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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Why do I get so dizzy/brain foggy in the MALL?

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Author Topic: Why do I get so dizzy/brain foggy in the MALL?
Jenny in MI
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Will I be able to go to the mall again?
Why does it make me feel so very lightheaded and dizzy? I feel like I have to rush right out of the mall because I immediately feel so sick there.

Is it the fire retrdant they put on clothes? the carpet in the stores? Will I be able to go into a mall someday without getting so sick?

Thanks!

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Brainspud
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I find the mall sensory stimulation overload. My lyme brain gets overwhelmed trying to process a zillion visual data, all the noise, all the scents. I shop small stores during hours when few other folks are around. But I'm getting better with treatment, my brain can do more. I hope that you will one day enjoy the mall again.
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hcconn22
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there are a lot of bright lights and your senses are more enlightened.

--------------------
Positive 10 bands WB IGG & IGM
+ Babesia + Bartonolla and NOW RMSF 3/5/09 all at Quest

And still positive ELISA and WB two years after IV treatment
http://www.lymefriends.org/profile/blake

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seekhelp
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I agree...either Lyme or panic disorder as a symptom of Lyme. I never had that issue before I got sick last year. Now it's routine. The more "busy" a place, the harder it is to function. If I'm alone, things are usually worse.

I do have good days where it's not an issue, but they are far and few between. Anxiety causes every symptom you described. I read it in many books.

Of course, I'm not saying that's it. I'm just stating my research. I hope we all feel better soon!

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UnexpectedIlls
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I have not been able to go into stores for almost 2 years because of this.. ALl my symptoms get 10x worse and I just cannot do it. I hope oneday I will be able to go into a store again.... And I KNOW it is NOT anxiety .

--------------------
"You'll be surprised to know how far you can go from the point you thought it was the end"

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seekhelp
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I keep thinking the Lyme may cause neurotransmitters to get out of whack and cause these issues. When you think about it, the sun is SO much brighter than any mall and I am OK outdoors most times. Why would fluorescent lights at a mall cause such distress?

I'm the kind of person who wants logical explanations to issues, not it's Lyme. I need to know why Lyme does this.

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mazou
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My neuropsychologist said that it is common for Lyme sufferers to have a visual processing disorder. This disorder does not refer to good or bad eyesight, but, rather, your brain's ability to recognize what it is seeing.

Or something like that. I'm not a neuropsychologist.

But it makes good sense when you look at the problem of going to the mall. There is SO MUCH to see and focus on, and it may take you extra effort to understand what you are seeing. This may be why you become overwhelmed.

Good luck to you.

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troutscout
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Ok Guys...this one I CAN answer!

There several things that would cause this 'reaction' in a mall. Remember the two top things that happen as a Lymie are 1) Inflammation and 2) Neurotoxins

The inflammtion causes a higher level of neurotoxins...and the neurotoxins...are then seen as a foreign substance and then the immune system causes more inflammation in the affected area....yadda, yadda, yadda

Now...with this unending cycle happening inside of you several things WILL happen as a direct adnd indirect result of it.

One...has already been mentioned...the inflammation of nerve roots and neurotransmitters throughout the nervous system,,,primarily...the cranial nerves...basically...the sensory and peripheral nervous system as a whole.

Eyes, ears, nose, taste, balance, vagal reactions, you name it.......it gets 'whacked'.

Now...what would all of this cause when entering a mall?

OK....as the former Vice President of Commercial Lighting Design and Supply for a Regional Lighting company that I built from a single state into 26...well...as you figured...when it comes to lighting...and NEW Building Products....I understand them.

Lighting....it isn't "just" light...it has several properties....causing the nervous system...from the back of the eye...through the nerve and then into the occiputal lobe (rear) of the brain. (Which happens to be THE primary place of infection for most neuroborreliosis patients)

Now...if the cranial nerve that transmits that signal from the eye ball is infected and inflamed at the same time (along with having a load of bacterial sludge or toxins inside of it getting in the way) happens to get the 'correct' signal to the brain...which then redirects that information to the limbic system...

which tells you....run or stay...THEN it tells you..step with the left, now the right, now the left....swerve to the right....etc. etc.

Well....that is tough to walk thru....when you are outside in normal sunlight....

