1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000
The National ME/FM Action Network in Canada is competing for $100,000 for biomedical research of ME and FM in the Aviva Community Fund contest. With thanks to all who helped, they made it through the first round of voting into the Semi-Finals.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Biotoxin/Mold Illness

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by soulfeast, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes:
    1,373
    Ashland, Oregon
    Acid Alkaline Balance Question

    Hi Lisa, Hi All,

    I hope I'm not veering off course here, but I have these lingering questions about whether mold has the ability to significantly affect the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies.

    I had some pH testing done a number of years ago, and came back with a report that my body was very alkaline. It then went on to describe some of the symptoms someone might be expected to experience when this was the case. These descriptions were incredibly similar to so many of the prominent symptoms of ME/CFS, MCS, etc.

    Since then I've seen references that there's a real lack of in-depth understanding about many aspects of pH. Here's just a couple things I remember reading: 1) the exact same food (or perhaps allergen?), can create either acidity or alkalinity in different people; 2) different parts of our bodies can have a different pH, acid in some parts, alkaline in others.

    So my lingering question: Has there ever been any kind of association made between mold exposure and the effects it might have on pH balance? Apparently mold can quickly trigger massive inflammation; could it trigger other kinds of massive responses, such as a complete shock to the body's pH balance?

    Another lingering question I've had: I've heard peanuts (even organic) are generally considered some of the most contaminated foods when it comes to fungi and molds. Do you know whether it's ever been considered that peanut allergies/reactivities may actually be mold associated?

    Thanks for any insights/perspectives anybody may be able to provide.

    Wayne

    ETA I believe I remember a prominent CFS doctor (Cheney if I remember correctly) commenting that most of his CFS patients were overly alkaline.
     
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes:
    1,373
    Ashland, Oregon
    Foods That Acidify

    I've made mention recently of some of the benefits I've experienced from making raw goat milk kefir a very big part of my diet (up to 75%). I've generally chaulked these benefits up to its easy digestability and wide array of naturally occurring probiotics.

    But my very subjective sense in the past couple weeks is there may be a third important element: each time I drink it (especially separate from any other foods), it seems to gently acidify my body to a degree that it needs.

    So, I guess another question I would have, especially to those who have an uncanny ability to detect and identify molds they're being exposed to at any given moment: Have you ever found that eating certain foods, especially those that may be highly acidic, had the ability to greatly and quickly relieve some of the hyper-reactivity?

    Thanks, Wayne

    ETA Does it make sense to consider whether there might be a correlation between inflammatory responses and pH responses?
     
  3. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    Interesting questions, Wayne.

    I had never heard before that ME/CFS patients might be overly alkaline. Most people are overly acidic, from what I know.

    (Of course. We're backwards on everything else, so it makes sense that we would be on this one too.)

    I actually wonder if for more or less healthy people who are getting a fair amount of mycotoxin exposure, over acidity might be a consequence of that. I see in various articles that medicines and chemicals in the diet are extremely acid, so the idea that a particularly poisonous substance might be similar does not seem unreasonable.

    However, there's a difference between people affected by mold and people with ME/CFS. Just doing a quick skim of the Internet, I wonder if the low oxygen levels in our bodies might be related.

    https://health.google.com/health/ref/Alkalosis

    If so, then I believe that is downstream from toxic mold exposures.

    Stachybotrys produces a high amount of oxidative stress. One way to counter that oxidative stress is to decrease the oxygen levels in the system.

    In other words, if Stachy + Oxygen = Damage, then subtracting out the oxygen will result in less damage.

    (I think subtracting the Stachy is a better choice.)

    So if this is the case, it may be that the system will remain alkaline until the oxygen toxicity component is fixed....no matter what people do with the diet.

    I'm not sure what to say about the kefir. I've heard good things about it from a couple of different "Moldies," but they seemed to think it was because it was a pretty robust way of delivering probiotics.

    I'd like to say that certain foods helped to reduce reactivity, but unfortunately that's not been the case. Back when I was getting substantial mold exposure, fixing my diet helped be feel a bit better. After an extended period of mold avoidance, I started being able to eat whatever I wanted without apparent negative consequence.

    I tend to think that at least some of the food reactivities in this illness are due to perforations in the gut. Trichothecenes have been shown in a number of studies to cause that particular problem, so I tend to think that the elimination of mold toxins from my system allowed my gut to heal and thus all foods to be tolerated. This is only speculation though.

