Zeureka wrote:I have just been diagnosed for CCSVI (one internal jugular occluded).
Maybe it's the UV (also vitamin D) + cold fresh dry air... and some movement (since walk a lot in the fresh air whole day) that improves circulation + also nerve transmission.
I can only say that I always felt better on symptoms like instability, fatigue + pins/needles. I do not think that CCSVI is it all. It plays a big role on cause most likely, but nerve transmission also does play a role in terms of already long-term myelin damage. It might repair slowly though (and this is what we all hope!), if the cause is repaired. In a few years, when the brave pioneers of intervention will report to us we will know!
1. What is CCSVI?
Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency... it’s a chronic (ongoing) problem where blood from the brain and spine has trouble getting back to the heart. It’s caused by stenosis (a narrowing) in the veins that drain the spine and brain. Blood takes longer to get back to the heart, and it can reflux back into the brain and spine or cause edema and leakage of red blood cells and fluids into the delicate tissue of the brain and spine. Blood that stays in the brain too long creates “slowed perfusion”...a delay in deoxyginated blood leaving the head. This can cause a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the brain. Plasma and iron from blood deposited in the brain tissue are also very damaging.
The Polycythemia of High Altitudes: Iron Metabolism and Related Aspects
CÉSAR REYNAFARJE 1, RODOLFO LOZANO 1, and JOSÉ VALDIVIESO 1
1 Department of Pathological Physiology, the Institute of Andean Biology, Faculty of Medicine, and the Institute of Andean Biology, Lima, Peru.
Observations on the iron metabolism as related to the influence of a low oxygen tension at high altitudes, and after the disappearance of this factor upon return to sea level, have been made in human subjects. They consisted mainly of studies of intestinal absorption and turnover rate of iron by means of the radioactive isotope of this metal (Fe-59). Additional observations were made on blood volume, reticulocytosis, bone marrow cytology, life span of the red cells and hemoglobin breakdown pigments. The data obtained seem to justify the following conclusions:
1. There is an increase of intestinal iron absorption during the early period of exposure to an altitude of 14,900 feet. After 48 hours of exposure, this was estimated to be about 3 times higher than the absorption observed in subjects at sea level and in native residents at the above-mentioned altitude.
2. There is an increase of plasma and red cell iron turnover rates after 2 hours of arrival to 14,900 feet, indicating that the increase in the production of red cells, to compensate for hypoxia, is a very early response.
3. The highest increase in plasma and red cell iron turnover rate takes place 7 to 14 days after exposure to high altitude begins. After six months of exposure, there is still an elevated iron turnover rate. The native residents of high altitudes (14,900 feet) have a red cell iron turnover rate of approximately 30 per cent higher than healthy subjects at sea level.
4. A progressive decrease in the plasma and red cell iron turnover rate is observed in native residents of high altitudes when brought down to sea level, the maximum of which is reached after two to five weeks, indicating a great degree of depression on red cell production. After that, a gradual return to normal rate is observed in the weeks that follow.
5. The degree of reticulocytosis is in close relationship with changes in the red cell iron turnover rates.
6. Changes in the total blood volume, either during ascent or descent, take place only after several weeks. The red cell mass variations which occur during the early periods of environmental change, are compensated by proportional changes in the plasma volume. The increase or decrease of the total blood volume after this period is due exclusively to red cell mass modifications.
7. The bone marrow cytologic studies carried out in subjects temporarily exposed or living permanently at high altitudes show a hyperplastic condition. The reverse, or an inhibition of red cell production, takes place when high altitude polycythemic subjects are brought down to sea level. This constitutes the cytologic counter-proof for the iron turnover studies.
8. The life span of the red blood cells, after descent from high altitudes to sea level, falls within normal patterns. However, by the method employed it is not possible to determine if there is an increased destruction of red cells during the first week. But if there is a greater destruction, this would be of a small degree, affecting only the older elements. The increase in the hemoglobin breakdown pigments, which occurs under the influence of environmental factors, is also discussed.
9. In native residents of high altitudes the amount of free erythroprotoporphyrins is higher than in residents at sea level. The erythroprotoporphyrins in newcomers to high altitudes rise and reach a peak at the end of the second month, followed by a gradual decline. On the other hand, when high altitude natives are brought down to sea level, a marked decrease in erythroprotoporphyrins is noted. The rate of decrease is highest within the first months.
vg440 wrote:The ccsvi definition explains the high altitude effects perfectly.
