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Does anyone else finds cold environment to be a life saver?

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It's currently summer, and temperatures are rising. It was about a year and a half of my illness when I was on skiing trip that I noticed that cold environment really helps with my symptoms. I remember that I was working on something on my laptop and I felt REALLY tired and inflamed, it was hard to keep up the concentration, so I went outside to the terrace in my sweater (it was 0 degrees celsius outside), bringing my laptop with me. I sat there for 10 minutes continuing my work, and my symptoms completely went away for those 10 minutes. As I got back inside they slowly came back. That was the moment I realised that heat is really increasing my symptoms and that cold environment can often improve them a lot.

After that I changed the conditions in my house. I always turn down the heating a lot at winter, keep the windows opened. And I always keep the AC on at summer. I also took a lot of cold showers in one period, but now it seems like they're not working as they used to.

I think I would go crazy without the AC in the summer. A lot of times I feel like I'm going crazy really with extreme pressure in my head, and just feeling you can say even depressed, and when I turn the AC on, or go to the fresh cold air I get a dramatic relief. And the heat even doesn't have to be that extreme to cause a flare up of my symptoms, sometimes I feel terrible even at normal room temperature (around 23 degrees celsius) and after I turn my AC to 17 I feel a relief.

I'm wondering if this is something common for people with ME/CFS. I think it's probably the single most important thing that influences my symptoms. Even with exertion I feel that the problem is more in my body overheating than the exertion itself. For example in the winter, I can walk around and feel fresh and happy, and at summer it's really painful to walk around (I feel tired, have all sorts of pain trough out my body, I feel dizzy and foggy)
 
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I went outside to the terrace in my sweater (it was 0 degrees celsius outside), bringing my laptop with me. I sat there for 10 minutes continuing my work, and my symptoms completely went away for those 10 minutes.
Until reading @gregh286 's link re brown fat, I had no idea why it was that in the depth of winter, tho granted not in a totally frigid northern climate, but still pretty nippy, I'd be swanning around the house with no heat on and wearing my little terry-cloth summer romper, while DB, who's of tough Nordic Viking stock and grew up enduring Minnesota winters, would be bundled up in thick flannel PJ's and a snuggie blanket, shaking his had at me in disbelief.


I knew about brown fat and its ability to burn fat more effectively than muscle or pretty much anything else we have in our tool kit, but I didn;t know that my seemingly boundless ability to endure pretty brisk temps without needing so much as a little sweater might be due to the fortunate genetic gift of an overabundance of the brown stuff.

Like you @chaki90 , I prefer cold weather and always feel better when it's at least very cool, overcast, grey, and drizzly. I dread Summer, and I start dreading it at the start of Spring, which in spite of its shamelessly exhibitionistic display of vivid flowers popping up all over the place and trees flaunting their newly-greened leaves, always leads to the inevitable, steamy, sweaty, brain-clogged misery that leaves me limp and unhappy for months on end.

I'm not sure if the colder temps improve my fatigue and brain fog dramatically, but I'm going to be on the lookout for that now, thanks to your post :woot::woot::thumbsup::D:):):)
I think I would go crazy without the AC in the summer.
I've never understood how places like AZ, FL, pretty much all of the south, the Tropics, most of Africa and Malaysia, and anyplace that can be described as a desert ever enticed settlers to stay before the invention of AC. I mean, really, what were they thinking?


And @gregh286 , thank you so much for that article, it explained a lot .....
 
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gregh286

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Yes I bath in 13 degree water Celsius in Ireland in summer in sea water.

It takes about 10 mins to edge in but I feel the point in time switching metabolic. It usually starts with a heart flutter and an adrenaline release and then boom total change in energy. I think that's the brown fat switch I feel or something in those lines.

Many of us scoffed at David cameroon sister pulling out if cfs with cold lake swimming few years back.
We may have been premature.
It doesn't cure cfs but does allow for switch flipping.

