A Remarkable Recovery Story

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A simple method to gage whether you are likely getting enough UVB from sunlight to make much vitamin D is to check whether your shadow is shorter than your height. Shorter means yes and longer means no. This seems to work both for time of day and for seasonal variations (and latitude variations). In late afternoon or early morning your shadow will be long even in summer. In winter it's always long. And of course if it's very cloudy you have no shadow so again your probably not getting much.
 

Hip

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That is a very intriguing calculation method, Phil!

As you say, in the winter, when the UVB is lower, the sun is lower in the sky, so you shadow will be longer. So it makes sense.
 

adreno

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Yet another factor could be "altitude training". If we move up in altitude we increase the hemoglobin levels in our blood. This will help us carry more oxygen. Many athletes use this principle in their training.
 
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Hip, as well as Vit D, a latitude effect I was wondering about was along the lines of a magnetic influence.
No doubt I only know .00000007% of any part of it but I do know certain bacteria pathogenic in some conditions (in immune compromised humans?) just do not thrive if the magnetic field changes. I'm aware of how this works in applying organic principles to reducing fungal disease on grapes for example...by spraying the vines with other bacteria to "control" the bad guys. B subtillis is sometimes used with grapes and in some applications it's "simply" the paramagnetic influence of b subtilis that prevents the disease...by basically pulling the plug on the bad bacterias ability to cause any mischief.
Does that sound woo woo? No doubt it does to some. LOL. I have been working on, among other things, a bioremediation project for a year now and have seen the b subtillis (and others) effect in action so I already have my head around the possibility I guess. It's pure speculation in this case but the latitude and possibly magnetic influence has got my attention. It's harmless fun to speculate isn't it? :)

FWIW and if anyone is interested, b subtillis is an active ingredient in Three lac, and I think also in Kevita (a probiotic beverage).
....Anyway, I think it's possible a number of factors could come together for any one individual in any one place, in such a way that they feel better or at least have a part of their pathogenic load lifted?

I don't think anything should be ruled out.
 

Lou

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I have traveled to Argentina in Jan-Feb, their summer, since 2006. Usually spend 5-8 weeks. Can say I always, always feel better, healthier down there after just a few days.

Nothing to back this up, but I don't think it's the sun, warmth, latitude or vit D. It's the food. The beef is from free range cows, chickens, too(I think), and they are pretty much free of the hormones, antibiotics, and other crap we get here in the States. It's not just the meat, either, the vegatables are fresh, seasoned in all kind of good herbs, etc. While there I drink a certain plastic-bottled water, something Del Sur, but it can't be all that bad as my kidneys, unlike here, work like they belonged to a 20 year old during my stay.

So, as I said, nothing scientific, just my hunch on what happens in my case.
 
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I feel unhappy with this story of recovery. Of course it's great for the boy that he recovered. He doesn't deserve a life of misery. I'm unhappy because it reminds me of the person who said "I had M.E but then I took Omega 3 supplements and it went away" sort of story.

I don't think this illness has much to do with Vitamin D either. There are so many Australian M.E patients and they have so much sunshine there. When I first got this my parents and doctors sent me to school and then pushed me for a holiday in Israel because "the sun and change of location would do me good." It made me worse.
I now live in a sunny hot climate. I find that *sensible* mild sunbathing for vitamin D just outside my flat often makes me need to lie down in a darkened room afterwards. Sometimes I even worsen after it. It is good to have vitamin D but it doesn't cure this.

Also before recovery the boy "played" guitar while lying down for *"5-6 hours a day"*. That is a heck of a lot. Even if he wasn't focusing during the strumming or just drifting off, it still sounds like he did not suffer the CCC criteria. His mother doesn't mentioned breaks inbetween "playing". He seemed to manage a terribly long flight, even if it was difficult for him. She mentions he had a 4 day crash afterwards. I'm not saying he wasn't ill, it's obvious he had a severe physical illness, it just sounds like it might be something different.

It could be intolerance to something in the boy's house like mold or something. In that case he did not have M.E. He had a severe allergy or intolerance to something in his home.

Does Costa Rica really have no people with M.E ?
More realistic gradual anecdotal improvements or proper published papers lift my spirits more and can teach us more than this.
 
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I have traveled to Argentina in Jan-Feb, their summer, since 2006. Usually spend 5-8 weeks. Can say I always, always feel better, healthier down there after just a few days.

Nothing to back this up, but I don't think it's the sun, warmth, latitude or vit D. It's the food. The beef is from free range cows, chickens, too(I think), and they are pretty much free of the hormones, antibiotics, and other crap we get here in the States. It's not just the meat, either, the vegatables are fresh, seasoned in all kind of good herbs, etc...
I was once strongly recommended to go for my health to an unpolluted island off Spain called La Gomera (part of Canary Islands.) The reason given that it was one of the least polluted places on earth and also has one of the most pleasant climates on earth.