The primary cause of the condition, including the hypoxia, is the narrowed veins.
This is exactly what the low atmosphere pressure relieves and allows for the increased blood flow as does ccsvi therapy.
Ever seen a weather balloon released at ground level. It's empty and almost totally uninflated. Just enough to rise.
Why do you think that is?
Well to allow for the expansion at high altitude. Otherwise it would burst if fully inflated at the ground level release.
Our body's are no different.
We benefit by freeing the veins from the stenosis some what.
Again, similar to the ccsvi therapy dont you think?
Are you denying blood flow improvement at altitude? Please explain..
It isn't one reason and not the other for the benefits felt at high altitude.. but many reasons.
The fact is blood circulation increases dramatically at higher altitude.
Lets look at the facts.
The altitude sickness to ms sufferers at high altitude is no different to the healthy person.
No worse and no better.
I myself and others can testify.
And as the majority of ms sufferers have some form of ccsvi, including myself as my ultra-sound Doppler test revealed, the fantastic benefits achieved by many ms sufferers at high altitudes cannot be disputed.
The body is an amazing machine and is designed to win. Once the narrowing has been improved, as it does at high altitude, improvements are felt almost immediately, to what degree certainly may vary (as the ccsvi therapy varies).
Again, elite athletes train at high altitude for physiological improvement!
It's not as destructive as you suggest by unproven theories when again, our testimonials can verify this.
Very similar to the ccsvi therapy.
I'm fully aware of the destructive effects of the stenosis to the brain etc.
I'm also fully aware of the positive effects of the enlarging of the narrowed veins, including the natural response of the body at high altitude with similar effects on veins.
All the theories you have provided so far are interesting, but, you don't seem to acknowledge the effects of high altitude on blood circulation.
Again, it cannot be denied.
Ask an elite athlete!!!
Adapting to High Altitude
There are two major kinds of environmental stresses at high altitude for humans. First, there are the alternating daily extremes of climate that often range from hot, sunburning days to freezing nights. In addition, winds are often strong and humidity low, resulting in rapid dehydration. Second, the air pressure is lower. This is usually the most significant limiting factor in high mountain regions.
Air pressure decreases as altitude increases
The percentage of oxygen in the air at two miles (3.2 km.) is the same as at sea level (21%). However, the air pressure is 30% lower at the higher altitude due to the fact that the atmosphere is less dense--that is, the air molecules are farther apart.
When we breathe in air at sea level, the atmospheric pressure of about 14.7 pounds per square inch (1.04 kg. per cm.2) causes oxygen to easily pass through selectively permeable lung membranes into the blood. At high altitudes, the lower air pressure makes it more difficult for oxygen to enter our vascular systems. The result is hypoxia , or oxygen deprivation. Hypoxia usually begins with the inability to do normal physical activities, such as climbing a short flight of stairs without fatigue. Other early symptoms of "high altitude sickness" include a lack of appetite, distorted vision, and difficulty with memorizing and thinking clearly. In serious cases, pneumonia-like symptoms (pulmonary edema ) and an abnormal accumulation of fluid around the brain (cerebral edema ) develop, leading to death within a few days if there is not a return to normal air pressure levels. There is also an increased risk of heart failure due to the added stress placed on the lungs, heart, and arteries at high altitudes.
When we travel to high altitudes, our bodies initially develop inefficient physiological responses. There is an increase in breathing and heart rate to as much as double even while resting. Pulse rate and blood pressure go up sharply as our hearts pump harder to get more oxygen to the cells. These are stressful changes, especially for people with weak hearts.
Later, a more efficient response normally develops as acclimatization takes place. More red blood cells and capillaries are produced to carry more oxygen. The lungs increase in size to facilitate the osmosis of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There is also an increase in the vascular network of muscles which enhances the transfer of gases.
However, successful acclimatization rarely results in the same level of physical and mental fitness that was typical of altitudes close to sea level. Strenuous exercise and memorization tasks still remain more difficult. In addition, the rate of miscarriages is usually higher at altitudes above two miles.
On returning to sea level after successful acclimatization to high altitude, the body usually has more red blood cells and greater lung expansion capability than needed. Since this provides athletes in endurance sports with a competitive advantage, the U.S. maintains an Olympic training center in the mountains of Colorado. Several other nations also train their athletes at high altitude for this reason. However, the physiological changes that result in increased fitness are short term at low altitude. In a matter of weeks, the body returns to a normal fitness level.
