Oxidative Stress

Posted , 6 users are following.

Dear Ladies with LS, Vulvodynia, and various and sundry other maladies,

In my readings of several medical journals I have learned quite a few things. In every case of LS there is oxidative stress present in the tissue samples. There is a known and highly correlated link between stress of many kinds and flare ups of LS. There is some suggestion in the literature that stress may even cause it but that has not been proven.

When we are stressed (and in general women respond to stressors differently then most men) our immune system responds by sending out T cells that look for invaders, foreigners that don't belong, like viruses and bacteria. This includes toxins in our food, water, and air. It could be an emotional upset and Lord knows we have enough of those. It is true that one particular product or food can cause problems in the skin like LS. When we get too many alarms, our immune systems cannot handle it and the killer cells get overwhelmed and confused and begin to attack our own body's tissues. This is an over simplification but, in essence, true. LS and various similar diseases are increasing at a fast rate according to 2 of my gyns. It is also true that just living produces "free radicals" or atoms or molecules that have a free electron hanging around waiting to steal another electron from another cell. That's why we must have anti-oxidants, to balance out the number of free-radicals that circulate in our bodies. When the free radicals balance out the anti-oxidants, then our bodies are in homeostasis, or "balance." Problem is, we live a stress filled life that is rarely in balance. The toxic environment we live in poses more dangers to our immune system. Just read the label on your hand soap, dish soap, hand lotion, laundry detergent, or the packaged foods you eat on a daily basis. Can you pronounce the names of the chemicals? Do you know what the do when inside your body? Doubtful. Are all these chemicals tested for safety? NO.

So, we are attacked by these substances we routinely consume. Unless we also consume additional antioxidants in the form of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, we will quickly get out of homeostasis or unbalanced. Then our cells experience "Oxidative stress" and that's when problems starts, too much oxidative stress caused by excessive free radicals disrupts cellular processes. LS is the result of one of the disrupted cellular processes.

So- de-stress no matter what it takes, clean up your food and diet, get a good water filter, stop smoking, invest in vit c, e, d, glutathione, SOD (superoxide dismutase) and perhaps quercetin and resveratrol This takes time to even turn yourself back around from your current path to go back toward health.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Eggbiscuit, Thanks. Very interesting.

    I feel compelled to refer to an article out just this month that talks about antioxidants and cancer treatment - specifically studies on breast cancer.

    Seems that all this hullaballoo about anti-oxidants is spot on (as most of us have known)...so much so that we actually need to be careful of using supplements if/when being treated for cancer (chemo/radiation). Turns out that the antioxidants are so protective of cells that they actually protect the bad cells from the treatment, allowing them to survive and resurge. ( search on Dec 2019 Breast cancer antioxidants).

    So, my question is...should I be taking antioxidants while I am doing treatment of LS...or maintenance? I have not come to a conclusion. I'm in "maintenance mode" right now. I use vitamin e as my moisture/barrier every day. I've also been taking it orally (along with C and D3). I use steroid and protopic. Now I wonder if I should back off the orals...hmmm???

    Thoughts? Ideas???

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    • Posted

      Snappy, as we don't have cancerous cells that multiply I don't think this applies. We have skin cells that are being attacked in error by our immune systems . We have to, if possible, get our immune systems to calm down.

      Inflammation is the body's white blood cells and chemicals attempt to protect against infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, with LS , the body's defense (immune) system doesn't function properly and attacks our cells. This can cause inflammation to work against our body's tissues and cause damage.

      "Steroids, like cholesterol, estrogen and cortisone are natural occurring hormones made by the body. In response to stress or disease, the body releases these products into the blood stream to control the immune response. Steroids work by penetrating the membrane of a cell and binding to a receptor. In doing so, this can increase the production of anti-inflammatory proteins or inhibit the production of inflammatory ones. Synthetic derivatives of these molecules have been formulated specifically for use on the skin. Thus, topical steroids are best known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The effectiveness of a topical therapy depends first on the inherent potency and second on its ability to penetrate into the skin". ( American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)

      If I understand this correctly taking antioxidants should protect our skin cells that are being attacked and possibly regulate the immune response, but I'm not sure about that.

      I really feel ill equipped to fully understand this. Someone needs to create an online course on these processes so we can all better understand what is going on and how best to defend against the disease and/or regulate our immune systems.

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    • Posted

      Hi SnappyCat,

      If you are doing well with your protocol, then I would not change too much. But, if you feel like things could be a lot better then perhaps examine places in life/diet that could be improved. Sometimes, from my reading, it is a minor thing we don't think is important. I am going to go back to taking glutathione and maybe alpha lipoic aicd, another antioxidant. I don't think the concern over cancer and anti-oxidants applies unless we are on chemotherapy which usually kills everything. The chemo, I believe, also produces free radicals from which we need protection. I know many clinics outside the US use massive doses of vit c to fight cancer rather than chemo.

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  • Posted

    thanks for the replies.. Does anyone have any advise about diet? also what is the best product to wash your vagina with as an intimate wash just makes it feel very dry? lastly does your clitoris go and your vagina fuse over in all cases? its really scary, can it be prevented? if so , how?

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    • Posted

      According to the gyn I saw and the handout she gave me from a dermatologist the best thing to wash with is water. Leaves something to be desired. Women in the UK seem to have safe cream type products for washing that I haven't found in the US.

      There is info online about LS. Your doc should have advised you on a lot of it. Google and you will see what's out there. There is no cure, just maintenance. It seems to affect people differently so it may not be a major problem for you.

      Follow an anti inflammatory diet as much as you can and use whatever your doc has prescribed for you. Ask the doc as many questions as you can fit into the appointment. Go with a list if you can.

      Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Diet - No sugar...just don't...it is like a direct link.

      Wash - Water. I turn my shower to cool and direct it there...If there is something that really truly needs more than water use Dove unscented for sensitive skin...but really...water.

      Fusing...if you get a handle on the LS, I think the fusing stops...but won't regress. So, diligence with your steroid, and ask for protopic/tacrolimus.

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