Why do Lyme patients and others sometimes experience more pain when a storm approaches?

From: Ellen xxxxx

Topic: Re: Lyme Reactivated by TBI

Message: 5 of 26 (In response to Robert Bransfield)

Sent: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 18:16:13 -0400 (EDT)

Dr Bransfield,

I am glad you mentioned falling barometric pressure as a stressor. Can you

explain what goes on in the body when the barometer falls, All I can think

of is that there must be less oxygen going into the lungs, but I don't know.

All I do know is that when the barometer is falling I feel like I'm dead. I

would love to know the mechanics of what's going on.



From: Robert Bransfield

Topic: Re: Lyme Reactivated by TBI

Message: 6 of 26 (In response to Ellen Lubarsky)

Sent: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 01:00:07 GMT

It is an observation with many patients. One patient had a significant

increase of symptoms when he was driving in Georgia as a hurricane was


Many people with arthritis become worse with a dropping

barometer. In this case, the dropping external pressure causes a expansion

of the bursa of joints, and increased arthritic symptoms. Patients who go

skin diving feel improvement when they go on a dive. Compare it to

hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The pressure, rather than the oxygen is the

critical factor.

High pressure results in greater oxygen dissolved in the

serum. When the pressure is high enough, it is possible to live with no red

cells, since oxygen is carried in the serum. High pressure gives more oxygen

to the tissues, low pressure gives less to the tissues.

Borrelia survives best in a low rather than a high oxygen environment. I can't really explain why Lyme patients become so abruptly symptomatic in a low barometric pressure situation, maybe it triggers a toxin release.

The airplane issue deserves further attention. Although many planes have pressurized or partially pressurized cabins, going up in an airplane is generally associated with a drop of barometric pressure. Some Lyme patients complain about this causing an increase of symptoms, but what if the Lyme patient is the pilot who then needs to have his faculties intact as he lands the plane?

When I had three Lyme patients have auto accidents in the same day, I first

thought it was a coincidence. I asked another psychiatrist, who told me two

of her patients both fell asleep while driving on the same day. I have been

reviewing the research on the therapeutic effects of hyperbaric situations,

but we also need to look at the pathological effects of hypobaric situations


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Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes