As if Low Dose Immunotherapy isn’t complicated enough, I’m going to toss in another variable.
I’ve been doing LDI for nearly 15 months, and there’s one factor that affects how a given dose will work for me that I’ve never heard anyone mention.
I doubt this applies to everybody, but I also doubt that it only applies to me.
The factor I’m referring to is the weather. More specifically, the season I take the dose. And, to be more precise, how humid it is when I’m taking the dose in that season.
I’ve had chronic Lyme for a long time now, and it’s become clear that high levels of humidity push my immune system to react more strongly than usual.
This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It reduces my chances of getting a cold, but it also sometimes pushes my immune system out of balance. Combined with the Lyme bacteria doing its best to screw up my immune system, it can cause problems with overreactions. In this scenario, I’m more reactive to a lot of things.
So, how does this relate to LDI? Well, during an extremely humid period, I am more likely to react to a weaker dose and have a flare of symptoms.
The difference in my reactivity to LDI in a humid period as compared to a dry period seems to equal about a 1C difference in the dose.
In other words, let’s say I’m asked to take an 18C dose in late November when the relative humidity in my part of the world is high. I’m likely to react to it and have a flare of symptoms. In early June when humidity is low I probably wouldn’t react to it at all or I might react to it to a lesser degree. So an 18C dose in November is roughly the same to me as a 17C dose in June, although the 18C dose is actually weaker.
Some people may not think of November as a humid month, but in Central Canada where I live, it is. As in many parts of North America, people don’t feel the humidity much this time of year here because it’s cold outside. But since the sun shines only about nine hours a day and has very little heat in it, there’s not much to drive down the relative humidity.
Because weather affects me, I follow Internet weather sites closely. In late November, humidity is often at 100 percent overnight and usually between 70 and 80 percent during the day.
Compare that to June, when the sun is hot and sticks around for about 16 hours a day. Then, humidity averages around 70 percent overnight and 40 percent during the day.
Making all this even trickier is the fact you can have humid spells during dry periods and dry periods during humid spells.With this in mind, in my case, it’s a good idea to talk to my doctor near the time of my dose and tell her how the humidity during that period is likely to have a slight affect on what dose will work best for me.
So I hope I’m not making LDI even harder to get a handle on. All I’m saying is that there is a subset of patients (at least one, anyway), and probably more, that will be more likely to react to a given dose if the weather is very humid.
I suspect this might apply mostly to patients who are extremely sensitive by nature or who have had Lyme for a long time, and, as a result, have had their nervous systems made highly sensitive. I believe I contracted Lyme in childhood but didn’t see it manifest until I was under a lot of stress in my early 30s.
LDI is still in its early stages of development and I don’t think anyone has fully figured it out yet. As the guinea pigs, we LDI patients are the ones who have to tell practitioners how we are affected by it. With this in mind, I hope that taking humidity into consideration in some cases might be added to the myriad of factors that go into the greater understanding of LDI dosing.