How Many Think Allergies are a big culprit for this DD?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Empower, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I am beginning to think my allergies play a HUGE role in how I feel, but don't know how

    This week, I felt pretty good...Then today WHAM feel awful

    Bad headache, allergies terrible, hurt all over, tired, tired tired

    Could allergies make you hurt all over?
  2. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I know the feeling and I too thought it could be allergies. So went to an immunologist well once again, my test were negative.

    I stay congested, ache all over, extreme fatigue ears feel full, ring 24/7 sinus problems etc. In fact there are times I actually think I am dying but guess its this darn CFS.

    Yes, allergies can make you ache so I have heard.

    When you find out the cause please let me know.

    God BLess,
  3. justjanelle

    justjanelle New Member

    are more a *result* of the DD (FM in my case) than a cause of it.

    Just my opinion, though.

    Best wishes,
  4. KerryK

    KerryK Member

    I think there is a pretty good case to be made that there is a common root to both FM and allergies or chronic rhinosinusitis as nasal problems seem to be quite a common feature of people suffering FM and CFS. My nasal issues deprive me of considerable sleep, leaving tired most days.
  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I think the allergies, which are basically food intolerances, are an indication that digestion is not functioning and needs to be fixed. The prime culprits are dairy and wheat, and to be more exact it's the gluten from the wheat and the casein from the dairy, both proteins. They are very hard for even a properly working digestive system to break down. When they aren't broken down properly, they confuse the immune system and make you hypoersensitive to other allergens like cats and pollen.

    That's why many people can give up dairy (all milk, cheese, ice cream, cream, butter and anything with even a smidgen of dairy in it) and they automatically cure them sinus and hay fever problems. But it takes several weeks to months to get the dairy out of your system completely if you've been on it for awhile. It's mostly the pasteurization and homogenization processes that alter the milk protein and make it so foreign to the immune system that it thinks it's an invader rather than just an undigested food particle.

    If you keep on eating them, they will eventually start doing damage inside the intestines and then you have worse problems that sneezing and itching - nutritional deficiencies, liver congestion, and that they may cause pain wouldn't surprise me at all.

    Everything I've read about cfs and fibro says give up wheat and dairy, they will keep you sick. Look into gut dysbiosis, it's a good bet that's part of the digestion problem.

    I know giving up dairy is hard, but I've already proven to myself that to get better, I had to give it up. It isn't a rare thing, look at Asians - they can't have dairy at all. We've just been marketed to by greedy companies that have found out the best foods to appeal to us and to get us to give in to temptation. Who can watch a Dairy Queen commercial without drooling? You just have to put it out of your mind. Substitute nut milks for dairy - you can even make ice cream out of them.

    Nuts work as dairy regarding "eating satisfaction" because they are full of fat and protein just like dairy is and so they are filling you up in the same satisfying way. Get the stuff at the health food store. It's expensive, but when you see what it's like, then you can go about making it yourself. And you don't have to worry about hormones and antibiotics and all the other gross things that end up in milk.

    I used to know a guy who worked at a dairy, and he told me he's never drinking milk again after that. He said they use these automatic milkers on the cow's teats and they just have to attach them and they do all the milking. Of course, we've all heard that.

    But what we haven't heard is that once in awhile, they fall off and start sucking up what is on the floor, which is cow pee, poo, vomit and whatever else is on the floor. There is someone there watching, and eventually they make it over there and reattach the unit, and there IS a small screen to keep out solid objects, but you can just imagine the filth on that floor the cows are standing on and it gets into the milk. But I guess pasteurized filth is harmless, right? So enjoy your next Dairy Queen dessert, now that you're clear on what's in it! hehehe - you shouldn't be eating it anyway!
  6. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    for reminding me about inflammation. When my doc first got my stool analysis results, he said one of my biggest problems was inflammation and one of the first things he put me on was some enzymes designed to combat inflammation. It was something called Beta TCP and another called Bromelain Plus CLA. I took 15 a day of the Beta and 12 a day of the Bromelain for about 2 weeks and then cut back to 9 and 6, respectively. We added some other things, but he said inflammation was a really big deal that had to be dealt with. It can even cause gallbladder problems because the ducts are inflamed along with everything else.

    This was the article he sent me about inflammation:

    Systemic or chronic inflammation is the result of a domino effect that can seriously undermine your health. So how does it all begin?

    The immune system and the inflammation response

    Many experts now see inflammation as arising from an immune system that’s out of control. When you catch a cold or sprain your ankle, your immune system switches into gear. Infection or injury triggers a chain of events called the inflammatory cascade. The familiar signs of normal inflammation ­ fever, pain, swelling ­ are the first signals that your immune system is being called into action.

    In a delicate balance of give-and-take, inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue. These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in to begin the healing process once the threat is neutralized.

    Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system. But symptoms of inflammation that don’t recede tell you that your immune system switch is stuck on high alert ­ even when you aren’t in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just won’t shut off.