I stupidly went there and had a relapse after the flight for a few days and then a relapse after the flight back.
Nothing changed in my core symptoms of hellish muscle pain and exhaustion. I was in bed for most of the holiday. However I did have better digestion on their unpolluted food there. Also my nasal allergies disappeared during my stay. I haven't been on holiday anywhere since because it was such a bad experience.
I just mention this because there is something correct in what you were saying about food and pollution.
Generally I think this illness is too serious for just a move of location.
 

Hip

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as well as Vit D, a latitude effect I was wondering about was along the lines of a magnetic influence.
The most interesting magnetic influences on health that I am aware of are geomagnetic disturbances (aka: geomagnetic variations). These are minute vibrations and oscillations that naturally and continuously occur in the Earth's magnetic field. We are immersed in this magnetic field everywhere, and so cannot really avoid the impact of these vibrations (and they are generally harmful).

These magnetic field vibrations are strongest around the 60° North and 60° South latitudes, so by moving from Vancouver, Canada (49.3° North) to Costa Rica (9.9° North) you would considerably reduce you exposure to geomagnetic disturbances.

Geomagnetic disturbance research is certainly not a "woo woo" area. Some researchers think that the increased prevalence of multiple sclerosis that manifests the further north (or south) you are from the equator may not in fact be due to the decreased sunlight and vitamin D you get as you move away from the equator, but rather due to the increased geomagnetic disturbances you get as you move towards 60° North, or 60° South. See this paper:

Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis: an ecological study of 111 locations in 24 countries


It is also known that blood coagulation increases with increased geomagnetic disturbances (refs: 1 2). People with ME/CFS already tend to have blood that coagulates too much, so higher geomagnetic disturbances will make this worse.

Geomagnetic disturbances can also cause cardiovascular problems, affect heart beat, cause heart attacks, strokes, affect vascular tone, and affect the autonomic nervous system. Refs: 1 2 3


It would be very difficult to shield yourself from geomagnetic disturbances, since magnetic fields pass freely through most materials. Only entirely surrounding yourself with several inches of solid iron (or mu-metal) would work— but that is obviously completely impracticable.
 

Hip

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I have traveled to Argentina in Jan-Feb, their summer, since 2006. Usually spend 5-8 weeks. Can say I always, always feel better, healthier down there after just a few days.

Nothing to back this up, but I don't think it's the sun, warmth, latitude or vit D. It's the food. The beef is from free range cows, chickens, too(I think), and they are pretty much free of the hormones, antibiotics, and other crap we get here in the States. It's not just the meat, either, the vegatables are fresh, seasoned in all kind of good herbs, etc.
I wonder if your feeling healthier in Argentina might also be due to the warm, open and hospitable disposition of the people in many South American countries. I personally love the South American spirit; being in the company of South Americans tends to make me feel much more relaxed and at ease; it is a definite mood booster.
 

Hip

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Also before recovery the boy "played" guitar while lying down for *"5-6 hours a day"*. That is a heck of a lot. Even if he wasn't focusing during the strumming or just drifting off, it still sounds like he did not suffer the CCC criteria.
Remember that a diagnosis of ME/CFS concerns the type of symptoms, not their severity. There is a great variation in symptom severity in ME/CFS patients, from people that are entirely bedbound, to people that are able to go to work, but with a considerable struggle.

However, it has to be borne in mind that Paul may not have had ME/CFS at all, but one of the many other conditions that mimic ME/CFS.
 

Hip

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This thread has just reminded me of one of my own "location effect" health experiences, which is as follows:

Before I developed ME/CFS, I suffered from IBS for some years. However, I always noticed that whenever I would leave the UK for a break, and travel to Paris (a place I used to like to visit), my IBS symptoms would more-or-less disappear— but just while I was in Paris.

My two speculations on the causes of my Parisian IBS remission:

(1) The higher quality of food you get in Paris, which is less processed, better cooked, and probably freer of preservatives, etc.
(2) In Paris (as well as most of Continental Europe) they use ozone as the means of disinfecting the tap drinking water supply — so possibly the small amounts of ozone in the drinking water acted as a beneficial ozone therapy for my IBS? In the UK (and in the US) chlorine is used as the drinking water disinfectant, and in some areas of the UK and US, the disinfectant chloramine is also added to the drinking water as well as chlorine. I know chloramine is added to the drinking water supply in my area. Unlike chlorine, chloramine is not removed from the water by boiling. Chloramine is said to be destroyed by stomach acid, so that it never gets further than the stomach — although what this means for ME/CFS patients with low stomach acid, I don't know. (If chloramine containing tap drinking water is used in kidney dialysis machines, the small amounts of chloramine in the tap water can cause hemolytic anemia in the patients.)
 

