Tips for Managing The Heat With MS

Okay – if you’re anything like me… you can’t tolerate the heat due to your MS… if you can, you are SO lucky! Now I know we all classify different temperatures as “hot”… but I live in Central Texas, and let’s just say these past summers have not been easy! And not to mention the Electric Bill… that’s painful to look at during the Summer.

So I figured… if I can “tolerate” the Texas Heat with some of the tips and tricks that I have, I would share them. Let me just say that I loathe being stuck inside… So, I go out on my front porch and watch the kids play, join in when it’s not in the heat of the day if I can… But I still manage and I have come to learn my “limits” with the heat and overdoing it due to my MS.

Okay, so if you haven’t heard of “cooling products”… you are missing out! There are cooling products for different areas of your body (yes, not just the vests). These make it easier to be outside, as long as it isn’t 115… I just don’t even tempt it when it’s that hot. I have products that I received from MSAA, they have a Cooling Distribution Program you should check out to see if you qualify. I also have products from PolarProducts.

There are also just some little things you can do if you wanna sit outside on your porch and things like that. My husband went to Lowe’s and got one of those hose misters… so I can cool off while being on the porch, with out having to have anything on me and it’s a light mist, so you don’t get soaked. I also have outdoor fans that I use to help me cool off. I also have two kids (boys), so they are very energetic and if I need to go out, I have a little tiny handheld fan that I use that you can get from any local store for a very cheap price. Then I have those water bottles that you can squirt your self with – but also drink from.

There are so many options on there to help us “handle the heat”… but for me, it doesn’t make it to where I can be out there like the heat doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a learning process… I’ve found the signs for when my body is getting fatigued from the heat, and I go rest inside. I really try to stay focused on staying hydrated as well.

I really enjoy swimming, so I try and go to the lake as much as I can to swim. Or since I have kids, I am one of those parents that has no shame hanging out in the little kiddy pool from Wal-Mart with the kids. Whatever works, right? Oh and of course wearing “light-clothing” … not just in color but in material as well!

If you’re one of those people who’s electricity bills sky rocket during the Summer Months, sometimes your Local MS Chapter can assist you with resources in helping with your utility bill.

I just thought I would share this little tid-bit of info, since it’s something I have to deal with a lot. I hope it helps out with everyone and try and stay cool!

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

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Comments

View Comments (8)
  • Bettybeem
    1 year ago

    In Houston we have to add humidity to the equation. Sometimes walking outside is like walking into a huge sauna. Granted it not as bad as Miami, where I lived for almost 40 years. There the humidity is 24/7/365. The windows in my home were fogged up most of the time. Go outside, my glasses fogged up. Go into a store, glasses fogged up. Back to Houston. Fortunately, I live in the north west part of the city away from the concrete jungles which are hotter. I only venture into those areas when absolutely necessary. About 7 years ago, I had a remote starter installed in my car. Four years ago it was moved into my new vehicle. The has been a great investment. My car windows are tinted as dark as legally possible. When it’s hot. I also keep a cooler in the car stocked with 1 frozen bottle of water, several chilled frog togs (or something similar). During the heat, I drape the cooling towels on my arms. I’ve got the chilled water to keep hydrated. Still, there are times when the intensity of the Sun’s rays are so strong cause my MS symptoms to become worse. I have become an Amazon devotee. I order pet food, cleaning products, my vitamins, and OTC medications and paper goods on a regular basis. I also have purchased birthday and Christmas gifts on Amazon. This is a great help when dealing with Houston heat as well as being more energy efficient. MS fatigue has plagued me for over 25 years. Another dealing-with-the-heat suggestion is to get gas in your car early in the day. Also, if you absolutely have to go to a store, be sure to stay in the store until you’ve had a chance to cool down – no dashing in and out. My neurologist also strongly recommends patients stay in from 10 to 7 when it’s hot.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    1 year ago

    I’m right there with you! I live right outside of Austin, TX – which we don’t have AS BAD of humidity, but I can for sure relate.

    Hope you’re doing well.

  • TerrieK
    5 years ago

    While I was visiting my sisters in Germany, one of their neighbors, who also has MS created a small pool to put her feet in when sitting outside in the heat. I decided to try the same thing on my back patio. It really helped, especially with the Dallas temps.

  • Brandy
    5 years ago

    Dx march 2006.. I am 35 yrs old. The heat and cold kicks my butt!. There is no happy medium with my ms:( I am always fainting and have vertigo really bad from the heat. Taking copaxone right now but as of oct/2/2013 I will be on the new pill called tecfidera! Whew wish me luck lol..

  • kimber
    5 years ago

    Question does anyone own the kool max and if so can you tell me your experiences with it?

  • Lala
    5 years ago

    I dread the upcoming heat as it knocks out my legs and arms. Basically, I am a “head on a plate” for a few months, unless I wake up at 6 am and do my outside stuff. Which I try to do. I had to move from California to Oregon because of heat, but with climate change, we may end up in Alaska or Canada. Off to buy a hose mister now ~ good idea!

  • Eden
    5 years ago

    I’m actually almost the opposite. I quite enjoy the heat most times. My legs feel better in the heat. Cold tends to make them seize up.
    My major issue is that some of my medications cause ‘photo-sensitivity’, meaning that I break out with a nasty rash/blisters on every bit of skin that is exposed to the sun. (thank God I’m not into nude sun bathing!!)
    If it is cold out, I stay inside with the heat cranked up.
    My parents are my ‘caregivers’. We have our main home Near Vancouver, Canada. Their winter home is in southern Arizona. I couldn’t ask for a better arrangement… for me anyway.
    I guess MS treats everyone different.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    5 years ago

    I always say that I need to move to Alaska or something… I can barely be outside, even at 6am… cause that’s when the humidity is higher… I just hope we don’t have a lot of fires this summer… my husband is a firefighter and it’s not easy when he is gone for a long period of time, but I guess it comes with the job description!

    I really like the cooling equipment I have, but when it gets “extremely” hot… I don’t want the added weight of a cooling vest, and last summer when it was over 115 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the ice packs weren’t lasting as long as they normally do.

    I hope you enjoy the hose mister… it’s been a very nice thing to have, especially when my two kids (both boys) want to play outside… sometimes I get “youth bug” I call it, and go in their kiddy pool or slip’n’slide with them 🙂

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