Dew Point Temperature/Humidity and Spasticity

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Dew Point Temperature/Humidity and Spasticity

Postby L » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:24 pm

Hello all.

I thought that I would share this with you all.

I have had MS for six years now. Intrigued with how I was affected by temperature I began to record my well-being and the temperature daily. It didn't seem to correlate. Remembering how, back in 2004, I worked in an office with really extreme air conditioning and found that my symptoms eased considerably, I bought a hygrometer and found that the relative humidity of my environment and my wellbeing correlated better.

A year ago I was looking into humidity and became familiar with the measurement of 'dew point temperature.' It is arrived at through an equation making it an expression of both relative humidity (recorded by a hygrometer) and temperature |(recorded , of course, by a thermometer.) High humidity on a very cold day results in a low dew point, low humidity on a very hot day results in a high dew point. It is the temperature at which, given the humidity and temperature at any time, dew will appear on the ground… A search on Google made me aware of the work of Russell Johnson, a meteorologist with MS who made the connection between dew point temperature and MS symptoms some time ago. He has written a number of papers on the subject.

I found the correlation to be pretty close, between dew point temperature and my feeling of well being. I was amazed at just how close when I recorded my results over a couple of months.

I would decide how my spasticity was, from 1 - absolutely well through to 10 - immobile. In practice the results ranged from 7 - very stiff and having trouble moving at all, through to 3, where 3 was 'almost no support needed'. (I always rely on furniture and walls to lean on - outside the house I am a wheelchair user). I decided upon how well I felt before I checked the dew point, so as not to influence me. Some days I simply forgot to get this done, but it was nothing to do with me not feeling exceptionally well or bad or anything.

When I finally inputted all my figures into Microsoft Word to make a graph I was simply amazed. When the dew point was high I felt bad, when it was low I felt good - I was amazed at the consistency of it.

Here it is:
Image

Some days are good, some are bad, I used to wonder why but now I know, it’s all the dew point temperature. I found this quite a revelation and now an air conditioner really helps me. I have to keep the dew point temperature below 10°. I told my neurologist about this but he wasn’t particularly interested. Everyone with MS should know about this! If, as I suspect, it has the same effects on everyone as it does me… It would also explain the short term effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy…

If you are so inclined then get a good hygrometer and keep a diary for yourself and share the results here. I would suggest avoiding cheap hygrometers from Hong Kong though – I bought one and it was faulty. I ended up getting a combined hygrometer and thermometer designed to aid people rearing birds.

Dew point temperatures can be calculated here, jest input the relative humidity and the temperature:
http://www.decatur.de/javascript/dew/

I really was amazed!
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Postby Terry » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:48 am

L,

Assuming that this info is correct, I have a question.
Does the high dew point interfere with oxygen intake?
I searched this and found no answers- at least not ones that I could make sense of.


Thanks in advance for any reply.
Terry
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Postby CureOrBust » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:31 am

Now I actually have no noticeable issue with heat, I actually have more problems when I get cold.

One question that would need explaining, is the old method of diagnosing MS, before MRI's, where the patient was submerged in a hot bath. If their symptoms got worse, it helped in a diagnosis of MS.

How does the dew-point theory encapsulate this scenario?
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Thank You!!

Postby notasperfectasyou » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:40 pm

Oh, WoW! You're into analysis like me! I Love It!!

I want to know more about how to do this.

I have one of these: La Crosse 9119

can some combination of these measures tell me the dew point? Ken

More:

Ok, I checked the dewpointolator link. What temperature and humidity do you use? The high today in DC was 94, but now it's 74. I don't know what the humidity was earlier, but it's 73rh now.

I don't know anything about the weather, but I have the cool clock. Please share. I'd like to track this.........
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Postby Terry » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:26 pm

Cure,
I thought about the bathtub thing also, and I wondered if breathing the steam would make a difference. Is that what you meant?
Why would dew point/ humidity make a difference?
I searched for info on this meteorologist and his theory but didn't find much.
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az

Postby notasperfectasyou » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:26 am

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!
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Postby whyRwehere » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:01 am

Humidity definitely makes everything worse for my husband...difficult, as this summer has been so humid wherever we have been or go. He could barely walk yesterday.
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Postby L » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:55 am

Oh oh, I didn't keep an eye on this thread. Very careless, I apologise.