    I hate to admit this, but the only food that I've found that seems helpful to me when I am being hit by toxic mold is sugar (or other similar substances like honey). Other Moldies have stated this too, so I tried to figure out why. My comments on this are below.

    Obviously sugar is no solution though!

    Melatonin is protective against oxidative stress, though the animal studies it's been tested in have used a whole lot of melatonin. A substantial dose (20 mg) seems a little helpful for me. The most recommended herb is curcumin, but I've not felt that makes much difference. Vitamin C (especially in IV form) is helpful if the exposures are mild; at higher levels, it seems to do nothing.

    A comment from Erik's book about the peanuts is at the bottom of this post. (Hitler's Bunker, where Erik was stationed in the Army in the 1970s, was full of toxic mold that made a whole bunch of people sick.)

    I'm not sure exactly what to make of this phenomenon. The most superficial hypothesis is that people are responding to the aspergillus on the peanuts rather than the peanuts themselves, but I don't think that's it. These individuals don't go into anaphylaxis when they encounter aspergillus toxins elsewhere, and my guess is that the peanuts used in lab studies might be more free of such toxins than average peanuts.

    I'm wondering if it might be something like the immune system associates the protein (peanut) with the toxin (a chemical) as a result of one or more simultaneous exposures, and then starts to respond to the protein regardless of whether the toxin is present. Sort of like operant conditioning in psychology.

    I don't know enough about allergies to be able to judge whether that's plausible.

    Really interesting questions!

    Best, Lisa

    *

    The following is from Shoemaker's "Mold Warriors." It's in reference
    to the fact that people with mold illness (such as many ME/CFS
    patients have) are low in VEGF:

    >If you're low VEGF, you'll be low in delivery of oxygen to capillaries too. And that deficiency is made tremendously worse with activity. The active cell, looking for oxygen, won't have the right amount available to burn glucose for energy. Normally the cell gets two ATP (energy) molecules from the initial breakdown of sugar (glucose), generating breakdown products (pyruvate and lactate). These compounds are full of locked-up energy and can be processed further in mitochondria, but only if oxygen is present.
    >
    >The mitochondria are called the "powerhouses" of the cell, because they generate so much extra ATP. Using oxygen, the two sugar breakdown fragments are eventually broken down into water and carbon dioxide, creating 36 additional ATP molecules along the way. If there isn't enough oxygen available during exercise, the cell acts like it doesn't have any mitochondria. The cell starts to be energy inefficient, burning a huge amount of sugar but giving the cell only two of the required ATP at a time, not two plus the 36.
    >
    >Then the cell quickly begins to consume all the stored sugar (glycogen) from the cell's warehouse. But the amount of the storage glycogen is limited and must be replaced quickly -- or else we die. So to restore glycogen levels, the cells reach for whatever alternative fuel sources it has on hand. Typically, that's your own body's protein, because protein is quickly broken down into amino acids. Two of those building blocks, alanine and glutamine, are rapidly turned from amino acids into sugar. Glycogen is replenished and we live! But the cost of burning lean body mass is enormously expensive for biotoxin patients. We can measure lean body mass too.


    So for me, when I get hit with a lot of biotoxin exposure, that's when
    my cravings for sugar go up.

    The interesting thing iis that this section makes it seem like
    consuming sugar at that moment isn't necessarily such a bad thing. If
    the cell is burning sugar like crazy, then it's either going to come
    from converting muscle (which sounds bad to me) or from sugar that's
    just been consumed. If there has to be a choice, isn't it better to
    keep the muscle rather than burning it up?

    I ask this because I'm convinced that at moments of big exposure,
    eating sugar actually is a good thing for me. Much better is to get
    away from the exposure, and usually I try very hard to do that. But if
    I can't get away, sugar helps somewhat. I honestly don't think it's
    bad for me.

    I was in Chicago (where I was getting more exposure) from July through
    November. I ate a goodly amount of sugar and gained some weight. After
    a week away from the city, in a clear area, my sugar cravings have
    disappeared and my waistline has gone down to where it was at the
    beginning of summer.

    The downsides of sugar are that it is itself inflammatory, that it
    feeds candida, that it offers empty calories and that it encourages
    the body to produce more insulin (thus craving sugar to compensate).
    These things are bad. But I wonder if the decreased mitochondrial
    output and/or burning of protein stores might be even worse.

