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Showers are very bad for me

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Crus, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. sphynx on roundabouts

    sphynx on roundabouts

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    Chlorine-free shower head | MCS?

    Hi Crus,

    It looks at though there are a number of things that all conspire against you in the shower that are collectively aggravating your symptoms. My experience is that when the gut is sick and sensitive that even small changes in water, air, temperature, smell, food, products etc. can have a negative impact.

    There have been many great ideas here about things that could reduce the 'shower attack' but I wonder have you considered the quality of the water, the bathroom cleaning products that are used as well as the shower gel ingredients?

    There are shower heads that can fit onto existing showers that filter the water for chlorine and gases that can be produced when the water is released. They can be fitted quickly and without having to pay someone to fit any big new piece of equipment. As a bonus, they also reduce mold.

    When the shower area becomes damp from the water, it releases harsh chemicals from all of the surrounding surfaces from any bathroom cleaning products. Our airways are moistened in the shower/bath which makes us more sensitive to even small changes and can leave us pretty sick. Could it be that you might have some kind of MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)?

    I hope you can find the cause of the problem one way or another.
  2. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    If my shower is too hot or too warm, I get a severe POTS attack, including nausea, faintness. It makes me sick and weak for the rest of the day. Colder showers are better for me, but you don't want to make it ice cold either. It's just kind of trying to adjust it so it's not warm enough to be a trigger and not too cold. I have used a shower chair in the past, but didn't like it and ended up getting rid of it.
  3. Crus

    Crus

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    Madrid, Spain
    Im back, after many experiments, i believe the problem could be MCS, fuck.

    Yesterday i had a shave on my facial hair, almost with no water, only Gillete gel with almost no water and a towel to clean me.

    The result: Same as a shower, body pain, feeling that my defenses are actived, mucosa heavily damaged...
  4. paclabman

    paclabman

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    Let me just throw this out and see if it helps anyone. There are a lot of possibilities here with POTS, OI, and gut issues that I have no experience with.

    But I recently started wearing a heart rate monitor. This following testing at Pacific Fatigue Lab. One of the things I've learned is that there is a very high metabolic cost from drying off after a bath or shower. Maybe it's the drying off after a bath or shower that's causing PEM symptoms? Maybe it's not the bath or shower that is the problem.

    Just today I left my monitor unit downstairs while I took a shower upstairs. The bathroom is directly over the kitchen counter where I left my wrist monitor. So right after I dried off, I put the chest strap for the heart rate monitor back on. When I came back down, my wife told me something had been beeping. hehe .... it was my HRM cause i went over my limit (set at 105 BPM). Drying off really raises heart rate.

    There are tables of Metabolic equivalents for all kinds of activities of daily living and other things. If you look it up, drying off after a bath or shower has a very high cost - about 4.5 METS if I remember right. This is a lot more that most other things we do - prob. equivalent to walking at 4 or 5 mph.

    For some, it might be worth trying to dry off more slowly, sitting down to dry off etc. I've been surprised by some of the things I've learned from my HRM. Been thinking of starting a topic to see what other people have learned.
  5. glenp

    glenp "and this too shall pass"

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    It could be multiple probs. I have a chair in my shower downstairs but dont use it as i need my seat to be lower at the back.

    At my worse I go into the tub, rest on my knees and wash myself. i have a hose extension so I can just stay kneeling on my knees to rinse myself off. I find that the warmer the water is the worse it makes me feel, I think its the steam, and also the warmer water makes the plastic hose extension off gas. I make sure every bit of soap is rinsed off- I use vinegar to get it out of my hair. I have been using Dr Bronners unscented castille or glycerine soap which doesnt seem to be as bad as the other soaps. I only use soap where I have too. You mentioned the shave cream - might have alcohol in?? I used to have fancy soap in all my drawers- about 30 bars and got rid of them.

    glen
  6. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Sorry to hear that. I was reviewing this thread briefly, and I was thinking at the beginning: How much is this person doing every day? Then you mention that you work/can work about 6 hours a day and then other tasks of course, we still need to live! Hope MCS is not to serious for you! Luckily, I do not have that issue, therefore I have limited knowledge.

    GG
  7. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Same here. Showering, including hairwashing and drying off, would send me into a crash. It was a combo of the hands-over-the-head hair washing, standing too long, heat, and drying off that did me in. The Hunter-Hopkins Clinic and a heart rate monitor helped me figure that out.

    Now I sit in the shower and while drying. I have a little portable shower stool. I wrap myself in 2 towels, sit, and pat dry to minimize the arm-waving while drying. I don't wash my hair in the morning if I'm going to have a busy (for me) day. For a long time hair washing was the 1 "big" thing I could do in a day.

    I concentrate on not raising my arms over my head any more than absolutely necessary -- minimal scalp rubbing and lots of water while rinsing, for example.

    I don't shower with very hot water any more -- warm water is much easier on the OI.

    Last, but not least, I schedule my shower so that I can lay down for at least an hour afterwards.

