Source of CFS: city vs rural?

Zapped

Well-Known Member
Could it be that ME/CFS has an etiology relationship with city/suburban life vs.rural living? While anecdotal, over the years I haven't noticed cases or PWCs originating in rural areas, or even if it had been considered.

IOW, maybe it's an overlooked source of causation, that CFS has its roots in burned petrochemicals, as in ppm in the air of byproducts from gasoline and oil from relatively high levels of traffic, with some people being more (or less) susceptible to some threshold of hydrocarbons?

Certainly people living 50 miles outside a city are exponentially less exposed to these byproducts than those living within interstate, urban, and suburban road networks.

This could be a premise for CFS being autoimmune dysfunction vs systemic or viral causation, sic based on where a candidate PWC lives or has been reared. It takes research in another direction - exongenous causation, where biology has otherwise come up short.
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Could it be that ME/CFS has an etiology realationship with city/suburban life vs.rural living? While anecdotal, over the years I haven't noticed cases or PWCs originating in rural areas, or even if it had been considered.

IOW, maybe it's an overlooked source of causation, that CFS has its roots in burned petrochemicals, as in ppm in the air of byproducts from gasoline and oil from relatively high levels of traffic, with some people being more (or less) susceptible to some threshold of hydrocarbons?

Certainly people living 50 miles outside a city are exponentially less exposed to these byproducts than those living within interstate, urban suburban road networks.
Yes, altho if you're near farmlands you'll more exposed to agrichemicals than in the city.

I'm basically living out of my van - camping out - unfortunately being out of the city hasn't really helped! (Wish it had.)

That said if you're in polluted area of a city - best to get out of there. Best to be in least polluted place as possible.
 

Merry

Well-Known Member
Besides the pollution from agricultural chemicals that Cort mentioned, illegal dumps in rural areas are a problem. My parents lived a mile downstream from an unlined landfill on private property that was in operation for years before the EPA shut it down. The plume from that landfill would have eventually made it to the well that my parents drank from (on the property where I grew up, but I think that by the time the well would have been contaminated from the plume, I was probably an adult and living elsewhere).

People in rural areas can never know for sure what neighbors are dumping in the water supply.

I heard a story of a man who graduated from my high school two years before I did who opened a printing company and for years dumped hazardous wastes from his business into the village water supply before he was caught and prosecuted.

Many rural communities are exposed to the toxic byproducts from extraction industries.

On farms workers can be exposed to molds. As a child, around eleven years old, I worked with my parents and brothers cleaning out moldy hay from my paternal grandmother's barn. Afterwards I was sick. I can't remember if other family members were also sick that time, but I remember my mother telling me that an older cousin some years before fell ill after working in moldy hay.

People who work with livestock can pick up disease from the animals. A long time ago I read that dairy farmers have a high incidence of leukemia.

Children in Dr. Bell's practice who came down with CFS in that epidemic in upstate New York drank unpasteurized milk. As a child I often visited my maternal grandparents' farm where I drank unpasteurized milk.
 

Zapped

Well-Known Member
To clarify my my hypothesis, no doubt there are some illnesses emanating out of rural areas (1 in 5 people were 'rural' in 2010 census, leaving the other 80% non-rural). And no doubt that city life makes CFS conditions more uncomfortable... . But rural toxins are unique to rural areas... .

Since CFS studies don't define patients from rural vs city origins, I'm proposing the CAUSE or SOURCE of CFS comes from the city (surrounds) as related to the causes in the opening post of this thread, which are infinitely more widespread in urban areas by who knows what factor!

Since only a small percentage of the city dwellers get CFS, the inference is that it is due to susceptibility to heavy concentrations of X, e.g. spent hydrocarbons or CO, that rural folk would not be exposed to. Conversely, city dwellers would not be exposed to the same concentrations of Y toxins unique to the rural environment... .
 
