Anyone experience more family illness after moving off grid?? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 11 Old 10-12-2008, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been off grid since June of this year. We are living in a cabin and it is about 10 degrees cooler here than if you went to the closest town. Great!! However, I have noticed that as a family we've been getting sick alot more than we are used to. I rarely ever get sick, but have been sick 3 times since we moved. And, my whole family is sick now. Different types of illnesses, so I don't think it would allergies. Also, we've made sure our cabin is mold free and etc... The only thing we have been exposed to other than fresh mountain air, nice spring water, and plenty of outdoor time, is extreme temp. changes throughout our day. For example, it will get to like 42F at night and like 80F during the day. So, we wake up cold, and by the end of the day we are shedding clothes. I've never put much stock in the temp. being a cause of illness, but I'm beginning to wonder. I used to consider myself super immunity girl!!!

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#2 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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I know that extreme temperature changes can cause stress to the body, thus making it more susceptible to illness. That's the relation...

Could you use clothing, heat etc to try to maintain a more constant body temperature? Maybe if your body was feeling less stressed by the constant changes, registering them less sort of, then it would have more energy to put into immunity. Just an idea...
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#3 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I wonder if it's just because it's 42F while you're trying to sleep. I've heard the optimal sleep temp is 60F, so maybe you're not getting good enough rest because your body is expending too much energy to stay warm? Do you have a woodstove? Can you stoke it up at night? Insulate better?

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#4 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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It could also be that because you are in such a clean environment, your immune system is actually working better and you are all now getting rid of the latent viruses that your bodies were not well enough to fight previously.

This may be detox time for you.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#5 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 04:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
It could also be that because you are in such a clean environment, your immune system is actually working better and you are all now getting rid of the latent viruses that your bodies were not well enough to fight previously.

This may be detox time for you.
This sounds more realistic. Though maybe there is something in your new environment that is not good for you?

Are you saying it gets down to 42 degrees inside your house at night and up to 80 degrees inside your house during the day? If so, you need to look into getting better insulation (if there even is any left in your walls and celing).

We try to go without heat for as many months out of the year as possible and never see temperature fluctuations like this indoors. We also spend weeks at a time family camping and deal with temperature changes like what you're speaking of outdoors- without illness.

Maybe boost your zinc and vitamin c levels and use probiotics... has it been a stressful change for you'all?

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#6 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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We had the same experience in our last house (our landlord turned off the heater every night in winter!!) and we were sick more often, as well. Now we keep the temperature between 62 and 68 and seem to be profiting from that. We are replacing our windows and adding insulation, so we don't have to heat very much.

Are you using passive solar to heat your house? If so, make sure that the sun is shining on something that will retain the heat (like stone floors, clay pots, masonry fireplace) and release it slowly overnight. Otherwise, you'll have large temperature fluctuations. Most of the people I know in Germany have brick-oven fireplaces and the fires in them don't actually heat your house very much. Rather, they heat the bricks and the bricks slow-release the heat over the course of the day.

Don't know if that helps...
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#7 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that the temp doesn't fluctuate that much in the house. Though, it does get pretty darn cold at night, and we are cold in the morning until around noonish. It never gets hot in our house, but we do shed clothes about 2 or so pm. We have no insulation at all. We live in a cabin built in 1900. We heat with natural gas, though we haven't turned any heat on yet. All we have is a gas fireplace. Right now we are using these tiny oil heaters and not turning them up very high. It helps not to get the cabin too warm for later in the day. I wonder about detoxing too. We lived in the Ohio River Valley before we moved back home. That place is notorious for making people sick. I wonder...

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#8 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I bet it's the oil heaters. Do you have carbon monoxide detectors for your house? Anyone that uses any type of combustion - ie, gas kitchen stove, propane/oil heat, fireplace - should have at least one in the sleeping area.
I would think it's a combination of bad luck, stress, lowered indoor air quality. There's a lot of "stuff" going around this fall around here - many types of colds - some stomach, some head, some with body aches. It feels a little different than last year.

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#9 of 11 Old 10-13-2008, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a carbon monoxide detector, and we don't use the gas fireplace at all as of now. Everything on that end is checking out fine.

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#10 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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I bet it's cleaner, too clean for my liking.
I mean, I'm rarely sick even though I work retail and hardly ever wash my hands - and chew on my nails sometimes to boot! I'm sure I injest a ton of germs but I might only be sick twice a year.
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#11 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 03:44 AM
 
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Today's MD's might laugh at the idea of getting sick from a "chill" or a "draft," but these factors were taken very seriously by doctors up to the mid-20th century, and they still are by pretty much every traditional and alternative medical system throughout the world (TCM, ayurveda, homeopathy, etc). For what it's worth, I've heard one theory for how it works, in contemporary medical terms: The sudden drop in temperature causes your body to panic -- assuming you're about to develop hypothermia -- and your thyroid, which is like your body's furnace, goes into temporary overdrive. This does a good job of generating warmth, but the thyroid hormones, in larger-than-normal amounts, are pretty toxic and tend to mess people up. Some people get sick the same day, but for others, it's about four days later, kind of like a delayed allergic reaction. Cold viruses and tummy bugs are quite willing to move in and profit from this situation, but (according to this theory) they are not themselves the cause of the illness.

Anyway, back in the days when your cabin was built, people used to insulate themselves by wearing woolen underwear and socks, all the time. Even in warm weather, they might have worn shorter, lighter-weight woolies, but they probably wouldn't have gone without them entirely, especially if they were considered "the delicate type" (i.e., those who got sick frequently). They didn't want to risk getting a chill to the chest or abdomen. This was considered especially dangerous if you became chilled after being overheated. Drafts were perhaps the worst of all, because the body was acclimated to the overall room temperature, and thus was vulnerable to the chill from the draft of cold air.

Sometimes it's hard to be a non-fur-bearing mammal. :

Although woolen underwear isn't cheap ($50+ per set, even for children), and it can be a pain to care for, I'd consider it to be one of the basic necessities of life in an uninsulated cabin. Perhaps there's something equivalent, and more practical, among the synthetics sold in camping stores.

Just for fun, here's a long underwear ad from 1914:

Duofold Underwear
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