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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Lyme deterioration every winter - why?

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Author Topic: Lyme deterioration every winter - why?
nefferdun
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Each and every year since I was bitten I really deteriorate in the winter. Come spring I feel much better, have quit abx during those times and gotten by on herbs throughout the summer only to get sick again in the fall. I wonder why this is? Does anyone know?

Do people living in the south, like southern Florida have worse symptoms in the winter? Is this connected to vitamin D or our bodies becoming more dormant in winter from the lack of sunshine. Is this worse in northern areas like where I live in Montana? I learned right in the beginning of treating lyme that my symptoms cycle every 28 days literally waxing and waning with the moon. There must be a connection with the seasons also.

I was reading Cure Unknown and Willie Borgdefore, the scientist that discovered lyme was a spirrochete, said that the bacteria increased and decreased the division process in cycles. He reproduced them in vats. If we could figure out what is happening maybe we could control them better

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hoosiers51
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I have been complaining about the same thing for years. I do SOOOO much worse in the winter. Around April, I'm doing much better, and I always think, "this will be the year I recover." Until October/November, and then I always say, "I'm relapsing."

(just to be clear...I do have Lyme, tested overwhelmingly positive for it...so it's not like it's some weird seasonal illness)

I am planning on moving to Florida some day. There are Lymies in FL that will tell you that it won't cure you, which is fine, but I KNOW I do better in warmer, sunnier climates, especially in winter.

Some Lymies don't seem to have this problem, but I do....wish I knew how to change it....wish I had more solutions than moving.....

Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone, and I completely understand.

And yes, I think it has something to do with lack of sun...probably Vitamin D.

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nefferdun
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Thanks Hossiers 51. By the way, I just started Bactrim yesterday along with zithro. I am pretty sure the rifampin was giving me similar symtoms to the bart.

Someone on here posted that their doctor would not let any of his patients quit abx when winter was coming up. I am wondering if we just got strong grow lights and took vitamin D if we did not feel a lot better. Or maybe a "theraputic" trip to the Bahamas every winter! Like that is going to happen. . . . I will sit under a smiley face.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hoosiers51
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Dunno.

On days when the sun is shining, I try to sit out there for a little bit, even though I'll be bundled up, just to get the sun on my face. That is how I try to cope.

And I also take Vitamin D3.

All in all, I just really don't like living up North in general, because I grew up in Florida......and I am still young, so I'm still hoping to move back some day when I have the opportunity to do so.

After growing up in such a warm climate, things like snow and cold weather feel really foreign to me, even though I've lived up here for about 10 years.

Good luck with the Bactrim! I hope it helps!

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pab
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My son's psychiatrist said everyone's serotonin drops in the fall and starts to rise in March/April.

--------------------
Peggy

~ ~ Hope is a powerful medicine. ~ ~

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canefan17
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Serotonin
Body Temp
Environmental Changes = aggravate the bugs
(some have trouble traveling because of this)
Sunlight diminished

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Amanda
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I always feel worse in winter as well.

I live on West coast, where it doesnt get as cold as Montana, but it does go into the 30's at night. We have days out here where it will be sunny and 60s, but I still feel crummy.

So I think it might be a light thing combined with the cold.

If any of ya'll decide to move to FL, let me know (I lived in FL for a while, loved it). Maybe we could rent a flat together and it would be affordable!!

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"few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" - Mark Twain

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GiGi
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Mold is a big factor with many who have Lyme. You may want to look into it.
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TerryK
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Mold is the first thing that occurred to me as well, especially if you feel better in sunny dry climates.

Mold growth is worse in the winter and exposure for some of us can lower our immune system which in turns allows for lyme or other infections to become active.

Also, if you haven't already, consider getting tested for Vit D levels since you will usually get less exposure to the sun in the winter.

Terry
I'm not a doctor

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nefferdun
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I am allergic to mold so if there is any around it is already a problem for me. But the house is shut up in summer as well as winter although I get more fresh air just by being outside more. I also spend a lot more time in the garden in the summer and working with my horses and there are mold spores in the dust but it does not affect me making the lyme symptoms worse. I think it must be the difference in light. There is a difference in daylight hours of about 8 hours. My GP said we tend to want to hibernate in winter but I do not know how this would affect the bacteria, making them more active (and awake!).

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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Lymeorsomething
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As Cane said, I think body temp plays a part sometimes. If it weren't so dangerous, inducing a fever would probably smack some serious bugs...

