Hormones and GBS

    • Anonymous
      November 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm

      The cover story for the December issue of Life Extension is “Treating Killer Diseases with Hormones instead of Drugs”. It doesn’t mention GBS but I have discovered a significant amount of information that would include GBS in this discussion

      The conventional wisdom is that there is no explanation or cure for GBS. A potential side effect of an anti-androgen drug (reduce testosterone) is loss of feeling and function due to demyelination of the nerves. Yet a person with gigantism, a condition caused by a dysfunctional pituitary gland releasing huge amounts of hormones, has myelin sheath that is twice as thick as a normal nerve. In Klinefelter Syndrome, a condition in which a boy’s testicles do not develop normally resulting in reduced testosterone production, one of the implications is an increase risk of autoimmune disorders.

      Could this explain why women get autoimmune diseases two to three times more then men? They have only a fraction of the testosterone that men do. I thought that was the answer until I came across research relating to the autoimmune diseases Multiple Scierosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. During pregnancy, women usually experience less disease activity in both MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis. There isn’t an increase of testosterone during a pregnancy, but there is a dramatic increase of estrogen and progesterone. I also came upon a study that stated that women who took vitamin D slashed their risk of MS by 40 percent. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is also a hormone. Upon further study, I discovered that steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone are all immune response suppressors. Could women get autoimmune diseases more than men because their hormonal levels fluctuate in a much wider range?

      The key that seems to connect these steroid hormones and our immune system is a recent discovery called a regulatory T cell or a T-suppressor cell. These cells close down the immune response after it has destroyed invading organisms. The cells are sensitive to high concentrations of circulating hormones and release their own hormone signaling all other participants to cease their attack. What would happen if these regulatory T cells were somehow obstructed?

      A study from the University of Washington, published in December of 2005, was initiated to investigate how sex steroids modulate cellular immune function. A group of healthy men were medically (with drugs) castrated to suddenly and drastically reduce their testosterone. The effect was to significantly reduce the percentage of regulatory T cells and increase the percentage of natural killing cells. Is this not a recipe for an autoimmune response? If you review the conditions associated with the onset of GBS (viral or bacterial infection, vaccinations or extreme stress) there seems to be no common thread. Yet all of these conditions can cause a drop in your hormonal level.

      Anyone who has any experience with hormones and GBS please contact me (shea5810@comcast.net). We need to push this because no else will.

    • Anonymous
      November 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm

      I can agree with one part of the statement regarding pregnant woman and the decrease of symptoms/disease activity. Back before all my paralysis problems started I only had fibromyalgia. I noticed and my dr agreed, that while I was pregnant with my first child I had a very noticable decrease while at the same time I had 9 months of hyperemeisis(severe dehydration due to severe vomiting). My daughter was born healthy as an ox and was over 7lbs. I had lost over 50lbs during my pregnancy-a good thing for me. After her birth all my fibro problems came flooding back along with some thyroid issues. Well during my second preg I had the same thing happen, rare according to the ob drs at the time, severe hyperemeisis and a decrease of fibro symptoms. Again I had a healthy baby and after a few months all my fibro symptoms flared and I was dx with hypothyroidism.
      So I think there is a common factor in there somewhere. I didn’t start my paralysis events until 11 months after my total hysterectomy at which time I was found to have had stage 4 endometreosis and ovarian cancer. Since I don’t take hrt(stopped 1 month before my 1st event in 05) I can’t account for the hormones doing or not doing their jobs with this stuff.
      It would be really interesting to find an answer for All who suffer from these syndromes.