The Shower Problem

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Showers have been exhausting for me ever since I got ME/CFS, I wouldn't even contemplate taking a shower in the AM. I've never understood why such a seemingly innocuous activity could cause such fatigue. Adrienne Delwho takes a stab at it in her latest post. Her first / fourth answers seem most likely to me - temperature changes and nerve sensitivity but I am not entirely convinced.
  1. Heightened Nerve Response: Especially in fibromyalgia, the pressure of the water hitting your skin can get your nerves riled up. It might not hurt while you're in there, but the stimulation on our over-reactive nerves could put them closer to the point of sending erroneous pain signals and making you hurt all over.
It appears this is pretty common. It is a strange problem. The stranger the problem, though, the closer it may lie to explaining ME/cFS
 

Folk

Well-Known Member
Pretty strange, I've heard more people saying that same thing about shower @Cort...
But to me they're totally revitalizing.
It makes my pain much better.
During the worst phases I would get some minor tachycardia after hot showers, but even though was worth taking it

Although, thinking about it
That stuff about Fibro worsening after the shower might be true also... While my pain decreases I feel a little bit more sensitive after it... It seems it's easier to have this or that causing pain

Edit: Come to think about it... The same thing happens in baththubs so can't be the shower pressure of water from the shower :eek:
 
Last edited:

Snookum96

Active Member
I have this problem as well. Two things help. I have a shower chair so I don't have to stand up and my showers are now Luke warm at best. The heat of a hot shower makes me much worse.
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
I've been sitting on the shower floor for years. Right now I'm still able to get up.

What wipes me is drying off after. Right now it's so hot I can sit dry. Winter? Not looking forward to it.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Pretty strange, I've heard more people saying that same thing about shower @Cort...
But to me they're totally revitalizing.
It makes my pain much better.
During the worst phases I would get some minor tachycardia after hot showers, but even though was worth taking it

Although, thinking about it
That stuff about Fibro worsening after the shower might be true also... While my pain decreases I feel a little bit more sensitive after it... It seems it's easier to have this or that causing pain

Edit: Come to think about it... The same thing happens in baththubs so can't be the shower pressure of water from the shower :eek:
You know I'll bet the same thing happens in bathtubs....

I discovered this early on when I didn't have time to take a shower before going to work.....I felt so much better.
Cold water is definitely better. I immediately shrivel up, so to speak :), in hot water.

It's another one of those weird mysteries.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
well, from our experience with POTS, etc., warm showers trigger fatigue, high heart rate for 3 reasons. Raising the arms to wash hair can be a trigger. Standing still allows for blood to pool in the feet, lower legs. Warm to hot water causes vasodilation. Shower chair and finishing off a shower with cooler water on the legs may help. Need that vasoconstriction, not the dilation that the warm/hot warm brings on.

Here is a snippet from Dinet.org and what to avoid: " Holding the arms up in the air can cause problems for some individuals. Holding the arms up requires the heart to work harder to counteract the effects of gravity. This is especially difficult for the heart if there is already excessive venous pooling in the lower limbs. The heart may not be able to effectively pump blood up into raised arms and tachycardia will result from its effort."
 

Tina

Well-Known Member
I experience pain in the shower as well. The water pressure simply hurts. I knew that hair washing days were more difficult. AnneVA thanks for the information. It never occurred to me that raising the arms in conjunction with the standing could be the reason. My bathroom is large and open so I do not really deal with steam although because I cannot create steam I use very hot water. I don't know why I don't switch to baths, but that seems like more work??? Ugh.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
I experience pain in the shower as well. The water pressure simply hurts. I knew that hair washing days were more difficult. AnneVA thanks for the information. It never occurred to me that raising the arms in conjunction with the standing could be the reason. My bathroom is large and open so I do not really deal with steam although because I cannot create steam I use very hot water. I don't know why I don't switch to baths, but that seems like more work??? Ugh.
Tina, my daughter comes out of the shower with beet red legs and feet. she has SO much dilation and pooling because of the heat and the standing. She hates cooler water. When she had hip surgery, she had to use a shower chair and we attached a removable shower head. She was better able to prevent the pooling, easier to wash her hair and could easily cool down her legs while sitting if she chose to (which she did not). Another trigger is bending over, up and down. Bending over to the reach the soap, shampoo, etc. Sitting helps with that.
 

