I've been reading a book about the immune system, which is slightly frustrating since it keeps talking about how "mysterioius" NK Cells are. (No wonder we're not getting anywhere, if nobody understands the bodily function that's at the root of our problem. But never mind.) I also looked up some info in our archives about people who have had NKC activity measured. The ranges of the five people who answered one post were between 3 and 15. Mine is 4. The norm is supposed to be 19 or higher. I think maybe that if there's a high level of viral activity, it would be expected that NK Cells become more active in order to help out. (Apparently NK Cell activation of 50 or higher is considered well within range.) My tests show a huge amount of interferon alpha-serum, which I think is supposed to be telling the NK Cells that there is problem and that they need to wake up. Obviously my NK Cells either are totally deaf or are _dead_ asleep, since they're not responding to the alarm clock. I'm getting a little off track though. My basic question is this: Most of us with CFS seem to have low NKC activation. I wonder if this was true before we "got sick" though. Possibility 1: Something happened during that pivotal moment in our lives that encouraged NK Cells to go dormant permanently. (I'm not sure what that thing would have been.) Possibility 2: Our NK Cells were always less activated than they should be, but that in the first part of our lives other parts of the immune system compensated for deficit. However, at some point, our bodies weakened substantially to the point where lots of stuff was able to sneak in under the radar. Since NK Cells are especially good at seeking out invaders (maybe even when they're hiding), perhaps our problem is that we have since been unable to ditch our deep-seated viral problems in the way that other people with normal NK Cells would. ** I like Possibility 2 a lot more. Maybe it's the case that people can function okay for long periods of time with "lazy" NK Cells as long as huge amounts of infestations has not _already_ occurred. If so, then maybe if we could get rid of the stuff that's already in there with anti-virals and then try very hard not to let our bodies get that stressed again, we could go back to doing okay again. For example, one of the reports in the archives cited an FFC nurse who--I guess just for fun--had her NK Cell levels tested and found that they were about at my very low level. That nurse was feeling perfectly fine, without any CFS treatments. The argument was made that since that was the case, NK Cell activation is a red herring (e.g. doesn't matter much). But if Possibility 2 is correct, what it actually should mean is that the nurse should be really careful not to stress herself too much, since otherwise she will end up in the same quagmire as us. Despite things like larch bark (Ambrotose) and mushrooms (ImmPower), I don't see anything on the horizon that's going to bring our NK Cell activity up to normal. I thus hope it's possible for us to figure out a way to become healthy even though the NK Cell activity remains broken. If it's true that we were healthy during the first part of our lives even though the NK Cell activation was low, I feel much more encouraged. Comments???? On another front, if we did have low NK Cell counts before "getting sick," that would suggest that CFS could be predicted in healthy people just by doing the test. This would be useful since perhaps such individuals would be able to prevent becoming actively ill by taking preventive measures.....in my case, avoiding getting the head injury or resting more afterwards or not getting pregnant when I was still recovering from it, or giving my body some sort of special support when these things happened. If I had children, I would want to test them for NK Cell activity.....unless someone told me for sure that NK Cell activity becomes screwed up at a particular point in time rather than is innately screwed up, of course. Maybe someone has the answers to these questions and my theorizing is just wasting time. If people do have the answers they don't seem to be sharing, though. I'm not getting into the other identified CFS immune problem, Rnase, of course. The immune system component works as a team, but starting with main effects and then moving to interactions seems a lot less confusing than trying to understand the whole thing at once.