When I had mono, I never had a fever. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had one. I don't think that is necessarily a good thing. Fevers are another defense mechanism.

So warm weather may jack up body temp just enough to do some good. Warm weather may even be more important for those with chronically low body temp to begin with...

I had felt my best during the hottest months of the year so it does make one wonder.

--------------------
"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong."

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Imaginit
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Nefferdum,
I too do very badly in the winter. I live in Billings and as you know the winters in Montana can get to be long and dark. I do think that light--especially sunlight is a major reason for our deterioration in the winter.

I do so much better in the summer and fall. Spring is a season of transition for me and I vascillate from feeling ok to feeling awful. But I've learned to ride the bumps. However, I do so want this winter to be over. It's been too long and cold.

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cantgiveupyet
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happens to me too...started going downhill in November..same thing happened last year too.

--------------------
"Say it straight simple and with a smile."

"Thus the task is, not so much to see what no one has seen yet,
But to think what nobody has thought yet, About what everybody sees."

-Schopenhauer

pos babs, bart, igenex WB igm/igg

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map1131
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I remember someone posting a thread about the lyme bacteria and it's semi-annual party (bash) it has twice yearly. It corresponded with me.

He claimed that something happened in May & Dec with this bacteria. I'll try to search for the post.

What Gigi says may sense also.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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nefferdun
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Imaginit, another person in Montana with Lyme! I live near Missoula and the sun is pretty much buried over here in winter as it is nearly always cloudy.

I did a little research online about vitamin D.
In northern areas the sun is so low we cannot produce it in our skin from October till March. Vitamin D is involved in the body's immunity and defenses against virus' and bacteria. That is probably the main reason why flu "season" is in winter. In fact when virus' are brought into our country from countries below the equator, they stay dormant until winter. It has been speculated flu takes off in winter because people are more confined but people are inside in air conditioned homes or at work almost as much in the summer. Studies have shown that people are far more suceptible to getting sick when their vitamin D is low than vitamin C. Also it has been proven that women are far less likely to get breast cancer when they have adequate levels of vitamin D. In fact breast cancer patients are advised to take it as it reduces their chance of relapse by 70%.

Less sunlight also causes season affective disorder which is a general depression in the winter months. We tend to shut down, eat more carbs, sleep more, feel less energetic - hibernate. A remedy to help with SAD is exposure to intense light like plant growing lights and more vitamin D.

So I am wondering if taking extra vitamin D, using intense lights like grow lights, eating a summer menu of fresh vegetable and fruits and continuing to get plenty of exercise would help us stay healthier in winter.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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Lemon-Lyme
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Vitamin D would seem to be the logical culprit. I suggest getting it tested at least twice a year (summer and winter) and supplement as needed with D3 (gel).
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Dawn in VA
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Might be just b/c our immune systems are bombarded with trying to fend off more colds, flus, etc. during the winter.

(When I catch a cold, regardless of the season, my Lyme symptoms act up like a spoiled child.)

--------------------
(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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sickpuppy
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Ok, I'm gonna throw a wrench into this theory.
I feel the worst in the summer--May through Aug or September. Albeit, I haven't had a summer yet while in treatment (I only began in early Oct 2009).

The past 2 summers have been THE WORST EVER. I got panic attacks just being in the heat and sun. Granted it was NYC--smelly, humid, dirty. For me, it's loosing water and salt and the thick air that feel like the problems.

I feel like rainy days might be a problem--low barametric pressure? Does this ring true for anyone? I guess it doesn't matter because the weather can't be controlled!

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DeniseNM
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The winters in MN were so bad for me, I moved to New Mexico. Even here, if it's cloudy, I get crabby and depressed and lethargic.

I feel crappy almost all the time, and have no idea if it's just general yuck or Lyme yuck.

I really detest winters!

--------------------
dx: MS in 1998
2007 - Lyme suspected
2009 - Positive Lyme, MS worse. Now: Copaxone shots for MS
gall bladder out 7/09
Ceftin, Zith, Septra
LDN
Acyclovir
Monolaurin, DHEA, Pregnonelon, Curcumin

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Imaginit
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Nefferdum,
Nice to see another person from Mt! Is your doctor in the state. I see a lyme literate naturapath in Bozeman. She trained under Dr. Raxlen who was in UOS.

