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Enough of an elevation change to affect energy levels?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by AlwaysTired, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired Senior Member

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    When I got CFS in 2015 I was living in Tucson then moved to Southern Utah, and am currently living in Phoenix. Although I'm still debilitated by this illness I have had more energy here in Phoenix than either Tucson or Utah. Have always wondered why I feel better here than in the other 2 places, but wrote wro elevation as I had assumed Tucson and Phoenix were close in that regard. Evidently, that is not the case.

    Phoenix is about 1,000 ft above sea level, whereas Tucson is 2,389 ft and the city I lived in/will be moving back to is 2,860 ft above sea level.

    Obviously none are high altitude cities but is the difference enough that someone with ME/CFS would feel more fatigued, sleepy and/or tired with the elevation increase?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  2. jpcv

    jpcv Senior Member

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    SE coast, Brazil
    I live at sea level and I often travel to my parent´s home(800 meters above sea level) and I don´t feel any difference.
    Once or twice a year I go to the mountains - 1600 meters- and I feel great there.
    Last month on my trip to NY our flight had a stopover in Bogotá, around 2600 meters above sea level. I felt very tired, thank God I had a wheelchair reserved for me.
     
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  3. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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  4. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I think it's possible. We people with ME/CFS are sensitive to so many things which barely affect "normal" people. You might try increasing your B12. B12 can sometimes help with altitude sickness. Before ME/CFS, I was able to go to Mammoth in California (around 8000 feet) with no problem. After my health started declining, I got sick at that elevation, very tired, very bad headache, I think nausea too (it's been awhile).
     
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  5. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired Senior Member

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    The air is really dry in all these places (Sonoran and Mojave desert) so I know it's not that. And on Phoenix has terrible air pollution, the other two cities have very little, yet here I am feeling better in Phoenix. Is blood oxygen concentration a reliable enough indicator of whether the altitude is the culprit (i.e. if it's about the same in all locations, can I trust that it's not an alitude issue)
     
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  6. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired Senior Member

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    I did one of the methylation protocols while I was living in Utah and it didn't do anything for me. Then when I moved here and got Medicaid (and thereby the means to cover blood tests) I had my b12 levels tested and they were so high that my doctor said it could be causing my anxiety. While I was still living in Utah, I started having these weird buildups of nervous energy that gave me restless limbs to the point I'd have to get up out of bed and exercise to try to dispel it cause it was so uncomfortable. Now I know it's cause I had so much B12 in my system.

    I did find one post on here where someone said they were effected by an altitude increaseincre less than mine, so I know it's possible. But it seems most/more people actually feel better with an increase (up to a certain altitude) or don't feel worse at least?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  7. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Hi @AlwaysTired - B12 issues are not always clear cut. High levels of B12 in the blood can actually mean that your body has trouble using B12, getting it into the cells where it's needed and using it, so it builds up in the blood instead. So high blood levels of B12 can actually indicate a deficiency, strangely enough.

    My B12 levels on blood work are always high, but on hair analysis, it's almost undetectable, and I have to take a large dose of B12 every day (5000 to 10000 mcg.) to get benefit from it.

    I'm wondering if you were over-methylating when you had those weird buildups of nervous energy. I'm not an expert on methylation but I know if someone goes too fast, they can develop symptoms of over methylation which I think are similar to what you experienced. Member Caledonia has compiled a ton of useful information about methylation here and I think it would be good to check out item no 3, "Start low and go slow".

    About altitude - I've never read that most people feel better with an increase in altitude, particularly not people with ME/CFS. Like I said, I never had trouble at a higher altitude until my health went in the toilet.
     
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