This is topic Why would Dr. Mercola recommend tanning beds? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by lax mom (Member # 38743) on :
I thought they caused skin cancer?

Now, I'm confused. I used to go to tanning beds as a teenager when I was young and dumb and didn't know any better. And I always felt better afterward.

As a child, my mom used to say, "go lie out in the sun , you'll feel better". Geesh.
Posted by lax mom (Member # 38743) on :
As a 39 yr old, I definitely don't want tan, leathery skin, but I would like the boost of endorphins.
Posted by ladyjenie (Member # 21098) on :
And they say the sun helps depression.
Posted by surprise (Member # 34987) on :
Vitamin D. I'm convinced 'tanning mom' had a severe vitamin D deficiency (and SAD- seasonal depression without sunlight)

Sometimes I crave the sun on my skin, so up vitamin D drops.
I also take a calcium/mag/ boron/ vit K / vit D
supplement as I have Osteopenia
(and do weight bearing exercise)
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
It's important to read all he has posted about the very specific kinds of lights in the tanning bed he suggests. It is DIFFERENT than others. VERY different.

I trust his research, his work.
Posted by j77 (Member # 42716) on :
I'm sure there is a lot more to it than my simple summary, but my recollection wrt Dr. Mercola's beliefs on sun exposure/tanning is that the primary thing to pay attention to is the ratio of UVA:UVB rays. He and others believe that UVA is more harmful than UVB in terms of health risks & cellular damage. As for UVB, he believes that it is the primary Vit D producing ray type.

In terms of natural sun exposure, he advises mid-day sun exposure across as much of body as reasonable and sufficient to give a very slight pink, not a burn. He likes mid-day because he believes that is when UVB ray % is highest.

For artificial tanning, he advocates 'safe' tanning. I believe he defines 'safe' as tanning beds that don't use magnetic ballast bulbs, have high% UVB emission and limited exposure.

I don't tan in tanning beds, but I did alter my natural sun exposure habits after reading some of his work a few years ago. Mainly I started limiting unprotected/prolonged sun exposure during morning and late-afternoon hours. Those were times I historically was taught were 'safe' because they weren't peak hours. I also stopped using popular sunblocks after reading some of his stuff after I was awakened to all the horrible chemicals in them. I choose clothing & hats as primary protection now, but will use reflective/zinc based sunblocks now when I need sunblock.

I first learned about Astaxanthin from his writings too. I found that to be an extremely effective sun protector. It helped way more than I thought was possible.
Posted by map1131 (Member # 2022) on :
I used tanning beds during the worst winters of this illness. Josh, I guess that was starting 10 yrs ago. I only was in for 10 minutes and I only did it every like every 7-10 days.

I was in so much body pain from head to toe. I refused to take stronger pain meds. That short amount of time would give me pink skin. Pink skin, not sun burned by any means, start your endorphins going and therefore there is pain relief.

In those days I learned to think outside the box. They were recommending tanning beds for arthritis patients, rheumo patients that were in daily pain to do this.

Remember everything in excess is bad for you. So going to tanning bed to get tan is not my idea of good sense. But when one is looking for relief and doing something only on occasion is a whole another ball game.

I also do this with the sun in the summer. Don't use suntan lotion because they are full of toxic matter. But good old sunshine and getting a little pink on some skin is not going to give me skin cancer.

Just my experience and another side of doing moderation.

Posted by ukcarry (Member # 18147) on :
Dr M does NOT recommend tanning beds in general: the ones he recommends are different , as Keebler says.

I enquired about them a couple of years ago. But they were not shipping them internationally, sadly.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
They are also just out of this world expensive. I do see his points with the specific differences but, "holy cow!" on the price.

In general, I just don't like any gadget, anyway. We have sun (some of the year and our bodies can store it), we have foods with Vitamin D (mushrooms, everyday!), we have supplements. I don't need special a special light "bed" contraption that will take up landfill space later on, anyway.

Now, if we could just buy a basic special light in a small frame, that might be more practical.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
More reasonably priced, special light bulbs are discussed here:
Posted by lax mom (Member # 38743) on :
The cost IS astronomical.
Posted by beaches (Member # 38251) on :
IDK about Mercola and his advice/tanning beds.

I have told my kids for years to lay out in the sun during off hours. And during high-exposure times, I've told them to sit in the sun for 10-15 minutes before applying sunscreen.

LAX, I don't think your mom was far off om her advice...
Posted by ukcarry (Member # 18147) on :
In the UK we could do with a little help when it comes to sunshine, but I agree that a small device would be more practical, eco-friendly and affordable.....if there IS one that is good for you.
Posted by map1131 (Member # 2022) on :
Today I wouldn't do tanning beds and the reason being, the cost to do so is triple what it was years ago.

