I was raised in a small town in Southern California--no industry, no nothing... and was having symptoms before I was 14. I didn't smoke (but my father did), didn't have any experience with chemicals (not even much in the way of cleaning supplies), with the one exception of mercury in a thermometer--one broke when I was in early elementary school and I played with the "weird metal stuff" for a long time before my mother found me and made me clean it up... I remember she was really freaked out, but until now I forgot all about it.

I have heard some people link autoimmune diseases to immunizations (but what's the alternative?), and flares to those new mercury lightbulbs. (We just changed all of ours back to incandescent... and what a difference--my head doesn't hurt!!) I know for sure that when I go into Home Depot or Lowes/Wal Mart, etc., some days I get downright dizzy due to the lights.

I know that there are many of us in my age group that have had similar symptoms... all from the same town (or like towns) with no exposure to industry.

I read a study once about overhead power lines causing cancer--could they also have something to do with this? Also, I read a study once that said that living at high altitude can open you up to more free radicals (my doctor verified this)--I now live at 5200 feet and after I moved here was when I got "sick enough to be diagnosed and disabled". I grew up at just above sea level, so that doesn't work for time of "getting sick" but certainly might have something to do with getting sicker...

--Kristin