But what happens when inside a mall....when talking about light...is CRAZY!!! each type of bulb emits a different form of light that gives color(deeper blue to yellow), they each also emit a form of light that gives you the ability to form depth perception and they also send out another form of light that is REFLECTED....and they all put light out at different intervals or 'flashes',

ie; a flourescent light sends out a flash of light every second or cycles at 60 times per minute...so on and so forth...

There are actually studies out there showing the mental anxiety that cool white flourescent lamps can cause in Daycare settings...and its scary when you read these things...trust me. COOL White bulbs are heck on your nervous system by themselves.

Now ALL of that said....when you wlak into a mall...there are usually, sevral different sources of light...estimates put it at 5 on average per setting in a mall situation...all of them having 4 different means of sending out a signal that is confusing to a HEALTHY optic nerve let alone a heavily inflamed one. (Thats why you see people tripping on a flat floor...their brains can't process the depth, etc correctly...even ona flat floor)

So, my suggestion...wear sunglasses that are of a particular shade...yellow, amber...whatever works with YOUR optic nerve...also, take an anti-inflammatory before going to the mall...and if at ALL necessary...do not towards a window and then back into the store.

You may also find that you cannot process dawn and dusk very well either.

OK...now the rest of the story.


Malls are loaded with......tada, NEW MERCHANDISE!!!! Now who cares about that? Your nose does.

Another cranial nerve that is infected is the olfactory nerve...when inflamed...your brain can't register the smells very well...and your memory doesn't work correctly either due to this. (The best way to bring back a memory...is thru smell)

And...another reason...those chemicals that are used to manufacture the products you want to buy...emit a LOAD of ....toxins, or VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) these are VERY dangerous. And when exposed longterm...they will cause a world of problems for you.....or, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

What happens with MCS? Good question...I had this also..and it damn near killed me. The immune system starts to get confused by all of those nasty NEURO TOXINS being emitted by the Borrelia and the immune system inflaming and causing more of them to buld up.

Now...what does that have to do with the chemicals from the new clothes etc....when your bodies immune system feels or senses them...it attacks that area...causing....more problems...the lungs, the eyes, the nasal cavity (then the bain) and eventually...it may attack the brain or spinal cord...as it did in my case.

Why does it do this? It is an inflammatory cascade..trying to attack the invaders that are causing all of the toxins in the first place.

This can cause the body to attack all of the weakest parts of the body or the heaviest infected.

That....was my SHORT explanation of what happens in a mall.

My system was SO bad....I had to live in a cement block room without heat for months in the dead of winter...why? I was so reactive...even the 'excited' particles caused by heat...were setting my system off.

In the end...it was a soup of Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Mold and Insecticide over spraying that got me.

When I moved out of the oversprayed house and out of the very moldy vally along the Missouri river by Omaha...I slowly got better.


Good Luck To You!!!!!!!!!!!


Trout [Wink]

--------------------
Now is the time in your life to find the "tiger" within.
Let the claws be bared,
and Lyme BEWARE!!!
www.iowalymedisease.com
[/URL]  -

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Doomer
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Trout,

Thanks for your detailed response and accurately articulating what I am experiencing on a daily bases. Stores make me more ill, always.

You are so right about not being able to process in dusk. I had just remarked about not being able to see at dusk very well.

doomer

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bettyg
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trout,

big thanks!! great explanation to all of us using your past former work life knowledge.


glad you are doing to much better now with your 2 moves! [group hug]

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Al
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Great topic as I know hundreds with this problem as it relates to lyme.

Good information (TROUTSCOUT)

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kim812
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I had this same problem for at least 2 years (before being diagnose).

It would happen in the grocery store and I would have to leave my husband to finish the shopping.

I couldn't shop for clothes for a long time and maybe that was good since it saved me lots of money!

I would be in a store for like 1/2 hour and all of the sudden become overwhelmed and exhausted looking at the products and the bright lights would seem like spotlights.

Luckily this has become much better but I still can't shop for long or else I start to get that brain tiredness and then I know it is time to go.

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Wimenin
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Short answer for all the lyme fog heads...

Going into a busy place means your brain is working too hard to decipher all the sights, sounds, smells, and it goes into overload.

The overload means an anxiety/adrenaline surge, and the means the fight or flight response in our body. The anxiety cycle then starts, and the rest of the body sensations follow till you either have the adrenaline dissipate in your body, or, you change the setting to calm down.

