What Does Space Travel Have in Common with ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Mast Cell and Histamine' started by CJB, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. CJB

    CJB Well-Known Member

    I can almost always be sure that pretty much everyone on the planet knows about stuff before I do, so I will not be surprised if this has been discussed before, especially since the article I'm quoting came out well over a year ago.

    I am a huge Scott Kelly fan. He spent a year in space at considerable short- and long-term risk to his own health in a study that also did extensive testing on his twin brother (also an astronaut -- check out the picture of the two of them when they were little boys) who remained on Earth. But will science untangle the mechanism behind his strange symptoms upon his return to earth -- which look like some blend of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome/Disease and Orthostatic Intolerance with some other stuff thrown in.

    Here's the article.

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  2. GrammaLinda

    GrammaLinda Member

    Fascinating excerpt.

    I can certainly empathize with some of his symptoms. Some days, when I can be out of house, I have to bend over and look at the changing surfaces before I can take a step or two. And the vertigo and eye issues.

    I particularly feel his pain concerning what should I do when I feel this bad. First thoughts are going to the ER, then realizing nobody there will understand.
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  3. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    @CJB Thank you for this interesting article. Many of us in support group ( in L.A.) discussed how sensitive we were to barometric pressure changes. One member had an old fashion barometer - the bulb with a goose neck and colored water. It was amazing to see how the fluid levels changed with barometric pressure changes. And virtually everyone had more symptoms when the pressure dropped.

    So, I suspect that Scott Kelly's symptoms had something to do with the pressure difference between Earth and Space. Not many people think about spinal fluid flow and pressures, and how important this is for the function of the entire central nervous system - and peripheral system, as apparently high CNS pressure can cause spinal nerve roots to dilate and put pressure on nerves from the spine to extremities.

    Also, I had a CINE MRI ( with neurosurgeon) that looked at my spinal fluid flow in the lower brain and upper neck. I had spinal fluid jets and very abnormal flow - probably a result of my structure - mild scoliosis, rotation of thoracic and neck vertebrae, instability at the foramen magnum - the hole where the spinal fluid from the brain must flow to the spinal canal in the neck and beyond.

    Appreciate that at the base of the skull ( where the spinal fluid can back up) are the cranial nerves, cerebellum, medulla, pons, and other bran structures. The cranial nerves are involved in smelling, seeing, chewing, tasting, salivating ( I lost all saliva at one point!), hearing, balance ( cranial nerve 8), swallowing, communication to/from thoracic / abdominal area, tongue and more.

    So, pressure changes can wreak havoc just about any where. It seems likely that certain viruses can also affect the central nervous system pressure regulation. Dr. Diana Driscoll has wonderful info on this. What a crazy journey.
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  4. CJB

    CJB Well-Known Member

    @Merida what a terrific comment. Thank you!
  5. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    @CJB We are all working to try to understand what has happened and why. And what on Earth we can do to feel better. I think 'structure' is a missing link, but I feel totally lost at this point.
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  6. Danesh

    Danesh Active Member

    I read (listened to) his book. The quote is from the introduction to the book, and I assumed, the expected results from only being back in earth's gravity and atmosphere for several days at most. I always wanted to know how long those symptoms lasted for him. Any further info about all the testing and findings that have gone on over the past couple of years, regarding his health and the effects of a year on ISS, I am also interested in!
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  7. CJB

    CJB Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great comment.

    I have been enjoying a NASA podcast titled, "Houston, We Have a Podcast". I haven't listened to the current episode, but it has DNA in the title, so I'm interested.:)

    The subjects they cover are wide ranging but in one that was particularly interesting was an interview with the guy in charge of astronaut health and nutrition. I don't remember the episode title, but will look for it if you're interested.
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