    Again, staying in a bad environment and eating a lot of sugar to
    compensate is a very bad strategy. This is emergency use only. Other
    tools I use during bad exposures include very strong coffee, ibuprofen
    (usually three tablets) and high-dose melatonin (20 mg). (Plus strong
    peppermint tea, though there may be no downside to that.) This is self-
    medication, no doubt. But sometimes that seems to me to be called for.

    *

    > Many years ago, before the rash of peanut allergy problems, I was allowed to sit in, as an observer, when the industry asked to have the amount of mold material that is deemed acceptable to be raised by a factor of 10, as they were experiencing profitability problems. That increase was ultimately granted.

    > I had a government scientist tell me at the time that we normally had poorer immune response to toxins than to proteins and that the first responses to too much moldy material may be an allergic response to peanut protein. He had suggested that this increase was not a good idea to the industry representatives, but was told to butt out.

    > Several years later, we started to hear about peanut “allergy” and even anaphylactic shock.

    > I still wonder if the triggering event for many people who react to peanuts is one of a hit from some very moldy peanut material (not all standards are met in all instances) that is then displayed as an overreaction in an allergic response.

    A perfect question!

    That incident I described took place in Hitler's Bunker, as we jokingly called it.

    Perhaps that was why my CO had such a severe reaction.

    -Erik (2009, IAQ)
     
  4. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    The perplexing thing is that I am under the impression that you've been to a lot of buildings over the past year but that (as of the last time we discussed it) you've found only a couple that have given you that severe depression response that you got in your NYC apartment and driving through Dallas. If it were Stachy doing it, you'd expect to find it more often (i.e. 13% of the time).

    Also, the Stachy in my house -- which made me quite sick -- clearly was not the same toxin that I have found in Dallas, Lake Tahoe, Ann Arbor and (in mild form) outside in Chicago during what some of us call Suicide Season (starting in late October).

    However, I am more than willing to agree that this "?" that I have found in those places (and that seems to be identified with sewer systems) might be a particular strain of Stachy rather than a cyanobacteria or something else. One of my main goals is to figure out how to get it tested.

    It's a butt kicker, whatever it is.

    I used to think that the reason that particularly bad biotoxins were present in the outdoor air was because they came from bad buildings too. My experience in Truckee (at a hot spring that had no bad buildings at all) changed my belief about that. Erik's contention is that outdoor biotoxins sometimes come from buildings and other times are created outdoors (usually in conjunction with sewage and firefighting chemicals).

    I certainly believe that your NYC apartment had a chemical stew in it, and I have no confidence that I'm right about this "?" being present in it. I'd ask you to send me some of your contaminated belongings so that I could see what effect they had on me, but I really don't want to!

    Finding a good place is a real challenge. My current #1 choice is Wichita, which has nice fluffy clouds and (in my opinion) excellent air quality even right downtown. It's a reasonable sized city and has a number of other benefits (moderate climate, pretty low altitude, pretty inexpensive). It's kind of cold here at the moment, but I'm delaying leaving because it feels really good to me.

    That doesn't mean it's going to be right for anyone else though. This whole problem of finding a good place is unbelievably frustrating.

    Best, Lisa
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes:
    1,373
    Ashland, Oregon
    Thanks Lisa, I find these comments about sugar very interesting; besides other effects of sugar, my understanding is that it's one of the most acidic foods (substances) there are.

    Here's an anecdotal story that may or may not be relevant. An acquaintance of mine I knew many years ago really got into eating all things healthy. He focused on alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables (really, really good he had read), and stayed away from more acidic foods (really, really bad he had read).

    Well, he did this for quite some time, and felt his health was actually deteriorating instead of improving. One day he was in the grocery story, and passed by the ICE CREAM section, an ABSOLUTE NO NO, from what he had read. Well, he said he felt an almost primal reaction when he saw it, and decided to just go ahead and buy some (a large amount).

    When he got home, he ate some right away, and promptly ate the whole thing (I think it was at least a half gallon). And he felt really good, even though he knew he had ingested tons of sugar and who knows what all kinds of chemicals in the process.

    Well the next day, he had the same urge, and did the exact same thing; and then proceeded to do this for about the next month or so. And then just as quickly as this all started, it ended. He said he felt more balanced than he had since he started on his overly alkaline diet. I'm pretty sure his approach toward diet and pH changed significantly after this experience.

