I found this info from The American Journal of Pathology - Exacerbated Pathology of Viral Encephalitis in Mice with Central Nervous System-Specific Autoantibodies...
"It is now well established in animal models that infectious organisms can trigger or augment immune responses to self-antigens, by mechanisms such as molecular mimicry or bystander activation (see review1). However, autoimmunity does not always result in clinically apparent disease, and cumulative infections by the same or unrelated agents may be required to unmask a pre-existing autoimmune process.1
Conversely, a viral infection could take a worsened course in autoimmune-prone individuals. It has been shown that infections can provoke relapses or worsen autoimmune conditions in animal models.2–4 This is consistent with reports showing that common infections augment the risk for or the severity of relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.5,6"
"In conclusion, our study strengthens the hypothesis that in individuals with pre-existing autoantibodies, with or without clinical autoimmune disease, certain viruses can have a heightened pathogenic potential. It reinforces the concept that pathogens that are unrelated to the initial development of the autoimmune condition may cause exacerbation episodes by modifying the local or systemic environment.
The model of an autoimmune “fertile field” proposes that autoreactive T cells are first generated by some infections through molecular mimicry or bystander mechanisms but may remain nonpathogenic for extended periods and that unrelated viruses or bacteria may be responsible for triggering the actual autoimmune pathology.1,4 In this model, Koch’s postulates (one disease/one pathogen) are not strictly respected, which may explain why it has been so difficult to associate a single organism to a given autoimmune disease."
Thanks for posting. I certainly wish my body wasn't a "fertile field" right now, as it is seeming to be. It seems like daily you can read of so many new science/genetic/ immune system discoveries. Just praying they can be translated soon into better diagnoses procedures and cures for all of us. Since my initial blood panels have shown "normal", I have not had any luck with physicians taking me seriously, yet I can read on sites, such as this one, people suffering with such similar issues. One link, I keep reading over and over (and it doesn't have a thing to do with herpes virus I guess) is that a lot of us have started having these autoimmune issues after childbirth. That's when mine started as well.
Oh I can relate to "normal". My full blood count was normal, my ANA was normal, my blood clotting test was normal (bleeding for an hour after a small nick). I have four autoimmune diseases and almost died from untreated autoimmune pernicious anaemia. Stress worsens my Hashimoto's thyroiditis symptoms notably.
Also vitamin D deficiency is very common with autoimmune diseases. My vitamin D was down to 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL). Wikipedia's article Autoimmune disease lists the numerous accepted and suspected autoimmune diseases.
I most definately seem to have this same scenario... Dr's have ruled out MS but i do have autoimmune;/ neuropathy problems since aquiring hsv2.
Glad you mentioned that your A/I issues started postpartum.
You might have found some answers you were looking for!
Your timing is impeccable, as I'm presently studying Holistic Endocrinology.
The model used by Conventional Endocrinology, leaves a lot to be desired,
putting it very mildly, so I decided to take the plunge into this complex medical field and try to make some sense through Holistic Endocrinology.
OK, here's the possible connection.
After the birth of your baby, your Progesterone levels dropped because of the loss of placenta, which during pregnancy, produces many times more Progesterone than what your body produces normally.
Should your Progesterone levels have not increased to normal levels after
childbirth-which is rather common- your Estrogen levels remaining high, result in what's known as "Estrogen Dominance".
Some very common consequenses of Estrogen Dominance are:
Significant menstrual symptoms, mood issues, weight gain, postpartum adrenal fatigue ( estrogen dominance causes an increase in cortisol-binding globulin, which binds the cortisol in the blood so less cortisol is available for the tissues-less free cortisol*), postpartum thyroditis
( estrogen dominance also increases thyroid binding globulin in the liver, which binds to thyroid homones in the blood rendering them unavailable to the tissues- that's why it's important to test for free T3, free T4 and reverse
T3 along with TGB in this case).
* Cortisol regulates the immune cells in the gut so when cortisol is depleted
for various reasons including stress, low postpartum progesterone (which itself makes cortisol!)or bound by CBG, those cells become dysregulated, making you more susceptible to pathogens like bacteria, yeast, and parasites.
The symptoms and consequenses of the above possibilities are numerous
so please do an online search, however, should you need any details at all let me know.
If these imbalances remain unresolved, development of A/I or other serious chronic conditions is imminent when there's serious prolonged organ or body system involvement, because the body's ability to maintain, repair and heal has been seriously compromised.
Hope this helps.