Chris

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Hip, thanks for those notes on geomagnetism--this thought has passed through my mind too. Oddly enough, it seems Paul usually felt a bit better in summers, but not this summer gone by, when he felt worse. I had the same pattern (we both live(d) in Victoria--I had a really bad summer this year. I think there were some major solar flares? If that is part of the situation, I guess there is not a hell of a lot we can do about it! But the stuff about latitude is intriguing--thanks, will keep thinking. Best, Chris
 

Hip

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Some other interesting things I have just learnt about sunlight and vitamin D:

Ultraviolet of the UVB type produces vitamin D3 on our skin, but UVB light is blocked by window glass. Window glass only lets through UVA light, which does not produce vitamin D3. What's more, according this this very interesting article by Dr Mercola on vitamin D, UVA light can actually destroy the vitamin D3 on your skin. So sunlight or daylight shining on you through a window can reduce you vitamin D3 levels.

Interestingly, sunlight also produces another important nutrient when it strikes the skin: namely cholesterol sulfate. I have just learnt this. I thought that vitamin D3 was the only nutrient synthesized within the skin by sunlight, but in fact ultraviolet from the sun apparently produces cholesterol sulfate too.
 

Chris

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Hip, there is also the whole and fairly new story involving UV A (after all, millions of years of evolution, and all that free energy --we should have figured out ways to use some of it, and we have!) and nitric oxide: see
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nigh.gove/pubmed/19797169
and also a whole magazine issue, Vol. 3 issue 10, if you click on "magazines" in the www.aor.ca website. There is more to UV than just Vit D ,important though that is.
Chris
 

Hip

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Hip, you should look up Stephanie Seneff's interview with Mercola on Youtube. Really, really worth a watch. :)Anne.
Very interesting video — thanks Anne.

Hip, there is also the whole and fairly new story involving UV A (after all, millions of years of evolution, and all that free energy --we should have figured out ways to use some of it, and we have!) and nitric oxide: see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19797169
Chris
So UVA from the sun raises nitric oxide — another solar effect that I have learnt! That might be significant: nitric oxide is a potent antiviral and antibacterial, and in fact the immune system makes nitric oxide to destroy microbes.
 

August59

Daughters High School Graduation
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Southern hemisphere has very, very little air pollution. All the pollution from the Northern Hemisphere can't migrate to the Southern Hemisphere. Argentina can still grow crops without using pesticides. They do not have to give their cattle hormones and antibiotics just to keep them alive so they can make it to market.

It's easy to see on a world map that 90% or so of industrial pollution is in the Northern Hemisphere.

Costa Rica is probably in the Northern Hemisphere, but I bet there are no trade winds that carry pollution to it!
 

Hip

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Just came across the following, so I thought I'd post it in this thread:
Benefits of sunlight exposure, other than Vitamin D

The sun may be best known for boosting production of vitamin D, but there are many other UVR-mediated effects independent of this pathway.

Direct immune suppression. Exposure to both UVA and UVB radiation can have direct immunosuppressive effects through upregulation of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-10) and increased activity of T regulatory cells that remove self-reactive T cells. These mechanisms may help prevent autoimmune diseases.

Alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Upon exposure to sunshine, melanocytes and keratinocytes in the skin release α-MSH, which has been implicated in immunologic tolerance and suppression of contact hypersensitivity. α-MSH also helps limit oxidative DNA damage resulting from UVR and increases gene repair, thus reducing melanoma risk, as reported 15 May 2005 in Cancer Research.

Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Released in response to both UVA and UVB exposure, this potent neuropeptide modulates a number of cytokines and is linked with impaired induction of immunity and the development of immunologic tolerance. According to a report in the September 2007 issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology, mast cells (which mediate hypersensitivity reactions) play a critical role in CGRP-mediated immune suppression. This could help explain sunlight’s efficacy in treating skin disorders such as psoriasis.

Neuropeptide substance P. Along with CGRP, this neuropeptide is released from sensory nerve fibers in the skin following UVR exposure. This results in increased lymphocyte proliferation and chemotaxis (chemically mediated movement) but may also produce local immune suppression.

Endorphins. UVR increases blood levels of natural opiates called endorphins. Melanocytes in human skin express a fully functioning endorphin receptor system, according to the June 2003 Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and a study published 24 November 2005 in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology suggests that the cutaneous pigmentary system is an important stress-response element of the skin.

Source: here.