Heat, Heat and even more Heat!

Anyone with Multiple Sclerosis that hears that single word could have a streak of fear go through them and images of terror from memories of summers long ago.  Many people talk about getting out there in the heat and getting baked to a crisp in the sun.  Us MSers however, have a very different stance on the heat!thermometer

In fact, many of us start in the winter months to prepare for the summer! Yep, you heard it, in the dead of winter we can start preparing for our upcoming summer and the next heat wave.  We focus on making sure the air conditioner is in tip top shape, all window treatments are giving maximum protection from the elements, getting cooling vests, head protection, traveling to a cooler climate and anything else we can get our hands on that promises us the chance of staying cool.

Yes, it’s that real and that serious!

I myself am very aware of the heat.  Living with MS now for over 25 years, my MS Story may not be different than anyone else as heat intolerance was always the one thing that seemed to get me. My head use to feel like it was baking…literally from the inside out. So I understand first hand why this is one topic that we need to not only prepare for, but share the info so others do not have to suffer!

Things you may experience when you are suffering from Heat exposure:

1 – Dizziness

2 – Immediate fatigue – (Almost as if someone burst your energy bubble)

3 – Blurred Vision

4 – Shakiness or Tremors

5 – Numbness and that awful tingling sensation in limbs

6 – Decrease in your cognitive function (You knew you were smarter before you got into that sun, sauna or hot bath)

The very interesting fact about the heat and your Multiple Sclerosis is that yes, it can cause us to have symptoms that either appear or start to get worse during heat exposure. It does not cause any long term inflammation or lesions as happens when we have an exacerbation. Which is great news, but still we need to think about ways to stay cool and get over the immediate effects from the heat.

 

Some ways to beat the heat:

1 – Always have air conditioning.

2 – Cooling Products – You can Google it there are dozens to choose from. There’s also things you can do too – soak a sponge in water, freeze and then put in a Ziploc freezer bag, this stays cool for a long time and is very inexpensive. Contact the MS society they have cooling programs in place too.

3 – Get into the swimming pool.

4 – Misting Fans.

5 – Stay hydrated by drinking cool beverages – of course water is the best option. This will actually go to your core and immediately go to work on lowering your overall temperature.

6 – Keep covered when in the sun. By wearing a hat during summer it gave me more time to be outside before the heat would start to affect me.

7 – Eat foods that are cool – fruits, veggies, salads. Healthy icees made from real food, not stuff packed with sugar (that can also cause fatigue)

8 – If exercising in the summer workout later in the evening or earlier in the morning – making sure to stay hydrated.free-winter-picture-icicles

 

I would like to say it’s as easy as thinking cool thoughts, but the best thing you can do to beat the heat is stay prepared at all times and really listen to your body! You can check out All About MS to learn more about this disease!

 

If you’ve found this article helpful please share! I look forward to your feedback!

We’re in this together! To Our Health!

 

Kellie