Heat and MS: Managing Sensitivity and Thriving in the Heat
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system. One common symptom experienced by many individuals with MS is heat sensitivity or intolerance. Heat can exacerbate existing symptoms and cause temporary worsening of MS-related impairments.
When a person with MS is exposed to increased temperatures, such as hot weather, hot baths, or fever, their symptoms may temporarily worsen. This can include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, blurred vision, and difficulty with coordination and balance. It's important to note that the actual progression of the disease is not affected by heat sensitivity; rather, the symptoms become more prominent and noticeable.
The exact mechanism behind heat sensitivity in MS is not fully understood. It is believed that elevated temperatures can interfere with the proper conduction of nerve impulses in individuals with damaged myelin, which is the protective covering of nerve fibers that is typically affected in MS. As a result, the already compromised nerve signals may become further disrupted, leading to the temporary worsening of symptoms.
Managing heat sensitivity is essential for individuals with MS to maintain their comfort and overall well-being. Here are some strategies that can help:
TraXel - MS & Heat Sensitivity
1- Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible.
(P.S: the cost may be tax deductible if you get a written prescription from your doctor)
2- Taking cool showers or baths can help lower your body temperature and alleviate symptoms.
3- Avoid exercising on hot and humid days and only exercise earlier or later in the day when it's cooler.
4- Avoid too much alcohol, eat light, and stay hydrated by drinking water and cool beverages.
5- Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothes and use cooling products available in the market, including cooling vests, neck bands, hats, etc.
6-Monitor indoor temperature: Keep track of the temperature in your living environment and take steps to maintain a comfortable and cool atmosphere.
7- Apply for a disabled parking permit if necessary. This helps you save your energy by walking a shorter distance and minimize the risk of heat-related symptoms.
8- Always consult with your doctor and healthcare providers about how to treat and prevent serious heat-related symptoms.
It's also important to discuss heat sensitivity with your healthcare provider, as they can provide personalized advice and recommend additional strategies to manage this symptom based on your specific situation.
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