You leave the setting, you calm down. If you can get past the urge to leave, you can overtake the anxiety and it wont trigger that response.

But till your brain heals, the lyme factor is reduced, all your senses will be overloaded...

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slayadragon
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Neurotoxins are discussed by troutscout.

Another potent neurotoxin is poison mold, especially stachybotrys.

It grows inside buildings, especially ones that are climate controlled, sealed, and have centralized duct systems.

Malls have all these things.

I've achieved 100% wellness "merely" by avoiding toxic mold. I was in bed 18-22 hours a day prior to this. My symptoms, test results, and reactions to drugs are absolutely classic for CFS.

(It's challenging to avoid mold to the extent that I do, but my health is well worth it.)

I cannot go to malls either.

I suggest making the decision not go to malls or anywhere else that makes you sick.

Why would you want to?

Toxic mold is a subject that is not understood by CFS patients and doctors. I'm working with a group of people who also have achieved drastically improved wellness as a result of mold avoidance on a "manual" that will explain this approach.

In the meantime I recommend "Toxic Black Mold Syndrome" by Mary Beth Short-Ray.

It's very easy to read and pretty inexpensive.

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dguy
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I experience this sort of thing too.

Lots of lymies react to light exposure. If you are going to the mall during the day, it could be related to light exposure during your trip there. Are your symptoms less severe if you go to the mall at night?

Even inside the mall things are brightly lit, and there are all sorts of flickering lights and visual "noise" that overloads our eyes/ears already sensitized by lyme. Maybe sunglasses would help?

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Keebler
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-

The mall is an unnatural environment. Nothing about it is "organic" to our nature. Nothing.


. . . except human interaction and, maybe, the appreciation of color and style. I feel sadness over the loss of enjoying those parts.


But the toxins and overstimulation - even sensory assault - can be very hard on us.

Our livers have to detox all the chemicals from cleaning, to perfumes to the crap they spray on all the fabrics. Our inner ear and brain have to sort and process the overload and it's really at a rate that is torture. It's hard to know which way is up and where the exit is.


Even "normal" people are affected but may not realize it. Over shopping may be one effect. You see more anger and sadness over shopping these days. It used to be fun.

But, the merchants actually overload us on purpose to get us to buy more in a confused and hyper state.

So, yes, a lot has to do with the fact that lyme + co. are very hard on us in many ways and the mall is just way over the top.

But, the mall has changed in recent years. It's not the same as it used to be either.

===========

Hint: you might actually be able to call the mall mgt. office in advance for some help.

I've had to go to the mall once or twice in the past years and after having seizures during previous experiences from certain music, I called ahead.

I spoke with the security officer by phone and explained some some of the music the mall pumped in the common areas triggered seizures for me.

They found some music tracks that did not have heavy bass or heavy beats or percussion. I think they actually had some nice upbeat classical tract. I told them when I would be there and for how long. It worked. The mall guys were great.


And, this was amazing because I've asked hundreds of times - all over - for a change in "background" music. Rarely are people nice about it. Even with I mention the seizure effect some actually turn it UP.

[Ear plugs make walking harder and the noise cancellation headsets are not nearly enough as sound travels through all the bones of the body, not just the ears.]


What did NOT work was going into a couple stores where their music would blast even into the common areas. Some store clerks did not even have a key to be able to turn down the music or change it in their stores.

I think some were lying to me about that but one poor clerk was almost in tears over the volume of bad music in her store.

The perfumed assault ultimately got to me. It's everywhere, even in the bathroom. You can't call ahead and ask for that to be changed.

--

Oh, someone asked about clothing fabrics. ALL fabrics are sprayed with a harsh chemical mix to make them shiny and to behave. Formaldehyde is in that. Telfon, too, is very common as a spray on fabric goods, too. Not good.

And, Jenny, in answer to your question, YES, fire retardant is everywhere. Even, especially, on children's sleep wear and bedding.


Lighting, too, could not be worse.


I think they could do better - not just in malls, but everywhere. I'd love to be on the committee.


-

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UnexpectedIlls
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even when I wear glasses I get the smae horrible symptoms.. Glasses to not help in my case.. I CANNOT go into any kind of store without all my symptoms gettting much more intense than they already are...

Severe head pressure

feeling like I am falling into the ground

Heart palpitations

dizzy

and all the other symptoms I deal with on daily basis get so much worse.

