Stress triggering meningitis: What are your... - Meningitis Now

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Stress triggering meningitis


What are your thoughts on stress being a trigger for a viral infection and triggering viral meningitis and M.E? Do you think stress plays a contributing factor?

10 Replies

I had an emotional argument where I was in high stress and hyperventilating that alongside drinking for days, smoking and eating poorly which all had my immune system not up to par to fight off invaders all this was 2 days before I fell ill with meningitis, but I'm curious is do you think stress plays a big role in disease and if it could be something that inactives a virus?

Absolutely!!! I had shingles 3 years ago . Then 3 month s prior to my VM I had split with my partner , working all hours and got a colsaw on my nose , having never had this before , then in June 2019 , I was diagnosed with Vm .

After ten days in hospital and a further month bed bound I slowly recovered .

Only to be diagnosed again in the August with it again

I not get colsaw s in the same place whenever I’m stressed or run down , like a a warning sign , and each time I’m terrified that it will travel to my brain abs cause VM again .

I still suffer terrible migraine s and head pains and extreme fatigue also , but YES , 100 % agree stress is a factor for VM

In my experience getting run down because of stress definitely does not help when it comes to resisting VM. For me I was working 60 hour weeks and not resting, my body got run down and my neurologist told me that if I was 'lucky' I would have got shingles and if I was 'unlucky' I would come down with VM. As it was I came down with VM which came within hours of killing me.

I now have a diagnosis of recurrent aseptic viral meningitis (or Mollaret's to give the other name it's known by) and this is where the VM recurs. Having been diagnosed in 2010 I worked out that it's stress that causes recurrent attacks, maybe not at the time of experiencing stress but certainly within a few hours of it. It doesn't have to be work stress either, I was putting some blinds up at the weekend which was difficult because we live in an old house and nothing is square and then had a Mollaret's attack on Monday.

Stress is known to cause long term damage over time because of the increased cortisol levels which damage the immune system, my wife contracted ME after a long period of stress and this was attributed to that. Not sure if stress can cause VM but if it lowers the immune system and coupled with over-working then I would say that is a good chance that it doesn't help.

Absolutely. I was in a very busy stressful job when I got VM in 2017. I believe it was contributing factor as I felt very tired and run down at the time. Initially I thought I had a sinus infection but a week later..... and the rest is history.

Very Recently I had a herpes infection in my eye (also by the same virus that caused my Meningitis ) - again I had been feeling a bit low and under some stress before this happened. Very thankful that it did not manifest as VM this time 🙏🏻

Debcorn in reply to BabsK

Hi , u are the only person that I have read that has vm due to herpes on here

I had shingles a few years before , then the first ever colsaw 2 years later on my nose

Then about 3 months after that I got VM

I have had 3 or 4 colsaw s now a year but have only had vm twice

I have just this week got 2 colsaw s on my nose same place and am terrified !!!

BabsK in reply to Debcorn

Herpes viruses are a common cause of VM and I’ve found quite a few people on here that have had VM from it. The unfortunate thing is some people feel that there is a stigma attached to it especially if it’s HSV2 but they really shouldn’t as herpes can be passed on unknowingly. I have never had a cold sore or shingles or genital herpes but my mother was always getting them and my daughter gets them too. There is a Facebook group for people that have had VM more than once - it’s called Recurrent Meningitis Assoc Support Group. Maybe worth joining that.

Debcorn in reply to BabsK

Hi thanks I’m going to join x

Hello Sunny308,

Stress was the #1 contributing factor for my 2019 case of VM and my most recent flare three weeks ago. Since the first round, I have had to give up alcohol because of massive side effects, and I have to ensure I get plenty of sleep. Little sleep causes me to have what I call a "sleep hangover". More than anything I have to watch my stress levels. The infectious disease doctors told me both times I was hospitalized that stress is the main thing that induced my VM and play a large role in the chronic fatigue, head and muscle pain.

Hoping this was the last time I have to deal with a reoccurrence. No matter what, I am avoiding stress as much as humanly possible and getting a full night of sleep.

Best wishes on a speedy recovery and take care.

It was absolutely, 100% what caused my meningitis. But it should be said that it was stress that brought on shingles which then brought on the meningitis. I know for a fact, this is what happened. I could go into details but just trust me.

I too concur. I had a huge amount of stress in my life with repeated episodes of shingles over 3 years and kept pushing through ignoring signs and had VM in September 2019. I’m now very aware that stress increases the fatigue I’m experiencing post VM and so I am looking very closely at what causes me stress in order to reduce it as well as exploring how to release held stress from the body. It’s not easy but I am making progress.

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