Monday, December 09, 2019

'Tis the Season...for Viruses! How to Prevent the Crashes that Result

For many people with ME/CFS, fall and winter mean long periods of relapse or "crashes." This seasonal slide downward is usually due to exposure to viruses and other infections that ramp up this time of year. My son and I have successfully eliminated this annual downturn. We used to both spend weeks (or months) at a time this time of year totally flattened, him missing school and me struggling to care for us both. No more! Now, these "virally-triggered" crashes are rare for us and much milder when they do occur, thanks to a number of simple and inexpensive treatments.

As an example, our family returned from a lovely week's vacation last week ... and brought a cold home with us! Our younger son (healthy now and recovered from ME/CFS) got hit hard (and first) by it, and was still struggling with congestion this weekend. His dad fell next, with heavy fatigue and bad cold symptoms. Our older son (ME/CFS and 2 tick infections) did crash last week from exposure to the virus, but he bounced back after a few bad days, and drove to see his girlfriend three hours away this weekend! I was the last one hit and woke yesterday with all my classic ME/CFS on high (and now, rare) alert: severe sore throat, swollen glands, and flu-like aches. I'm already feeling better today, though.

Ironically, most of us with ME/CFS rarely catch viruses, but just being exposed to them makes our immune systems go into overdrive, causing the crash symptoms so familiar to all of us. This is all due to the specific kind of immune system dysfunction that is present in ME/CFS, described in detail (in layman's terms) at the link.

Although researchers haven't yet figured out how to fix our immune systems (or those of anyone else with immune disorders), there are treatments that can help to normalize the immune system. All of them are cheap and some don't even require a doctor or prescription. Three treatments in particular have resulted in this dramatic improvement for us over the years, as described here:


That post also includes our tips on what we do in the rare instances like this week, when we have been exposed to a virus and are reacting to it (one thing that helps us a lot is olive leaf extract).

You, too, can transition from losing your whole winter to long crashes to making virally-triggered crashes rare (and mild).

Please let me know what has worked for you and if you have tried any of the treatments that have helped us so much!

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