Terry wrote:L,

Assuming that this info is correct, I have a question.
Does the high dew point interfere with oxygen intake?
I searched this and found no answers- at least not ones that I could make sense of.


Thanks in advance for any reply.
Terry


Hey Terry,
I have no idea why. I had assumed that it was something to do with the body cooling. Maybe it is some function of muscle. I have no idea... Neither has my neurologist (which doesn't surprise me in the least.)
Oxygen intake sounds like a good explanation to me. Any other ideas anyone?
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Postby L » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:00 am

CureOrBust wrote:Now I actually have no noticeable issue with heat, I actually have more problems when I get cold.

One question that would need explaining, is the old method of diagnosing MS, before MRI's, where the patient was submerged in a hot bath. If their symptoms got worse, it helped in a diagnosis of MS.

How does the dew-point theory encapsulate this scenario?


I have heard others report that the cold is worse for them than heat. I suppose cold weather where you are could be accompanied by high humidity but this probably isn't the case...

As for the bath, if the dew point temperature is affecting heat conversion or muscles or goodness knows what through the skin then the dew point temperature, 100% humidity and hot water, would be extremely high!
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Re: Thank You!!

Postby L » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:04 am

notasperfectasyou wrote:Oh, WoW! You're into analysis like me! I Love It!!

I want to know more about how to do this.

I have one of these: La Crosse 9119

can some combination of these measures tell me the dew point? Ken

More:

Ok, I checked the dewpointolator link. What temperature and humidity do you use? The high today in DC was 94, but now it's 74. I don't know what the humidity was earlier, but it's 73rh now.

I don't know anything about the weather, but I have the cool clock. Please share. I'd like to track this.........


Hey N.A.P.A.Y.
Glad you appreciated it!
That weather station that you have looks perfect. Just key in the temperature and relative humidity into an online depoint temperature calculator... I just use whatever temperature and RH it is at the time... Everyone should note that the indoor RH will usually be a lot lower than that reported on a weather forecast (the outdoor RH is generally higher than the indoor).
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Postby L » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am

Terry wrote:Cure,
I searched for info on this meteorologist and his theory but didn't find much.


Mr Johnson has retired now. He did submit some papers to a few journals (an MS journal and a meteorological one, I think) but online there is just the one.

For me, at least, his theory rings true.
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Postby L » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:10 am

Terry wrote:Cure,
Why would dew point/ humidity make a difference?


I wish I knew !
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Postby whyRwehere » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:29 am

I was talking to my husband about this and I suggested maybe his body works like a barometer... at times of low pressure "liquid"(or something) could be entering empty areas(plaques?)reducing efficiency of the neurons that are left. But I don't really know what the hell I'm talking about...all I know, is that if it's humid, he can barely walk and if it's cold, that's no good either, as his circulation isn't that great and his feet go very white...
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Postby cheerleader » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:26 am

whyRwehere wrote:I was talking to my husband about this and I suggested maybe his body works like a barometer... at times of low pressure "liquid"(or something) could be entering empty areas(plaques?)reducing efficiency of the neurons that are left. But I don't really know what the hell I'm talking about...all I know, is that if it's humid, he can barely walk and if it's cold, that's no good either, as his circulation isn't that great and his feet go very white...


This is fascinating....

There are many who believe that MS is a vascular disease, and that constriction of the blood vessels leads to axon destruction by "starvation." so your pressure scenario makes perfect sense, Why....high barometric pressure would allow even less blood flow. My husband's circulation is bad, as well, and he has a high SED rate on blood tests. We're looking into rheum and vascular issues now. Might be similar for your husband?
AC
PS- my son was born 3 weeks early, due to a large rainstorm in our area. Many women went into labor that night and the hospital was full of us, due to the barometric pressure change. Weather can affect health in many ways :)
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Lyon » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:56 pm

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Last edited by Lyon on Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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