Did you see the figures in article.
350% increase possible in 68f water.
 
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Did you see the figures in article.
350% increase possible in 68f water.
Staggering, tho that phenomenal figure of the 353% increase was in 57 degree water, which is pretty cold, tho certainly no colder than what you do, you incredibly tough polar bear !!! .... and a pretty impressive 93% in just 68 degree water. Nippy, but totally doable, and nothing near as sharp as bathing in Ireland's sea water .... and the fact that even at I think a 60 degree air temp, while the benefits arent as impressive or as draatic, even that produces positive results ....


Katherine Hepburn, who lived to something like a very respectable like 97, would swim every morning in her far-North US lake, and was sharp as a takc and pretty effing healthy right to the end.

I agree. I think we have some rethinking to do about Cameron's sister's pulling out of CFS ...
 
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valentinelynx

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I much prefer cold temps. The heat in Tucson, AZ in the summer is awful. I buy sweaters and jackets for the winter, but rarely wear them! We lived for 3 years at 7,000 feet elevation in Utah. I loved walking in the cold. Once I figured out how to keep my feet from freezing and my nose from running, even 5º F (-15º C)was pleasant! I remember enjoying hot evenings when traveling to places with such when I was well, but no more.
 
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I'm wondering if this is something common for people with ME/CFS. I think it's probably the single most important thing that influences my symptoms. Even with exertion I feel that the problem is more in my body overheating than the exertion itself. For example in the winter, I can walk around and feel fresh and happy, and at summer it's really painful to walk around (I feel tired, have all sorts of pain trough out my body, I feel dizzy and foggy)
I actually find that this is the opposite for me! I really struggle in cold weather--the cold and the shivers sap my energy. My feet and toes also get so painfully cold. And it takes me longer to recover from bathing because my temperature falls after I turn off the warm water, and that exhausts me for hours. It would be so expensive to heat my home to the point where I would feel comfortable in the winter, so I bundle up and huddle under my electric blanket most of the day. But if the temperature is between 60-85F (depending on humidity) I am quite comfortable.
 
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The heat in Tucson, AZ in the summer is awful
Oh God, is it ever ..... and screw all that bullshite , "Yes but it's a dry heat you know .... "


Bite me.

So is a pizza oven, and there's a lot of similarity between those two.

Have you tried escaping up Mt Lemmon? I had old family friends with a big spread in Sabino Cnyn, and we'd often hie ourselves off to the loftier reaches of Mt Lemmon, where it was downright cold, even in the middle of summer..... it was heaven. ....

But after the Big Horn fire, I'm not sure what access would be like .....

It's like some vicious unassailable force is wheeling it's way around the West and Southwest and trying to burn the whole damn thing to the ground, one piece at a time. And I'm only half-way kidding ....
 
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You could find out if you follow what the subjects in the research @gregh286 posted did. 1 hour a day in 68 degree water for 10 days.
Hey, I know !!!! Why don't you give it a shot and report back to me, yes :eek::eek: ?


Yeah, that's the ticket.

Awaiting your field report sometime in the near future, after which I'll proceed based on content and field reporter's survivabilitousness :):) :D :confused::confused: :woot::woot: :xeyes: .....
 
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It would be so expensive to heat my home to the point where I would feel comfortable in the winter, so I bundle up and huddle under my electric blanket most of the day
I remember when I first came to these threads about 18 months ago, you were awaiting the delivery of a new electric blanket for the inevitable arrival of winter, and were happy as a squirrel with a Mars bar (I just can't get him out of my mind) when it finally came and proved to be close to perfect.

That's when it occurred to me that you probably weren't a cold weather girl :woot::woot: :thumbsup: :hug::hug:
 

Wishful

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I haven't tried cold soaking, but my winters go down to -40, and I've been out in that for hours...without it making my ME symptoms any different. I think it's one of those differences we have: some people benefit from cold, because of how their metabolism works, and some people might feel worse, because their metabolism isn't functioning properly.

