hay fever and relapse?!

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hay fever and relapse?!

Postby Sandrine » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:15 am

Hi @all,

maybe someone has an idea or a similar experience...

Have you ever experienced any connection between allergy (as e.g. hay fever) and relapses?

The phenomenon: my younger sister (dx with MS Nov 2006) has severe hay fever, she always needs antihistamine etc. in spring and summer. Now she has a relapse ( :( ) with changes in sensation in her leg but the strange thing: no hay fever! everything is in full bloom, but NOTHING, no antihistamine necessary.

Maybe her crazy immune system only needs one target at the same time?!?

I tried to find out more (th1/th2 immune response etc), but i'm really interested if someone else knows that phenomenon!

Thanks :D
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Postby Lyon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:09 am

Hi Sandrine,

Interesting situation and on that I wish more was known about.

Considering that both are inappropriate immune responses....the immune system reacting when it shouldn't or over reacting to a harmless situation, it's obvious that the immune system has the ability to pick it's battles and in fact NOT reacting in either situation is the appropriate immune system response.

It's interesting that things like stress, sickness, heat etc... seem to be able to instigate a relapse but it's interesting that allergies, asthma and autoimmunes are showing to share some kind of relationship.

With that in mind, is exposing yourself to an allergen at the first sign of an MS relapse a way to shut down the relapse?

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Postby gibbledygook » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:15 am

I also have severe, chronic hayfever and except when I was on beta interferon my hayfever has been just as bad, in fact probably worse than before my first major relapse. Beta interferon seemed to stop completely my hayfever. Capsaicin seems to as well. Is your sister on beta interferon?
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Postby Lyon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:12 pm

gibbledygook wrote:I also have severe, chronic hayfever and except when I was on beta interferon my hayfever has been just as bad, in fact probably worse than before my first major relapse.
Hi gg,
Just wondering, do you specifically remember any occasions in which you were having active hayfever problems AND MS relapse at the same time? Not that it proves anything one way or the other :lol:

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:15 pm

This is really interesting.
I have very bad grass-pollen allergy. In Ireland this means that usually from the beginning of June throughout summer to about mid-August I have hay-fever. Some years are much worse than others and obviously weather can effect the levels so some days I have no hay fever at all.

I have NEVER had a relapse during this time. I always thought it was to do with summer & vitamin D etc, but perhaps it is indeed the hay fever challenge.

But to be devils advocate for a second, if there's a much lower rate of relapase in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, when your immune system is at all all-time low, then why would your immune system on high (for hay fever reaction) equally rev the MS down too?

And now that I think of it too, I also have an allergy to mould. I lived in a house riddled with mould for about 5 years and I had the highest rate of relapses when I lived there over that 5 year period.
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Postby Lyon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:47 pm

Wonderfulworld wrote: And now that I think of it too, I also have an allergy to mould. I lived in a house riddled with mould for about 5 years and I had the highest rate of relapses when I lived there over that 5 year period.
Hi WW,
I don't have a clue whether there is anything to it or not but the possible interaction seemed like kind of an interesting concept.

I'm not going to be like MS researchers and try to hammer a square peg into a round hole but out of curiosity I'd like to clarify that you've been having ongoing allergy problems due to the mould?

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Postby Sandrine » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:19 am

Thank you for your interesting answers! :)

gibbledygook wrote:Is your sister on beta interferon?


Yes, my sister is on beta interferon (Rebif44) for 1,5 years now. But it didn't improve her hay fever, last year it was even worse than ever.

Wonderfulworld wrote:I have NEVER had a relapse during this time. I always thought it was to do with summer & vitamin D etc, but perhaps it is indeed the hay fever challenge.


The first relapse of my sister was middle/end of august 2006, end of hay fever season. Another one was in autumn, another in spring before everything was in bloom. So this is the first relapse during her ususal hay fever time, and the hay fever is gone...

OK, I must admit my immunology knowledge is really poor, but maybe some of you have heard about the th1/th2 balance of the immune system. Th1 and th2 are different subtypes of t-lymphocytes which produce different cytokines to "communicate". Autoimmune disease (MS) is a th1 immune answer, allergy seem to be th2. During pregnancy the balance seem to be shifted more towards th2. So after birth it maybe shifts back >>higher relapse rate... And after allergy?

Interferon beta is an immunmodulating cytokine which should influence the th1/th2 balance more towards th2... But all this th1/th2 stuff seems more complicated :?: and not really evidenced. Maybe I should take heart to go next door and ask the immunologists working there.

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Postby Lyon » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:28 am

Sandrine wrote:maybe some of you have heard about the th1/th2 balance of the immune system. Th1 and th2 are different subtypes of t-lymphocytes which produce different cytokines to "communicate". Autoimmune disease (MS) is a th1 immune answer, allergy seem to be th2.
I don't think anyone clearly understands the relationship between atopy, disease and the Th1/Th1 responses but the whole thing is very interesting and very pertinent in allergy, asthma and autoimmunity.

6 or 8 months ago someone on this site included a link to an article referring to the immunity of attack from the mother's system the fetus experiences during pregnancy and the immunity that traditional human parasites experience being closely connected and that is a very specific and interesting situation.

In the attempt to go as far back as possible into what might be responsible for human susceptibility to allergy, asthma and autoimmunity it's about impossible to ever answer that chicken or egg question, but I still have to wonder....what came first in human (invertebrate) evolution? Pregnancy or parasitism?

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:41 am

ut out of curiosity I'd like to clarify that you've been having ongoing allergy problems due to the mould?

Bob I had severe chronic allergic reaction to mould whilst living in my last apartment - so that was about 5 years ago. During the period I lived there (5 years) my MS was severe and extremely active.

I moved out from the apartment 5 years ago and my MS has been mild and very infrequent since moving here....
But there are other variables at work. I switched to Copaxone around that time, got married and stopped smoking. :)

Sandrine if you haven't already seen it this article mentions seasonal variations in MS relapses: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8407141 :)
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Postby gibbledygook » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:09 am

I must admit it's strange she doesn't have hayfever this year as I can assure you there's been plenty of pollen around!!! My hayfever certainly benefited from the beta interferon so there may well be something to the idea that the Th1/Th2 responses are out of whack with allergies.
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Postby Sandrine » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:20 am

She had hay fever this year, until the day the relapse started... So the leg was numb, but she could breath again... It's weird.

She said she prefers the hay fever :?
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