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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Anyone get sick flying or in higher altitudes?

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Author Topic: Anyone get sick flying or in higher altitudes?
Tabby
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I have experienced various levels of sickness in flying and

hiking situations and am trying to figure out why.


With flying if it is a short flight (under 5 hours) I will usually

only get sick if the decent is steep or rocky. I will feel awful

with headaches and nausea while it is happening but be fine

after.


However the two times I have flown long distances I became

extremely sick. The first was a trip to London where I had

been doing pretty good with my health before the trip, but

was sick the whole time I was there and then for weeks after I

returned. I thought it was just a flare until I flew to Hawaii and

had the same exact thing happen. This time I became

extremely ill during the flight over (which was a nightmare)

and again did not get to enjoy the beautiful place because I

was sick the whole time and for weeks after.


I have tried to research and it does seem that long distance

flights tend to go at higher altitudes than short flights. So I

am thinking that the higher pressure does something to my

brain or something. Has anyone else experienced this, or

have any insight into why that would happen?


I would really love to be able to travel, it has been a life long

dream of mine, but it is pointless if I will only be miserably ill

the whole time. I did find a little bit of info that certain types

of planes don't fly at higher altitudes, but the info was vague

and confusing. I think if I could get more specifics on which

planes and which companies use those planes then I would

perhaps be able to travel more.


Also I went hiking yesterday, it wasn't a hard hike at all, but it

went fairly high up a mountain and now today I am much

sicker than I have been in weeks. I didn't have trouble

breathing while doing it, but I think again that higher altitude

may have something to do with it.


Anyway sorry for the long post, I hope someone has insight.

Lyme has taken so much from me, so many things that I can't

do that others can, and if I also can't travel or even take

hikes when Im having a good period, well that sucks.

Posts: 42 | From new york | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
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I get short of breath. flying is no problem but driving can be.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

Posts: 12262 | From texas | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Phoiph
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When flying, the cabin air is only pressurized to the equivalent to the air pressure at approximately 8,000 ft. in altitude.

Healthy bodies can usually handle this effect (possibly just experiencing "jet lag"). However, Lyme and many chronic diseases are characterized by low oxygen levels (hypoxia) in the body...so this low-oxygen effect is compounded, especially on long flights or hiking in the mountains (when the activity is already creating a higher oxygen demand).

Unlike long flights, on short flights with steep descent (where you feel temporarily ill, but fine after), you are probably just experiencing bouts of motion sickness that passes quickly.

I have researched the effects of oxygen on healing extensively...and became well with hyperbaric oxygen (see thread):

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/125201

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Keebler
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The vestibular system (inner / middle ear) is very involved with flying. The pressure changes can be profound.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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Ototoxic drugs / OTC can make one more likely to experience vestibular disturbance, especially when flying but also at other times.

Check to see of any Rx or OTC products you take are "ototoxic" - you might start with the latest posts here with updates for BAUMAN's book - then back up to see the importance of liver support and hearing protection that can also help the various kinds of vestibular tissues:


http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=065801

Topic: TINNITUS: Ringing Between The Ears; Vestibular, Balance, Hearing with compiled links - including HYPERACUSIS
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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-
GINGER CAPSULES can help prevent / relieve motion sickness, nausea and dizziness.

But it needs to be taken prior to a flight (maybe start the day before) kept up at a therapeutic dose that only the capsules seem to provide. Although the tea can help a bit.

Take Ginger Capsules a couple hours away from Rx. It has some antioxidant properties and it may speed Rx through too fast if taken at the same time.

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/important-herbs/ginger-rootrhizome-zingiber-officinalis.html

GINGER


There are some homeopathic sublingual pellets, too, that can ease discomfort instantly (great for flying).

http://abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Tab

Tabacum


http://abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Cocc

Cocculus


http://www.vitacost.com/ancient-harvest-quinoa-flakes?csrc=GPF-089125412004&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=089125412004

QUINOA FLAKES are great to have on hand. Just add boiling water to a deep bowl or mug. Cover. Wait a minute and you have an emergency meal, of sorts for a tender tummy.

Surprisingly good ratio of protein & fat, too, so this is not going to adversely affect blood glucose.

Also:

DGL (search site below under Licorice),

Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root powder

Details:

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com
-

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
n.northernlights
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I know someone who gets very ill from flying, and they think it is some defect in the dura mater? From some infection or injury
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chaps
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There's a possibility that the change in pressure causes nitrogen in the system (just like ascending when scuba diving) and this might kill some of the bacteria associated with Lyme. Just a theory.

I've actually heard of people scuba diving to help kill Lyme.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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Phoiph
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Actually, scuba diving is similar to hyperbaric oxygen in that you are under pressure...but the percentage of oxygen breathed is different, as are the "depths" reached, and time spent under pressure.

Hyperbaric oxygen has anti-microbial properties.

Flying at altitude is the opposite (i.e., less oxygen, less pressure)...

