Altitude and blood flow

A forum to discuss Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis.

Altitude and blood flow

Postby ElMarino » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:27 pm

Is this relevant to CCSVI?

I was flying transatlantic, home to the UK and when I arrived, and bear in mind my MS was at the stage when I had to give up after walking 20 meters, I walked the distance between the arrival gate and through customs faster than I would have done before MS. And the arrival gate was as far from customs as it could have been, it was a long walk taking a quarter of an hour or so, and then plenty of standing in a queue.`

I had been sitting beside this talkative girl. In fact she didn't stop talking the whole flight and right through to arrivals. I was hoping to get away from her but she just kept talking. I mean she was nice enough but it's a long flight.. And she walked very fast and, to my amazement I could keep up. I hadn't walked like that for a few years. I hadn't bothered to talk about my illness and she didn't notice a thing while we are walking. Normally I would have had to get some support from her shoulder after a short distance or sit down for ten minutes.

I always thought it was something to do with humidity and the air conditioning. I was disappointed the next time I flew, a European flight, because I expected a repeat of my walking-like-normal but it didn't happen.

Now I look up altitude and blood flow - higher altitudes increase blood flow. And transatlantic flights reach much higher altitudes than European flights.

Was that an effect of my blood flow improving temporarily? In the experience of those who have gone through the procedure, would a temporary improvement in blood flow have such a dramatic effect?

-edit- OK, I just did a search, it seems that high altitude might not necessarily be good for MS people (cheerleaders husbamd, for example..)
Apologies for my terrible username. I never thought I'd use the forum much when I registered..
User avatar
ElMarino
Family Elder
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Advertisement

Postby Apuman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:11 pm

I've definetly had changes in my MS correspond to major changes in altitude. Unfotunetly, they were never good changes.

Actually, my first attack happened shortly after I had arrived in high altitude, from sea level. The second was the opposite, starting when I arrived at sea level from high altitude. Then again, I had gone up and down at other points in the trip with no noticeable effect on my symptoms.

When I asked the neuro in Peru if he had any idea why my first attack may have been triggered when it was, he told me that he had 3 years of guessing left before retirement.


The only thing my attacks seemed to correlate with was the change in altitude, rater than high altitude or low altitude. Then again, when you travel from one place to another, you change a whole multitude of factors in your environment, so singling any one thing out is near impossible.
User avatar
Apuman
Family Elder
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:00 pm

Postby ElMarino » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:43 am

Apuman wrote:I've definetly had changes in my MS correspond to major changes in altitude. Unfotunetly, they were never good changes..


Were they routine flights or rushed. stressful holiday flights? That could have been a contributing factors..
Apologies for my terrible username. I never thought I'd use the forum much when I registered..
User avatar
ElMarino
Family Elder
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Altitude and ms.

Postby AndrewKFletcher » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:06 am

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum ... pic=3886.0


2 cases on the link above follow simmilar pattern to yours.

Almost like an LCD screen. Switch it on and it works, turn it off and it stops?

Could it be a liquid crystal problem in the myelin?

Temperature, altitude pressure, posture and a dryer atmosphere sufficient to turn on the liquid crystal nerve network? And turn it off when we revert back to the lifestyle that shiuts it down?

Surely not as simple as that?

Andrew K Fletcher
Find us on Facebook.com/InclinedBedTherapy
IBT website: http://inclinedbedtherapy.com
User avatar
AndrewKFletcher
Family Elder
 
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Paignton, Devon, UK

Postby tlynn » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:15 am

I believe atmospheric pressure has a lot to do with the way we feel. I got a book from the library "Weather For Dummies". There is a whole section on health. I wonder if one contributing factor to there being more MS cases futher north is because of the atmospheric pressure.
User avatar
tlynn
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Central California

Postby Bethr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:47 pm

This is interesting, as I've seen altitude come up in my research on iron overload (which I think is linked to CCSVI).

When you spend time at high altitudes your iron levels decrease markedly.
When I got my first lesion I had just had a blood test a few weeks prior (because of fatigue) and my Transferrin Saturation was very high at 62%, my feritin was also over the recommended levels. The standard iron tests would not show this up, mine were always within the normal range, though on the high side. That was all that showed up. I've since had gene tests and I have the gene H282Y that can cause iron overload.

I've had a phlebotomy now and my transferrin saturation is much decreased. I have no fatigue at the moment, none whatsoever and I can work all day, no daytime sleeps, no feeling heavy and lethargic. It's been like a magic pill for me. (Day 8 since phlebotomy).

