CFS/ME in old age

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Julianna Grace, May 31, 2019.

  1. Julianna Grace

    Julianna Grace New Member

    OK so I am heading for 80 fast and thankful to be alive,

    But noticing a worsening of various symptoms and wondering if this is normal with this illness in advanced age?

    Especially appalling hay fever this year when the pollen count is very low.
    Any others finding the same please?

    The only paper I found online was on that said there was little info re this as most with CFS/ME died before old age which did not cheer me..
     
  2. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum! I think doctors are far too quick to say things like "oh well you're getting older, it's expected." I think the human body is very good at telling you when something isn't right. If you feel it's not right, then you have every right to look for solutions.

    I cared for my elderly (80+) mother in law and father in law for a time. Things that helped them were magnesium, Vitamin C (this combination is known to help the immune system because Vitamin C is used by it to destroy pathogens), omega-3 "fish oil" supplements, and religiously taking a multivitamin every day. We had mornings where my MIL would be incoherent upon waking up, and half a tablet of glucose (2 g of a 4 g tablet) would clear it up enough so she could get dressed. Those are available in pharmacies, and are used by diabetics when blood sugar gets too low. The elderly metabolism is sometimes unable to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low and this shows as a mild delirium.

    With allergies it can be difficult. Antihistamines are also anti-cholinergic which means any tiny amount of dementia a person has, will be instantly worse if an antihistamine is taken. The best thing to do is (if you have steady hands), use the steaming method for clearing sinuses. I suggest you use the pot from the stove because it has a flatter bottom and is more stable than a bowl though. There's a nasal spray that is xylitol based that I find very helpful and doesn't have an addictive effect. You can probably find it in your local pharmacy though.

    The thymus gland atrophies almost entirely away as a person gets older, but it does still function a bit. Zinc is the fuel that helps it function better. It's more important than people think. Foods with zinc. As a person gets older, the gut becomes the center of the immune system, so if there is any gut problem, it should be thoroughly investigated, such as Celiac Disease, the beginnings of IBD, or esophageal erosion. Even an H. Pylorii infection can cause an increase in food sensitivity and by extension, allergies. I felt worlds better after H. Pylorii treatment, but, the antibiotic cocktail had severe side effects. If you undergo it, be ready with probiotics and vegetable foods that are high in fiber (try to avoid grains when recovering from antibiotics).

    If a doctor refuses to test you, look for a direct to consumer lab that will do it. Many lab tests that are relevant to gut and metabolism can be done without a doctor's prescription in the US.

    My MIL and FIL really did feel better without gluten in their diet, even though they were not Celiac. There are wild theories about why that is, so I wont' go into it. But it's something to consider. We didn't worry about cross contact with gluten in the kitchen or at restaurants, but we did manage to just reduce gluten and that helped so much. His problem is the after effect of a stroke and his alertness improved.

    Every elderly person is different, so follow your own preferences and instincts. Gluten has a way of providing activation to dopamine receptors. For some people that's not a bad thing. For others it can lead to worsening of their mental state. Clarity of mind is the goal and one of the ways we supported it is to try things.

    One event you might want to know about is, at one point we stopped DHEA, a hormone precursor usually made by the adrenal gland, and my MIL instantly relapsed into a deep dementia. We think it's related to the basic principle that high inflammatory markers are likely to cause less mental clarity. We saw the principle over and over again, whenever she had a UTI, she'd be lost to us,mentally, until she was on antibiotics. When she started prednisone, she was always clear minded.

    There's a very strict diet called Anti Inflammatory Protocol, which you might want to look into. But I also believe that a person's last years shouldn't involve too much forceful change. So always weigh the risk of a huge change against the peace of enjoying the familiar things. If you happen to like those foods anyway, then that's a win-win.

    There are a few people here who are elderly and I hope they give you their specific advice too. Check out the resources tab on this website too. Very helpful! Welcome. :cat:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  3. Hen's Teeth

    Hen's Teeth New Member

    Remy and Tammy7 like this.