Extreme Temps and MS

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

Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture and MS

In my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free” I focus on treating the body as a whole and the mind, body, spirit connection to healing. I have a chapter dedicated to “Creating the Best Body” while living with MS. I believe acupuncture is an important part of that process.

The MS Society describes acupuncture as one form of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on a theory about body functioning that involves the flow of energy known as qi (“chee”) through fourteen pathways called meridians throughout the body. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific locations on the skin, usually by inserting thin, disposable metallic needles into points along the meridians in the body in order to alter the flow of energy. According to the theories of Chinese medicine, disease results from an imbalance or disruption in the flow of energy between the opposing forces of yin and yang.

I looked into acupuncture while I was receiving chiropractic care, and I learned that acupuncture can stimulate and balance the body and immune system.

Acupuncture is considered an alternative therapy for dealing with MS

AcupunctureNow, I do need to state that all of my MS doctors told me to avoid chiropractic care, acupuncture, and even supplements; they said they would stimulate my immune system. I asked the doctors – How can I ever be healthy if I’m constantly suppressing my immune system, which is the theory behind traditional MS protocols? They had no answer. If I had followed their protocols, I would still be sick, having frequent relapses.

When you look at the human body certain things make sense. Doing everything to repair the immune system is what I started to focus on. I’ve always believed that once your immune system is healthy and functioning properly, it’s healed, and I could be healed too.

According to the National MS Society, many MS sufferers use acupuncture for the relief of pain, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and bowel and bladder symptoms. It can also help regulate our immune system, provide mental clarity, stress release, and improve our overall quality of life.

Some people may notice immediate, positive results from acupuncture while others may notice symptoms or issues worsen a bit after, this means for some people that your body is going into “healing mode” and things may get a bit worse before they get better. I believe it’s important to stay consistent with all treatments and things will most likely subside. Now, I know in my own experience that the times I felt a little pain was when I was having the most health challenges.

The benefits you can receive from acupuncture are amazing, and that is the one thing I turned to in the beginning of my journey to start the process of healing.  I did acupuncture for many years to help my body get into alignment and in sync, and I use it today to keep my body that way. I believe acupuncture helps our mind, body, and spirit through each course of treatment and I believe it was a catalyst in me now living symptom free.

Acupuncture can relieve many of our MS symptoms

In studies, scalp acupuncture was used on MS patients suffering from: stabbing and burning pains, paralysis, dizziness and vertigo. The Southwest Rehabilitation Hospital and National Healthcare Center in Albuquerque, N.M.* did a study that used scalp acupuncture on 16 patients with limb pain. After only one treatment per patient, eight of the 16 patients instantly showed significant improvement (49 percent), six patients showed some improvement (38 percent), and only two patients showed no improvement (13 percent), thus yielding a total efficacy rate of 87 percent.

There are many different ways to use acupuncture to treat MS.  I’ve used acupuncture in my scalp and throughout the body. As I’ve been dealing with my MS now for almost 30 years, I have really focused on many different holistic and alternative therapies to aid in my healing. Just as one thing didn’t give us MS, there won’t be one specific thing that heals us.  My mantra – “A Healthy Immune System equals A Healthy Body.” So we need to do everything possible to help facilitate a healthy, properly functioning immune system. You can check out more information on health and healing under my MS Resources and Links.

Acupuncture

We know acupuncture is an important part of our healing and I believe it is something you should thoroughly investigate.

I would love to hear your own stories about using acupuncture.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton  

 

You can learn all about my MS story and the reason I started this blog.

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.

 

 

 (*http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31710)

OH MS, It’s really getting HOT in Here!

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 appears 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 are 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

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.

 

 

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