space weather, brain fog

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
This is about a possible connection between space weather and my brain fog issues..

[I chose 'Forum > Science > Environmental Issues' but any 'Science' Subforums apart from 'Linguistics' fits kind of. Feel free to move it.]

I have often to deal with brainfog/dizziness and similar issues. A while ago I discovered that vitamin D and GABA supplements seem to make it much worse for me and since I discontinued those my situation has improved a lot. But I still have occasional phases of bad brain/mind functioning. Since October 10th (2018) I began more regularly to track my food and supplements as well as my condition but couldn't find any consistent relation (Some foods are better or worse but nothing explains the bigger picture so far). Here is a sample of my record (in german, sorry, translations follow):

calc_sample.png


Around November 03rd I already saw something like a repeating pattern and I was already expecting a next episode, which came indeed. Maybe around the 06th/07th of November I looked into space weather data, mostly the GOES X-ray Flux, which already seemed to match a bit. I made a little script/webpage to better see my data alongside with the GOES data and later added GOES Magnetometer and Electron flux data. There are many more space weather parameters and I'm not very familiar with all that yet.

You can see my comparison here (You might want to zoom out for better overview, depending on you browser: cntr + mousewheel, or cntr + minus, or 2-finger touch/swipe):
http://spaceweather.web392.c9.webspace-verkauf.de/spaceweather/spaceweather.html

Some explanation about the page:
- Each column of images shows 3 days, first row above the images shows the 3 days of month.
- First row of images is x-ray flux, second is magnetometer, third is electron flux.
- The 4 bottom rows are my tracked condition (there are english translations in braces), one cell for each day. To avoid confusion: the first condition is a 'positive' one, so the bars for minus/bad/red go downwards. The others are reversed, so plus/bad/red goes upwards (i.e. just look for bar length and color red)
- gray or 'n/a' bars are prior to October 10th where I don't have any records of my condition but I included the images for these days for completeness.
- I didn't compare my records with space weather data up until around November 03rd, and I didn't compare it to the magnetometer and electron flux data up until around November 11th, so anything matching before these dates can hardly be due to expectation/suggestion.
- Apart from not having much records yet, my records of course are very subjective, especially at the beginning. For example I'm not sure what the green +1 for '..concentration..' on Oct. 10th was, I think I began tracking on 11th when it was very bad and retrospectively assigned the +1 for the day before which looked 'very good' in comparison. That sudden drop of condition also made me begin with the tracking in the first place.
- the last column shows the current/latest GOES data. The other images shown are copies on my webspace because the original ones are available only on ftp:// which doesn't work to be linked in HTML img or iframe tags. But in the first column there are links to the respective sites, current and archived.

as for my conditions:
- empty bars mean 0 (zero) which in term means 'normal', not necessarily 'good' or 'ok', but at my average condition.
- I always have a tendency towards stiff neck, so the tracked ones are simply the very bad days when clearly different to 'normal'.
- 'dizzines' (maybe a better term would be 'daze'?) in my case means mostly slowness of thought or thought-connection, feeling like 'under water' or a head filled with 'wool/cotton', feeling drunk, but for the most part not vertigo and not necessarily low energy level. Often even energetic with a fidgeting and uncoherent thought/mind.

I hope I didn't make it look too complicated. I see a relation between my records and the spaceweather data so far. If you have a track record of your own conditions over the last weeks that you can compare that would be great. Perhaps location on earth is also relevant(?) I'm in Germany. I can also make a collection of images for previous/other dates if you need it (or you can use the linked archives). I didn't find a website (that worked and) which visualized an arbitrary time span with the data I wanted.

If that pattern is being confirmed over time, I might even try an aluminium foil hat, just for fun. As far as I know such has never been actually used, except by trolls to ridicule something:-D. But I suspect its rather a jolted earth's magnetic field than direct radiation. Anyway, I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm prepared for a disappointment in case the matches dissipate in the future.
 