    So, was this the result of his eating all these alkaline foods? Or is it possible that he might have been exposed to mold, started to not feel well, began to research health topics, began a diet that was overly alkaline, found out it didn't work well at all, and then happened upon sugar which finally gave him some relief. Also, he was moving a lot during this time; did things balance out for him after he moved away from a moldy place? Some interesting things to think about.

    Another member on this board started a thread, in which he described his frustration at eating mostly "good" foods (probably mostly alkaline), and found he didn't didn't do very well with them. But when he ate "bad" foods (probably mostly acidic), he felt much better.

    This all makes me me wonder if unusual or exaggerated sugar cravings could be an indication of mold exposure for many PWCs who report these kinds of cravings (though it could probably be indicative of other things as well). Given Lisa's and Erik's experiences, it seems well worth considering.

    Wayne
     
  6. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    Oh, Wayne, no no no! That quote about the sugar was not a quote by Erik. That was something I put on this board a while back and then couldn't find.

    I suspect that Erik would be horrified if he knew I had implied that he approved of using sugar for any purpose. During the week I was visiting him, he cooked me two lovely meals a day using a wide variety of ingredients. Sugar, however, was nowhere in sight. He even found it necessary to pack up the little jar of honey that I had brought and send it off with me (presumably to take on my airplane flight home).

    I think he told me on that trip that sugar helped with mold slams, a little. But that doesn't mean he uses it. In general, sugar is inflammatory, so all in all it's likely of negative benefit for us. Though, of course, avoidance is the best strategy of all.

    That was a funny story you told about the guy with the ice cream.

    Best, Lisa
     
  7. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

    Messages:
    650
    Likes:
    238
    Hmm...stay away from those health food stores, they're bad for you! Perhaps Kansas agriculture is a bit different? They produce a lot of wheat. Fewer pesticides? There's a lot of cattle there too.
     
  8. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    All of this is such speculation that it likely seems pointless to many other people. So everyone, please skip this post if you're not interested.

    Erik's hypothesis for a long time was this "?" was a mutant form of Stachy that was especially potent and that was able to survive in/feed on certain chemicals. So you're actually in agreement with him. (Or at least with his original thought. He's not given an opinion on what he thinks of the cyanobacteria idea....his comment from when I asked is below.)

    Gerwyn came up with the idea that this stuff was a cyanobacteria, and (after looking at the literature) it seemed to me that the characteristics were much more like those known to be associated with cyanobacteria than with mold. There's nothing that I can find in the literature that suggests that Stachy has any of the glutamate issues or effects on the heart that this substance appears to have. Nor would Stachy be expected be growing outside or in sewers, I don't think.

    (Soulfeast mentioned above that Ritchie Shoemaker has suggested a glutamate connection to toxic mold. I have seen nothing of the kind in the literature. Perhaps he has seen the glutamate issues so often in mold reactors that he attributes it to glutamate even though it's associated with some other biotoxin that he's not studying?)

    in terms of its observed effects, the substance that I'm calling the "?" seems to be most similar to domoic acid, which is a marine biotoxin that causes "Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning" in humans (with many symptoms similar to the ones experienced by people in the Incline Village epidemic) and that is responsible for the deaths of the sea otters (and other animals) off the coast of California. However, the cyanobacteria that produces this toxin (Pseudo-nitzschia) does not create airborne spores and lives in saltwater rather than sewer water.

    So I'm stuck. But being stuck is the point: since it doesn't sound like any previously studied biotoxin, our speculation is that it must be a new one. Since both cyanobacteria and molds have very short life cycles and mutate very quickly, and since certain strains of toxic molds and toxic cyanobacteria now grow freely that have been contaminated with various chemicals, the idea that this is something new is not that implausible. But to find such a thing, scientists with the proper tools need to be involved.

    Jack Thrasher has dismissed this idea when Erik brought it up to him, just as he has dismissed other things that Erik told him in the past (such as Stachy toxins being able to affect people even when spores are not present) until peer-review published studies validating them have appeared. So he's no help.

    A quote from Erik about the fact that this "stuff" is not to be found in the walls is below. It sounds more like it comes from sewer backups and similar problems. I can't remember if you told me there was that sort of problem in your NYC apartment though.

    I'm glad that you're getting your problem under control.

    It surprised the heck out of me that Kansas was a good place for me too. As Erik says, "It is where it is."

    Best, Lisa

    *

    From the very outset of CFS when I walked into Dr. Cheney's office, I was very careful to avoid expressing the problem in terms of "mold can do this"... because mold is very well known not to have such effects.

