So here's a question regarding Lyme percentages

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by foggyfroggy, May 11, 2008.

  1. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    Here's a weird question for those of you with a brain. ;-)


    The vast majority of CFS'ers are women.
    A high percentage of CFS is actually Lyme.

    The question is:

    Why is it that in areas such as the Northwest (where I live) there isn't more sick men? The lumber industry is still very large here and historically has been huge. I have, out of curiosity talked to a couple of timber cruisers and a logger, and all remember multiple tick bites but none of them have ever had Lyme, and none of them even KNOW any other fellow timber workers with Lyme or any mystery illness!

    How about farmers, ranchers, Park Rangers, and timber workers in say, Minnesota? Or Maine? Georgia? Why aren't there more ill men since it has historically been mens work to be 'outside'?

    Curious minds want to know. Any ideas?


    [This Message was Edited on 05/12/2008]
  2. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Women have fluctuating hormones. Many of us had dormant Borrelia until menopause or peri menopause. Childbirth was rough for me too. That's why my thryoid left the building.

    If you think about this....

    They really have not studied the mechanism that allows women to become pregnant. We can carry a baby to full term without destroying the embryo or fetus. It is not 100% our DNA so our immune system should destroy it.

    If they knew how this miracle took place they could possibly unlock many secrets about diseases in women. There is something about our makeup that allows reproduction to take place.

    Men may suffer too but they simply don't go to the doctor. They don't complain. They are taught from an early age to "buck up" and "be a man!"

    My DH was in the same tent as I was in 2001. I got bit by a tick but had pre-existing thryoid, pituitary and adrenal issues. I almost died. He never got sick. How is that possible?
  3. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    Good ideas. Kinda the same as women tending to get the auto-immune diseases more than men do.

    Then there's also the neurotransmitter thing. Why are some people with CFS helped by low dose anti-depressants, and yet Effexor nearly killed me. Literally. and at a tiny dose to boot. And I've heard other people on the board say the same thing.

    Also, how do the Methylation cycle and the Aldehyde detox cycle and the NO cycle that Dr. Pall talkes about fit in to the Lyme picture.

    Arg! Makes my brain hurt (more) just trying to figure out how these things could all relate.

    If I wasn't sick it would all be fascinating!

  4. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    I know a couple of men with lyme, and I think that denial plays a part. They just want to keep on pushing through, and don't really talk much about their symptoms. I don't mean to be stereotypical, but they do have a more "macho" attitude. In general (here I go again, generalizing) I think most men do not want to talk about their illnesses or appear "weak".

    Also, they (these couple of guys) seem to respond differently to treatment, and can tolerate the medications and herxing more "easily" than the women I know with lyme.

    Hope I didn't offend anyone with my sweeping generalizations!

  5. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    While I got a grin out of your answers, I'm not sure I buy into either of them.
    Most of the men I've known don't have any problems with admitting illness - my husband is worse than the kids when he gets the flu, or even if he gets a cold. Anyone would think he's dying!
    Also, many men do have very stressful jobs, and come home to piles of work too. Useing my long suffering husband as an example again, he gets up at 4:00, gets home at 5:00, works like a dog cooking and cleaning, taking care of kids and livestock, mowing etc and falls asleep anywhere he sits down. He works with (and I have worked with) lots of guys in similar situations. Women don't have dibs on exhaustion.

    There has to be another explanation :)
  6. highcotton

    highcotton New Member

    I've read recent studies that show men don't feel pain as intensely as women. their testosterone inhibits a protein that is related to pain.

    women have the same protein, but since we have less testosterone, we don't inhibit the protein.

    also, our hormones contribute to more immune system problems.

    also, i wonder if doctors are more reluctant to diagnose men with CFS?? Or more aggressive in finding the true etiology for men? When my hubby got Lyme, he was diagnosed and treated right away, and is healthy now. Me, i was misdiagnosed with CFS for fifteen years.

    My hubby and i went to the same PCP and got different dx.

    oh yeah -- i believe my female dog has lyme and co's. my male dog doesn't seem infected, though he is twenty years old-- he is still more energetic than she is!
    [This Message was Edited on 05/12/2008]
  7. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    Sorry about your doggy, is she being treated too? I've heard that vets are so much more open minded about Lyme.

    The thing is, I seldom hear about men who get sick like I was sick. For a few months I was one of those who lays flat in a dark silent room, being fed and bathed and having to use a commode at the side of the bed. I lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks.

    For the next 2 years I lived in bed in a very limited world. Mine is all neuro; I still have to take Lamictal, Xanax and Trazodone or I will go back into the extreme over senstivity, including seizures. I have slowly been getting better and better since then, which with Lyme wouldn't you think I'd still be getting worse? Well, I guess worse would be dead in my case.
    And yet, I have a very probably Lyme diagnosis. Go figure. Nothing makes sense at this point, that's all I know :)


    Every time I see your user name that song jumps into my head and gets stuck there for the rest of the day LOLOL!
  8. highcotton

    highcotton New Member

    there is a song in my honor. i live in a cave! how can i hear it?

    Gretchen, i'm sorry to hear how sick you've been. My first five or six years were hell -- but at least i could crawl to the bathroom and didn't have to use a porta-potty! That must have sucked.

    I'm taking my dog to the vet next week. the poor baby was covered in ticks when we got her thirteen years ago. she was tested for Lyme at the time, but now that i know that I have Lyme and Bart, I'm convinced that her lethargy, occasional irritability and perpetual shyness are caused from feeling bad all the time.
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I cannot remember where I read this, but I read some place that women naturally make far less antibodies to Lyme than men do. That would explain why most FMSers are female, if FMS is Lyme, and I think it mostly is. I did not see any explanation as to why we make less antibodies, only that we do.

    I also agree about men not being diagnosed and treated the same by doctors. My DH and I have the same PCP and the same muscle pain. I was dx'd with FMS and had to beg for small amts. of muscle relaxers. I get no pain meds. My DH was dx'd with arthritis, even though he has no joint pain, and witout even asking, was given twice as much muscle relaxer as I get, and narcotics. The kicker = our PCP is a woman.