    Chronic inflammation and its roots in the digestive system

    At our medical practice we are convinced that the seeds of chronic inflammation (and a lot of other health issues) start with the gut. Two-thirds of the body’s defenses reside in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract ­ yet it is often the last place traditional practitioners look.

    Intestinal bloating, frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation, gas and pain, and heartburn and acid reflux are early signs of an inflamed digestive tract. It’s not surprising that your immune system clicks into hyperdrive in your digestive tract first ­ it was designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria in your food before they infect your body. It has to glean the wheat from the chaff: taking sustenance from the food you eat and ridding your body of the rest.

    And we give our digestive systems plenty of work. Our evolution from the hunter-gatherer diet to convenience and fast food has overwhelmed our metabolism and GI tract. The deck is now stacked in inflammation’s favor. The modern diet has the wrong ratio of fatty acids (omega-3, -6, and -9), too much sugar and carbs, and high levels of wheat, dairy and other common allergens.

    Foods that cause inflammation

    Most polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy, are high in linoleic acid, an omega–6 fatty acid that the body converts into arachidonic acid, another omega–6 fatty acid that has a predominantly pro-inflammatory influence. These same oils contain almost no omega–3’s (found rich supply in coldwater fish, phytoplankton, and flaxseed), which soothe inflammation. Our prehistoric ancestors ate a diet with an omega–6 to omega–3 ratio of 1:1. Our current ratio is anywhere between 10:1 and 25:1!

    Tips for Personal Program Success

    Warm up, cool down. Be sure to give yourself at least 5 minutes on either end of your workout to get your muscles loosened up. This helps prevent injuries, feels great, and helps your muscles elongate and restore balance.

    For most people, high-carb, low-protein diets are inflammatory. We’ve seen repeatedly that low-carb diets reduce inflammation for most women. But you need to listen to your own body and carefully observe which foods fuel inflammation for you. (You may also want to take a look at our section on diet and nutrition.)

    Refined sugar and other foods with high glycemic values jack up insulin levels and put the immune system on high alert. (The glycemic index measures the immediate impact of a food on blood sugar levels; surges of blood sugar trigger the release of insulin.) Short-lived hormones inside our cells called eicosanoids act as pro- or anti-inflammatory compounds depending on their type. Eicosanoids become imbalanced ­ i.e., skewed toward the pro-inflammatory ­ when insulin levels are high. As if this weren’t enough, high insulin levels activate enzymes that raise levels of arachidonic acid in our blood.

    There’s also a complicated interaction between the inflammatory messengers, cytokines and prostaglandins, and insulin and glucose levels. In some cases, depending on what other stressors come into play, insulin inhibits the inflammatory agents and in other cases it fuels them. Studies are currently underway to unravel the links between obesity and type 2 diabetes and this mechanism, so stay tuned.

    Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and grains, respectively) are quick to spark the inflammatory cascade. Anyone suffering from celiac disease knows how inflammatory wheat can be. Foods high in trans fats create LDL’s, or “bad cholesterol,” which feeds inflammation in the arteries. Trans fats also create renegade cells called free radicals that damage healthy cells and trigger inflammation.

    So the first step in cooling inflammation on a cellular level is to pay attention to your diet, in particular your glycemic load (a measure of the glycemic index and amount of a food), essential fatty acid intake and food sensitivities. As we get older, foods that never bothered us before, like dairy and wheat, may trigger chronic low-grade indigestion (or other seemingly minor symptoms) that put our immune system on guard ­ with other inflammatory symptoms to follow. Probiotics (supplements of the “good” bacteria that support healthy digestion) have been proven to be as effective in treating symptoms of IBS as medications like Zelnorm and Lotronex.

    If you think you might have food sensitivity, we recommend going on an elimination diet for two weeks to see how you feel. You may find that avoiding certain foods restores more than your digestive health.

    But your digestive tract is only the beginning of the story. Let’s take a look at some other causes of chronic inflammation.

    Inflammation and menopause

    Changing levels of estrogen have a supporting role to play in age-related inflammation. We still don’t understand the connection, but it appears that a decrease in estrogen corresponds with a rise in the cytokines interleukin-1 and interleukin-6. This changes the rate at which new bone is formed, a leading indicator of osteoporosis.

    We suspect that before menopause the balance of hormones has a calming effect on inflammation, but hormones work on so many levels that it is difficult to identify the exact process. What we do know is that symptoms of chronic inflammation become more apparent during and after menopause.

    The hormonal changes leading up to menopause also contribute to weight gain. And there is clear evidence that extra fat cells, especially around the middle of the body, add to systemic inflammation by creating extra cytokines and C-reactive protein. Just one more reason to lose those extra pounds!