Gawan

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Hi mrtn,

at the moment I only have several questions and no answers: Have you ever been sensitive to i. e. weather changes before or is it the first time you look for a cause of your brain fog? How does generally your diet look like? Did you start to eat something new, that you may not be tolerating? Do you drink enough water? Are you often outside?

Anyway, I wish you luck on your discovery what may cause your brain fog.
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
Yes, I get easily a headache on certain weather conditions (my mother is similarly sensitive to that and has headaches regularly). Maybe some electro-sensitivity. I'm observing this since approximately about a year. The deliberate tracking is new, but the issues are not. In the previous 2 years (before a year) I had a lot of alcohol, which might have weakened my brain a bit, and it also has explained the brain fog easily back then.

My diet is a work-in-progress but more restrictive by today and quite structured: some organic meat as far as I can afford it, roots (carrots, beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes), pumpkins, zucchini, all with a lot of butter, some greens and berries, sometimes nuts or peanuts. dairy restricted, mostly just milk for coffee, no cheese since a while. lot of coffee (but I can sense when it's too much and causes sluggishness) but a lot of water too (or fresh ginger tea). No sugar or sweets or junk food. No grains most of the time.
Supplements are very basic: salt, vitamin C, magnesium. potassium and B vitamins since a while again, and probably soon selenium and iodine again (which I discontinued for suspicion/experimentation as I did with other supplements as well)

As for being outside you probably mean as in 'exposed to sun'. No, in fact I'm way less outside than what would be healthy and barely get any sun. And I lack physical activity as well, so my body might be more sensitive to influences. Computer monitor time is also bad. I think I have many options open to improve my condition, if i manage to implement them. And the link to space weather would make it easier to assess other factors, like foods that work ok most of the time but sometimes cause issues. Or foods I considered bad but sometimes work fine. I wouldn't take space weather simply as a cause but it's good to know as an additional factor.
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
A little update..

I kept tracking my condition so far but I didn't look into spaceweather alongside simply to avoid bias.

My diet changed since approximately the 15th of November. I dropped all potato, sweet potato, carrots, beetroot etc as staple food. My staple food is now meat, not organic though. Occasionally (every 1 or 2 days) blueberries, physalis, raw paprika, avocado, mache.

My condition was better over the last time and I thought it's due to the meat diet, or maybe the spaceweather would be calmer. I now think it was both. I could feel some episodes but they didn't put me in complete standby mode. But on 26th/27th of December it got noticably bad again, and on 28th I got email newsletter from SpaceWeather.com related to these things ("SPOTLESS SUN SPARKS GEOMAGNETIC STORM") and this was also posted here in the forum in different contexts the following days. So approximately on 31th of december I began to look into the space weather data again.

Apparently there was something going on around 18th of december that wasn't noticable enough for me to track it as such. But the correlation around 27th of december is very strong again, similar to October 22th and November 6th.

The webpage linked in my first post has been updated.

<edit>
Oh, if you're looking for 2019 data archives..
I previously used ftp://ftp.swpc.noaa.gov/pub/warehouse/2018/2018_plots/xray/ etc. but there are no 2019 directories. Instead I found the newer data in ftp://ftp.swpc.noaa.gov/pub/plots
 
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Renaissance

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Could be that you're system is so weak that you're vulnerable to all sorts of electromagnetic influences. Maybe trying some shielding could help some. I've used some of the products at lessemf.com (shirt and shorts) and while I found they helped when I wore them (usually while sleeping), they eventually become worn and tear. Still, might be something to try out in helping to strengthen your system.
 
