flying with cfs/me

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vansails, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Vansails

    Vansails Member

    can anyone please explain to me why flying with cfs/me causes such awful "crashes"??? no pun intended :p

    i used to take hyperbaric oxygen treatment - can't remember the pressure - but it made me very sick and ill each time, i now understand that is because my mitochondria cannot utilize the oxygen and so it probably caused a big build up of oxidative stress.

    i think this is one general problem in cfs/me is that we cannot use oxygen correctly leading to oxidative stress. so does this mean less oxygen helps out? when i'm free diving i feel great.

    lots of people suggest to bring portable oxygen but when i use pure oxygen i feel like crap almost instantly. if my mitochondria can't use the oxygen, what's the point?

    flying makes me sick too, after an hour i'm done. but i need to fly because i'm hoping to get a VNS stimulator (vagus nerve stimulator) and might need a five hour flight.

    could it also be related to POTS? if so, how?

    following information source;

    Do passengers get enough oxygen?

    " There is plenty of oxygen in the air inside airline cabins. But because the barometric pressure is lower — equivalent to standing on an 8,000-foot mountain — not as much oxygen reaches the bloodstream to be carried to vital organs....

    .But a new focus is emerging as scientists and doctors learn more about the threat that affects every airline passenger: hypoxia, the term for too little oxygen....

    This lack of oxygen usually causes little more than a headache and a feeling of fatigue in the average healthy flier. But passengers who have an unerlying breathing, heart or circulatory problem — even one they don't yet know exists — can suffer... when the oxygen level drops.....

    There is just as much oxygen in the cabin air at cruising altitude as on the ground, but because the atmospheric pressure is lower than at sea level, it is more difficult for the body to absorb the vital gas...

    With less pressure, fewer oxygen molecules cross the membranes in the lungs and reach the bloodstream.
    The result is a significant drop in the amount of oxygen in the blood — anywhere from 5% to 20% depending on the person, the plane and the length of the flight....

    With less oxygen in the bloodstream, the vital organs soon get deprived.
    The reduced oxygen supply to the brain is why some suffer headaches while in flight, one of the symptoms of hypoxia. When oxygen levels fall in the brain, the heart tries to compensate by beating harder and faster. Another symptom of hypoxia is fatigue."

    (that sounds like POTS)^^^ (heart rate increase)

    so basically what i'm reading is that flying causes symptoms similar to cfs because of hypoxia, which is likely a primary problem in cfs right? but we can't simply use concentrated oxygen because our bodies can't use it without major oxidative stress.

    so i assume flying causes mini cfs like symptoms in the healthy bodies, and makes cfs worse in pwme. question is, what should i do to make the flight possible?

    maybe some blood pressure pills and extra beta blockers? antioxidants? pain pills? salt and water? i'm hoping to get a reclined seat for POTS.

    ideas? thanks in advance.
    Abrin likes this.
  2. Remy

    Remy Administrator

    I'd be careful of things like beta blockers and blood pressure pills. The body uses those as an adaptation to stress and I think screwing around with that is asking for trouble.

    I wish I had some concrete suggestions other than electrolytes and oxygen. Hopefully other members can share some tips.

    Oh, what about compression stockings?
    Abrin likes this.
  3. Vansails

    Vansails Member

    i am on beta blockers for extrreme POTS and i wear compression socks often in bed. the beta blockers were like magic for me; helped with headaches from low blood flow i assume to my head and helped with inability to stand up, extreme tachycardia upon standing, shortness of breath etc.... so with my diagnosis of severe POTS that makes sense.

    my question is why oxygen would help?
    thanks for the comments.
  4. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    Such a difficult situation. I think we have issues with pressure changes due to abnormal spinal fluid flow in the lower brain and upper neck which result in abnormal pressures inside the central nervous system. I always tried to get a nonstop flight , as the going down and going back up again induced a lot of neuro symptoms.

    The Chiari people have similar problems with these pressure changes. Check out Conquer Chiari/ Rick Labuda and The Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation - they may be able to help. Also, you may want to read at The Downside of Upright Posture by Michael Flanagan, neurological chiropractor.
  5. AquaFit

    AquaFit Active Member

    I would agree with this explanation. When I sit up in a seat during a flight, I have to sleep a full day afterwards to recurperate. Recently I went business class and laid down for the whole trip (seat reclined to a bed). I felt fine after a 12 hr flight. Next time I have to sit up, I'm going to try a trick I learned from someone else with EDS: wrap a folded newspaper in a scarf and wrap it around your neck. It will provide light support and allow your body's physiology to keep doing its thing to maintain homeostasis. Think that all your body's processes pass through a hole in the base of your skull. Squishing that will squish nerves, blood vessels, lymph system, etc. Of course we'll feel like crap. The newspaper supports the skull without having to resort to a restrictive (and petrochemical derived) medical brace.

    There's another aspect - the asbestos and molecules of petrochemicals invading our lungs from the air coming in by way of the engine (so carbon mask available at Home Depot):
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017