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I don't get PEM in Hawaii. Why?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Strawberry, May 11, 2017.

  1. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I just got back (I go periodically because my daughter lives there as a student) and I had a rather unusual week. I always have about a 5% improvement after being on the island for a few days. My daughter knows my limits, and is very cautious with me, but we usually end up walking all of Waikiki after a few days (with stops to sit on the way). But this time, she decided she is done with dorms and traveling back and forth between Seattle and Honolulu, so her and a friend got an apartment. Sooo, of course mom is stupid and says "of course I'll help!"

    By the time the moving in part started, I had all ready been there a few days, and stamina was returning. We shopped for pots and pans. We shopped for a bed. We shopped for this and that. We cleaned. We cleaned some more. I was pushing myself hard, and knew it. She knew it. But I never got sick. I started to twice, felt the sore lumps start in my throat, but then it would go away.

    So here are my theories?

    First, I know MCS and allergies is a huge part. My nasal allergies reduce while I am there, and it comes flooding back as soon as I get to the airport and smell jet fuel. Then my legs turn to jello, I get vertigo, my brain doesn't work right, and I plain and simple look/sound drunk. Thank god for wheel chairs!

    Second, natural vitamin D. Pills make my blood labs look better, but I never feel better. I do think natural vitamin D from sunlight works better for me, although I don't get "better" in Seattle summers.

    Third, which ties to #1, cleanest air in the US. Although I live two blocks from salt water, I think the salty air is much stronger there (for obvious reasons).

    Fourth, heat. Although, once again, I don't feel better when Seattle gets into the 80's?

    And Last, not waking up to an alarm every day, but waking up naturally.

    And to sum up, due to how much I over exerted with no PEM, I actually think my improvement was at least 10%. I would have ranked myself at 75%. Maybe even 80%. I know there are Hawaiians with ME/CFS on this website, so Hawaii is no cure. But why on earth do I feel so much better there?

    Anyone else have this drastic of improvement from travel?
     
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  2. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    I often have temporary improvement in PEM from sleep disruption, but not travel per se. However, travel often results in sleep disruption.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    TiredSam likes this.
  3. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    It could be a latitude issue...aren't there different sun benefits at different times of day and the angle of the sun? I benefit from warm weather and soaking in the sun. Can we start a commune south of US boarder? Imagine pool therapy and lounge chairs. As close to heaven as some of us can get. Just need a really dark room or some sort of black-out mask when the photophobia rears! :p
     
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  4. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    I have extreme improvement while I'm traveling. In fact, while traveling, I feel like a switch is flipped and I'm a completely different person. 2 years ago I took a trip by myself to Budapest, walked 15 miles on a 100 degree day...got heatstroke and was up most of the night puking, but the next day I was totally fine and walked another 10+ miles (though was careful to get more shade and use public transportation a bit more).

    For me, this has nothing to do with sun as I live in Florida and get tons of sun all year round.

    My husband also has brief periods of improvements when he's doing something he loves or really having a lot of fun. Somehow, doing things we are really excited about is able to temporarily alter the chemical messages our brains are getting/sending. I imagine that you really love both being there and also spending time with your daughter, a double whammy. I don't know how this works, so I don't have any answers for you. I hope it lasts and you can continue to enjoy your visits. Maybe you'll even decide to move there someday!
     
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  5. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    It may also say something about sensitivities in our normal environments? Air cabin pressure? Who knows...this disease is always throwing up surprises. I do benefit from warm weather and sun...do you have an extra room @Basilico???
     