Bethr wrote:I'm looking hard at iron in the brain (and elsewhere) at the moment.
If you were not taking in sufficient iron at altitude, the iron would be drawn from the store areas, whereever they may be to create the new red cells needed at altitude.
I relate this to the fact that when I have blood taken, even in a small amount I get relief from all symptoms in 24 hours. 100mls lasts 4 days and then I revert to havig my symptoms in 24 hours. An increase in red blood cells would maybe have the same effect (but slower).
I'm just getting over my last blood take, larger this time 470mls.
The first day I was tired but not sleepy, unusual short pulse pains in my head, unusual fluttering in the chest, and electric feeling, hard to explain.
24 hours and I was feeling wonderful.
I was symptom free for 11 days, with high high energy levels and amazing wellbeing. At 12 days the symptoms came back, and I experienced spasticity for the first time. Very severe like a fit.
Also unusual feelings of tremors and tightness in the chest, and more severe than the 24 hours after the blood take.
It's all calmed down now after 24 hours, and I seem to have stabilized.
I have mild hemochromatosis, iron overload.
To treat iron overload, blood is taken from the patient weekly until an almost anemic state is induced. The body draws on the iron stores and symptoms of fatigue and stiff joints abate. Some problems correct after this and others will not, such as cirrhosis of the liver. Yet fibrosis of the liver will reverse. Thyroid problems seem to reverse too. Arthritis doesn't.
Interestingly I read a medical study of I think 13 hemochromatosis patients who were given MRI's to check the brain, and 6 had lesions. None had ever suffered from any neurological disturbances.
Maybe I don't have MS?
vg440 wrote:Our bodys actually does respond with increased blood flow at higher altitudes and veins in particular do open and offcourse narrow.. as we all now know. Just like what AndrewKFletcher's pic of the water bottle .
Great pic Andrew!
-High altitude relieves narrowed veins due to low atmosphere pressure
-Increased blood flow occurs
-Body produces more red blood cells at altitude which requires more IRON... WOW!!!!
-reflux is no longer occurring and the deposited iron is most likely now used for the red blood cell production.
I too am looking for a wheelchair friendly high altitude destination.
The higher the better.
Nearest to Australia would be the Himalayas but probably not very easy to travel to.
A 56 year old male, with no known previous health problem
went on an expedition to scale a place at 5500 meters in
the Himalayas. On day 6 of his expedition at about 5000
meters he developed neurological dysfunction in the form
of loss of equilibrium, progressive motor weakness,
slurring of speech and diarrhea and later on day 12 at
4500 meters height he developed left sided hemiparesis
and right sided facial nerve palsy. On day 15, he was
airlifted to the nearest hospital given emergency medical
care in the form of hyperbaric oxygen and then brought
to our hospital.
A small thrombus in left sigmoid sinus and complete
thrombosis of left jugular vein was noted (Fig 3,4).
MR angiography for the Cerebral vessels showed mild
pinching of right Middle Cerebral Artery, secondary to mass
effect due to hemorrhage and edema.
Doppler also showed complete thrombosis of Internal
Jugular Vein on left side. Follow up CT scan was done
after 2 days, which confirmed the findings.
Altitude illness refers to a constellation of syndromes that
result from hypoxic injury alone or in combination with
various maladaptive physiological changes. Cerebral
syndromes develop at a altitude of 2500 metres and
everyone is at risk, regardless of the level of physical
fitness or previous altitude experience.(1)
Rapid ascent to high altitude overtaxes the body's ability
to tolerate decreasing availability of oxygen that causes
changes in blood brain barrier permeability and results in
In rare cases focal neurological signs and deficits like
IIIrd nerve palsy, VIth nerve palsy, stroke, and sinus venous
thrombosis may develop. Pulmonary odema, DVT,
pulmonary thromboembolism are also known to occur.
HACE may present with altered mental status, progressive
ataxia, coma & death.
HACE is characterized in MRI with reversible vasogenic
white matter edema with a predilection for splenium of
corpus callosum (2).
Hemorrhagic cerebral infarction can be induced by venous
thrombosis a consequence of high altitude dehydration
SK Jha et al (5) reported that long term stay at high altitude
was also associated with higher risk of stroke. Ischemic
strokes were the commonest although all types of strokes
In our study the site of hemorrhage in right basal ganglia
was indicative of an ischemic etiology. The filling defect
in the sigmoid sinus and complete occlusion of the jugular
vein was on the opposite side, could be a result of
heamoconcentration leading to polycythemia.
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