Poll The Seasons Poll: Do You Notice Changes in Your Health Over the Seasons?

Do you experience changes in your health over the seasons?

  • I feel better in winter

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • I feel better in fall

    Votes: 6 18.8%
  • I feel better in summer

    Votes: 8 25.0%
  • I feel better in spring

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • I feel worse in winter

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • I feel worse in fall

    Votes: 3 9.4%
  • I feel worse in summer

    Votes: 11 34.4%
  • I feel worse in spring

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • I don't notice any changes in my health over the seasons

    Votes: 6 18.8%

  • Total voters
    32

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
A fascinating study finds that our gene expression - particularly the expression of our immune genes - changes dramatically from season to season. In fact the expression of about a quarter of the genes they measured varied by season.
In samples taken during European winter, for example, the team identified greater levels of genes associated with cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases in the blood. The researchers say this may explain why cardiovascular conditions and autoimmune diseases - such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis - are more prevalent in winter.

One gene with less expression in winter is a gene that suppresses inflammation. - "As such, the team says that in winter, individuals with inflammation-related conditions would reach the "threshold" at which symptoms worsen a lot sooner, and they suggest drugs that target the cause of inflammation could lead to more effective treatment in the winter months."
Does your health change over the seasons? Take the poll and let us know.
 
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Angie

Member
I am in northern Ontario Canada where winter went away just a few short weeks ago. This was a record setting winter for us... deep lasting cold between -30 and -40 C and a significant increase over our usual 10 feet of snow fall. This winter was utter hell for me. I experienced a serious crash that lasted from December to April. My fibro pain was at an all time high, my pain medication barely put a dent into it. The abrupt transition from winter to spring triggered a flare up, though fall tends to be the worst for me, but keep in mind that up here, it's a significant change in the weather from summer to winter. With good weather so far this summer season, I'm taking half of my pain medication, I'm able to be more 'active' and I seem to bounce back from exertion a bit more easily. Storm systems moving in will trigger headaches and migraines and lingering systems seem to make the days harder but this too is significantly worse in the winter.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I am in northern Ontario Canada where winter went away just a few short weeks ago. This was a record setting winter for us... deep lasting cold between -30 and -40 C and a significant increase over our usual 10 feet of snow fall. This winter was utter hell for me. I experienced a serious crash that lasted from December to April. My fibro pain was at an all time high, my pain medication barely put a dent into it. The abrupt transition from winter to spring triggered a flare up, though fall tends to be the worst for me, but keep in mind that up here, it's a significant change in the weather from summer to winter. With good weather so far this summer season, I'm taking half of my pain medication, I'm able to be more 'active' and I seem to bounce back from exertion a bit more easily. Storm systems moving in will trigger headaches and migraines and lingering systems seem to make the days harder but this too is significantly worse in the winter.
That's amazing isn't it - the change. I have trouble in the spring when the weather's changing. I'm in the southwestern US so we get lost of sun even in the winter. I notice during overcast days I don't do so well.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
RighT. I used to live in Las Vegas...Summer was the toughest time of the year! (lol)
I live in Phoenix, smack in the middle of the desert. The long, hot, bright, dry summers (from Easter to Halloween) just drain everything right out of me. January, when we get some rain and temps are 40-70F, is the high point in my year.
 

Lisa Davis

New Member
I have severe allergies, so I think I feel better in the winter because mold, pollens, etc., are much lower. I also don't do well in the heat.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
For my daughter, fall and winter are better for the POTS and she needs fewer saline infusions. BUT. Those seasons are harder on her joints and pain. Spring and summer are hard on the POTS as she needs more frequent saline and is much more symptomatic but her joints and hence her pain is much improved. Low pressure systems can be hard to handle.
 

goldenapple

Member
I couldn't really answer becuase my CFS symptoms (extreme exhaustion, muscle weakness, memory loss, concentration, etc) is much, much worse in the summer. Pretty much May - Sept I'm not capable of regular work or self care. All those symptoms get better in the winter, but lucky me that's when my Fibromyalgia symptoms are worse (constant pain in muscles and joints, trouble sleeping, headaches). I went with "I feel worse in the summer" becuase if I had to choose to being in pain all the time or being exhausted and weak all the time I'd take the pain becuase pain is just pain. The exhaustion, weakness and prefrontal cortex issues make living a challenge. Not being able to care for myself or my child is about the most difficult thing I can imagine. Even if I'm in pain I can stumble through my day or take pain killers. But to loose your mind and your ability to control your body is far worse.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I wonder what's going on in summer? Could it be the heat? Are you in a humid area?
I couldn't really answer becuase my CFS symptoms (extreme exhaustion, muscle weakness, memory loss, concentration, etc) is much, much worse in the summer. Pretty much May - Sept I'm not capable of regular work or self care. All those symptoms get better in the winter, but lucky me that's when my Fibromyalgia symptoms are worse (constant pain in muscles and joints, trouble sleeping, headaches). I went with "I feel worse in the summer" becuase if I had to choose to being in pain all the time or being exhausted and weak all the time I'd take the pain becuase pain is just pain. The exhaustion, weakness and prefrontal cortex issues make living a challenge. Not being able to care for myself or my child is about the most difficult thing I can imagine. Even if I'm in pain I can stumble through my day or take pain killers. But to loose your mind and your ability to control your body is far worse.
 

