Has anyone noticed increased symptoms during prolonged winter mths, vs summer mths

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To all.  I've noticed a trend for years now where i'm able to run, swim, and race competitively in the summer months with very few signs of GS, only to fall back in winter months with little energy, headaches, weakness, and at times unable to run more then a couple miles (at very slow paces).  I've enen noticed this over shorter periods of shifts in tempature from week to week that can change my energy levels.  Wondering what affects that simple high pressures vs low pressure fronts might have on the liver's ability to filter bilirubon out of the bloodstream.  Has anyone else experienced similar results.

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  • Posted

    P-Mac, I have seen the same pattern for years now. I am thinking it has to do in part w. Vit. D, Vit B 12 defficiency. Have been diagnosed w. low Vit. D/Vit B 12 levels every winter. Just started some tanning saloon sessions w. low radiation UVB since this supposed to be better then supplements, Cod Liver Oil also works well, and I am taking a B complex. These vit. defficiencies are more common for people w. GS.

    Also cold has to do somethign w. the worsening condition, every time the weather warms up a bit I seem to feel better, and cold fronts make me dowright miserable (major lethargy, and headaches). Since GS/Liver function affects the thyroid, I am thinking this causes increased sensitivity to cold weather.

    Next week I will start going to the sauna because I read that warming up the internal tissues and organs helps the body detox. I am thinking since GS makes it hard for the liver to detox, we might have more issues in the winter months because of the persistent cold temperature slows down our liver function, and the detox process. I read that infrared sauna is better for the detox process then the regular sauna, but it is quite expensive.

    Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    I thought I was going nuts when I raised this very thing to my husband.

    I'd put two and two together when I found that when I lived overseas in a very hot place, I seldom got sick or had issues. When I returned to the UK, I found I was fine through Summer and even maybe Autumn, but come Winter, I felt like i'd been planted by life.

    This has been by far the worst I have ever been and it began the beginning of last November. Nothing has helped, nothing has eased the sympotoms to the point my doctor feared soemthing worse and booked me in for a surgery which I think made everything worse :-\

    But es, in response to your question, I'm beginning to think the cold and varying temps. play a huge role in whether I feel I can handle my sysmptoms, to having to run to my bed with the heating blanket on full and a bucket by my side!

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    • Posted

      Glad i'm not the only one that thinks this.  Just FYI since everyone else seems to be trying different diets and food supplements, i'm taking a different approach that may be a total waste of money.  But i bought a hyperbaric oxegen chamber to see if putting higher pressure on my liver has any effect with filterring my blood stream.  Similar to high pressure summer mths, is the high presure (or warm air) expanding the liver molecules in a way filters better.  Might be a couple mths before any results, but I'll keep you posted.  desperate to try new things 
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  • Posted

    I just recently consulted with a medical nutritionist who told me that people with GS cannot store Vitamin D adequately for winter, and so need to supplement 5000IU of Vitamin D per day from May till October (SE Aust.). I suffer with quite bad symptoms once the summer is over, despite spending heaps if time in the sun in summer, and my Vitamin D is very low, so makes sense. I've never been told this information by the medical profession at large...might be helpful. Not sure about the atmospheric pressure aspect though...food for thought.
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  • Posted

    Hello -

    I have also noticed a general worsening of symptoms over the winter months. I had ascribed this to reduced exposure to sunlight as I see some others have as well. 

    I also am told that I have a Vitamin D deficiency and have tried Vitamin D supplementation. While I hesiatate to say I'm certain, because I'm not -- and also because I believe everyone's constitution is different, including folks with GS in common - I was not aware of feeling improvement from Vitamin D supplementation and possibly felt a little worse. 

    For those of us who think exposure to hot vs cold air might make a beneficial difference -- rather than the effects of sun exposure itself -- that is an interesting thought. Perhaps time in a sauna during winter would be worth experimenting with?

    I know a lot of folks are proponents of sauna use for the purpose of detox as a result of sweating as well. 

    Maybe warmer air circumstances because they encourage sweating and drinking more to replenish our hydration are a factor with GS?

    Appreciate everyone's thoughts!