When I found out I had low Vitamin D it was September and I had spent most of the summer in the sun. So even after all that exposure I was still low. I am now taking Vitamin D3 all year long.

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Hoosiers51
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Denise,

I spent about 5 months in Florida in the winter while sick with Lyme one year.

And I did notice that cloudy days were much worse than sunny days, in terms of my fatigue and lethargy.

So I think they key is being somewhere where it is sunny often. Maybe it's not so much the latitude, but just having sunny days.

I know for me the thing I miss most is the SUN, it's not so much a temperature thing.

I think my eyes just really need to be penetrated by sun. Not having it really does affect me.


But, I was still doing better, even on the cloudy days. I think that is because in Florida in winter, you can still spend like 6 hours straight just outside, so even when cloudy, you're still getting something.

Whereas, where I live up North, I would never spend 6 hours outside in 20 degree cloudy weather. Maybe if I was skiing, but I don't have the energy to ski while sick, only have the energy to sit in a chair....

...and no one could sit in a chair in this northern weather, outside, with the wind blowing, for hours at a time.

So that is how the temp in FL does affect things, just that it makes going outside for long periods possible.

But yeah, sunny is always better than cloudy.

Ideally, I think somewhere like Southern California would be best, because it is sunny so much there, right? Ahhh...if I had tons of money....that's where I'd be.

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nefferdun
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Not too sunny in southern CA this week! But I know what you mean. Yesterday was sunny and warm and I felt like a great weight had literally been lifted off of me. I just sat on my porch feeling alive again. It was so nice. I also had 48 hours since my last dose of Rifampin which may have something to do with it. I wish I had more days when I could feel such warmth and joy - the ability to feel, see, hear, smell and experience the beauty of life around me.

Sickpuppy, maybe it is just those of us that more prone to SAD in winter. I also read there are people that react just the opposite becoming nervous and agitated in summer by the extended light. Before I was diagnosed I was sick off and on all the time. It just seems that after treatment, winter is always the worse. I feel I have recovered by late spring and then I go downhill again in the fall. In July I am almost ready to announce myself well but then comes the waning sun of late August and I can feel it coming back again. I also react very strongly to the moon - always herx on full moons and an eclipse is a disaster.

Imaginit I sent you a pm about your doctor.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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steve1906
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I to feel MUCH worse in the winter. Before Lyme I loved all the seasons.

Now I hate the winters!!!

I'm from Boston, MA

Roy

--------------------
Everything I say is just my opinion!

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map1131
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I did have trouble with SAD long before I become ill. I hated winter around here. We are very gloomy on the Ohio River valley from about Dec until end of March.

Hate it even more now.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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Skyler
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I use to live in FL then moved up here. It's hard to tell really. But, I am the same way where winter seems to make all my symptoms worse, but I can not say I notice a big difference between winter up in NY and down in Florida.

Every time a front comes through, no matter where i am in the nation, It brings me many debilitating symptoms no matter if its winter or summer.

Because fronts were SO common in Tampa (where I am from) I feel a lot better living in NYC at the moment.

--------------------
I'm probably sleeping...

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FunkOdyssey
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Q: "Lyme deterioration every winter - why?"

A: Vitamin D

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klutzo
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I live in central, coastal Florida.

I feel much worse in winter and have to give up driving as soon as the time change comes each fall. Panic attacks used to go crazy in winter, until I started taking 3 grams of L-tryptophan at night.

My vitamin D is in the upper half of normal range, checked often, and I take 8,000 units daily.

I can't take even mild cold without becoming hypothermic. It is unbearable, even here, where the humidity makes it feel much colder than it is. The cold, which for me is any temp below 70, stresses me so badly I lose all the hair off my legs, a sign of adrenal failure.

Our climate is changing dramatically here. No more "sunshine state". For the past 3 years it's been much hotter in summer, much colder in winter, and much, much, much cloudier. In fact, it is way more cloudy here than in Wisconsin, where I am originally from. This year, it's been so cold that 50 yr. old plantings froze to death. Our landscaping is devastated.

I agree that So. California or Arizona might be better. The humidity here really helps molds grow too.

klutzo

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Keebler
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-
Changing shower heads might be of help.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/16/2688081.htm

Taking a shower can 'damage your health'

By Bronwyn Herbert

-

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nefferdun
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I am upping the vitamin D3 from 2,000 to 6,000. At lease I will be doing something different and maybe it will make a difference. I just started it so I am probably really low.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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