    So I just kept repeating "an effect from mold,” hoping that eventually, the sheer force of more people with complaints of this type would induce them to change their minds, and look into the mycotoxin “connection” to CFS.

    It should have been obvious. They tested the heck out of various environments, and found nothing in common between them except a few species of mold that kept cropping up.

    In an attempt to get the future "CFS researchers" that I knew would eventually be investigating the new syndrome to look into this specificity, I told them that perhaps some kind of pathogen interaction was involved: "Then it must be a bacteria, because whatever's got ahold of me seems to care a great deal about mold.”

    But there was nothing I could do, nothing I could say, and no amount of more people collapsing in the presence of mold that prevented 25 years’ worth of researchers saying over and over...

    "But mold doesn't do that, so there is nothing to investigate.”

    As I said a long time ago, "What does one do, when words do not suffice?"

    I don't care what this is. I just know it is happening.

    -Erik (2009)

    *
    >How often do you encounter the "?" indoors?

    Seems to be more outside than in.

    When it is inside, it always seems to be coming "up from underneath."

    Below foundations, from sewers, or the dankest depths of the darkest basement.

    The bad stuff in the walls is just a pale imitation of the crap that lurks beneath.

    -Erik (2010)
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes:
    1,373
    Ashland, Oregon
    :oops:All edited, I think. :Retro smile:
     
  10. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    The most commonly used ag chemical is Roundup. Genetically engineered versions ("Roundup Ready") of various crops (soybeans, corn, cotton etc.) have been developed. Roundup kills everything other than the Roundup Ready crops, thus allowing farmers to worry less about weeds.

    However, there is no Roundup Ready Wheat, and here's why.

    Roundup encourages the growth of Fusarium, which is an outdoor mold creating trichothecenes. (Stachy produces trichothecenes too, so they're similar.) Wheat cannot survive when this mold is present ("Fusarium Head Blight" syndrome).

    Wheat is by far the most prevalent crop in Kansas. Roundup thus is not used on those fields. I suspect that farmers here are hesitant to use Roundup even on the small amount of corn and cotton grown here, for fear that the resulting Fusarium will poison the wheat crops.

    So conceivably the reason that Kansas feels good to me is because there is less Fusarium present. Maybe certain chemicals needed to cause other toxic biotoxins (such as toxic cyanobacteria) are not present here either. And for whatever reason, the "?" does not seem to be present to any great extent in the sewers (as far as I have found so far) in Wichita.

    (BTW, Kansas is of relevance to us because of the CDC study from a while back that there wasn't much ME/CFS in Wichita and that the people here who had it were only mildly sick. And I believe it, because if I moved here my own ME/CFS would be not a big problem either.)

    Whether Kansas will continue to be good, I don't know. As Shoemaker describes in Desperation Medicine, if you add a new chemical (even one thought to be pretty non-toxic to humans), you can go in a moment from having a decent environment to an awful one in terms of the presence of biotoxins.

    This needs to be studied too, of course. It all needs to be studied. Sometimes explaining the reason for an effect is necessary to get people to take it seriously, which is why I've put thought into discussing these issues with various folks.

    I started keeping a journal of my own on Stormy's board just this week. If anyone wants to join us there, please let me know.

    http://roadtoremission.proboards.com/index.cgi?

    Best, Lisa
     
  11. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    The problematic biotoxins are much more strongly correlated with the presence of other chemicals than what people first assume (that dry places are best). There are plenty of places with high humidity that are good. I agree with a lot of it too.

    What this list does not identify correctly for me is the places where the biotoxin that I am calling the "?" is present. Erik has found it in cities up and down the coast of California (e.g. Monterey, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara). And Lake Tahoe seems pretty good except for this stuff.

    Maybe some people who are EI are not specifically reactive to it. We all have our own reactivities, so I wouldn't be surprised.

    Or, maybe they are reacting to it but think it's something internal. That's what I used to think, and (based on all reports) most CFS'ers think that as well.

    This is a demoralizing endeavor, for sure. :(

    Best, Lisa
     
  12. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    I did my version of this. Sometime I'll do each specific place I've visited, maybe.

    A lot of these I just visited during spring/summer/fall. Some might be problematic or even really bad during Suicide Season.

    These are just ratings by those of us who are mostly reactive to biotoxins and little else. They would not be applicable for people who are looking to avoid chemicals, pollution or other issues.