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Jamers
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I had this happen on a long flight over to Europe. Once I got over there I felt faint, extremely weak and fatigued, shortness of breath had really bad back pain (not sure if this was a symptom or just from sitting) and could barely move for the first 24 hours. I googled a bunch of stuff and read an article about a lyme patient who experienced the same thing. Her outcome was that it was Babesia reacting to the low oxygen environment. Perhaps it was a herx/killing off of babesia due to the conditions. I assume, in my case, that it was a reaction to the low oxygen affecting my infections.

--------------------
Diagnosed Pos. Lyme Nov. 17, 2010, Igx.
Pos. Babesia Duncani March 2011, Igx.
Clinical diagnosis for Bartonella

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Phoiph
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Oxygen is the fuel involved in thousands of known cellular processes. When deprived, everything slows, down to the cell's ability to metabolize nutrients, produce energy, and process toxins. The cascade effects of this are profound, as no body system can work efficiently, and major symptoms can result.

The symptoms described (weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.) are also classic "hypoxic" symptoms that pilots are taught to watch out for.

Babesia impairs the ability of the body to carry oxygen. I think these symptoms may be more likely the result of further oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) on a body that is already in a lowered oxygen state and not in good physical condition due to chronic illness, rather than "die off".

Also, organisms like Babesia have evolved adaptive survival mechanisms for coping with different oxygen levels...

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Keebler
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-
Longer flights may use different chemicals to clean the plane between flights, too. Some can be rather harsh.
-

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Tabby
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Wow guys, so much input! Well I think the overwhelming answer is oxygen deprivation. My breathing seemed fine, but I guess this can still happen.

Keebler thanks for all that info, Ill have to read up on a lot of those things you mentioned. The inner ear could definitely have to do with the short term discomfort in flight, but not sure it would be associated with when I get severely sick.

Northern Lights - Do you happen to have any more info on that, or that persons situation? I'm very interested.

Jamers- I had most of those symptoms aside from the shortness of breath. Extreme weakness, extreme headaches and nausea, some tremors and overall fluish feeling. It was basically just my normal lyme symptoms ramped up to 1,000.

Phoiph - Thanks for all this info! Is there anyway you think I could do to counteract this affect? Some sort of supplement or treatment I could do right before a flight or hike? I have read that you can bring an oxygen tank with you, but that seems a bit extreme and also a lot of red tape to cut through.

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Phoiph
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There isn't a short term "pre-treatment"; but you could look into renting/buying an FAA approved portable (battery operated) oxygen concentrator to see if it helps.

Oxygen concentrators don't contain oxygen (like tanks), they are devices which remove nitrogen from the ambient air, concentrating the oxygen.

You would have to have a physicians prescription to rent/buy one, including instructions for how many Liters Per Minute you would need, and for how long during your flight.

For a long term solution, of course I would recommend what gave me my life back: mild hyperbaric oxygen treatment (mHBOT). This is a treatment that requires commitment over time, however (see link in above post). I am back to running, hiking at altitude, flying, etc. (BTW, it is not recommended to do a hyperbaric treatment before flying.)

I know of an oxygen concentrator vendor that could give you more information on FAA approved, battery powered concentrators (note: these are not the same units that can be used with a home hyperbaric chamber). You can PM me if you like...

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Edessajarrue
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Planes are only required to pressurize cabins at 8000ft above sea level and this is regulated heavily by the airline, not the pilot, though pilot can over-ride this setting (but rarely does from what I understand).

If there are dents in the plane or small air leaks, this can affect that pressurization without really registering for the pilots to adjust the oxygen levels in the cabin.

Anyone with a chronic condition should be aware that the cabin pressure can make their condition worse, however, the airline are not required to give this warning to flying patrons.

So it is not unusual, in my opinion, that those of us with lyme and co-infections, experience a lot more symptoms while flying.

I had major chest pain/pressure once on Suncountry, resulting in a lovely panic attacks on take-off and landing. This past week, I had mild chest pain/pressure on take off on a delta flight, no panic attack. Wondering if I should be worried or not. Big sigh.

-Ede

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Brussels
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Flying in airplanes: you get more radiation, more electrosmog then. Electrosmog is very bad for lyme.

There is a lot of oxidation that happens: lack of oxygen, EMRs, bad dead food, lack of movement.

I would do the following at your place: take a lot of Megahydrate (very powerful antioxidants), get your electrons back (through high frequency devices, or grounding yourself for long)...

I would also take a look into the Neurophone, from Flanaggan. He created another device that was used by plane crews back in the 80s or 90s, but now he says the Neurophone does that too.

He uses the Neurophone after a flight, he says, so that he gets less jet lag. The Neurophone is not a phone, but a device to balance the brain waves.

I hope you find a way to travel again!!

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Keebler
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Tabby,

you say "The inner ear could definitely have to do with the short term discomfort in flight, but not sure it would be associated with when I get severely sick." (end quote)

Actually, the inner ear / middle ear (vestibular system) when irritated, distressed or in any way messed up, can cause severe - very severe - symptoms that involve all body functions.

I truly hope you figure out all the puzzles within the puzzles here so that you can become a world traveler.
-

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