    Cruz, you could be having MCS problems, but many of your symptoms could also come from WAY over-working your body and then not resting. A shower, for some PWCs, is like running a marathon. If you take a shower and then try to go on with your day without resting, you could be pushing your body much, much too hard. It would be worth the test to do minimum energy, minimum OI effect showers (with the rest after) showers for a while and see how it goes. :)

    It's not such a big deal now that I'm doing better with Valcyte, but I've gotten in the habit of not wasting what energy I have on my shower, so I keep doing it. ;)
    jeffrez likes this.
  8. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Sheesh I have so many of the same things! I find myself putting off bathing for ever-longer periods since it tires me out so much. I've often pondered the absurdity of having to chose between preparing a meal or bathing for my "one big thing." (Crikey, before CFS I used to swim a full hour five mornings a week, shower, and then go work an 11 hour day.) Now I bathe when I finally can't stand smelling my own hair anymore. Eeew.

    Now that I have a bathtub in the new place, the hair-washing isn't as bad--I think it's better than the shower chair bc your legs are more even with your heart in the bathtub. Raising the arms isn't as bad from that semi-recumbent position, at least for me anyway.

    I too find that it is the drying off that gets me (and the skin-brushing beforehand, if I'm not careful.) I also sit down to dry off, but sometimes I've had to lie right down on the bathroom floor and not move after bathing--which doesn't happen as much now that I use cooler water. Too-hot water makes the OI bad, but can also make me all shaky, nauseous and detoxy. I also need to make sure I have lie-down time after a bath or shower. None of this wash-dress-and run like in the old days <sigh>

    As for Gilette, please throw it away! Even if you don't have active MCS that stuff is filled with endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins etc :eek: Buy something nice and free of artificial perfumes and preservatives at the natural store, or order something like this:
    http://www.chagrinvalleysoap.com/shavingsoap.htm
    I use their shampoo bars and I LOVE them.
  9. glenp

    glenp "and this too shall pass"

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    Vancouver Canada suburbs
    I forgot - I also have a big terry robe - sometimes just put it on and lay down- it does the drying
  10. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    The role of hot water

    I agree that the metabolic cost of showering can contribute to "post-shower symptom exacerbation".

    Personally I find that the hot water itself is a major factor. I especially don't respond well to hot baths, they induce a rapid head-pounding heartbeat and major dizziness which usually leads to headache and exhaustion.

    I read somewhere that it is normal for people to feel more relaxed or even sleepy after their body temperature increases then decreases due to hot water. So it is also possible that those with ME/CFS have to endure this phenomenon on top of all the other adverse effects and it may not combine well.

    Avoiding standing under the water when soaping, and lowing the temperature to lukewarm (during summer when more practical) may help to minimize these effects for some patients. Showering at night or before bed may also help to make it easier to ride out the effects.
  11. Crus

    Crus

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    Madrid, Spain
    biophile:

    "Showering at night or before bed may also help to make it easier to ride out the effects." Why?. Its weird, i use to fell better when showers are at night, exactly when i feel with less energy.


    leela, thx for the shop info, i already dropped that Gillette awful product ;)

    In my case being standing or not, doest not make a big differente. Not even the temperature, sometimes i feel my body prefer hotter water, but i stay in mild water.

    Sickofcfs, marathon, bath, ... it makes sense.

    ggingues, maybe i should have showers only when i feel very well. Not in the bad moments. Thats a good point of view!
  12. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    southern california
    read a book that recommended hot jacuzzi and hot sauna. i did each for 10minutes and i was crashed so badly for days and days!!
  13. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Hi,

    I wonder if you could use wet towellettes without a problem? I got some that were imported from Europe that only had natural ingredients. I don't have the same problem with bathing but sometimes if I want extra cleanliness or don't want to use the energy bathing I use those. I hope you can solve this, reading this thread it is amazing to me there are so many symptom categories even beyond what I have, though I can't work and have to lie down 12+ hours a day.
  14. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Concord, NH
    I think FIR Saunas would be better. FYI

    GG
    jeffrez likes this.
  15. rwinsmom528

    rwinsmom528

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    If you start a topic i would also be interested in following it. I want to get a heart rate monitor. Any reccomendations as to brand and model?
  16. Emootje

    Emootje Senior Member

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    The Netherlands
    Perhaps the diving reflex is bothering you:


    diving reflex.JPG

    http://advan.physiology.org/content/27/3/130.full.pdf

    Wetness on your face:
    • sympathetic ↑ > norepinephrine ↑ > less blood flow to the gut, skin, limbs, kidneys
    • bradycardia is reducing your cardiac output > less blood flow to the organs
    biophile likes this.
  17. Crus

    Crus

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    Madrid, Spain
    2 years since i wrote this thread, but i didnt got better :\
  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    sorry to hear that Crus
  19. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    These symptoms are consistent with some form of mast cell activation disorder. In my opinion, it would be appropriate to have the following tests done:
    • 24-hour urinary 5-HIAA (to rule out carcinoid syndrome)
    • 24-hour urinary N-methylhistamine (to look for mast cell issues)
    • Tryptase (to potentially differentiate between mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome)
    More info at ME/CFS is a mast cell disorder (hypothesis).

    Good luck!
  20. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    u.s.a.
    nanonug
    where did you hear about those tests? I also am intolerant to showers and baths, I put off washing my hair for weeks and just do lukewarm really shallow baths because I get blurry vision and brain fog and other things from them.

    I think its combo of the heat but also maybe chemicals in the water.

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