Tina

Well-Known Member
AnneVA, thanks for your suggestions. Always adjusting. By the way, I love your little birdie.
 

AnneVA

Active Member
AnneVA, thanks for your suggestions. Always adjusting. By the way, I love your little birdie.
Thanks Tina. The Rose breasted Grosbeak is a watercolor by girl did 2 years ago when she was 18. I get to enjoy her talent.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Tina, my daughter comes out of the shower with beet red legs and feet. she has SO much dilation and pooling because of the heat and the standing. She hates cooler water. When she had hip surgery, she had to use a shower chair and we attached a removable shower head. She was better able to prevent the pooling, easier to wash her hair and could easily cool down her legs while sitting if she chose to (which she did not). Another trigger is bending over, up and down. Bending over to the reach the soap, shampoo, etc. Sitting helps with that.
Wow....has she found anything to help with her POTS?
 

AnneVA

Active Member
Wow....has she found anything to help with her POTS?
Cort, Been working on the POTS for 4 years now. She has tried midodrine and butchers broom for vasoconstriction, florinef and licorice root to help retain fluid, low dose effexor and low dose ritalin to help increase blood pressure, omeprazole for nausea, etc. Increased salt and fluids. No longer on the herbs now. The pharmaceutical that has helped the most has been 2x weekly saline infusions. It is the best thing that has addressed the hypovolemia and has the greatest positive impact. Even with that, she has to do lots of other things like the shower tips, can't have a schedule that has her waking up early 2 days in a row. Using a cooling wrap, etc. on warm+ days. Staying mostly gluten and dairy free. Raising the head of the bed 4 to 6 inches has helped. Pacing her exercises PT approved of every other day instead of every day as PT says her body must have that recovery day inbetween. Environmental factors such as noisy places, heat, etc if too much can trigger some symptoms. And too much stress can create a flare. So functioning better than 4 years ago, even better than a year ago but still has limits. I guess pacing in all of this has been the key with the day to day and that just takes time to figure out. And we are starting to explore the apparently common connection between POTS and low ferritin, Vit. D3.
 

fibroite

Member
B
Showers have been exhausting for me ever since I got ME/CFS, I wouldn't even contemplate taking a shower in the AM. I've never understood why such a seemingly innocuous activity could cause such fatigue. Adrienne Delwho takes a stab at it in her latest post. Her first / fourth answers seem most likely to me - temperature changes and nerve sensitivity but I am not entirely convinced.
  1. Heightened Nerve Response: Especially in fibromyalgia, the pressure of the water hitting your skin can get your nerves riled up. It might not hurt while you're in there, but the stimulation on our over-reactive nerves could put them closer to the point of sending erroneous pain signals and making you hurt all over.
It appears this is pretty common. It is a strange problem. The stranger the problem, though, the closer it may lie to explaining ME/cFS
I can't tell you how much it helped me to find the shower issue was not just me. I had began to think that I was just lazy & unclean! Dropping the soap it a big deal I am hot 100% of the time & washing my hair is very diffult & I starting thinking about how it
would feel to be bald. I'm not being insensitive I just thought look how many men shave their heads rather than having partial baldness which I think is much more attractive. So now I feel so much better. This is why I miss having a local support group. Thanks to all
 

ME-Thomas

New Member
Exactly the same here. Shower (especially hot shower) worsens my fatique quiet a bit. I have 2 explanations for this:

1.) Heat triggers Histamine which then is released by the mast-cells. If you have an histamine-intolerance like I do, it stresses the body and the fatigue gets worse.

2.) The heat itself stresses the body as it has to cool down the system, which consumes energy


Both things would also explain that my fatigue worsens when I’m sitting in the summer sun.
 
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