For this “Movember” for men’s health we have a matching donations period of up to £500! Plus I’ve included a couple of links to some interesting recent research projects which suggest gender differences in ME/CFS.
For those of you who haven’t heard of “Nomenbar for ME” it is LDIFME’s take on “Movember” awareness raising month for men’s health.
It’s true, in common with many other autoimmune diseases, that ME is more common among women than men with an approximate ratio of 4:1. However men of all ages, races and types still suffer from it.
Do men and women suffer from different phenotypes of the disease? Researchers at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona recently tried to find out by comparing the characteristics of 1309 consecutive ME/CFS patients (Fukuda-defined). Of the 1309 patients, 119 (9.1%) were men and 1190 (90.9%) were women. The researchers found a number of significant differences between the sexes in a variety of clinical and demographic factors such as but not limited to; age of diagnosis, symptoms and coexisting conditions. It’s still impossible to say from just one such simple study whether this suggests specific phenotypes but, as the authors say, as ME is best seen as a neuro-inflammatory process and there are neuro-immune differences between the sexes it’s quite possible. Read more.
There has also been interesting findings regarding energy metabolism. It’s been proven that all ME sufferers suffer from problems with their Cytric acid cycle; basically the body’s ability to gain energy from carbohydrates. Instead it makes energy from different, lower yielding sources of energy. However it seems there’s a sex difference here too; Øystein Fluge of Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, and his colleagues studied amino acids in 200 people with CFS, and 102 people without it. The levels of some amino acids in the blood of women with CFS was abnormally low – specifically for the types of amino acid that can be used by the body as an alternative fuel source.These shortfalls were not seen in men with CFS, but that could be because men tend to extract amino acids for energy from their muscles, instead of their blood. And the team saw higher levels of an amino acid that’s a sign of such a process.” It seems that both male and female CFS patients may have the same obstruction in carbohydrate metabolism to energy, but they may try to compensate differently,” says Fluge. Both sexes had high levels of several enzymes known to suppress pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), an enzyme vital for moving carbohydrates and sugars into a cell’s mitochondria – a key step for fully exploiting sugar for energy. Read more.
As usual we are inviting “guest blogs” this month from men with ME telling their story. Email us at fundraising4ME@gmail.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter if you want to participate
Visit our main Movember blog including links to all the guest blogs since 2015 ldifme.org/2015/11/01/nomenbar-for-m-e/
Visit this year’s JustGiving page solely dedicated to Movember. Remember there is a £500 matching donations period so help us reach our target to raise more for IiMER! Donations can also be made offline but please state when donating offline if it’s specifically for Movember for men’s health www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nomenbar4me
Thank you for your support!