C4a Levels - Has anyone been able to lower these??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Chootik, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Chootik

    Chootik New Member

    Hi Everyone.

    I just tested really high > 20,000 for C4a levels, my C3a level was normal.

    I know there have been discussions on this board about the C4a level but I haven't been able to find anyone who was able to lower their C4a level.

    I know it's either Lyme, Mold or some other infection that is causing the elevated level and it's an inflamatory response that totally messing my body up!

    I would love to hear from people who have dealt with this and what results they got? How did they go about identifying which infection they had or if it was a Mold issue?

    Thanks a bunch.

  2. Lono83

    Lono83 New Member

    Here are some of the things that I've heard people have had success with re: lowering C4a - mold avoidance, antibiotic treatments, Procrit (I believe only Dr. Shoemaker uses this).

    My opinion is that there's not a great way to know whether the high C4a is being caused by an infection (things like AIDS and Lyme have been shown to increase C4a) or mold exposure. Dr. Shoemaker purports to be able to differentiate ( see http://www.biotoxin.info/shoemakerblog/viewtopic.php?t=4 ); as far as I know he'd the only Dr. who looks at this, so I don't know whether he's correct or not. I think all you can do is try to treat a number of different things and see if there's improvement.

    You should also get your TGF-Beta1 tested. If that's high then you'll want to pay attention to it and try and get it lower. Also, what are your vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) levels? If these are normal, and if you don't have any of the HLA genotypes that Shoemaker pays attention to, then from patient reports I've heard, it seems easier to get improvements.

    My C4a is quite high, over 15k, and I haven't had luck getting it down over the last year. I probably have some mold exposure at my job, but it's not really feasible at the moment to get different employment. I also might have a persistent infection, but there's nothing I really trust that can prove this definitely.

    A couple other things you can do right now -- chances are your sleep is messed up. Do what you have to do to get decent sleep. I have to take a sleeping pill every night which I hate but if I didn't my fatigue would be much worse. Are you having digestion problems with gluten? That's very common. Try eliminating it from your diet to see if it makes a difference. I also have problems with casein (from dairy) but that doesn't seem to be as common. A number of folks have also had improvements with low dose naltrexone. None of these things will make you completely better, but they might help you improve some.
  3. Chootik

    Chootik New Member

    Sorry for the late reply.

    Thanks for the great info. I had read about some of the stuff you mentioned in your response, but so far I have not tested any of them! I'm not sure what the relevance of the MMP and VIP and the others is but will do some research to see what I find.

    I think it's really hard like you mentioned to know for sure what's causing the high inflamation. I even read that if you have Hashimotos, which I do, that can elevate the C4a levels or even Lupus. So I'm going to a Rhumatologist soon to rule out Lupus. I'm also going back to the Dr. to have him test me for all these things you mentioned! I know inflamation is a big thing for me, I am getting brown age spots all over my body! It's scary, the Doc told me I'm getting DNA damage and don't even know where it's coming from!!

    So did you test positive for the above markers? Are you now avoiding Gluten and Casein? Did you try Choestromyin? Any change??

    I tested for Gluten and I was negative!! But I'm avoiding it for a while just to see if it makes a difference.

    Let me ask you, could there be no infection or mold or anything that is causing the inflamation. Could it be that initially an infection happened then it went away but the immune system is still on alert and it's not stepping down?

    Just my thoughts...

    Please keep in touch and let me know how you're doing. I'll do the same, maybe we can figure out something together.

  4. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    I didn't even know what a C4a level WAS so I did a quick search and found this


    Interesting that you mentioend it might be Lyme? Maybe a Lyme disease forum might be able to better help you as far as that goes; I had no idea it could potentially help in diagnosis. There's a great one at LymeNet that you might can post to and ask people about.

  5. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    I can relate to what you are saying so much, JAM, an dI just wanted to give you a hug


    Maybe you can try olive leaf extract, it's given me back the ability to think, at least

    not a cure but it's the only thing that helps me cognitively; also helps me treat infections when I cannot tolerate other things, like now. i really think the only reason it'st he ONLY thing to help me after all these years is that it's an anti-retroviral.

    been on it six years and wouldn't go without it; can't drive without it (as I imagine you are, right now--too cognitively impared to drive, as well as other things... that's how I am whenever I stop this herb, within five or so days I "go back" to being unable to comprehend, cotton brain, no memory, etc)

    just trying ot be of help

  6. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Wow, I understand what you mean about a phone call being overwhelming. Even being on the phone for 10 or so minutes, my temperature jumps to 99.5 just from the exertion! Feel like I have the flu afterwards, sore throat and dizzy... It's unbelievable. =(

    And of course: For the M.E. I took 300 mg, twice a day, for about four years.

    Now that I have more infections (lyme, etc.) I need to take more, so now I take 500mg, two or three times a day, WITH FOOD. (They did a study that showed taking OLE on an empty stomach, it only lasts an hour because the stomach acid ruins its potency. If you eat first, it lasts up to 12 hours. Big difference!)

    Be sure whatever you buy:
    (1) is standardized to at least 20% oleuropein,
    (2) doesn't contain cellulose in the fillers, and
    (3) is olive leaf EXTRACT and not just the leaf

    =) I really hope it can give you even a FRACTION of the improvement it gave me, cognitively. It took about two weeks to work, and made me feel worse at first (because it kills pathogens and thus can cause a die-off), but I would lose my will to live, without it.
  7. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Hi JAM: I've made a new post for us on the forums, here


    As it seem we really did "highjack" the thread! :) Sorry Chootik!

    I AM getting my C4C profile; if that includes a C4a count, I will come back and post my results, even if they may not be significant, as JAM said, they can be a decent number and one can still be severely ill, so their true value might be overated. ?

