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Golden hour (/month)

Discussion in 'Other Symptoms' started by JaimeS, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Here's a weird funfact:

    November appears to be magic.

    This time last year -- and now -- I'm experiencing a sudden surge of normalcy. Motivation to do tasks matched by the ability to actually do them! Last year I held a Thanksgiving party where I cooked for 25 people with marginal help. I got an enormous amount done at Stanford by setting a schedule for myself to complete a large number of tasks before I went home for Christmas.

    And now it's happening again!

    Now, here's the bad part.

    There was a downturn starting in December that became one of my worst, slow-motion crashes of all time. I was essentially crashed for the first five weeks of the new year.

    Did I do too much and that's the payback? Did the sudden surge of normalcy 'wear off' but I kept going, used to my new, expanded energy envelope? Was it unrelated? (I did become intolerant to one of the pills I relied on at that time, but talk about a chicken-or-egg problem!)

    So: First, has anyone else noticed this? Especially with cooling temperatures?

    Has anyone noticed an attendant surge of poor health once winter really settles in?

    Very curious to see if anyone else has experienced this.
     
  2. Rick Sanchez

    Rick Sanchez Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sometimes I wonder if we are the same person Jaime.

    Sadly, for once, my Autumn / November magic has so far been absent this year.

    Slowly but steadily becoming more ill might explain the absence though. I am definitely dreading end of December / January though. Last year was absolutely brutal.

    Personally I am sure the fluctuations I experience have nothing to do with the ''boom and bust cycle'' (I don't personally believe in the cycle generally for ME/CFS patients at all, and feel like it's another way to blame patients for causing their symptoms).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  3. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes. But for me it happened in the spring. But different situations maybe due to location? Winter (usually by Nov) means a lot of dry heat. Spring can be cool and I'd open all the windows (not longer possible now I've moved to a high rise apt).
     
  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @JaimeS . . . I feel energized starting mid September/October (eastern Canada)= cooler weather. The month of December I usually feel achy (fluey?) so a little less energy. I pick up again around February.

    I feel at my worst starting April and figured out that it has to do with the start of allergy season. I don't have the normal allergy symptoms, but my immune system is affected, and every 2-3 years I come down with some major virus during this time.
     
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  5. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The dysfunctional cognitions and maladaptive behaviour are entitled to a break too.
     
  6. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes. How odd. I am usually on guard for cold, as it is a trigger for many with periodic paralysis, which my wife has. Moreover, I have little tolerance for cold.

    But almost without fail, late Autumn brings a semi-reprieve in my symptom severity.

    Not sure if it's a rooster raising the sun sort of thing, though.
     
  7. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I've noticed that I feel worse when the temperature is changing. If it's stable, ie during a long hot summer, or when it's cold and stays cold, I can feel ok for weeks as long as I stay within my limits. But when the temperature is changing between different spells of weather, I can go downhill even if I've been behaving and pacing well. I think of my head as a barometer which hurts when the needle has to move. It might not be temperature, it could be changes in air pressure which my head has trouble adjusting too. Dunno, pure speculation and conjecture on my part.
     
  8. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't tell if I have year or weather effects as the last few years I'v had too much carp going on (PIP, Tribunal, new caravan holiday home that stinks) to be able to tell. But think feel better in Autumn and Spring - not too hot, and not too cold! LOL.

    @JaimeS might it be that cooler temperatures and shorter days have an effect for you? I'm in UK, so temperature, weather very different to CA. Do you actually get cooler weather and shorter days? I'm guessing probably not. In which case this post is a waste of time!
     
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  9. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If you're in the southern hemisphere, then we are talking about the same type of weather/coolness probably.

    Another yes. This is really interesting! Early February was when my bad period finally began to let up.

    :p:rofl::rofl::rofl:

    !!!!

    That's one "no", as far as I'm concerned -- I can tell it's getting cooler and my body LOVES it.

    People tend to think of California as "Los Angeles", but California is very large, and the northern half of it is no different from any other northern state. Mid-Cali is temperate and dry, and northern Cali is a typical Pacific Northwestern Forest, much like what you'd find in Washington state and even Canada. The days are, in fact, shorter, and it's cooler out.

    And unless I miss my guess, my metabolism is ticking up. I'm also losing weight and running warmer.
     
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  10. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's five yeses and one no, I think.

    Could be that this is A Thing -- yet another Thing That Patients Know & No One Else Has Ever Minded.