    And since areas vary by day, get worse during Suicide Season, and sometimes suddenly go bad, these descriptions are not to be trusted. Proceed with caution.

    Arizona:

    The whole corridor from just past Benson to Tucson to Phoenix is very bad. Central Arizona (Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott, Camp Verde) is generally fine. Lake Havasu seems fine. Flagstaff is mostly fine, but there are some scattered plumes. The rest of the northern section of the state is terrific.

    California:

    A high percentage has bad plumes: most of the cities along the coast (from Monterey to Santa Barbara), Sacramento, Lake Tahoe. Truckee appears to be dangerous to even drive through. Some cities away from the central coast (e.g. Paso Robles) seem better. Bad plumes are scattered throughout the Bay Area and up into wine country. Erik described Santa Cruz as “partly okay” a few years ago but recently amended that to “I fear it.” Los Banos and the surrounding area felt terrific, and the southern San Joaquim Valley (including Visalia but excluding Bakersfield) felt okay. The area around Bishop (south of the ski areas) is good. Death Valley and the surrounding area is good (though Tecopa has some sewer ponds that are problematic in winter). The whole southeast part of the state (including Barstow) seems okay, though I’ve not heard about Palm Springs. Anything much from Victorville west is probably problematic.


    Colorado:

    Southwest (Corez, Durango, Pagosa Springs) is great. Avoid Telluride/Ridgeway. Grand Junction felt great. Northwestern Colorado (north of I-70) seems great. Rifle/Glenwood Springs/Aspen is not particularly good. Denver seems not good at all. The area around Colorado Springs felt okay. The eastern section of the state is basically like Kansas and feels great. Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park are good. I’ve not been to Colorado at all in the winter and fear that some parts might be much worse or unlivable.

    Idaho:

    I was just in the SE part of the state. Agricultural land, but it felt pretty good.

    Illinois:

    Chicago is surprisingly good in summer, pretty problematic in winter. Central Illinois (near Springfield/Dixon) seems better to me than some of the surrounding agricultural states. The northwest (near Galena) is problematic.

    Iowa:

    There’s something wrong with this state. Most of it is much more problematic than surrounding states (even Illinois, Indiana and Missouri). There was a lot of flooding there fairly recently, so maybe that’s related.

    Indiana:

    Lots of cyanobacteria in agricultural land. Indianapolis seems average for a big city. Indiana Dunes was not as good as I hoped.

    Kansas:

    With only a few pockets of exceptions, excellent throughout. This includes Wichita, which is by far the best big city I’ve been to.

    Michigan:

    Avoid Ann Arbor at all costs. The area west of Ann Arbor was basic Midwest farmland with some “minor” biotoxin.

    Missouri:

    There’s a lot of cyanobacteria in this state in summer. Kansas City was fair for a big city.

    Nebraska:

    Omaha is sort of okay for a big city. I found the western part of the state (from about 10 miles west of Lincoln) to be superb.

    Nevada:

    Apparently excellent throughout, with the exception of Reno, Las Vegas and Carson City. Reno is tolerable for a city except in winter, when the sewer ponds there “fire up.” Las Vegas has some bad plumes that act up in winter. I like this city but stay on the outskirts (e.g. the affluent Summerlin area on the NW side). Carson City should be avoided.

    New Mexico:

    I only drove through SE New Mexico, which had lots of oil fields and generally felt bad to me. All of NE New Mexico (except Taos, where I didn’t go) was quite difficult for me, though I could do maybe a day or two without getting too sick. Las Cruces is okay for a big city except for the winter, when it should be avoided. Socorro was pretty good. Everything south of Socorro was mediocre, especially considering how rural it is. Silver City seems like it might be okay for a city, but I’m not absolutely sure. The Gila Wilderness and everything north of there (NW corner of the state) is excellent. Albuquerque is mostly okay for a big city, except for some plumes in winter. West of Albuquerque (Indian reservations) is great.

    Ohio:

    There’s a lot of cyanobacteria in this state in summer, which I personally find problematic but not wholly deadly. Reports suggest that Cleveland is a place to avoid.

    South Dakota:

    I just went to the Black Hills, which were excellent. Rapid City is problematic, but living on the outskirts and spending time in the city would work.

    Texas:

    Dallas is to be avoided at all costs. There are a lot of oil refineries in this state that would be noxious for anyone with even a touch of MCS.