But I've learned to never say never. I recently was nymph tick bitten again. I don't know where or if anything will happen from that SOB???

I believe I even used their beds that had special bulbs for those using beds for illness??? I just remembered that when reading above posts.

I've rifed more in the last 13 days than I ever have in this short time frame, since I bought my rife in '03. The sad thing I can only guess at what my body needs in rife freqs.

Posted by lax mom (Member # 38743) on :
It seems like they could make a small light like the portable SAD lights.
Posted by canefan17 (Member # 22149) on :
Posted by GretaM (Member # 40917) on :
Is that a leaf on his nose? Haha! Funny pick canefan!

I've seen over 7 dermos in the last 12 years for my "rash". All, including a university hospital dermo recommended UVB lights 3 times a week.

And I did so for many years.

When I questioned if it would cause skin cancer, all the dermos shrugged and basically brushed it off.

This was controlled sessions in UVB bulbs in the doctors offices.

When I started going to tanning beds once a week, instead of to their offices for UVB, they gave me ****.

Dermos make a ton of money billing insurance for the UVB booth time for their patients.
Posted by j77 (Member # 42716) on :
That's a hilarious (and expensive) example Greta!
Posted by karenl (Member # 17753) on :
Start with few minutes in the sun and a bit more every day, then it is not dangerous at all. I was a lot in the sun and have great skin and I never used sunscreen(chemicals!).
Posted by sugarjo62 (Member # 41896) on :
Even in winter months, ten minutes of direct sunshine helps lift mood and increase vit D.

If you simply cannot bear the cold, lying in a tanning bed feels so good as the heat reaches your bones and makes you feel warm for hours!

I don't do it regularly, but when my SAD kicks in late Feb/March, I go in once a week.
Posted by map1131 (Member # 2022) on :
sugar, that's exactly how I used to describe feeling after a short tanning bed session....heat to the bones.

I visualized it startled the spirochetes and they went real still and quiet for many hours.

SAD was with me long before Lyme & co. I've always craved sunshine, even if it's just through the window.

A release of endorphins, warm to the bone, and of course my detox baths,the best pain meds I found during those years of absolute torture.

Golly maybe I need to put the cost of tanning bed aside and just go warm my bones. This last cold barometric pressure front was horrible for me.

Food for thought for those with pain so deep, nothing is touching it or giving you relief.

Posted by Kudzuslipper (Member # 31915) on :
Wow. This is one of those "remember when they thought cigarettes were bad for you" moments.

It's also clearly a who can you trust anymore moment... As its such a marketing opportunity.

Is Mercola a health guru or a marketer?

I believe we all need D. I believe the sun is the best way to get it. I believe it's possible that these machines may do it safer... But do we know yet what else they could do to you.

Everyone seems to be saying get back to doing what a
Our anscestors did. They didn't have these expensive boxes in their homes.

Posted by FamilyFive (Member # 37206) on :
I've thought for a while now that sun exposure has been a big key for me. For the past 3 yrs, every spring & summer I improve drastically, then in the late fall/winter I crash. Hard.

The crash leads to med changes, herx's, and pain more imaginable than I care to admit.... Then in the summer I stabilize once more and am virtually pain-free for 4 months.

Being in the mid-atlantic means I can't get natural sun in the winter. Do I take the risk and try tanning once a week?

After my teens & early 20's I said I would never use a tanning bed again. But frankly, now I would do almost anything to ease my pain....
Posted by Kudzuslipper (Member # 31915) on :
well Family5... now that you put it that way... I guess I see the value. I do the same thing as your describe. We try and get to a sunny spot for a week in february. but one week is rarely enough.

I still feel like Dr. M crosses the line often and I am never sure which comes first the science/medicine or the products.
Posted by Littlesprout (Member # 7406) on :
I remember yrs ago seeing on the CanLyme site melting spirochetes that were expose to UVB/UBA light I can't find that video anymore, been looking for yrs

Anyone else remember it? I would always herx after laying on the tanning bed

I think it helps keep the load down
Posted by FamilyFive (Member # 37206) on :
Littlesprout -

Would love to see the info from CanLyme if you can find it.

I'm at odds with the thought of going tanning, but if I can find others who find pain relief from sun exposure I will certainly try it.

I'm not sure how much worse it can be than taking loads of long-term abx and medications....
Posted by map1131 (Member # 2022) on :
I would like to add that I only did the tanning sessions during Jan, Feb or March. According to our weather.

I never extended my visits into the spring when I could get my own sunshine or summer to look good in bathing suit. Those days have been gone many moons ago.

Our part of the country is known from Nov-March to be cloudy and deary. The whole Ohio valley seems to get SAD sx at some point during those long long days.

We call it cabin fever. Ticks people off to be couped up.


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