    In which case, damn -- better gear up for December.

    Any advice, brain trust?
     
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  11. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    OK, let me be more specific.

    Can you describe what December & January feel like for you?

    In my case I became intolerant to a pill I'd relied on for years. That could imply increased immune activation or increased gut permeability or both.
     
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  12. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    We shall all move to the Canary Islands.

    Average temperature: 17 to 24 Celsius.

    The Canary Islands have an excellent climate year round.

    Summers are warm, but not so hot, and the winter is mild.
     
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  13. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Booking the flight now. :thumbup:

    ________________

    I'm going to drop some links here that I've found to be of interest. I'll post more as I think on things.

    [Edit: crossing 'em out as I delve]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  14. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    OK, not much here except to say that Vit D, which tends to be low in the chronically ill in the first place, might drop even lower in the winter. This is not surprising. I'd be quite interested to monitor it over the course of November and December to see if it's getting any lower, as I take supplements.

    This is a literature review that confirms that immune function drops in temperate climates in the winter, and during the rainy season in areas that happen to have one.

    There were a few types of immune responses they looked for. For vaccinations, they found that the strongest immune response was -- you guessed it -- late summer through late fall, or in areas with a rainy season "just before the start of the rainy season" which fits with the increased wellness we're seeing as pwME. This implies that an uptick in immune function makes us feel better, which would put paid to the idea that our immune systems are operating wildly out of control.

    A second study on Hep B vaccine also found that the highest immune responses were in October and November.

    There seems to also be a general trend of a stronger immune response in the winter in comparison to the summer, but I want to see fall versus winter...

    For skin-prick allergy testing, they also found that "late rainy season" in areas with a rainy season, and just before winter in temperate zones produced the strongest immune responses.

    Live vaccines showed the same basic pattern of worse possibility for infection once winter had set in.
     
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  15. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Unless you don't buy into the sun is supplementing our Vit D, so when it gets cold, we go out less, and by extension our Vit D values decline. Broadly speaking, for the healthy or acutely sick, sure. For those beset with chronic illness like us, I'm not so certain I get access to the sun any more when it's warmer than when it's colder.
     
  16. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Too generalized to be of use, I think, though worth noting they seem to be saying that immune function is upregulated in the winter, they are still comparing it to summer, and talking about many, many species.

    Oh, man. I'm not enough of a statistician to judge the data-wrangling but, if true, this is fascinating.

    Immune cell production peaks in late autumn! Monocytes, CD19 cells, and platelets are at an all-time high.

    RBCs and neutrophils, on the other hand, seem to peak in late winter through early spring -- when we may do most poorly.

    So, are the monocytes, CD19, and/or platelets things we need to support? Are neutrophils something we need to convince to 'chill out'?

    Or some combo of both?

    It's even possible that rather than a simple case of immune activation or immunosuppression, we have a more complex picture: being too high in summer, beginning to feel good as immune activation drops slightly as fall turns to winter, and ending in January with immune function generally suppressed. Nothing, especially in biology, is obliged to be simple.
     
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  17. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was waiting for someone to bring this up.

    I went looking for papers on seasonal variation in sedentary humans or in the chronically ill and bedbound, but no luck on PubMed. Google Scholar, which has a slightly different search mechanism turned up something interesting: that people with MS have fewer relapses in the autumn. (https://bmcneurol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12883-015-0394-1)

    MS relapse is directly related to Vitamin D status: and Vitamin D status is highest not in the summer, when you might expect, but in the autumn independent of dietary choices. (Maxwell, J. D. (1994). Seasonal variation in vitamin D. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 53(03), 533–543. doi:10.1079/pns19940063). This implies it's not just sunlight exposure that causes one's body to produce Vitamin D, but actual photoresponses and/or shifts in median temperature, or something else. So whether or not you are chronically ill or disabled, there is a good chance your Vitamin D is shifting with the seasons regardless.

    [Maybe -- still trying to find an answer to this. Not a lot of people find sedentary populations worth bothering with. Shocking!]

    [Edit 2: Finally!

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.00211.x
    Vitamin D status of chronically ill or disabled children in Victoria

     
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  18. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    OK so going into December, I'm going to start upping lactoferrin (which increases monocyte and NKC activity), up my Vitamin D intake, and see how it goes. Wish me luck!
     
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  19. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am learning a lot this cool day.
     
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  20. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm still a little concerned about the rooster thingee.
     
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