    Utah:

    I’ve only traveled here in summer. The southern half of the state is excellent. Apparently there’s a nasty plume that sometimes appears in Moab, but I missed it during the two weeks I was there. Cedar City (in August) was good. Salt Lake City seems problematic at any time of year.

    Wyoming:

    I just drove through the SW part of the state. The unpopulated areas were fine with regard to biotoxins but had oil refineries. Yellowstone is quite bad and Jackson Hole makes me nervous. The only city I visited was Cody (near Yellowstone), which was not good. The other cities might be a lot better.
     
  13. soulfeast

    soulfeast Senior Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    44
    Virginia, US
    Glutamates as per Shoemaker

    I think he mentions in most of his pds.. the ratio between glutamates and gaba is off:

    http://www.biotoxin.info/presentations

    He does not associated with any one toxin. I am not sure if he follows up on this but thought he did in one of his presentations.
     
  14. soulfeast

    soulfeast Senior Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    44
    Virginia, US
  15. soulfeast

    soulfeast Senior Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    44
    Virginia, US
  16. soulfeast

    soulfeast Senior Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    44
    Virginia, US
    http://www.me-cfs.dk/KonferenceUK/Information/

    Shoemaker links in here.. and looks like here he is saying glutamates are low in the brain???

    Chemical abnormalities on MRS in
    biotoxin illnesses, not in psych
    • N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine,
    choline, myoinositol normal
    • Lactate high (capillary hypoperfusion)
    • Ratio of (excitatory) glutamate to
    (inhibitory) glutamine: depressed in brain
    fog and high in ADHD/manic
    • Total is 5.2 in cases; 0.9 in controls
    • Corrects with epo, < 3 weeks, if high C4a
     
  17. soulfeast

    soulfeast Senior Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    44
    Virginia, US
    Lisa mentioned sewer ponds and I found this. Not sure how relevant, just trying to understand. Hopefully will be heeding my self advised break from mold talk, esp because my ANS it totally screwed.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...a1cf893a1a6a0ce939cc3a7ec1569c28&searchtype=a

    Toxic cyanobacteria at Nakuru sewage oxidation ponds – A potential threat to wildlife




    References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.


    Kiplagat Kotuta, Andreas Ballotb, Claudia Wiegandc and Lothar Krienitzb, ,

    aPlant and Microbial Sciences Department of Kenyatta University Nairobi, PO Box 43844, GPO 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

    bLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Alte Fischerhtte 2, D-16775 Stechlin, Germany

    cLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Mggelseedamm 301, D-12587 Berlin, Germany

    Received 3 July 2008; revised 17 October 2008; accepted 27 January 2009. Available online 21 March 2009.

    Abstract
    Phytoplankton composition and biomass, and microcystin content were determined on diverse dates between November 2001 and June 2006 in the final oxidation pond of the Nakuru town sewage treatment plant. The oxidation ponds as well as the rivulet that drains the same are important water sources for some wildlife in the park. The phytoplankton composition of the pond studied mostly comprised coccoid green alga species. However, occasionally cyanobacteria or euglenoids were dominant. Among the cyanobacteria, Microcystis sp. made periodic appearance in the phytoplankton, and was the dominant species on some occasions. Total phytoplankton biomass varied widely from 48 to 135 mg L−1 (wet weight) while cyanobacteria biomass ranged from undetectable levels to 130 mg L−1. Most phytoplankton biomass was due to one or a few species. Detectable cyanotoxin concentrations (sum of microcystins) of up to 551.08 μg mg−1 dry weight (DW) of cyanobacteria biomass or 0.28 μg mg−1 DW of total phytoplankton biomass were recorded in samples collected on different dates. Microcystin content did not appear to correspond to the biomass of cyanobacteria suggesting that toxin production is possibly triggered by environmental changes or changes in the proportion of toxic strains. An occasional presence of microcystins in the pond water suggests that the wildlife species, which regularly use the ponds as drinking water sources are potentially exposed to intoxication. A close monitoring of pond water phytoplankton composition is necessary to accurately quantify the potential impact of cyanotoxins on these wildlife species.
     
