cold weather BABY, It’s Cold Outside!!!!

Can any extreme temperatures cause an MS flare-up? I’m not sure where you’re located, but we’re now in fall but it feels like winter mode for me here in Chicago. That means hat, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, snow pants, boots, you know, anything to beat the extreme cold. “BRRRR, I’m Freezing,” seems to be my go-to words for the past month and will continue until April. For anyone that knows me, Yes, comparisons of Chicago and Antarctica are definitely on my mind!

Were you one of the millions of MS sufferers who were counting down the days for cooler weather?  Me too! Yes, heat and humidity can be very disruptive and cause minor, temporary flare-ups of our MS symptoms during the summer months, but did you know some people also have challenges during the winter months? It’s less common, but still can affect those of us with MS? And here’s another fact, unfortunately some people are affected by both hot and cold. If this is you, I’m sorry that you’re not getting a reprieve.

Many people report worsening of symptoms just as much in the coldest part of winter as they do in the hottest months of summer!  You might be wondering since we can use ice, cold showers, cold compresses or cooling vests to cool down during the summer, why would the cold negatively affect us now, why is this different? The truth is that any drastic changes in temperature either hot or cold can have a negative impact on MS sufferers.

 Things you may experience due to the Cold:

  • Fatigue
  • Spasms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Balance issues
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Depression

The good news is, just like in summer months, there are things we can do to protect ourselves against the cold.

warm-winter-drinks-alcohol-free-caffine-free-healthy-drink-recipes

Make sure your house is properly insulated, check around doors and windows for any pesky drafts, there are plenty of low-cost ways to seal them.  While you’re in, you can use a heating pad, blankets, extra clothing. Some people find warm showers or baths may relieve some of the stiffness, aches, and pains. (Be careful to not become overheated!) You can also warm up with a nice cup of soup, tea or coffee.

If you have to be out in the elements, try layering clothing to keep heat from escaping, protect your head and use hand or feet warmers. Also be sure to use any walking devices or aides to help you outside when your muscles can become stiff or slow to respond. Just like the summer months, it’s very important to stay hydrated, make sure to continue drinking enough water, people tend to think just because it’s cold outside you can’t become dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause or complicate many of the above symptoms.

As I’ve said before, our minds are extremely powerful and I’d like to say it’s as easy as thinking Warm thoughts of summer to beat the cold, but your best line of defense is to be prepared for the elements, listen to your body, and seek assistance if needed.  You can learn more about MS in All About MS and Resources section to help you on your journey! You can check out my new book “Waking Up From MS, My Journey to Health, Healing and Living Symptom Free. It details my almost 30 year journey living with and beating MS.

 

If you have found this article helpful please share. As always, I look forward to and appreciate your feedback!

To our health!

Kellie

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

You can also listen to my radio show on http://radio.msgsn.com/ – “Live in Hope, Focus on Healing” – every Sunday at 3:30pm, est