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Zapped

Well-Known Member
I first got ill with ME whilst living in the rainforest in S.E Asia- couldn't get more rural than that.
I have been in quite a nasty relapse for around 5 yrs during which time I have lived in a very rural location surrounded by fields in the UK.
@MollyM I'm exploring, not trying to prove... . Prior to living in Asia did you live or were you exposed to the congestions of city life, specifically traffic congestion?

Note: Something is causing CFS. To date viruses and autoimmunity dysfunction have been explored to beat the band - nada - so why keep looking for lost keys under the lamp post? ...They're somewhere else. Or they're not really lost, so to speak.;)
 

Merry

Well-Known Member
To clarify my my hypothesis, no doubt there are some illnesses emanating out of rural areas (1 in 5 people were 'rural' in 2010 census, leaving the other 80% non-rural). And no doubt that city life makes CFS conditions more uncomfortable... . But rural toxins are unique to rural areas... .

Since CFS studies don't define patients from rural vs city origins, I'm proposing the CAUSE or SOURCE of CFS comes from the city (surrounds) as related to the causes in the opening post of this thread, which are infinitely more widespread in urban areas by who knows what factor!

Since only a small percentage of the city dwellers' exposure gets CFS, the inference is that it is due to susceptibility to heavy concentrations of X, e.g. spent hydrocarbons or CO, that rural folk would not be exposed to). Conversely, city dwellers would not be exposed to the same concentrations of Y toxins unique to the rural environment... .
Sorry, @Zapped, that I misunderstood your hypothesis. Some days my reading comprehension is poor. When my head clears, I'll have another look at your initial post. I confess that I was too eager to write my gothic tale of rural horrors. :Blackalien:
 

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Could it be that ME/CFS has an etiology relationship with city/suburban life vs.rural living? While anecdotal, over the years I haven't noticed cases or PWCs originating in rural areas, or even if it had been considered.

IOW, maybe it's an overlooked source of causation, that CFS has its roots in burned petrochemicals, as in ppm in the air of byproducts from gasoline and oil from relatively high levels of traffic, with some people being more (or less) susceptible to some threshold of hydrocarbons?

Certainly people living 50 miles outside a city are exponentially less exposed to these byproducts than those living within interstate, urban, and suburban road networks.

This could be a premise for CFS being autoimmune dysfunction vs systemic or viral causation, sic based on where a candidate PWC lives or has been reared. It takes research in another direction - exongenous causation, where biology has otherwise come up short.
It's possible I suppose. For me, the CFS probably started simmering a year after I suffered a family loss and at that time I was living in a rural area. However, it didn't stop me working until two events, both of them in suburbs of cities.

When in rural areas, I do avoid animals and hay as much as possible. It's funny to me that "hay fever" is attributed to pollen, when actually it's mold. And in the city, "mold allergy" is something that's considered "rare" - mention sick building syndrome, and people roll their eyes. But earlier this month, when I told a hotel clerk about the "moldy" smell in my room, they jumped to fix the air conditioner, and called it "dangerous." Science is losing the shine it once had, in relation to being our modern guide to the truth.

Since a person can get a tick bite, or insect bite that carries many germs, not just lyme, and then get home, and then get sick two years later, I'm not sure that it helps to know where the person fell ill. The source could've been anything.

Another example, sleeping sickness is on the rise in Africa (now), and in the 1920s, there was an outbreak of it in New York City. The source was Africa, people were sick here in the city, though.
 

Abrin

Well-Known Member
To date viruses and autoimmunity dysfunction have been explored to beat the band - nada - so why keep looking for lost keys under the lamp post? ...They're somewhere else. Or they're not really lost, so to speak.;)
While I don't debate your theory may have merit, I do have to debate that we have found 'nada' when it comes to autoimmunity dysfunction. In fact, recent research has been turning up a lot of interesting things. One small example would be the fact that certain viruses can cross the blood-brain barrier. If you would of suggested such a thing was possible just 50 years ago you would of been laughed at. (Then again, 50 years ago if you would of suggested that a virus like HIV could take years before it affected a person’s immune system enough to have symptoms you would of been laughed at too.) We've really only have touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what happens when you have a dysfunction in the immune system. :)
 

Zapped

Well-Known Member
It's possible I suppose. For me, the CFS probably started simmering a year after I suffered a family loss and at that time I was living in a rural area. However, it didn't stop me working until two events, both of them in suburbs of cities.

