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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Immune System: "Immunocompromised" -- "Autoimmune"

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Author Topic: Immune System: "Immunocompromised" -- "Autoimmune"
painted turtle
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Is there any research with regard to lyme and immune system?

I have heard many speak of being immunocompromised as a reason to have gotten a lyme that will not go away. What markers measure this? How does one know if they are immunocompromised?

There are theories that lyme in a chronic state is autoimmune. Is there any research about this or does anyone know about it?

From what I understand and I don't have the book, but the person who wrote "West of Jesus" believes his lyme condition is autoimmune.

Are there two forms, possibilities, or do we just not know yet?

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Posts: 855 | From United States of Mind | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DoctorLuddite
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There is lots, but little conclusion can be drawn from it. We are all born with immune systems that are capable of fighting off a fair number of immune challenges once we have successfully fought them off once, but there is a dose/response relationship that can trump our immune preparedness, in other words if you have a number of open wounds and go swimming in a culture medium loaded with clostridium tetani, you will develop tetanus despite immunizations against it, because your immune system simply cannot respond to that great a dose of the pathogen in so short a time frame.
That being said, post lyme people do have very sensitive immune systems and perhaps due to a phenomenon known as molecular mimicry, a certain stress level (emotional, physiological, metabolic, immune, or a combination of all of those) a physiological response similar to initial Lyme-immune system challenge can occur and give ones immune system the idea that the Lyme organism is present when it is actually self that is triggering that response...ie:auto immune. The trick is not to chase a phantom, but to enhance the load capacity of the individual and at the same time lower the stress level. Vitamin D is the arbiter of stress level, but few understand the intricacies of its natural function in the body. If it is low, it must be gently adjusted to normal levels.
Lower emotional stress: avoid contact with people whose prescence generates emotional chaos for you, likewise situations that induce that same chaos.
Physiological stress: avoid extremes of activities that generate this; reduce workload; bundle up when it's cold and unwrap when its warm, but do get fresh air, get a good night's sleep, don't overdo exercise, but get some even if it's just 1/2 hour of walking.
Metabolic stress: Eat a healthy diet with little to no processed food or refined sugar, but lots of fiber and water. Comfort meds will give you a period of symptom reduction, but may in the long run cause a greater detox load and hence hinder true recovery. Immune stress: take probiotics, a high quality yogurt should be sufficient but some may need supplements. Vitamin D is necessary in proper balance for immune cells to differentiate properly into their effective forms, and for those forms to perform their intended functions. Other micronutrients may be beneficial, but these, and Vitamin D for that matter, also fall under the dose/response dynamic. To little too late should be avoided, as well as too much too soon.

[ 30. January 2008, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: DoctorLuddite ]

Posts: 442 | From Biddeford, ME | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greatcod
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Is not part of the problem that our immune systems are upregulated, making antibodies to
lots of things while trying to subdue the Lyme.
I have developed numrous allergies since I got Lymesick. My sense is that what keeps us feeling so sick is our upregulated immunse systems.

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DoctorLuddite
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The bulk of lyme sufferers seem to be susceptible to a variety of opportunistic pathogens, Bart, Erlichia, yeast...to name a few, and this suggests immune suppression. Suppressed does not mean turned off, however, immune modulators, ie:cytokines and interleukins can still be stimulated, and their presence can cause other parts of the immune system that doesn't deal with invading microbes, ie:the allergen response system, to be overstimulated. Lyme infection does seem to be an initial trigger to this dysregulation, but the goal of wellness will have a better chance of being reached by the approach I posted previously. Lyme is present in the natural world, and it will not be eradicated; if every deer in the world were summarily executed, the ticks would adjust to some other animal, and I doubt that we will get the tick population to take antibiotics, so the best we can do is figure out how to get all the things we need and how to get rid of things we don't need to keep our immune systems healthy as they can be.
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painted turtle
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It was curious for me because I developed allergies before my lyme crash. Tick bites in Ma. as a child....likely have had lyme most of my life, exhibited classic symptoms about 15 years ago but a dangerous plummet about 5 years ago.

I was curious because I've heard people say they are immunocompromised and that doesn't make sense to me.

I know that during the time around I was diagnosed other people noticed I wasn't reacting to the allergies I normally do, this, including a coworker who I had no idea how she could have known me long enough to know this --- that's how distorted my perception of time became and my memory went. etc.

Then I learned my CD 57 count was low. Does this have to do with immune system?

As far as I know there are 3 components to immune system:

infection fighting
cancer fighting
allergy fighting

How do these operate together?

Trying to understand all this in relation to immune system and how to measure immune system itself.

My allergies are back full force two years later, which kind of sucks for me, but must be some indication of something,

Although still have plenty of lyme/babesia etc. symptoms.

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B R H
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Your body accumulates pathogens over time due to successive chronic infection. The exact "mix" of pathogens you aquire determine your symptoms. Think of your body as a "DNA soup" with borrelia or babesia simply being the most recent additions. Borrelia in particular has a profound "ability" to add it's plasmids to the soup.

Here is a good immune system link:
http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/BUGL/immune.htm

Posts: 246 | From Grass Valley, CA | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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