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  6. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

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    I too see improvement when I am in Hawaii (dry side of Maui). I too live in the pacific northwest. After my last trip to Hawaii I did a bit of research into what the difference could possibly be and the most likely explanation in my opinion is the minimal barometric pressure changes that Hawaii experiences compared to other places. In Hawaii the range of pressure changes is much smaller than most other places. San Diego also has minimal pressure changes. I plan on visiting there also one winter sometime to see if I experience the same improvement as I do in Hawaii. The below article mentions Honolulu specifically but it also applies to much if not all of Hawaii I believe.

    http://www.wisegeek.org/what-areas-in-the-usa-have-the-fewest-barometric-pressure-changes.htm
     
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  7. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

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    @Strawberry Also not to scare you but Hawaii is currently experiencing a troubling and much increased increased rate of "Rat Lungworm" infection (parasite). Sadly our neighbors daughter is featured in the below article (she is the girl Tatum Larson from Seattle in the story), she contracted the parasite while in Hawaii this year. She thankfully survived but has been left disabled by it, and her life forever changed. It's tragic. Her parents have just told us about their ordeal. Adding to the issue is the Hawaiian government is not wanting to acknowledge how serious the issue is. As a result I will definitely be changing my eating habits if/when I ever return to Hawaii.

    http://www.wisegeek.org/what-areas-in-the-usa-have-the-fewest-barometric-pressure-changes.htm

    also here is a recent The Atlantic article about the Rat Lungworm issue...

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/...brain-invading-worms/522153/#article-comments
     
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  8. Tunguska

    Tunguska Senior Member

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    I'm still assuming my improvements under high sunlight are just nitric oxide. I can't prove this and it could not that alone, but sometimes the simplest explanation... If this is true, it means eventually the effect would run out like much of the experimentation with NO boosters. But there's also a study or two on the metabolism effect of NO boosters and sources like sunlight if they work are probably healthier than say taking arginine.

    Well that's good to know, that's not gonna make it into the brochure. Would the travel agencies warn about this stuff? (forgive my ignorance)
     
  9. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

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    That first article I linked goes into detail about what local communities and state agencies are doing and NOT doing to warn people. Travel agencies probably don't want to warn people about it thus it scares people off. I'm sure tourism is the reason Hawaii's govt doesn't want to talk about the issue much. Whole Foods stopped selling Hawaii grown lettuces at all of their Hawaii stores because of it. The slugs that carry the parasite are itty bitty which doesn't help the situation. That photo in the article showing one on a nickel shows just how small they are.
     
  10. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    Maybe you're sensitive to something in your home - mould, other toxins?
     
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  11. Matthew Jones

    Matthew Jones Senior Member

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  12. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    The difference between Seattle & Hawaii has to be the sunlight.
     
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  13. antherder

    antherder a.k.a. Princess Dauer, Nematode Nation

    @Strawberry, I also wonder if it's something like mold, or specific pollens that you are sensitive to, and constantly exposed to, in your home environment, that they don't have in Hawaii??? Or maybe it's dose related. Less circulating allergens.

    I posted a link on a recent thread about how a sudden change in barometric pressure caused an outbreak of "thunderstorm asthma," which was apparently related to a dramatic increase in pollen spores in the air.

    https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/asthma-and-allergy/thunderstorm-asthma

    The thread;

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...change-spike-your-symptoms.51211/#post-845677

    Are there any particular tree species, like birch, wattle, or pine, or other plant/grass species where you live?

    Edit: Could it be something different about the water supply? (Probably not, just a random thought...)
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  14. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I know personally that being woken up by alarms destroys me. Just that alone may make a big different to you. I need to wake up and get up when my body is ready to do so or I start declining.

    Also consider if there may be more molds where you are right now or in your home.
     
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  15. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    Before we moved to Florida, we were living in the Northeast. We took a 1 week trip to Florida to scout apartments...and during that week, my husband's chronic sinus/congestion issues completely cleared up and he felt much better. The autoimmune arthritis in his knee also disappeared (the reason for moving down south).

    After moving to the same area, his congestion issues slowly starting returning. I think his CFS has been the worst since moving to Florida, though lately he seems to be improving.

