to whether there was a familial link.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  3. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    That was actually incredibly clear - and useful @Jonathan Edwards.

    I was confused about those diseases that are sort of in the middle of the spectrum, like Crohn's.

    I recently got diagnosed with one of those hereditary autoinflammatory diseases you mentioned above (won't say which one). But a lot of my symptoms are not typical ME ones. I have severe flu-like episodes where I'm bedridden and burning, but historically, I've been asymptomatic in between episodes (its less clear cut now I'm in my 50s). I've also never had a problem with brain fog. Headaches that kill, burning head, but never brain fog.

    I have the blood markers you mentioned and a few more, but most of these only appear during episodes. And I never knew any of this till a few months ago.

    My diagnosis of CFS in the early 90s (when autoinflammatory diseases were largely unknown) shut down medical investigation into my condition for nearly 30 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm glad you are looking into this further and I hope your doctors are being thorough now and taking it seriously. I agree that a "CFS" diagnosis (at least in the US) tends to shut down further investigation unless you really advocate, get multiple opinions, and never stop looking.
     
  5. Louie41

    Louie41 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you, @Woolie, for this interesting, informative and clear post.
     
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  6. Josie

    Josie Established Member

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    I sometimes take hydrocortisone and 10-15 mg already brought some relief to calm inflammation down. But only when I am very calm, no physical excertion. Its interesting that paradix stress response.
    I guess adrenaline and cortisol dampen inflammation and thats why I feel better with stress. I dont have these nasty flu like limb pain then. By the way, ibuprofen helps too.
    Its strange that my interleukines look so normal, I dont know for what inflammatory makers to watch out, because I guess when cortisone & ibuprofen helps, there must be some kind of inflammtion. Probably triggered by mast cells, but not 100% sure about this.

     
  7. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    @Josie, that's a really low dose of hydrocortisone, so I wouldn't expect it to give you a great deal of relief. Interesting that it gives you some, though. Just to give you a point of comparison: When in a bad crash, I used to get some relief from 40mg of prednisone daily, which is roughly equivalent to 160mg of HC (it no longer works for me, I think I've got worse).

    I thought your IL-beta looked a little on the high side? Maybe worth getting that checked again?

    Most of the markers in my blood are only evident when I'm at my worst, so that's worth bearing in mind, too. Could be worth getting retested during your next major crash?

    It now appears that weird stuff had been coming up in my blood tests for years, and everyone was just dismissing it as "she's probably just got a bit of an infection right now". So good that you're reading and keeping track of your own tests.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  8. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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    @Woolie - out of interest, are the doctors now thinking you don’t have/have never had ME, now that you have an alternative diagnosis?
     
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  9. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    Good question. None of my doctors has commented and I haven't asked (who even knows how seriously they took the ME diagnosis in the first place?). But I know what I think. All my symptoms - past and present - seem consistent with my new diagnosis. So yes, I suppose I never had "ME".

    But then maybe none of us really "has ME"? We each have some unknown disease (with some common symptoms), but until that disease is known, we call it ME?

    It doesn't make sense to me to give people a dual diagnosis disease X and ME. Not if disease X could plausibly account for all their symptoms. So, broken leg and ME, that sounds fine. Because a broken leg couldn't reasonably be expected to cause prolonged fatigue, brain fog and PEM. But MS and ME? That sounds bizarre. Because the MS is likely to be responsible for all the symptoms, including fatigue and PEM. Its a sort of Occam's razor situation. Don't presume a person has two concurrent, unrelated diseases at the same time, if all the symptoms are reasonably consistent with just one - not unless there's a really, really good reason.

    Anyway, that's the way I'm thinking now. I realise my judgement's affected by my recent personal experiences, though.
     
  10. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Woolie

    in https://www.s4me.info/index.php?thr...ies-would-you-test-for.1481/page-2#post-28213 , i describe a symptom profile that has massive numbers of symptoms and signs.

    i have this profile, and i believe others on this forum, perhaps 2-3 on that thread alone, possibly do also.

    most pwme with long lists likely do not list all of their symptoms for /anybody/. in my case, for health reasons, it took me from the time of discovery of xmrv to the present to compile my diagnostic story to be reasonably presentable.

    your question of occam seems highly relevant.

    @jonathanedwards 's response will take me time to go through, but he says [possibly out of context]:

    > The bottom line is that if a doctor is given a long list of symptoms they have no way of making any sense of them in terms of a recognised syndrome for which they can find evidence in the books for a cause. So the usual practice is to try to make sense of four or five major symptoms and assume that the others may be coincidental.

    which would be good to try to reconcile with occam.

    on the other hand, i have had many exposures, to pesticides, mold, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  11. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    That's an interesting thought, @Samuel. I just read over that other thread where you posted, and it seems to be presenting the opposite view from mine. That you focus on a core set of symptoms and assume any others are coincidental.

    But maybe not as different when you look more closely? What @Jonathan Edwards seems to be saying is that you can only do so much with symptom profiles. The more selective and distinct - and sparse - the symptom profile, the more useful it is in narrowing down the potential diagnoses. If the symptom profile becomes too broad, it's not so helpful in guiding that process. So then you focus on a subset of "central" symptoms.

    I could be reading more into his words than he was actually saying, though.

    I would agree with your philosopher colleague who said Occam's razor is "nice to have". Its always good to opt for the simplest explanation that fits all the facts. But you can always be wrong, it might turn out that the more complicated explanation is actually true. So Occam's razor is merely a strategy to guide our explanations when there's some uncertainty.

    So: you would need a really good reason for thinking a person has two entirely unrelated and rare diseases at once. Better to assume one disease, so long as the symptoms are broadly consistent with that. And just put the more unusual symptoms down to individual variability.

    I'm no doctor, but I'm figuring too that symptoms are a very imprecise indicator of disease, because the same disease might manifest in different symptoms in different people, and different diseases can cause the same symptoms. The most useful symptoms are those that are highly specific to a particular disease. So headache, for example, that sucks. So many causes. But pain that runs from the chest to the left arm, that's pretty useful. So you focus on the latter type of symptom.
     
  12. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    hi @Woolie,

    i can't comment on je's post much until i have the health level to go over it closely. i want to make sure i understand it.

    but fwiw, the philosopher thought occam was an /aesthetic/ rule. that's /all/ he thought of it. he didn't think it raised probability. philosophers didn't think about probability or information theory. they were big on the excluded middle, which is great for logic, but not powerful enough for the epistemology needed to do good science. so they tied themselves into knots.

    science is inductive, so you are right that complex answers are sometimes the case. occam does not make them false. but unlike the philosopher, i believe that occam says they are /less probable/, all else equal.

    in reality, it is messy. there are many considerations, including basic stuff like matching other stuff we think we know in science.

    btw samuel's law, in old posts on my blog, is related. the general version states that any theory about anything must fit the facts. the specific version applies to inferences drawn from only a limited range of severity levels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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