Dew Point Temperature/Humidity and Spasticity

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Re: az

Postby gwa » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:45 am

notasperfectasyou wrote:I also just remembered that last summer Kim and I took the boys to Arizona in August. Brilliant, yes? Well actually, Kim walked much better than I expected in the 110 - 115 degree heat. It didn't make any sense to me at all at the time. Now I realize, there was zero humidity. WOW!


My parents moved to the Phoenix area about 20 years ago and we have been there to visit about every month of the year at various times.

We are now moving there to retire because I always feel better in Arizona no matter what the temp is. The lack of humidity makes a big difference with me.

We also lived at Fairbanks, Alaska for 3 years and I felt good there too although the winter temps were usually -30' or lower for much of the year. Fairbanks also has very low humidity. For me, I am at my worst as the humidity increases and the temp has little to do with how I feel.

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Postby ssmme » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:58 am

We are now moving there to retire because I always feel better in Arizona no matter what the temp is. The lack of humidity makes a big difference with me.


My questions are...

To all you ms-ers that live in Arizona, So-Cal, and other like locations. Do you feel that living there is helpful/beneficial for your ms? When you visit other places in the US/world that aren't like that climate do you notice difficulties?

It would be nice to get feedback.

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Postby gwa » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:31 pm

ssmme wrote:
We are now moving there to retire because I always feel better in Arizona no matter what the temp is. The lack of humidity makes a big difference with me.


My questions are...

To all you ms-ers that live in Arizona, So-Cal, and other like locations. Do you feel that living there is helpful/beneficial for your ms? When you visit other places in the US/world that aren't like that climate do you notice difficulties?

It would be nice to get feedback.

Marcia


Any place with moderate to high humidity will make all of my MS problems much worse. England and Arkansas are the two worse places, weather wise, I have either lived in ( England) or visited (Arkansas). I rather imagine that Kentucky would knock me on my fanny too.

I know we are all different, but traveling to different locations would give anyone a chance to discover the places for which they are best suited to live.

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Postby L » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:25 pm

Hello hello.

It always seemed to me that the relationship between humidity and MS symptoms was to do with the body sweating, and therefore lowering body temperature, knowing that damaged nerves are worse conductors of electricity at higher temperatures. It just seemed to me that humidity had too great an impact on the body cooling and perhaps something else was also occurring. The dew point temperature only seems to affect my muscles and no other symptom so I wondered if the humidity was working on muscle function somehow. So, thinking that humidity affected nerve impulses in some other way, I contacted a Doctor at the Texas Southwestern Medical Center who was interested in this particular question to see what his thoughts were. It's his feeling that the affect of humidity is to prevent the body cooling (skin blood flow increases in order for sweating to take place and the body to cool isn't effective when there is no place for the sweat to go, when the air is already full of moisture.) He told me that early stage research in his lab leads him to believe that the thermoregulatory mechanism with MS patients is somehow impaired.

So there we have it, powerful air conditioning or Helsinki (the lowest dew point temperature on Earth, or one of them at least) or Arizona.

Anyway, it seems to all corroborate what I was saying about dew point temperature in my original post. So, if your as big of a hypochondriac as me then get a hygrometer and thermometer, calculate the dew point temperature and find relief with the knowledge that it's not an MS attack that is preventing you from walking but the weather. It's stopped me from fretting so much anyway. If the dew point temperature is above 10° then I feel bad. 20° and I am a wreck.
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Postby chriscoxrox » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:19 pm

My wife's sister has Lupus. I have MS. She moved from Texas to L.A. her lupus in in full remission now. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Postby gwa » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:27 pm

L wrote:Hello hello.

He told me that early stage research in his lab leads him to believe that the thermoregulatory mechanism with MS patients is somehow impaired.



This is true and there are threads on this forum where some of us discuss the fact that "normal" body temp for us is in the 95-96 range.

Humid places put a lot of stress on me and my legs are like jello. We have spent decades with my husband requesting job transfers based on the weather conditions in the area.

My favorite places are Arizona and Fairbanks,Alaska, both of which have low humidity.

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Postby gainsbourg » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:39 pm

I am so inspired by this thread that I have joined the forum to reply.

I have to congratulate you, L, I think you are on to something big here. I looked with amazement at your graph that showed a very close correlation between humidity and your MS symptoms. I have worked with statistics as a psychologist and reckon that the possibility your findings were by chance is something like 1 in 100,000.

