Personal Experience of Losing Heat & Warming Up.

For those of you with Cryo and or something else, I only have Cryo secondary to cured Hep C, …  this is my experience. Since my HepC (cured) and Cryo diagnosis 10+ years ago I have developed no complications.

The Cycle:

I “get cold, become ill, warm up, get better”.  

By “get cold” I mean “lose body heat”. It doesn’t need to be cold out for me to lose body heat. It is 25C at the moment and I’m indoors, minimally dressed, healthy and happy. But all that can change by simply turning on a fan for some air flow – it could trash my day. Wind chill isn’t only for winter and gales, it is just as effective in high summer and no breeze.

Only 3 days ago the “shock” of moving from full sun to shade and then staying in the shade for half an hour made me very ill 2 hours later. Ill enough that only this morning, after one totally miserable day and a better one yesterday I’m quite well again. Being fully covered in clothes will largely defeat wind chill as it needs exposed skin to rob heat from. But don’t forget that your lungs are very warm, humid and an ideal situation for body heat loss. Cold air is breathed in, warmed air breathed out. Which means you’ve lost some body heat. And “core” body heat at that! Cold air falls floorwards so be careful about exposed feet, ankles, lower leg.

Body Heat Loss:

I use the phrase body heat loss because my body responds to threats to its temperature control all the time and at sub conscious levels. By the time I’ve associated a little shiver to “am I getting cold?” my body is well on its way to responding as it sees fit. “Become ill” means the onset of aches and pains, can’t think straight, poor humour and unusually massive fatigue after the smallest exertion. If I’ve really over done the “cold” exposure, “feeling like death warmed up with shivering, sweating and grey skin pallor” would be about right.  According to my wife, “not a good look”!  “Warm up” really means excluding any more body heat loss. Because of the fatigue, a sofa and blanket is all I want and in fact need.

Cryoglobulin Re-Absorption:

Apart from time of course, Cryoglobulins seem to take much longer to reabsorb than precipitate. So too frequent “cold exposures” and not enough quality recovery/Cryoglobulin reabsorption time between will lead to accumulation of Cryo in the blood and worsening health. “Get better” means back to my usual bouncing 61 year old self. This may only take an hour or two of avoiding further heat loss, sometimes much longer until I’ve no aches, pains or in fact any symptoms. This good health will hold until I next fall foul of sufficient body heat loss that my body responds by precipitating Cryoglobulins in my blood. That threshold of too much body heat loss might be reached by one large, brief dose of cold exposure or an accumulation of small exposures over hours or weeks, summer or winter. Being fully covered in at least one layer of clothes definitely lessens my Cryo susceptibility and helps keep me well.

In my Cryo life, avoiding body heat loss and subsequent precipitation keep me well. Obviously this isn’t bomb proof but warming up with blanket, sofa and enough time always restore me to full health. Another incentive for taking the time to reabsorb Cryoglobulins is that thicker blood has been associated with some nasty health problems. I hope this helps someone, it feels like I’ve written a book!

Cryoglobulins and Cryoprecipitation