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Altair

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I would try an elimination diet for 2-3 weeks, for example, carnivore diet (see corresponding thread here) and then slowly, one by one introduce into the diet products you usually eat so that you can exclude the possibility that this brain fog is caused by some food. I'm not sure whether you can do something to protect yourself from the space weather but if you are vulnerable to electromagnetic influences you can try grounding your bed (check the session and the following discussion here) and/or wearing silk clothes/socks which are pretty helpful from my experience.
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
Thank you for all the advice
products at lessemf.com
I think some years ago I've been on that site and considered to buy the gloves when I had tingling and pain in my hands from working on a laptop all day. But I settled for using a separate keyboard instead at the time. I'm thinking about buying some large silk fabric but I'm not sure if that would help with EM issues.
I would try an elimination diet for 2-3 weeks, for example, carnivore diet (see corresponding thread here)
I'm following that thread and tried it. It's really good in general (less cold hands and feet, clearer mind) and I didn't have any problems with digestion that some others reported. But after 2 or 3 days I would crave for something 'fresh' like berries or greens (I don't have much craving for carbs in general though, so I don't think its that). But I'm not sure if I just think I need the vitamins or if it's really my body longing for it. Maybe being more strict for a while could clarify some things. I'm tracking all my food as well but couldn't find simple correlations so far.
I must say that I could improve it already quite a lot. When I was still taking GABA and vitamin D (probably too much) I had only some days once in a while that were ok, whereas now I have only some days that are bad.
you can try grounding your bed (check the session and the following discussion here)
That was interesting indeed, I have to read that one again. I considered that but I was sceptical if it was specifically advised to ark due to his work conditions and others actually created issues for themself. I worried if using the outlet ground would pick up to much electric noise, making me sleep on a radiating antenna instead of a ground.
I'm quite stubborn and rather slow in making changes in my life in general. I'm also quite restricted financially right now when it comes to purchasing material and the like. There is also a whole psychological level to all this: I have very little human/social interaction, little physical exercise (or even motion), easily 12 to 14 h of computer usage. I guess those are the actual problems.
I must say this thread originally wasn't intended to go so personal. Basically I was just so excited that I could spot these correlations so I had to share it. I considered that before but couldn't get much out of theses data and plot graphs until I got them from the archives and lined them up in sequence for a time period to see what I have to look for (normal vs unusual events). I have also occasionally seen other peoples posts about brainfog issues etc., someone 'maybe even considering space weather', so I thought it could be helpful or interesting for others.
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
A little update again..

I'm much better by now and actually have very little brainfog these days. Becoming more strict with the carnivore diet helped, i think, but there were still 'heavy' days. A real change occured since my therapist pushed me to go outside daily, and even more so since recommending doing sports / physical exercise. I began to do some mixture of stretching, balance, weight lifting etc. Currently I'm doing weight exercises / strength training on some days, and during the recovery days in between I'm now doing the wonderful Arky Chu Gong along with the video.

There was stronger activity yesterday:
20190806_satenv.gif
and it didn't have that bad an effect on me as it used to have. I could still feel it, being unconcentrated, with a restless and fidgety mind, but it was bearable and I could use my brain.

Originally I didn't find much about space weather in relation to human health other than astronauts. But by now there seems to be more available in that direction (mostly cardio related), for example in a post by @Temperance :


or this:
Abstract
The study of the possible effect of solar variability on living organisms is one of the most controversial issues of present day science. It has been firstly and mainly carried on high latitudes, while at middle and low latitudes this study is rare. In the present review we focused on the work developed at middle and low geomagnetic latitudes of America. At these geomagnetic latitudes the groups consistently dedicated to this issue are mainly two, one in Cuba and the other in Mexico.
The Cuban and Mexican studies show that at such latitudes there are biological consequences to the solar/geomagnetic activity, coinciding in four points: (1) the male population behave differently from the female population, (2) the most vulnerable age group to geomagnetic perturbations is that of ⩾65 years old, (3) there is a tendency for myocardial infarctions (death or occurrence) to increase one day after a geomagnetic Ap index large value or during the day of the associated Forbush decrease, and (4) the myocardial infarctions (death or occurrence) increase as the geomagnetic perturbation increases.
Additionally, the Cuban group found seasonal periodicities from their data, and also that increases of female myocardial infarctions occurred before and after the day of the geomagnetic disturbance. The Mexican group found that the male sex is more vulnerable to geomagnetic perturbations and that the myocardial infarction deaths present the conspicuous cycle of ∼7 days.