I know your neurogist showed little interest but you should take this much further. Please consider doing a fresh study and measure your body temperature also to see if all 3 correlate?.....Then we will know for sure whether it is heat, heat plus humidity or simply humidity alone that dictates how bad your symptoms are. It would be a bit embarrassing for the medical profession if the old 'sweating problem' theory of the 17th century turned out to be more useful than current theories.

I notice that many people on this forum make the assumption that MS symptoms are only caused by myelin conduction problems. Remember, this is purely theoretical and far from proven, it could easily be only part of the answer. Inflammation of nerve tissues or damage to the inner parts of the nerves also results in MS symptoms. After all, most MS sufferers experience remission/relapse yet the scarring remains the same during these remissions. Some go into permenant remission...but the scars remain.

Scars may turn out to be more of a consequence of this disease rather than causal of the symptoms.

Whether or not Steroids and NSAIDs stop autoimmune processes, they certainly do not heal the scars, it may be that they simply reduce the inflammation in the CNS. Before MRI was used, as part of MS diagnosis, most MS sufferers were found to have no scarring on autopsy. Also, many healthy people are found to have the scars! Perhaps the original name for MS used until the mid twentieth century ('Creeping Paralysis') was a rather more accurate term for this disease.

I have a simple theory as to why humidity and heat play a part in affecting symptoms. Athletes are badly affected by humidity, and as many runners know, on humid days nerves organs and muscles have to compete with the skin for blood. Directing more blood to the skin area removes body heat and helps keep your body's temperature from rising to dangerous levels.

Blood going to skin is also why white skinned people normally have a slight red glow after a bath. The inflamed and scarred CNS of the MS sufferer therefore receives less blood as humidity rises and consequently less oxygen. This results in a temporary worsening of MS symptoms such as blurring vision, increased fatigue etc.

This would also fit with the 'vasculor/circulation theory' mentioned in the reply to this thread by Cheerleader and popularised by Noel Batten, who claims that MS is the result of tension in muscles which gradually, over many years, deprive the CNS of sufficient blood supply.
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Welcome, gainsbourg

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:22 pm

Welcome, gainsbourg, you'll fit right in here!

We are a group of unconventional thinkers (The conventional wisdom hasn't gotten us too far yet!); and I especially liked your sentence:
Scars may turn out to be more of a consequence of this disease rather than causal of the symptoms.

Glad you joined us.
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Postby L » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:00 am

Thanks gainsbourg!

I'm recovering from a small relapse right now so any collection of numbers wouyld be skewed by the small improvements daily as I return to (hopefully) where I was a few weeks ago.

Your theory is thought provoking. How would the success of the therapies that people are getting excited avout here on this forum fit in with it, do you think? I'm referring to high dose cyclophophamide and Tovaxin.

Would ACE inhibitor drugs which dilate blood vessels not have shown a positive effect with MS patients also?
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Postby gainsbourg » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:00 pm

I realise there are those who are excited by drugs such as CFX and Novaxin. They may have the greatest success so far, but when all the initial euphoria dies down and more extensive, long term results come in, I am afraid I do not see these drugs turning out to be the general MS cure-all we all hope for. This is because I do not believe that MS is necessarily just an auto-immune problem. The medical profession have never been completely comfortable with the auto-immune theory, simply because neither theory nor associated drugs tick all the right boxes. Something else may be initiating the inflammation and damage.

It's also becoming obvious that MS symptoms are likely to be a result of a combination of inflammation, damage and scarring in the CNS (rather than is popularly assumed, as purely resulting from scarring in the CNS). This is one reason why MRI evidence of scarring is not usually used alone in making a diagnosis of MS.

From what I understand, anti inflammatory drugs such as CFX seem to help mostly in remitting/relapsing cases where the remission achieved may be due to a lessening of the inflammation. It gets complicated here because far from all MS cases respond. Perhaps in some cases, damage to the CNS, rather than current inflammation, may be the main reason for the symptoms.

For me, the important question is whether auto-immune processes are the root cause of the inflammation/damage to the CNS, or whether this initially occurs and is perpetuated by other factors.

I favour the vascular theory, partly because of its simplicity: over a very long preiod, a slight deficiency of blood to the CNS being the root cause. Insufficient blood means insufficient nutrients, oxygen, repair processes etc and results in a very gradual deterioration. Inevitably, the nerves become damaged, inefficient and inflame periodically or chronically. This is why the illness is 'creeping' and progressive. What I like about this theory is that chronic tension in muscles could explain the resricted blood flow. This is, after all, almost certainly what happens in repetitive strain injury.