This happens as SOON as I attempt to walk in the door. It is INSTANT for me. I have not been able to shop in almost 2 years. It is sad, because shopping used to be one of my favorite things to do.

I remember the first time it happned it felt like someone really strong was pushing down on my body trying to force me into the floor (only way I can explain it) It was SO scary. I had to get out and fast,

--------------------
"You'll be surprised to know how far you can go from the point you thought it was the end"

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swedish lyme sufferer
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Isn't it because of all electro magnetic fields?

I get more symptoms in trains and in front of computer too.

I have even been wondering if there is a "rife" effect when going into malls etc, so that the horrible feeling was some kind of herx-effect from beeing exposed to all electric frequencies.

Crazy? [Eek!]

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AmyPW8
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I have this problem, too. Some stores worse than others. I think it is a combination of things. But frequencies are probably very high in stores.

I find clothing stores with security tags on there clothing is the worst. So, malls are bad too. It could be the frequencies of the security systems that detect those security tags. That's my guess.

Fluorescent lighting is also to blame.

Troutscout mentioned just about everything else...he is good! [lol]

--------------------
Amy

Diagnosed April 29, 2007.

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Geneal
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I don't know about malls, but Wally World just about does me in.

It was much better for a while, but now can barely make it through the store.

Hugs,

Geneal

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maidodie
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All very good answers and I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

However, I find it much less if I swallow my pride and sit in a wheelchair. It helps my POTS so that while sitting my heart rate may still be high, it's lower than it would be standing so I'm getting more blood to my brain.

Do you have POTS? I've had Panic Disorder since 14 (30 in a few years) so I knew the first time this happened to me (oddly enough in a mall) that it wasn't a panic attack, that something was wrong with my BP.

And it only took a year to figure out what. ::mutter:: [rant]

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CherylSue
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Walmart affects me, too, even when I'm not in a relapse. Jewel's halogen lights are not great either. Forget Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc. The fumes make me sick.

Outdoor malls are okay as long as I can get the occasional fresh air.

No wonder asthma is on the rise.

CherylSue

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Connie Reese
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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..I thought I was allergic to Walmart...It feels like a marathon..I have a 15 minute window to shop and I have to get out..thank you. [dizzy]
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feelfit
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Same. Symptoms worse. NOT PANIC, or anxiety, I know what those things are.

Lightheaded, weak, eyes go crazy, sweat.

I can go in small dimly lit botiques without problems.

feelfit

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surg
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It's the lights. Shopping anywhere was insanely difficult.
For me it was babesia more than the lyme.
It gets better with time as you get treatment. I no longer dread the store.
Some others have said they where sunglasses and chew wintermint gum and this helps.

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troutscout
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I will say that applying the right essential oil...before entering....helped me.

Also, eating a clove of garlic....it knocks out the inflammatory response and thins the blood to help offset the eventual constriction of blood vessels in the brain due to the bodies reaction to the smells....emf's....light....and over stimulaton.


Trout [Wink]

--------------------
Now is the time in your life to find the "tiger" within.
Let the claws be bared,
and Lyme BEWARE!!!
www.iowalymedisease.com
[/URL]  -

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Jenny in MI
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Wow, Trout, you REALLY did a nice job of explaining this so there is some medical evidence behind the response.

For me, I know it is NOT anxiety, as shopping was a huge hobby of mine.

I get the strong feeling of pressure like "unexpected illness" described, like I am about to fall.

So, what you are saying, it that when the Lyme has gotten better, we should be able to handle toxic environments much better. I am so glad to hear that.

I am worried about going back to work because I have so much trouble in different buildings. Maybe I will try to garlic clove.

Thanks everyone for your great responses. It is nice to know I am not crazy. When I tell friends and family they find it to be such a strange problem. Now I can explain what is happening to them. =)

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slayadragon
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Cheryl Sue, I find Home Depot, Lowes and Wal-Mart to be the worst places that I go in terms of having items contaminated with toxic mold.

Apparently they store their merchandise in warehouses with a lot of mold in them.

Nice to bump into you here!

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gemofnj
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Trout,

After I got lyme I have gone to the store and was so overstimulated (didnt know why) I would just LEAVE because I couldnt concentrate on anything.

WOW.. now I know. Thanks for that great explanation that was easy to understand and very interesting.

