Altitude

JayCS

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Has anyone found that significantly changing altitude causes a flare?
Hi Cathy - I wouldn't be able to tell myself, as any changes of my whereabouts causes a flare, so just the change would be a problem for many reasons (travel, surroundings, temperature, wind) . However our flares have been shown to be especially connected to changes in barometric pressure. This decreases as you get higher. So if you react to those kinds of weather changes, changing altitude will likely also cause a flare. I myself don't think I do, but it's one of the most common weather causes of flares.
It'd be possible to work out whether the pressure change in your case is similar to that of changing weather, but I'd be pretty sure it is, even without working it out.
 

CathyRachelle

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Thanks Jay. I am susceptible to changes in barometric pressure. When I spoke to a friend she said she doubted it because going to Colorado from New Jersey didn’t cause the flare only coming back from Colorado did. have you tried CBD or acupuncture and found it helpful? Thanks again!
 

JayCS

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going to Colorado from New Jersey didn’t cause the flare only coming back from Colorado did
Well changing places could like I said have many reasons. And it being one way may seem to be clear. But I'd say many weather changes will be more of a problem in one direction than the other, so I wouldn't necessarily say this means it's got nothing to do with the altitude or pressure.
Pressure decreases on the way to Colorado, and increases on the way back to New Jersey - that'd mean that pressure increase is more of a problem for you than pressure decrease. However high altitude or aeroplane headaches and people having more problems in low-pressure weather would seem to suggest the other way round may be worse. But maybe that's you: Do you have more problems in high-pressure "good" weather?
However it sounds as if you've only tested it once - I think only 3x would warrant deeper thoughts on it.
The other question is how this can help you - my first ideas would be:
  • Making sure you know your triggers, which may help you in other situations, like weather generally,
  • look for things that can prevent or
  • alleviate them (travelling slower? like a deep sea diver - but the other way round pressure-wise...),
  • look for treatments that tackle things like air pressure or oxygen content etc....

have you tried CBD or acupuncture
CBD oil in high quality just zombified me, tried several times, I'm very sensitive there, so have decided not to pursue that route nor MMJ. Made me have to stop work for a while.

Acupuncture I am also highly (over)sensitive to, the first 2 stints (9x and 1x) caused a lot of pain, no help at all.
Now I'm trying Chinese acupuncture (thicker needles) which is the only thing getting my energy up, but also causes a dysbalance by increasing only my cortisol which I have to balance out and keep in check by still not using the energy much more than before.

But aside from my experiences I'd definitely try / recommend both! The evidence for CBD is slight, but promising, and the evidence for acupuncture is fairly clear, fibro studies and reviews often recommend trying it. But like everything it depends on your body, so my recommending it doesn't mean it will help, it means it's worth trying to find out if it can. Most people have far less side effects from both than I do. Acupuncture almost no one is harmed by, except me and 1-2 others I've heard/read of.
 
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CathyRachelle

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I cannot thank you enough for your thoughtful reply. I’m just trying to figure this out, as I’ve just recently been diagnosed. I’m looking for patterns that trigger flares and aside from weather it seems fairly random. Again, thank you!
 

JayCS

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I’m looking for patterns that trigger flares and aside from weather it seems fairly random. Again, thank you!
Glad it's some use to you. Exactly as you say it's something to be practiced and helpful to see what details others watch for.

If that's how you want to start thinking maybe you can do with some more ideas for starters.
If you are someone who has the self-discipline to track (with symptom 'diaries') and analyze I'd think you will find it isn't random at all.
In the beginning, the 3 biggest things to watch are - ironically - doctor's treatments / meds, insomnia triggers and "overdoing it".
Next in line probably food/drink triggers.

A whole load of the absolutely biggest flares I've ever had were caused by meds and doc treatments. Putting myself at the mercy of an orthopedist and pain docs was probably a necessary piece of my learning process, and in the long run proved me much better than all my docs. But I could only really start improving once I'd freed myself from their futile offers and in some cases clutches.
Sorting out >30 insomnia triggers ("wakers" I call them) was another big chapter at the beginning. Funnily after I'd got them sorted and under control I still wake up several times a night for almost no reason - but still better quality of life. I do "know" it's due to my neurotransmitters gone haywire, but it's hard to get the balance, more a matter of analyzing trials and errors than triggers.


I've gone into a lot of detail - which may be too much for you at the moment - here:.
 

CathyRachelle

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I had similar wake problems and insomnia- since I went on cymbalta and low dose flexerol at bedtime I sleep soundly and only occasionally have issues. I do still suffer from periods of extreme exhaustion, muscle pain and nerve pain. Hard to tell if cymbalta is working or if it would be worse without it.
 

sunkacola

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Has anyone found that significantly changing altitude causes a flare?
I found just the opposite.
When I recently travelled to a place that was at 11,000 feet I actually felt healthy and strong, even though at first I did have trouble catching my breath. Later in the same trip I hiked to a mountain pass at 15,000 feet, and again although I felt the altitude in my breathing and my heart beat faster, overall I felt great and had no fibro pain at all. I was sore from the hike, of course, but did not experience a flare. Of course, this kind of thing is like everything else, it will affect people very differently.
 

JayCS

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I had similar wake problems and insomnia- since I went on cymbalta and low dose flexerol at bedtime I sleep soundly
If you mean me: Thanks for your input! -
Since meds (like amitriptyline, similar to duloxetine/Cymbalta) and supps (CBD, Melatonin and more) even in low dose severely zombified me in the daytime, I'm afraid they are absolutely no option for me, like most meds: They stop me thinking, sleep breaks don't. 🛏️ :cool:.
 

JayCS

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One of the studies just crossed my path again: "Blame it on the weather? The association between pain in fibromyalgia, relative humidity, temperature and barometric pressure" (2019). Problem is this study is only small. And it's very difficult to prove anything, we have to analyze our own experiences, it may be influenced by things like our mood.

My last post sounded as if no supps help my sleep, I forgot to add: overdosed passiflora and GABA with glutamine & theanine do, also cold showers. 🤪
 
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