Deep muscle tension around the spine can become unnoticable when you have lived with it for many years and may be gradually built up by things such as mental tension, upset, various stressors, bad posture and poor sleep. As a psychology graduate I am open to the theory that most illness has a psychological origin but it can be very hard to prove or measure. If you doubt the mind and body are connected in this way, then consider how stress factors seem to bring on ulcerative colitis, or heart attacks, or do a Google search for 'Holmes and Rahe.'

People in northern lattitudes (where MS is more common place) may simply tend to be less laid back, than those who live on The Equator (where MS is almost unknown)!

I do not know if ACE Inhibitors have been used on MS patients...it would need to be long term treatment. I do know there was a small study that showed massage relieves MS symptoms.

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Postby L » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:57 pm

That's all very interesting, Gainsbourg.

I have come across the vascular theory before, hardly surprising since it is a popular one.

Here is one collection of such ideas http://www.goldwarp.com/MultipleSclerosisStudies/mgdeficiency.html which concludes that ir's all a magnesium deficiency. Well, I've just been informed, in this thread http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-6089.html, by jimmyLegs that the D3 that I've been taki9ng will have negated the Magnesium. So, although I've been taking Magnesium for ages, maybe it's been doing me no good and perhaps now that I shall take it apart from my D3 I shall get miraculously better ☺

Yes, it's compelling but I'm a bit lost in amongst all these theories, not being well educated in all this. Someone need only mention calcium channel pathways (which seem to be referred to in half of the papers that I read) and I'm easily convinced, since I'm immediately baffled. I'd have to revert to something less subtle when picking out which theories make the most sense to me. And when I think of those Opexa scientists achieving great results with Tovaxin in their trials through the isolation and eradication of myelin reactive T cells I am convinced that it's an autoimmune problem. But I shall take double doses of Mg in the morning (D3 in the evening) and perhaps I shall be able to persuade my girlfriend to give me a back massage every day. I took a couple of 400mg Magnesium tablets earlier and my spasticity feels surprisingly good seeing as how the dew point temperature is pretty high... ☺

Chronic tension in muscles - and it could be reversed with massage you say? Well, it's worth a try. And thankyou very much for the suggestion, Gainsbourg.
Last edited by L on Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:10 pm

ah ah ah, magnesium in the eve! d3 in the am and/or midday, if you want to keep it separated from the mag... magnesium is a great bedtime sleep-aid!
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Postby gainsbourg » Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:46 pm

thank's L for the link to that summary of the vascular theory research and magnesium supplements.

I am still knocked out by your research into humidity and MS. The idea of making so simple an experiment seems so obvious in hindsight. I think you have made a great discovery and there are big implications for the care and relocation of MS sufferers, and qite possibly even for understanding of the development of the disease itself.

I have come across several websites, many with diagrams. claiming to show how heat affects the electric signals in nerve tissue as explanation for MS fatigue - but all that needs to be reviewed in light of the strong indication that it is humidity which correlates closest with the fatigue.

As I surmised in my last post -we know that humidity encourages blood to the skin and away from the organs, muscles and nerves. A compromised blood flow may have a lot to do with less effecient working of a damaged CNS, thus exaserpating MS symptoms.

With regard to the vascular theory, stress frequently preceeds MS attacks by a number of weeks. Everybody knows that emotions affect blood flow. Just think, for example, how embarassment or anger divert blood into the capilliaries of the face (blushing) or how other emotions withdraw blood (shock, upset, fear, worry). Emotions affect the lung tissue (asthma attack). Stress can be a big factor in ulcers, colitis and heart disease. I think its a possibility that, over very long periods, stress and other emotions like worry, may be linked to MS inflammation big time.

I'm not suggesting there is not an auto immune component to MS but bear in mind that psoriasis is generally thought to be an auto immune illness (abnormally large numbers of T cells are found) but being run down is what normally preceeds it.

Incidentally, I wonder if anyone has attempted a map correlating MS incidence and humid areas?

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Postby L » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:48 pm

You know, Gainsbourg, it's the meteorologist Russell Johnson who saw the link, not me! I just made a graph ☺ Don't give me any credit!

Incidentally, I do remember that conventional medical thought believes a vascular condition, Hughes syndrome/sticky blood syndrome, is often misdiagnosed as MS. An aspirin a day and it all goes away. Imagine!

Anyway, it's massage, aspirin and magnesium for me and I'll keep my fingers crossed, in the mean time I am going to try everything I can to arrange for some Cyclosphosphamide to be injected into me at a high dose over four years because, to be honest, I am getting a little desperate...
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Postby Terry » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:53 pm

Ms maps and Humidity maps would not correlate worldwide.
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