    Environmental causes of inflammation

    I once walked into a giant office supply store and within two minutes I had a numbing headache, my eyes were swimming and my throat felt dry and tight ­ typical signs of an allergic response. I noticed an odor and asked the checkout clerk what it was. He didn’t know, but when I told him how I felt, he said he went home with a headache everyday ­ and often a bloody nose!

    Synthetic fibers, latex, glues, adhesives, plastics, air fresheners, cleaning products ­ these are just some of the many chemicals we are exposed to everyday. Many of us work in hermetically sealed office buildings with re-circulated air which increases our exposure.

    Sick buildings make sick people. As do pesticides, pollution and heavy metals. Lead and mercury are just two of the 30 heavy metals in our environment that our bodies have to process. And these toxins are in everything: our drinking water, our food, even our breast milk. Many of these chemicals are fat-soluble (meaning they are stored in fat) and accumulate in our bodies until they reach toxic levels. Chemical sensitivity is just the most visible end of the spectrum.

    Constant exposure to noxious chemicals and airborne irritants ­ even if it’s a low dose ­ makes your immune system crazy. Some people are naturally better detoxifiers and can withstand more exposure before they have symptoms. Others need more support. Learning as much as you can about the products you use, the buildings you live in and the water you drink is crucial to preventing or fighting inflammation.

    Psychological stress ­ cortisol and inflammation

    Have you ever had a panic attack? Woken from a scary dream in a cold sweat with your heart pounding? These are vasoreactions initiated by a perceived threat that dilates your blood vessels ­ just like inflammation. Wider capillaries mean more blood and nutrients to your organs to better ward off an attack or deal with a situation. This “fight or flight” response is orchestrated by your adrenals and triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

    Cortisol directly influences your insulin levels and metabolism. It also plays a role in chronic inflammation and your immune system ­ but again more research is needed to understand the mechanism. I’m sure you’ve seen this relationship in your own life: how many times have you worked endless hours only to go on vacation and get sick? Your body is good at keeping a lid on things, but it can’t do it forever. Coping with persistent stress takes a steady toll on your immune system, your adrenals and your central nervous system.

    Your body reacts to stressors universally, whether they are biological or psychological. The more acute the threat feels, the more dramatic the response will be. With inflammation, painful emotional baggage is as incendiary as physical stress. Think about asthma. An emotional shock will trigger an attack in some people as often as physical exertion or an allergen.

    Thoughts and internalized feelings are very powerful ­ and they manifest themselves physically all the time with symptoms of inflammation. Stress makes your skin break out. Your intestines go into revolt during a painful break-up. But the good news is your feelings can ­ and should ­ be enlisted as allies in the healing process.

    To demonstrate this to a patient, I’ll ask her to stand up and extend an arm. I tell her to think of a safe, happy thought and resist while I press down on her arm. Despite any size difference, I usually can’t get her arm to budge. Then I tell her to do the same thing and think of a painful memory. Without fail I can press her arm down to her side. That’s one reason affirmations have such positive effects.

    With all the other factors contributing to inflammation, coping with stress and emotional pain is often overlooked ­ but it’s really important. And it can play a big part in restoring your immune system’s balance before it gets overloaded.

    Why chronic inflammation is on the rise

    Our bodies weren’t designed for modern life. We’re sitting ducks to a daily barrage of toxins, infectious agents and stress, seen and unseen. This kind of demand requires a lot of support to maintain your immune’s system resilience. Our go-go lifestyle just doesn’t make room unless we pay attention ­ to everything: what we breathe, eat, drink and absorb and feel. It all has a pro- or anti-inflammatory effect, and for most of us, the factors are skewed toward inflammation.

    Well-documented reports prove that depression and stress in men are linked to a rise in the inflammatory markers, such as CRP, signaling an increased risk for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). One study showed that a depressive state increases the odds of developing CHD by 50%.

    Although this report focused on men, it’s sensible to assume that women have a similar biochemical response to depression and stress. And one thing is certain about society today: we appear to be more stressed and depressed than ever.

    While the incidence of inflammation and inflammatory disease is rising in all developed countries, it’s important to remember that each of us has an individual response to the stressors in our life. Some of that unique response is determined by genetics. But much of it is within our control ­ if we understand how our choices affect our health.

    You can see that controlling chronic inflammation takes a combination approach because it arises from a combination of causes.

    Research and biochemistry are only useful if the results of research result in a resolution of a person's problem. Taking a test and interpreting the results of a test is what the bottom line is.

  7. ulala

    ulala New Member

    Thanks for posting this. I always enjoy, and learn so mcuh from your postings. I hope you're feeling great!

    Best wishes!
  8. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    Dr. James Baraniuk from Georgetown University has found a correlation to allergies and CFIDS.

    Not a cause but a correlation. Makes sense, immune dysfunction.

  9. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    I think allergies go a long way to exacerbating this condition but I do not think they cause it.

    There are a lot of things that make this DD worse but don't necessarily cause it. However, you will obviously feel better if you get treatment or take care of these other issues.