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  • Posted

    Hi P-Mac,

    I definitely feel much worse during the winter months. I have always spent most of the winter feeling unwell. During the summer I have little to no symptoms.

    I have had my vitamin B and D tested but both are within the normal range. My symptoms generally start after I get sick with a cold or flu. Up until recently I had always thought GS is totally benign. I always assumed that I had post viral fatigue or something similar. I am now thinking that my symptoms may be triggered by the paracetamol I take whilst I am sick. I have read that the enzyme people with GS are lacking is also responsible for removing paracetamol from your system. I think that even whilst I am taking the recommended dose, the paracetamol is damaging my liver making me feel sick and fatigued for weeks/months after I have gotten better from the original illness. Anyway I have only just worked this out and I just going to try and not take any medication next time I'm sick and see how I go.

    If anyone else has had a similar experience I would be very interested to hear.

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    • Posted

      Hi Zacc, 

      I'm not familiar with this medication, so I Googled it and I see that it's a form of Acetaminophen. Is this a particular brand name? Here in the States Acetaminophen is most commonly sold under the brand name Tylenol. 

      I can't say that I have had a bad reaction to Acetaminophen itself. But I take very very few medications because I seem to be sensitive to most meds and don't recall the last time I took Acetaminophen, though I'm fairly certain I have on rare occassions and don't recall noting a specific reaction.  

      Is it possible that when you are taking this form of Acetaminophen "Paracetamol" that there may be other medications combined? 

      In particular I cannot take antihistimines. It's been so long since I have taken an antihistimine because my reactions to taking them are terrible... Awful fatigue and agitation and overall sick feeling! 

      Could there be other meds combined with Acetaminophen in Paracetamol? 

      And do you have any idea why the winter would be tougher? Do you figure that you are sick more during the winter with cols/flus and taking more of this medication, or do you suppose there is a different reason? 

      Any sense of diet and its impact on how you feel? I've left several posts indicating what I have found I can and cannot eat if you are interested in checking them out. 


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  • Posted

    Hi David,

    I am in Australia. Yes, paracetamol is another name for acetaminophen. I believe the two names can be used interchangeably along with the acronym APAP. The only active ingredient in the medication I am referring to is APAP.

    I do not have any problem with taking APAP as an isolated one off for a headache etc. I think that the problem arises when I take the maximum recommended daily dose for several days in a row when I am trying to medicate for a cold or flu.

    I have read a few journal articles which explain that people who have GS are missing the enzyme UGT1a1. That same enzyme is also one of the key enzymes which acts on APAP to remove it from the body. Interestingly, the UGT1a1 enzyme becomes even more important when APAP in the blood is at toxic levels. This is described in the journal article in the link below.


    Anyway, i suppose most of what I'm saying is based purely on my experience. I will have to wait until next time I get sick to see if not taking any APAP will help me.

    Interesting that you asked about antihistamines, I take loretadine and nasonex for allergies. However, I have not noticed any correlation between feeling unwell and taking these medications. I did try taking Phenergen (Promethazine) a few times as recommend by my doctor and this did make me feel terrible and extremely drowsy for days. I would not take that medication again!

    Other than getting sick a lot during the winter months and the possible link to taking APAP, I'm not sure why winter is so much worse. I would say for me the lack of sunshine is a more likely cause that colder temperatures.

    Thank you for mentioning your dietry recommendations. I will have a look at these. I also have very low cholesterol which is often associated with GS, so I need to find a diet which will give me enough cholesterol whilst not being too taxing on my liver!

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    • Posted

      Hi Zacc, 

      Thanks for your response. Please let us know how things in time after continuing to abstain from Paracetamol. Hopefully you have figured out a trigger and avoiding this medication will be to your benefit. 

      I'll mention -- though it may be a bit premature to say -- that I have been feeling some improvement from taking Taurine. I've only taken it for a few days and actually had stopped because I was not aware of any betterment and then a couple days after I stopped I found that I was feeling better than I have in a while...so I've just resumed taking Taurine. 

      I really know very little about it and like all suplements wouldn't advocate starting with a very high dose...but so far so good. 

      Very interested in hearing if others have any experience with Taurine. 

      Thank you 

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