    The only thing that makes sense is that when he was briefly exposed to completely different pollen in the air, (during our 1 week scouting trip to Florida) he had no allergic reaction to them, but after moving here he slowly developed a familiarity which led to a reaction. The barometric pressure is likely a big factor in his arthritis, but not his CFS. However, for you it might be a bigger player. The sunshine state has way more year-round sun than up north, so sun isn't a factor for us. We've been in some moldy rentals along the way, and living in those places did not seem to make a difference (one place we moved out of because of chronic mold after a major leak, and he was feeling at his best while living there! WTF???)

    I have read of people moving to the desert to escape their horrible seasonal allergies...only to discover that after a year or two they develop a new allergy to dust! I think if the body is primed to have a reaction, it will seek out anything benign to react to if you remove what it's used to reacting to. I had a friend who had a lot of food allergies, and as he eliminated food from his diet, he'd start reacting to new ones. So maybe moving to Hawaii is not the answer, but you never know!

    @Strawberry , did your daughter live with you before moving to Hawaii? How was your health then? I have a strong suspicion that it's a combination of climate, seeing your daughter, and some other x factor all working together to change the chemical signaling in your brain/CNS/immune system.

    Did you crash when you returned to Seattle? How long do you continue feeling good before you return back to previous "normal"?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  16. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    I did two years ago, when I returned to the state where I grew up, to care for my mother.

    She would only drink reverse osmosis water from the health food store, calling tap water, 'poison'.

    It was a severely stressful time for me...but the increased adrenaline probably wouldn't have sustained me for the month I was there.

    I've since come to realize that fluoridated water, and other fluoride sources, can depress thyroid function. When I returned to my city, I began to slowly decline.

    I see that Seattle fluoridates its water, while Honolulu, and most of Hawaii does not.
    Makes me wonder.

    Edit : I would also add that my experience with PEM seems to be from lowered immunity to infections. When I have a lot of microbes brewing lactate, LPS, etc., I have more pain and lymph node swelling from activity, stress, etc.

    Fluoride displaces iodine in the body. Iodine is antimicrobial, along with being needed for thyroid function, etc.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  17. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I'm in!

    To all, I will try to respond throughout the afternoon. I'm at work, but very good responses I want to try to respond to.
     
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  18. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    @TrixieStix the barometric pressure idea is interesting. Definitely one to think about. Although I do think barometric pressure swings in Seattle, I know my old injuries used to let me know the weather was about to change. I don't recall being sicker/better with weather changing though.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the rat lungworm thing. I had read up on it before I left (I try to keep current on Hawaii news before I travel), so I wouldn't let my daughter buy the local grown lettuce that she wanted. We bought the normal brands that we buy here on the mainland. But hopefully that could save someone in the future that is traveling to Hawaii and sees this thread. I'm so very sorry to hear about your neighbor!

    It would actually be the office in Seattle that I react to. I feel pretty good when I am at home, although I have only been in that home 2 years so I haven't had many vacations there.

    @Matthew Jones Thanks for the links, still plodding through that PR one. Interesting how many people improve there! Makes you wonder about the sick ones in the islands. Do they get worse when they come to the mainland? I remember a while back someone had posted about moving to the mainland, and I half jokingly told them to stay on the island...

    I'll address the rest later...
     
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  19. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    @antherder Yes, my house is surrounded by trees, and I am allergic to all trees and grasses. Thinking this is a big part. @Crux answers an interesting point about fluoride.

    Good point, I wonder if I would eventually become allergic there with time.

    My daughter did live with me for a year, as she needed to save up more money for school. So we can scratch that one off the list. I meant to post that yesterday, but I was in a rush. I started getting the mild sore throat back on Thursday (yesterday), but it is more like the normal "background PEM" from just absolute basic chores of living. I still have not had that "ugh I'm getting really sick with the flu" feeling, and I got back late Monday night. I also have not done anything that I would expect to make me get worse PEM though. That comes this weekend with having to do all the laundry on Saturday so I can spend Sunday with my mom... I will be sick on Monday for sure!
     
  20. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    @Strawberry , I hope your improvement lasts a little longer! Maybe you just have to visit your daughter a lot more ;)
     

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