You might try experimenting with things that affect internal heat generation: diet, spices, cold soaking. If you can identify factors that make you feel worse, you can at least take steps to minimize them. I know some things boost thermogenesis, but I haven't looked for any that inhibit it.

This year has been cool in central Alberta. I think the highest I've seen so far is 22C. It was 6C this morning. Indoors is 13C, and I'm wearing fleece and have a lap blanket. In winter, I keep my room temperature below 12C, so according to that link, I should have plenty of brown fat. My ME seems unusual, since I don't show any signs of mitochondrial dysfunction in my muscles, so that would probably make my response to heat and cold unusual too.

Hot weather doesn't seem to affect my ME either, but I detest hot weather for the usual reasons.

If you really want to avoid hot weather, I recommend west central Alberta. There's something about the area that keeps it cooler overall than most places in Canada. Areas much further north may get colder winters, but in summer they're often hotter than here. Labrador might stay cool from icebergs floating by, but it's damp, and the nights don't cool down as much as it does here.
 
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I think it's one of those differences we have: some people benefit from cold, because of how their metabolism works, and some people might feel worse, because their metabolism isn't functioning properly.
This does seem to lend weight to The Metabolic Trap Guy's theories, or at least some of them, which generally would be those that I can currently remember ....
You might try experimenting with things that affect internal heat generation: diet, spices, cold soaking.
I have. I start the day with a cup of warm, not hot, cinnamon/ginger/potassium/bone marrow 'tea', chock full of electrolytes with a bit of protein and a lot of potassium. If for some reason I don;t drink that, it pretty much dampens the whole day, sometimes totally destroys it. It took several years of trialing of each separate compoenent, then adding them one to another one at a time until I finally perfected this AM cocktail. It's made a big difference.


Hard to tell about the warming effect .... rain, shine, full blast summer AC, full bore winter chill and winds, I'm still swanning about in my little terry-cloth summer rompers, altho when the winter winds really start to bite, I put on a large silky shirt over that, and that seems to be enough to keep me comfy.

But back in the bad old days, it was hard to know what was going to work .... I took to dressing in easily removable layers that, when I was deeply fatigued, would turn up all over the house, flung across armchairs, sofas, hanging from bookcases, draped over dining room chairs and kitchen counters .... which would then have to be laboriously and slowly reassmbled when I went fro hot to cold again ....
If you can identify factors that make you feel worse, you can at least take steps to minimize them
You do know that you;re preaching to the choir here, yes? I've spent close to a decade trying to decode WTF was happening to me, and the only way I had of doing that was to throw stuff at it and observe what it threw back, what it kept. Agonizingly slow.
My ME seems unusual, since I don't show any signs of mitochondrial dysfunction in my muscles, so that would probably make my response to heat and cold unusual too.
I think all our diverse versions of ME are unusual, in the sense that beyond a few basics, everything seems to vary wildly from person to person. It's part of the frustration of this mingey little constantly menacing illness ..... there's no one-fits-all cure, tho parts of what helps you might help me and vice versa. But the whole never seems to translate directly.
I recommend west central Alberta. There's something about the area that keeps it cooler overall than most places in Canada
Sounds like the perfect place .... plus, you know, Gordon Lightfoot's 'Alberta Bound'. ANd Gordon Lightfoot generally ...


I think I need to cue up Lightfoot's 'Don Quixote' again. It's been awhile .....

'Thru the woodlands, Thru the valleys ..... '

Off I go .....
 
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Wishful

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You do know that you;re preaching to the choir here, yes?
Well, my comment was meant for chaki90, who I hadn't seen posting before. Yes, experimentation and observation is a slow process, but it's all we have at this point. If we have a specific issue, such as benefit from cold, we can't expect a doctor to figure it out, and we can't expect someone else's treatment to work for us either.

I can't imagine anyone else would have figured out your recipe for your unusual 'tea'. The cinnamon and ginger would be bad for me. :(