or this:
Abstract
There are collaborative and cross-disciplinary space weather studies in the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences conducted with purposes of revealing possible effects of solar, geomagnetic and cosmic ray variability on certain technological, biological and ecological systems. This paper describes some results of the experimental studies of influence of the periodical and aperiodical changes of geomagnetic activity upon human brain, human health and psycho-emotional state. It also covers the conclusions of studies on influence of violent solar events and severe geomagnetic storms of the solar cycle 23 on the mentioned systems in middle-latitude location. It is experimentally established that weak and moderate geomagnetic storms do not cause significant changes in the brain’s bioelectrical activity and exert only stimulating influence while severe disturbances of geomagnetic conditions cause negative influence, seriously disintegrate brain’s functionality, activate braking processes and amplify the negative emotional background of an individual. It is concluded that geomagnetic disturbances affect mainly emotional and vegetative spheres of human beings while characteristics reflecting personality properties do not undergo significant changes.



Abstract
Background: We are constantly affected by changes in space weather. The principal “players” are solar activity (SA), geomagnetic activity (GMA) and antagonistic to them, cosmic ray activity (CRA) and high energy proton flux. CRA is measured by neutron activity on the earth’s surface in imp/min. SA and GMA are linked and serve as a shield for the earth from CRA. For a long time SA and GMA were the main areas of studies. The aim of this study was to compare some effects of the mentioned forces and discuss the temporal distribution of both groups of space weather, in relation to their effects on humans.
Methods: The time distribution of GMA storms (daily) was compared with quiet (low) GMA, with higher CRA (neutron activity). Space weather data were obtained from the USA, Russia and Finland.
Results: A total of 4383 days were analyzed in the years 2000–2012. A total of 71 days (1.62%) of geomagnetic storms (GS) and 2753 days (63.8%) of quiet (I0) GMA were registered. A second study was provided including the years 1983–2007 (9131 days); here 3800 days (41.62%) were quiet GMA days and 400 storm days (4.38%). According to publications in the medical literature, many phenomena are connected with the extremes of space weather.
Conclusions: Despite a great number of publications and the significant role of GS, it is a relatively rare event and most medical emergencies and deaths occur on days of low GMA, accompanied by higher CRA (neutron activity). High neutron activity deserves more attention when analyzing space effects on human health and their mechanism of action.



Abstract
Background: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is one of most common cardiovascular pathologies in the industrial world. In addition to known risk factors, environmental physical activity factors such as solar activity (SA), geomagnetic activity (GMA), and cosmic ray activity (CRA) could be also involved in the timing of AMI. The aim of this study was to study AMI admissions at days of zero GMA, accompanied by high CRA, and the following week in the higher and lowest parts of solar cycles 23 and 24.
Methods: Patients admitted for AMI (n=11,026, 59.5% men) in years 2000–2009 at the Department of Cardiology of Lithuanian University of Medical Sciences were studied for all periods and separately for the higher part of the 11-year solar activity in cycles 23 and 24 (2000–2007) and its lowest part (2008–2009). Admissions at day of zero GMA as well as 1, 2, 6, and 7 days after zero-GMA day were compared.
Results: At high SA, zero-GMA days were rare and isolated (36 in years 2000–2007). They have been followed by significant increase in admissions on the following days. In the two lowest years of SA 2008–2009, there were 57 days of zero GMA, many of which were consecutive and in groups. For the whole solar cycle, there was a more gradual increase in AMI from 1 to 2 days after zero-GMA day, and there were significantly higher AMI admissions at 6 days after the first zero-GMA day (p=0.018).
Conclusions: Zero-GMA/high-neutron activity is followed by increase in AMI admissions at the days that follow. The effects are different at high and low parts of the 11-year solar cycle.


To check the current situation I mostly use Satellite Environment, and for older plots this ftp directory, as well as WSA-ENLIL Solar Wind Prediction.
 
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