My sister also has MS, much more serious and long term than me, and with the same fatigue. She has just been tested and also has the H282Y gene for iron overload. It will be interesting to see if she feels better once she has blood taken too. It's a simple fix for me, but I don't know how long it will last.

This article shows how transferrin saturation and other markers decrease at altitude

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/full/109/11/4724
User avatar
Bethr
Family Elder
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:00 pm

Postby Apuman » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:52 pm

ElMarino wrote:Were they routine flights or rushed. stressful holiday flights? That could have been a contributing factors..


Actually, neither were airline flights, I had been travling by bus in both cases. Of course, I was travling, so stress may have played as large a role as anything in me relapses.
User avatar
Apuman
Family Elder
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:00 pm

Altitude and blood flow

Postby vg440 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:35 am

This is my first time to post on this excellent forum which i discovered only a few months ago.

I can verify with personal experience of the benefits of high altitude and ms improvement (amazing improvement).

Back in May 2005 I traveled to the U.S. from Melbourne, Australia for a friends wedding in Mexico.
Then I could barely walk 100m without frequent rest stops inbetween. I had constant blurred vision and experienced the usual fatigue.
Before the trip I was terrified about traveling abroad with these symptoms, as I'm sure you all can relate.
After landing in L.A. I remember stepping outside of LAX and I could not believe how clear everything was. I had no blurred vision. I was so amazed at the clarity that it was as if I had forgotten what it was like not to have blurred vision.
I remember thinking that L.A is for me and that maybe it was something in the L.A. air that was good for me.
Ofcourse the next day I returned to having blurred vision again and was terribly disapointed.

Spent couple of weeks in the U.S. then Mexico for the wedding with all of my usual symptoms. I was traveling with a friend who made it possible for me to make the trip as I'm not sure how I would have done it without his help.
I thought this was to be my last chance to travel overseas thinking that my M.S. is going to get worse so we had planned a Sth American trip for after the wedding.
First stop..Peru!
Landing in Lima I was as usual.
It wasn't until we eventually got higher and higher near the Andes that I was noticing dramatic improvements.
By the time we got to Cuzco, which is at 11,000 ft, I was totally symptom free!!!!
I thought I was cured.
I would hike for kilometers in a day during the sightseeing tours. It was fantastic.
The only symptom which remained was the vertigo. And that was only at cliff edges and the ancient steep stairways.
But on the ground I was as normal as the next person.
Even my bladder issues had gone.
I was in Peru for about 10 days, then Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and back to LAX for the return flight to Melbourne.

It wasn't until a few days in Argentina I noticed my left leg was starting to get funny on me after a short walk.

By the time I had returned to Melbourne, within a week all symptoms had returned and I have been wondering about how and why this happened ever since.

I firmly believe the low air pressure at high altitude does increase blood flow and actually replicates the ccsvi therapy by allowing for veins to open up more due to the lower surrounding pressure.

Another MS sufferer I've spoken to had the same experience in the Himalayas which is at similar high altitude.

We all know the actor Michael J. Fox and his developing Parkinson's disease.
Well, he too found tremendous improvement when he traveled to the high altitudes of Bhutan a little while ago.
Coincidence?
He thought it was the thin air that was the reason for his improvement.
Well I think ccsvi may also play a part in Parkinson's disease.

I've been wanting to travel to the Himalayas to see if I experience the wonderful improvements again which would pretty much confirm the altitude theory... for me anyway.

This ccsvi discovery is very exciting and now explains to me why I experienced the wonderful recovery in Peru and I can't wait to have this procedure done... hopefully soon.
User avatar
vg440
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Altitude and ms. From Inclined therapy theory for ms

Postby AndrewKFletcher » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:31 am

Altitude and MS

CASE 1: On two occasions when I have been abroad, sightseeing up mountains, (by cable car and bus I might add!) at the top, anything from 6,000-9,000 ft I have felt fantastic and have been able to walk almost normally. At home I walk with the aid of a stick. This year I was visiting my son in South Africa and where he lives is 3,000 ft. above sea level. Again I had this lovely lightweight feeling instead of my usual heavy and slow moving gait. The old legs were raring to go and I had a spring in my step. The family was amazed and delighted at the difference.
When we went to Durban, which is at sea level, I was back to normal, but it was hotter and humid there. Sad to say, that back home the good affect has gone, but it did seem extraordinary. ? Irene Davies, Glasgow., Sep-Oct 1989 edition, Arms Link, Pub by Arms Central UK.