[Smile] [Smile]

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Larkspur
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I have always had a lot of trouble with flourescent lights and sometimes while shopping my nose starts to run like crazy

--------------------
"We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" - e.m. forster

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liesandmorelies
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I am convinced it is the lighting. Even when I am in a store that is relatively quiet this will happen. Although, it's much worse in a noisy one.

It's as if I feel the need for fight or flight. I usually just want to flight and high-tail it out of the store.

Two of my worse episodes happened when I was in Home Depot on two different occasions.

I got very dizzy and just felt as if my legs were going to cave in. I had to grab hold of the shelf.

Once I was dx and started abx tx, I have noticed that it does not happen nearly as much.

I have to wonder if I am getting better, or was there a panic component related to not knowing what was wrong with me?????

It still happens every once and a while, but not nearly as often. I like to believe it's becuase the abx have been helping me get better.

I had also got to the point that I was really limiting my visits to stores and public places.

Now, I am pretty much going where I want. However, I have noticed that if I over do-it, it comes back.

Maybe as we get stronger and kill a lot of the chetes, we are able to handle the lights, noise, smells, molds etc...better.

--------------------
aka: Lyme Warrior

In order to do "real" science, you have to have a "real" conversation with nature.

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History!

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slayadragon
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quote:
Originally posted by liesandmorelies:

Maybe as we get stronger and kill a lot of the chetes, we are able to handle the lights, noise, smells, molds etc...better.

I think that may be true.

According to Dr. Shoemaker, the poisons made by lyme and the poisons made by toxic mold are extremely similar in nature.

Insofar as the body's toxic stores are filled up with either of them, new exposures are going to feel more potent because the body won't have a good place to put it.

Perhaps if the amount of lyme poison in the body can be decreased (through the killing of lyme spirochetes and/or the use or detoxifying agents such as cholestyramine), the body will be better able to cope with new inhaled toxins from mold.

And perhaps if the amount of toxic mold in the body can be decreased through mold avoidance, the body will better be able to tolerate lyme poisons (and thus not need to remove quite so many of them in order to feel better).

I hope so!

It would be nice to be able to do a few more things without being as affected by toxic mold.

It would be even nicer to be able to feel well without having to work so hard on the lyme!

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blaze
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quote:
Originally posted by swedish lyme sufferer:
Isn't it because of all electro magnetic fields?

I get more symptoms in trains and in front of computer too.

You may be onto something.

http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20050722_bamberg.asp

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ladycakes
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I always got that response to anywhere with flourescent lighting.
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lymednva
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My NMH/POTS cause me to use electric carts when I shop in large stores, or malls. I can barely read the labels when I try walking through these places.

I do see improvement, though. Today I was in Macy's for about an hour and was fine. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Lymednva

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Tracy9
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Very helpful info...but I also get these same symptoms at a crowded amusement park or fair. It is most definitely NOT anxiety, but I feel almost dizzy with all the stimulation, people coming at me from all angles, I end up even clumsier than normal, walking into things and people.

I'm outside in these situations. Anyone else? I've always had this, BTW. Well before Lyme.

--------------------
NO PM; CONTACT: [email protected]

13 years Lyme & Co.; Small Fiber Neuropathy; Myasthenia Gravis, Adrenal Insufficiency. On chemo for 2 1/2 years as experimental treatment for MG.

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troutscout
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Yes...emf's also...mold also.....yes, yes, yes.

You guys ARE right.

Yes, yes, yes.

Trout [Wink]

And...I now almost live a completely normal life.

Lightweights...lifted three times a day...drove the toxins out, stimulates the lymph, stimulates bone strength which allows the marrow to work better and help us from broken bones should we fall from our Lyme Brain...lol

--------------------
Now is the time in your life to find the "tiger" within.
Let the claws be bared,
and Lyme BEWARE!!!
www.iowalymedisease.com
[/URL]  -

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tickssuck
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Yes, yes...some days worse than others. But...any store with bright lights, bright products...all of it can be sensory overload for me. It's like my entire nervous system/brain cannot process and handle all of the stimulation. It's a terrible feeling.

I'm about 8 months into treatment...this has improved somewhat, but still I can have struggles with this. Prior to treatment it was terrible and then other neuro symptoms would just snowball from it making me feel even worse...icky, icky icky...crazy disease. For me...never had anything like this prior to LD and company. TS

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