  8. StevenSponaugle

    StevenSponaugle New Member

    We have seen C4A in the range of 20,000 normalize with megadose intravenous Vitamin C. C3A also normalized with intravenous Vitamin C megadose. IV Vitamin C can destroy the Borrelia Lyme spirochete.

    Escaping toxic mold exposure and binding mold toxins with Cholestyramine or activated charcoal can also lower excess C4A.

    Elevated C3A and C4A are highly sensitive indicators of early Lyme Disease, but also frequently elevate with mold neurotoxicity.

    The urine mycotoxin test has been available from Real Time Lab, www.realtimelab.com, since last fall. It measures trichothecene, ochratoxin and 4 aflatoxins. Some health insurance plans now cover the Real Time Lab urine mycotoxin tests. A Physician needs to order the test. About 90 percent of urine mycotoxin tests we send to Real Time Lab test positive, compared to about 10 percent of tests sent by other Physicians.

    Urine mycoptoxin testing eliminates much of the uncertainty of biotoxic illness diagnosis - Lyme Disease does not produce urine mycotoxins. We use most of the tests in the appendix of Mold Warriors, to decide who has mold neurotoxicity. Urine mycotoxin testing is validating the sick building syndrome case definition published by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker.

    Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2008;146:255-261 (DOI: 10.1159/000116362)

    Vol. 146, No. 3, 2008

    Original Paper

    Complement Split Products C3a and C4a Are Early Markers of Acute Lyme Disease in Tick Bite Patients in the United States
    Ritchie C. Shoemakera, Patricia C. Giclasb, Chris Crowderc, Dennis Housea, M. Michael Glovskyd

    aCenter for Research on Biotoxin Associated Illnesses, Pocomoke, Md.,
    bPediatrics Department, Allergy and Immunology Division, National Jewish Medical and Research Center and NJC Clinical Reference Laboratories, Denver, Colo.,
    cDepartment of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California Irvine, Irvine, Calif., and
    dDepartment of Immunology, Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., USA

    Address of Corresponding Author

    Background: Current laboratory markers do not readily detect acute Lyme disease. We assessed the utility of complement and its split products as markers of Lyme disease in patients shortly after a tick bite. Methods: Thirty-one consecutive acute Lyme disease patients, 14 with and 17 without erythema migrans (EM) skin rash, seen by a physician within 96 h of a tick bite were matched with 24 consecutive tick bite patients without Lyme disease symptoms and 46 healthy control subjects. Complement and split products measured included factor B, Bb, C4, C3c, C3ades Arg, C4ades Arg, C1q- and C3d-containing immune complexes, and C2. Results: C2, C4, C3 and factor B levels were within normal ranges in all groups. C3a and C4a levels were significantly higher in acute Lyme disease patients than in tick bite and healthy control groups (both p < 0.001). All acute Lyme disease patients, regardless of EM, had elevated levels of C3a or C4a. Few tick bite controls had elevated levels of C3a (2/20) or C4a (5/24) and only 1 of the healthy control subjects had elevated C3a (0/46) or C4a (1/32). Conclusions: These findings suggest that C3a and C4a may be useful markers of Lyme disease in patients seen shortly after tick bite, even in those without EM.

    Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

    I have some intravenous Vitamin C case histories at my wordpress blog

    [This Message was Edited on 09/25/2010]
  9. Lono83

    Lono83 New Member

    Elevated C4a can be caused by a number of different things. Lyme and mold illness were mentioned above, but there's also -

    1. Multiple sclerosis. See the recent article: Elevated plasma C4a levels in multiple sclerosis correlate with disease activity. Ingram et al. Journal of neuroimmunology [0165-5728] yr: 2010 vol: 223 iss: 1-2.

    2. Dr. Shoemaker has an upcoming paper showing elevated C4a levels in patients with chronic ciguatera illness. See --Defining the neurotoxin derived illness chronic ciguatera using markers of chronic systemic inflammatory disturbances: A case/control study. Shoemaker. Neurotoxicology and teratology [0892-0362] yr: 2010.

    3. Lupus - see -- C4a anaphylatoxin levels as an indicator of disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Wild et al. Clinical and experimental immunology [0009-9104] yr: 1990 vol: 80 iss: 2 pg: 167

    4. Elevated C4a levels in AIDS patients were reported in -- Complement split products C3a and C4a in chronic Lyme disease. Stricker et al. Scandinavian journal of immunology [0300-9475] yr: 2009 vol: 69 iss: 1.

    I believe discovering elevated C4a is an important finding, but elevated cytokines or immune activity often doesn't point to a specific cause.

    I've never heard about C4a being lowered by Vitamin C. I hope that this can be published/reported in the medical literature, so patients can be more confident that Vitamin C is causing C4a to be lowered and not something else. Also, it doesn't seem plausible that Vitamin C would lower C4a in AIDS, Lupus or MS patients, but if there is evidence to the contrary I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it.

  10. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi Chootik,

    I think getting an HLA-DR test through LabCorp is a good way to get a hint about what might be causing your C4a level to be high.

    Or if you know you've been bitten by a tick or have been exposed to a moldy building, that's another good hint.

    My understanding of C4a levels is that they react very quickly to one's environment, if they are caused by environmental factors. I have heard that a mold toxin sensitive person can walk into a bad building and experience elevated C4a levels in a matter of minutes.

    I think my C4a levels are lower since I've been practicing mold avoidance. I should get them tested again at my next annual check-up.

  11. ulala

    ulala New Member

    e-mailed to me by Help ME Circle on Sept. 23, 2010 entitled

    "1st International Workshop on XMRV
    Pathogenesis, Clinical and Public Health
    Implications," e-mailed to me by Help ME Circle on Sept. 23, 2010.

    C4a and elastase activity were significantly higher in
    the XMRV positive CFS population

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