CASE 2: I have also felt that being at altitude has made me feel very fit and well and improved my walking. I have MS but am mobile and walk without a stick. During 1984/85 my husband worked in Bolivia and I went with him. We lived in La Paz, which is at 11,000 ft and spent time in various places ranging in height from 3,000 to 14,000 ft. The higher we were the better I felt, walking long distances and getting less giddy, which is one of the effects I have with MS.
We were in London from Jan 83 to Mar 84 and I had some difficulty with walking then.
In Bolivia I was able to walk quite far, though down in the low, hot valleys I was not able to go so far as I could up in the high mountains. In Potosi, which is at 14,000 ft, I felt terrific and it was there that I began to think that perhaps altitude made some difference to my health. Once before I had the same feeling of euphoria. This was when I visited the Island Of The Sun in Lake Titicaca which is at 13,000ft. I felt I could stride out for miles and miles though afterwards I was very tired. This was1974 before I was diagnosed as having MS.
We are now home in Edinburgh, almost at sea level, and most of the time I am able to walk the dogs on the hills and go shopping, though I get giddy at times and especially find the strip lighting in shops troublesome. I get tired more than I used to and I have trouble with my sense of balance. The latter has bothered me for years; again without realising it was part of my MS.
Rosemary Wilson, Edinburgh. Mar/Apr 90 edition, Arms Link, Pub by Arms, Central UK.

Crystals, either in liquid state or solid, are based on minerals. In order to remain in a liquid form the liquid requires to be constantly moving. Should the liquid stagnate for any length of time, solid crystals will inevitably form. This is vividly shown when crystals grow on a length of thread suspended in a beaker of highly concentrated salt or sugar solution. In a beaker this creates no problems. However, when it occurs in the nervous system the formation of crystals causes considerable problems. For instance, a complete blockage of the circulation could occur causing the whole of the circulation within the nervous system in the affected part to stagnate. This would produce considerable damage to the myelin and would probably lead to the entire degeneration of the affected part of the nervous system. Re-dissolving the crystal in the beaker simply requires a stir with a spoon and a little heat to accelerate the process.

vg440

I would like very much to add your experience to the 2 I already have.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum ... pic=3886.0
Andrew
Find us on Facebook.com/InclinedBedTherapy
IBT website: http://inclinedbedtherapy.com
User avatar
AndrewKFletcher
Family Elder
 
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Paignton, Devon, UK

Postby Jugular » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:33 pm

You can put me down as a contrarian on this thread.

Firstly, to the OP, traveling in an airplane does not constitute exposure to altitude, it constitutes exposure to the atmosphere of a pressurized cabin. That, for reasons that follow, might be what is producing a benefit.

Secondly, I am sceptical that high altitude exposure (and its attendant thin air) is beneficial to MS. To experience immediate relief of symptoms as described, likely points more to conditions that mask nerve damage than to nerve regeneration. I just can’t see nerve regeneration taking place that quickly. Generally, the higher one’s core body temperature is the more likely it is that they will notice nerve damage, because the nerves are having to carry more electricity to get the job done. That’s why my limp gets much worse after exercise or when I’m running a fever. That doesn’t mean that my MS is worse (conversely, I happen to think that exercise is beneficial), it simply means that I am exposing damage. The opposite may be said about walking around in cooler high altitudes.

Moreover, the theory that altitude is good for MS contradicts numerous epidemiological studies that have shown that the incidence and prevalence of MS is much higher inland than in coastal areas and is lowest in the tropics. For instance, the region in Canada with the highest prevalence of MS is the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta (elevation 4,455 ft) at 217 per 100,000:

http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/facts.html

Indeed, there is a very illuminating article on this subject by someone who looked at the epidemiological data and concluded that the thinner air in high altitude regions may contribute to MS. Even more startling is that he comes to a CCSVI conclusion from looking at this data pre-publication of Zamboni’s research. A link to his full article can be found here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15637222/Multiple-Sclerosis-What-Are-the-Facts-What-Do-They-Mean

The author was particularly struck as to why Colorado has such a high incidence of MS and reasoned that it likely has to do with oxygen, since oxygen is thinner at higher elevations. The lower prevalence in coastal regions can be explained by denser air, higher prevalence in cities because of polluted air, and higher prevalence in smokers by poor oxygenation. I particularly enjoyed this quote:

Question #9 and 11 are best answered and best understood together through the insights of Peter Good: “Two signs that endothelial nitric oxide may be chronically depleted in multiple sclerosis are that patients tend to be very heat-sensitive, and their platelets are sticky. Sensitivity to stress may reveal depletion of the parasympathetic transmitter neuronal nitric oxide. Other reasons to suspect endothelial nitric oxide depletion in multiple sclerosis are apparent deficiencies of sex hormones, magnesium, and zinc. Estrogen, testosterone via estrogen, and magnesium all utilize endothelial nitric oxide, the primary endogenous vasodilator, to relax vascular smooth muscle. The (most simple and straightforward explanation) cause of multiple sclerosis might be that too little blood in arteries and arterioles leads to vasospastic symptoms, while too much blood in veins and venules leads to blood-brain barrier leakage and lesions.” A recent Nobel Prize based upon L-arnithine and nitric oxide gas in the blood being a "trigger" for the body seems to offer a promising area for further study. In any case, Oxygen's potentially primary role would be in harmony with this data.


To the above, I would like to add that simple reference to elevation only tells part of the story. My fondness of drag racing and horsepower lead me to learn about “density altitude”. This is the effective altitude of an area by looking at how dense the air is by reference to altitude, temperature, and atmospheric pressure. What I discovered is though the elevation of my locale is relatively low, for most of the summer, with high temperature and low humidity; its density altitude was the same on most days as Calgary (contributing to slower ¼ mile times). In our frigid cold winters, however, the density altitude is often many feet below sea level. Cold air = oxygen rich air.

Referring back to epidemiological studies, MS attacks more frequently occur in the spring and are the least common in winter (all my attacks happened in the spring):

Some researchers suggest that multiple sclerosis is common in temperate regions due to the seasonal fluctuations in daylight affecting body chemistry. Research has shown that both disease onset and relapses are more common in the springtime and least common in the winter [Jin et al, 2000]. Levels of vitamin D3, melatonin and other biochemicals have all been shown to vary with the seasons and some of these have been shown to be immunologically or neurologically active [Embry et al, 2000, Timonen TT, 1999; Hayes, 2000, Nelson et al, 2001, Prendergast et al 2001].


Using the CCSVI model, perhaps in winter with its low UV, our CCSVI prone veins are susceptible to stenosis due to low Vitamin D absorption, but is masked by being able to breath oxygen-rich winter air. Once spring rolls around, we are exposed to thinner dry air as the temperature warms and or veins don’t adapt.

Perhaps CCSVI will ‘breath’ new life into oxygen therapy for MS?

http://www.multiplesclerosistherapy.net/index.html
User avatar
Jugular
Family Elder
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:00 pm

Postby NewHope » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:31 am

I have also noticed TREMENDOUS improvement in my ability to walk after flying (NY - Las Vegas and back). At the time I didn't know my improvement was related to the flight but now it makes perfect sense!
User avatar
NewHope
Family Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: USA

Postby Zeureka » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:59 am

I always feel improvement in winter hols when on top of a hill in the Swiss mountains - especially on sunny fresh days and the higher I go, the better.

I once suffered from strong instability + started to improve on it after such a holiday in Switzerland. Maybe it is coincidence, but maybe not...anyway I go every year since it is just refreshing for my mind!

Steffi
User avatar
Zeureka
Family Elder
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Italy

Altitude and blood flow

Postby vg440 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:13 pm

My thought on Jugular's theories,

-Firstly, the pressurized cabin of airplanes is not pressurised enough to equal sea level atmosphere pressure.
It is pressurized only enough to combat the extremely high altitude airplanes climb to.
The reasoning of the cabin being pressurized in the first place is because of the effects of very low atmosphere pressure on the body.
The body still experiences high altitude effects in airplanes even with the pressurized cabins.

-As for the higher incidences of ms in high altitude regions theory.. well, if this were the case there would be a high percentage of ms sufferers in the Himalayas and off course near the Andes of Peru and many other high altitude regions of the world. That isn't the case.
Process of elimination dismisses that theory.
Crosnest Pass in Alberta and Colorado must have other common factors contributing to incidences of ms sufferers similar to low land regions which for reasons is obviously still unknown.


-As for attacks frequently occurring in warmer months. I also experience this as most ms sufferers do.
Interesting to know that warm weather also coincides with high air pressure systems and cooler weather with low air pressure systems. Coincidence??
You can see this when watching the weather map on TV displaying the high and low pressure systems during the weather forecasts.

-Many ms sufferers experience improved symptoms at night compared to the day.
Even I can walk without my frame at night a short distance.
Low air pressure at night (except for those terrible warm nights).