Since a person can get a tick bite, or insect bite that carries many germs, not just lyme, and then get home, and then get sick two years later, I'm not sure that it helps to know where the person fell ill. The source could've been anything.

Another example, sleeping sickness is on the rise in Africa (now), and in the 1920s, there was an outbreak of it in New York City. The source was Africa, people were sick here in the city, though.
@Not Dead Yet. I agree with some of your reply... . Certainly different diseases can lie dormant in a body and not manifest until a triggering event (or a time cycle). Further, there are always anomalies to consider.

We who have 'real' CFS and have been tested know it's not Lyme disease (there are multiple tests that pick up biomarkers)... . Further, there are/were cities in Africa, e.g. South Africa where petroleum chemicals and hydrocarbons profligate... . As well, there are critters in the countryside that can zap you with delayed-effect toxins.

We're talking CFSME, here, not similar long term illnesses. My underpinning premise is that IF CFS is not communicable, then assuming it's a homogeneous illness in 75% of those who are reporting as kindred spirits, there's a common trigger that sets it off, either immediately or delayed. I don't know what it is; nor are the researchers giving us much from under the microscope - we know a lot about what it isn't!

So, at this beleaguered point why not look at macro candidates, i.e. to possible sourcing for such a phenom and work backwards? Agreement on such a finding would redirect the posse' and hopefully call some new ammunition into play...:sorry:
 
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Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
@Not Dead Yet. I agree with some of your reply... . Certainly different diseases can lie dormant in a body and not manifest until a triggering event (or a time cycle). Further, there are always anomalies to consider.

We who have 'real' CFS and have been tested know it's not Lyme disease (there are multiple tests that pick up biomarkers)... . Further, there are/were cities in Africa, e.g. South Africa where petroleum chemicals and hydrocarbons profligate... . As well, there are critters in the countryside that can zap you with delayed-effect toxins.

We're talking CFSME, here, not similar long term illnesses. My underpinning premise is that IF CFS is not communicable, then assuming it's a homogeneous illness in 75% of those who are reporting as kindred spirits, there's a common trigger that sets it off, either immediately or delayed. I don't know what it is; nor are the researchers giving us much from under the microscope - we know a lot about what it isn't!

So, at this beleaguered point why not look at macro candidates, i.e. to possible sourcing for such a phenom and work backwards? Agreement on such a finding would redirect the posse' and hopefully call some new ammunition into play...:sorry:

Sorry about that. I didn't mean to imply ME/CFS was Lyme's. Not sure that I did, but obviously you read it that way, so apologies.
 

ShyestofFlies

Well-Known Member
I live in a mostly rural but slowly suburbanizinf area. I was home when I had the virus 2 years ago after which I felt I developed severe ME/CFS.

I have thought of myself as a rapid onset post viral case. Thinking back further, I now believe my POTS was present before the ME/CFS.

With all that said I go to NYC for treatment as the state of PA is a dead zone for good doctors who know anything about ME/CFS (that I can affors or get genuine recomendations for that aren't 10-15 years old).

The city is... vaguely torturous with this illness. The amount of sensory input involved in a city vs. rural is significant.

And rural things can set off my vertigo-nausea-migraine-? Things. (Light through leaves on the trees. Leaves moving. Patterns both mechanical and natural.)

Cities are noisy- people, animals, machinery, light, pattern. It is like being in an early disney film where everything is moving! But it's a lot crammed in your immediate space.

I even had the unfortunate experience once of driving through time square while ill. I don't recomend it. If you must go to the city and have someone with you able to look after you, consider covering your eyes as much as possible.

A blindfold, rather than sunglasses. Don't expect that sunglasses and a blindfold can block out time square though. That place is brighter than daylight at night.
 

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