  18. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes:
    963
    Concord, NH
    Not sure if anyone on here is close by, but this is at 7pm today!

    http://rxandhealth.com/ at this site you will find a link with more info:

    Dr. Shoemaker, MD (Biotoxin Specialist) - Dr. Shoemaker graduated from Duke University
    where he received undergraduate and medical degrees. He is a practicing physician in Pocomoke
    City, MD, and conducts research all across the country. His dedication to his patients and his
    advancement of medicine through research has been recognized often, including receipt of the
    Maryland Academy of Family Practice Physician of the Year 2000 award which was followed by an
    award as a finalist in the National competition for 2002. Dr. Shoemaker has published four books,
    and has numerous publications in scientific research journals, on audio and video tapes and in
    newspapers. He has made many presentations at scientific meetings, and has frequently
    appeared on television. Dr. Shoemaker's lectures are known for their enthusiastic presentation of
    thought provoking ideas. Whether his speech is educational or motivational, he is an entertaining
    speaker with a stimulating approach to thinking that will challenge the listener.

    www.chronicneurotoxins.com
     
  19. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    This is the problem that I have. This is why I'm pursuing this.

    In various places, people are piecing together theories about how XMRV can cause all of the symptoms associated with ME/CFS.

    I don't know enough about viruses to know whether the theories are plausible. They seem reasonable, on the surface.

    The problem is that I am sure that XMRV does not result in these symptoms unless very specific biotoxins are present. If you remove all traces of these biotoxins, and do nothing else, the symptoms all go away.

    Of this, I could not be more sure.

    That being the case, explaining how XMRV causes (to pick a symptom out of a hat) vascular spasm is just plain wrong.

    XMRV is not causing vascular spasm. If something else very specific must be present in order for the vascular spasm to occur, and that something else is not present everywhere, then XMRV is not causing it.

    Perhaps XMRV is interacting with the biotoxin to cause the vascular spasm. Perhaps XMRV is doing something to cause the body to be particularly susceptible to the influences of a tiny amount of the biotoxin, the effects of which are causing the vascular spasm.

    That's a wholly different dynamic though. Thinking about it in that way leads to entirely different research questions.

    We're never going to get anywhere if people keep making up theories that are predicated on wrong assumptions. That's no way to find a cure.

    The biotoxins are part of the dynamic of this disease. If we can understand what that dynamic is, we will be much closer to understanding the disease.

    On the other hand, if people continue to pretend that the biotoxins are not an integral part of the phenomenon (or keep insisting that they're just a trigger for some of the symptoms), we might as well pack it up and go home.

    Which means, of course, out to the GFD. Which, btw, is not a place that I myself want to be. It's the failure of the medical establishment (including those who think of themselves as mavericks) that's keeping me here.

    Those of us who aren't medical doctors aren't supposed to have to figure out all the questions AND all the answers ourselves. That's not reasonable.

    We deserve some help.

    Best, Lisa
     
  20. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes:
    403
    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    Does anyone know if there's a website that shows what the skies are supposed to look like?

    I know that most of the skies that I have seen on my travels do not look like the ones that existed when I was a child in the 1970s. Then, it was an absorbing activity to lie on one's back in the grass and ponder what each of the clouds looked like as they drifted through the sky. Now, even what passes for clouds is so indistinct that the game is meaningless.

    But what I don't remember is whether the skies that I saw yesterday in Wichita ever used to exist. They looked like this, except without the stripe through it:

    http://homepage.mac.com/carolepellatt/No Apology/

    Is that normal?

    (Well, after another look, I found a photo on the same page that looks just like last night's Wichita sky, a bit above the article subheading "Look on the Bright Side -- It's Worse Than You Thought." So I guess it's not normal.)

    I felt like crap all last night, even though the barometer was steady. It wasn't nearly as bad as that stuff that I think is a biotoxin (and that I keep calling "?"), but whatever it was had a huge effect on me.

    The places that have felt really good to me all have had clouds like the ones I saw in Indiana when I was young. There is no such thing in Indiana anymore, but I have seen them in Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, western Nebraska, small parts of Arizona, certain areas of Colorado.

    And Kansas.....though, I'm starting to think, that may be on its way out too. A few days ago, outside Stormy's house, there was a wide swath of a white line cutting through the otherwise perfectly clear and bright blue sky. Airplanes didn't make that kind of trail when I was young, so it's hard to imagine it's just fuel exhaust.

    Most people under the age of 30 have never seen the skies of "yesteryear" and thus have no idea how much they've changed. And for those who are older, it's been such a long time that they just don't remember.

    I wouldn't have noticed either, if I'd not done all this driving around and realized what a strong correlation the look of the skies had with how I was feeling.

    Best, Lisa
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page