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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Hmmmm...Always Feel Worse in my Shower

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Author Topic: Hmmmm...Always Feel Worse in my Shower
seekhelp
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Could this be why? [Frown] I'm pretty allergic to molds per conventional testing. Is this concerning or normal? I put a new shower head on today. This one actually wasn't that old!

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lax mom
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Is that rust?

Also, I feel worse in the shower because it's such a strain on my body to stand upright for that long due to POTS.

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seekhelp
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Lax mom, it's mildew. [Frown]
Posts: 7545 | From The 5th Dimension - The Twilight Zone | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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It is true that standing in the shower is rough for many with lyme, standing at all can be.

Other than the blood pressure issues, if it's loud, that can make us feel ill, too. And, also to consider:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/14/showerhead.bacteria/

Study: Showerheads may deliver blast of bacteria - 2009

Excerpts:

. . . In fact, levels of these bacteria are more than 100-fold higher than levels found in the pre-shower water, according to the researchers, who analyzed the germs in the biofilm of 45 showerheads from nine U.S cities, including New York and Denver . . .

. . . Mycobacterium avium, found in 20 percent of study samples, can cause lung infections in both healthy people and those with weakened immune systems, particularly smokers, alcoholics, people with chronic lung disease, and others with conditions that make it difficult to fight off infection. Symptoms include fatigue, a chronic dry cough, and shortness of breath. . . .

. . . That said, cleanliness is next to godliness. "The new study emphasizes the need for us to periodically get rid of biofilm on our showerheads," he says. Change the showerhead once a year or more frequently, like they do in hospitals, to prevent mineral deposits and biofilm, he suggests . . . .

-------- (full article at link above)

Bleach won't work on this

I did not notice it in this article but previous articles I've read on this topic stated that even bleach could not kill some of these offenders. Replacement was necessary, especially for those with any health issues.

As someone who likes planet earth and hates to see a throw-a-way society (really, the landfills would swell with everyone replacing every showerhead every year).

So, I hope someone might have solutions to clean showerheads. As mentioned, bleach does not work on this - but there might be something that would? It is rather daunting that bleach is ineffective (though that will work for mold but it's not good for us to be around bleach, anyway. Fumes are very toxic.).

I'm not sure if this helps or not but, after a shower, I keep the showerhead resting on the tub floor for a couple hours so that it can drain out from the hose. Then it does need to be put back up so the head can drain out better than if resting on the tub floor.

I've read that METAL showerheads are better than plastic but they are very hard to find and, in good conscience, throwing one out every year is just such a waste of natural resources. And, if plastic, that's just more petroleum tossed out. There must be a way to clean these but I've just not had the energy to research it.

COPPER might be good as it has antimicrobial properties but I've never seen a copper showerhead and it would be quite expensive.

And, really, I suppose we could go without a showerhead and just use a hose with a simple tulip head, with no real inner parts like I've seen on camping shower units -

- pressure would have to be carefully monitored so as to conserve water. Most showerheads have a maze inside to keep the water use low. It could be all that is not so good for us in other ways.
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Keebler
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Mildew & Molds in the bathroom are another issue entirely.

I know you have a family so this may not be possible but, if it may be, it helps to shower with the bathroom door open at least 1/4 way.

I've never seen an exhaust fan that could really pull out the humid air from a bathroom properly and - for my ears - I can't have a fan on at all, just too loud and, therefore, actually dangerous for me due to inner ear issues.

After a shower, be sure to air out the bathroom as best possible.

Rather than fuffy bathmats, consider a CORK one. See Gaia web site. I love mine and am glad to never ever have to wash another bathmat, ever.

If there is a mold issue in your bathroom, it's best to address that. But I hope that is not the case.

I feel ill from a shower, too. And I have no mold issues, I keep my door open during shower and have a new showerhead every year.

For me, I know it's the noise, the having to stand up and manage that noise (and ear plugs are not much help as when the water hits my head, it's just so loud inside. Keeping water pressure from not being too forceful helps but much has to do with the way the pipes were installed, etc.
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Keebler
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Another possibility is CHLORINE. The smell can knock me over. Some showerheads have water filters built in that will keep the chlorine low.
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randibear
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I soak mine in vinegar.

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Keebler
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In addition to issues of mildew / mold . . .

The key is finding something that will kill Mycobacterium avium in the showerhead.

Randibear, have you found that vinegar can do that? I don't have energy to search this but if you've found out more, the links would be great to study.
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Lymetoo
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You can buy filters for the shower.

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Healing in Santa Cruz
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I use shower filters. When its time to replace the filter I feel way worse.
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Keebler
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Good point, some shower filters also filter out certain germs, in addition to chlorine, heavy metals.

GSE, grapefruit seed extract, may be a good aid to clobber shower biofilm. Worth studying that, anway.

Even with a water filter, GSE applied to the showerhead (and other faucet aereators) now and them might be a good idea. GSE or other citrus agents are in BIOKLEEN and SEVENTH GENERATION products.

One key is to not get under the first blast of water, as many of the articles mention. After that first burst of water, it's not so concentrated.

And if this Mycobacterium avium can collect on a showerhead, it may also collect on other faucets and it might be good to start off with a slow stream so that we are not hit with a sudden blast of mist.
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Judie
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"it's mildew."

Mildew is mold. It's just another way to say "indoor" mold.

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lax mom
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Found this article. I have the same thing and thought it was rust.

http://freedomclean.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/that-orange-stuff-in-your-shower-its-not-rust/

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Wonko
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I experienced heat intolerance for years with my Lyme. Heat, such as from a hot shower, would make me feel more sick, cause my neuro symptoms to temporarily worsen, and sometimes caused extra fatigue.

I recall several times needing to go back to bed after showering, even if I felt relatively well going in.

This all eventually cleared up for me with treatment.

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bigstan
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Hey Seek, Is that good ole Michigan well water you got there? I've got the same thing even with a water softener.

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GretaM
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I don't necessarily feel disgusted, (the word of choice in this post), after a shower, but I feel annoyed because it seems like an awful lot of work to rinse soap off and to wash my hair, with it falling out and hair strands stuck all over me and clogging the drain. Always need to lay down after a shower too.

http://www.tiredoflyme.com/feeling-worse-after-a-shower-or-bath.html#.UeSbrsEWLIU

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