-Susceptible to stenosis due to low vitamin D... well If vitamin D were a factor then it doesn't explain the higher incidence rates at the high altitude locations mentioned. UV exposure at high altitudes is much greater and it's the UV exposure which is required for vitamin D production.
If anything, vitamin D production is greater at higher altitudes. Doesn't make sense.
I doubt the lack of vitamin D is a contributing factor of ms incidences in these locations.

-Heat certainly makes our symptoms worse. Heat during exercise is only one factor. Another is increased circulation during exercise which offcourse is hindered due to the ccsvi. Again, ms symptoms get worse as proper circulation is prevented during exercise which only makes sense.

-I have not suggested that it may be nerve regeneration taking place at high altitude as being the causal effects of such rapid improved ms symptoms. That would be merely impossible.
However, ccsvi therapy improves circulation immediately and hence ms symptoms have immediate improvement without nerve regeneration.
Similar effect at high altitude.
Circulation improves, ms symptoms improve, without the immediate nerve regeneration.

-Oxygen therapy would be very beneficial you would think. But it doesn't explain how oxygen wasn't a contributing factor of the high altitude improvements experienced when there is much less oxygen at higher altitudes. CCSVI therapy is effective without incorporating the need of oxygen therapy. Even though oxygen therapy would be beneficial to all for improved general health.

I feel that with greater circulation the body experiences at higher altitudes it simulates the ccsvi therapy and explains the similar rapid improvements as I have experienced as have many others.

The combination of all the above factors and common ms symptom improvement testimonials cannot be denied.
User avatar
vg440
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Jugular » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:48 pm

One would think that exposure to high altitude would aggravate hypoxia in the brains of MS patients just as it does to regular folks. High altitude is generally bad for blood circulation, not better. Theoretically "head for the hills" is the worst directional advice to give to someone suffering from CCSVI. The following snippet about pulmonary "mountain sickness" underscores this idea.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17339571

So why are their anecdotal reports of some benefit to altitude exposure to MS sufferers as reported above? Does it refute the CCSVI model? Or point to the possibility that those experiencing it do not have CCSVI as a cause of their MS symptoms?

Let's proceed on the basis that acute altitude exposure produces some benefit to CCSVI sufferers. How do we explain it?

Firstly, there are some contradictions in the literature regarding altitude and MS prevalence. In one study, it was noted that in Switzerland MS rates were lower at higher altitudes, leading the researchers to conclude that UV exposure had something to do with it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9316607

But this would not explain the instantaneous relief reported above. So how do we account for it, without jettisoning the CCSVI model?

This is a long shot, but I looked at an article that suggested that iron levels can fight the hypoxic effect of high altitudes. Perhaps altitude exposure causes the brain to soak up some of the iron that's lying around due to CCSVI reflux and acts as an iron chelator???

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18955380?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_PMC&linkpos=1&log$=citedinpmcarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
User avatar
Jugular
Family Elder
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:00 pm

Altitude and blood flow

Postby vg440 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:43 pm

Hypoxia does occur in the first few days of being at high altitude ( altitude sickness) which is to be expected due to the physiological changes (increased circulation).
However, if you've experienced being at very high altitudes you would know this altitude sickness passes once you have acclimated (in just a few days).
The body adapts to the environment by which the oxygen depletion is compensated by the increased blood circulation.
I too definitely felt the unpleasant effects of altitude sickness as was to be expected and offcourse these unpleasant effects did pass as to be expected also.
Then all is well again.
High altitude training by elite athletes is an example of the improved physiological changes to the body. The physiological advantages of increased blood are numerous (especially in healing).

Otherwise, elite athletes would not undertake the extremes of high altitude training if it weren't beneficial and advantageous to their performance.

The studies you refer to contradict themselves.
One study suggests high altitude regions may contribute to ms (Crosnest Pass and in Colorado) while the other study suggests in Switzerland ms rates were lower at high altitudes leading researches to conclude UV exposure had something to do with it.
????

MS sufferers benefiting at high altitude correlates exactly with the ccsvi theory.
Simple really.
Increased blood circulation!
Not that difficult to understand.

The benefits of high altitude exposure to ms sufferers vary it seems similarly to the benefits to the ccsvi therapy.

Some have almost total improvement (as I did) and some have moderate improvement.. just as the ccsvi therapy does.. dependent an disease progression.
The similarities are amazing!!!
User avatar
vg440
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Next

Return to Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: melko321