goldenapple

Member
I wish I knew! I'm in Santa Fe, NM. Very high altitude, but never gets extreme heat or cold. Summers are usually in the 80's, occasionally low 90's but it's a dry heat so it never feels very hot (except to me becuase My body can't regulate). The sun seems to be a factor, but I've tried to test the heat theory by doing saunas/hot springs in the winter and I seem to do ok. I know that heat fatigues nerves, so it could just be stirring an underlying issue. The main difference in my life in the summer months is that I spend more time outdoors and I tend to weed a little bit everyday. Recently I've been researching Radioactivity Exposure Illness. There was a case in Russa where several hundred workers were exposed to low level radiation - 74% of them had no symptoms at all and 26% had symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Sundrome! I live in Santa Fe which was in the fall out zone for the Trinity atomic bomb test. This was the first test and was 10x as radioactive as later tests. The ground was literally coated in a radioactive powder. At that time the land where my house now sits was an apple orchard - ie the dirt would have been covered in fall out. So I've been wondering if my daily practice of weeding is causing continued very low does radiation exposure. I know this theory is a long shot, but something must have/is triggered/triggering this (Mine was gradual onset, no infection kicked it off) The thing is, I wasn't sick at all until I moved here, so moving away is my next shot in the dark attempt to get better.
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I wish I knew! I'm in Santa Fe, NM. Very high altitude, but never gets extreme heat or cold. Summers are usually in the 80's, occasionally low 90's but it's a dry heat so it never feels very hot (except to me becuase My body can't regulate). The sun seems to be a factor, but I've tried to test the heat theory by doing saunas/hot springs in the winter and I seem to do ok. I know that heat fatigues nerves, so it could just be stirring an underlying issue. The main difference in my life in the summer months is that I spend more time outdoors and I tend to weed a little bit everyday. Recently I've been researching Radioactivity Exposure Illness. There was a case in Russa where several hundred workers were exposed to low level radiation - 74% of them had no symptoms at all and 26% had symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Sundrome! I live in Santa Fe which was in the fall out zone for the Trinity atomic bomb test. This was the first test and was 10x as radioactive as later tests. The ground was literally coated in a radioactive powder. At that time the land where my house now sits was an apple orchard - ie the dirt would have been covered in fall out. So I've been wondering if my daily practice of weeding is causing continued very low does radiation exposure. I know this theory is a long shot, but something must have/is triggered/triggering this (Mine was gradual onset, no infection kicked it off) The thing is, I wasn't sick at all until I moved here, so moving away is my next shot in the dark attempt to get better.
There have been some places I just don't do well in. When I'm really sensitive I actually react to the chemicals outgassing from junipers and pines and other pungent plants. We can get so sensitive that who knows, low level radiation might be a problem. Or maybe it's something else in the soil or maybe you're getting too much exercise Or maybe you're changing your diet? I found that eating a lot of tomatoes increases my pain quite a bit. - so many possibilities.

Aside from being in NM is there anything else you're doing there that's different?

There's always the house/mold/chemicals issue. Have you taken a vacation away from your house? Really everything is a long shot but sometimes long shots work out.
 

goldenapple

Member
It's so true! I've been trying to unravel this for years. Interesting about juniper! In the 8 years I've lived here I've lived in 4 houses, so it's not mold (I test the house occasionally). I do travel to Kansas City a few times a year and my Fibro and migraines are worse there. I travel to Denver several times a year and I've had both Fibro and CFS flairs while there. Thanks to one of your articles I've determined naturally occurring Glutimate is a factor, other than that no dietary triggers. I had a baby in '09 but I started getting sick before that. I started allergy shots around the time I moved here and I researched a lot but couldn't find any evidence of that being a factor. There is a consensus that high altitude is difficult for both CFS and Fibro. I'm going to Wash state for 6 weeks this summer to see if I do better out of the sun, heat, high altitude.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
The barometric pressure is lower at higher altitudes. My girl has felt like (her words here) "road kill" when deep low pressure systems have moved into the area. When it passes and the pressure starts rising, she feels better. Having a high pressure system sitting on top of her is like wearing compression garments that help squeeze the body and thereby improve circulation. With POTS, orthostatic intolerance, compression garments are recommended to prevent blood pooling. The heat (and to an extent the dryer air at a higher altitude for those who live in such a place) also dehydrates and makes her more hypovolemic, setting up a miserable season of the year. Better so far this year but summer and the heat along with low pressure systems are serious triggers. San Diego and Hawaii are supposed to the the most friendly areas for those with POTS/EDS.
 

goldenapple

Member
The barometric pressure is lower at higher altitudes. My girl has felt like (her words here) "road kill" when deep low pressure systems have moved into the area. When it passes and the pressure starts rising, she feels better. Having a high pressure system sitting on top of her is like wearing compression garments that help squeeze the body and thereby improve circulation. With POTS, orthostatic intolerance, compression garments are recommended to prevent blood pooling. The heat (and to an extent the dryer air at a higher altitude for those who live in such a place) also dehydrates and makes her more hypovolemic, setting up a miserable season of the year. Better so far this year but summer and the heat along with low pressure systems are serious triggers. San Diego and Hawaii are supposed to the the most friendly areas for those with POTS/EDS.
Wow that's really interesting. Thanks for sharing! I haven't been diagnosed with POTS but I get intense blood pressure drops, dizzy spells, blackouts during my flairs.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
Wow that's really interesting. Thanks for sharing! I haven't been diagnosed with POTS but I get intense blood pressure drops, dizzy spells, blackouts during my flairs.
That sounds a lot like neurally mediated hypotension that my girl is also dx'ed with. Blood pressure drops, bradycardia, etc. When that hits, she sometimes gets chest pain and some difficulty breathing, too. It is the flip side of POTS, both part of orthostatic intolerance, all under the umbrella of dysautonomia. I think there is a link here somewhere to DINET.org.
 

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