Some Things I Wish People Knew About MS And Temperature

Some Things I Wish People Knew About MS And Temperature

The time of year that so many with Multiple Sclerosis fear is nearly upon us.  That’s right, summer is coming!  Whenever the temps start to climb, those battling MS have begun to get their cooling gear ready, started to prepare for their hibernation, and have been reminding their friends and family that the heat of summer can be extremely awful for us.  I’ve talked before about the effects of sudden changes in temperature on us, but I wanted to write something, like my fatigue article, that I could use to quickly and easily explain the problems we can encounter when the temperatures get too hot (or cold).  So here we go!

Temperature and MS symptoms

  • Our problems with warm temperatures have a lot to do with what our disease does to us.  MS makes our immune system attack the lining around our nerves (think of this lining as insulation).  This insulation is called myelin and it gets damaged or destroyed because our immune system thinks it’s an intruder.  The same way it would try to fight a virus, it fights our nervous system (ugh, the nerve!  Sorry, I had to).  My favorite way of looking at this is comparing it to a frayed wire on phone charger.  If the wire is frayed, your phone and the charging cord will often need to be in a particular position for your phone to charge.  That’s how our bodies become with MS.  The longer we’ve had MS and the more active it is, the more frayed sections we have.  Now, when it starts to get warm, no matter what position our “wires” are in, we begin to have problems.  That’s because those damaged wires (our nerves) have trouble conducting those electrical signals when the temperature goes up.  If it gets too warm, and our nerves lack that insulation (the myelin), the signals will be even slower than normal or may not make it where they are going at all.  For example, my brain could send a signal to lift my foot, but it doesn’t get there in time (or at all), but the rest of the signals my brain sent out to make me walk do make it, so then I end up falling.  That communication between my brain and the rest of my body along those electrical wire-like nerves is what’s a mess here.
  • When temps go up, we may have problems, but typically, if we cool down, we will be ok.  The signals being sent along those damaged nerves have a much better chance of making it where they are supposed to go if the temperature is cool.  Sorry to go back to that analogy, but, think of cooling down as a way of getting that charging phone and frayed cord back in the right position.
  • The temporary worsening of symptoms we experience isn’t a new worsening of our disease; our disease didn’t suddenly progress in front of you.  The problems we are having are because of damage that’s already been done.  We always have that damage and potential for those problems, but because myelin is like an insulation, of course temperatures are going to highlight the effects of that damage.
  • It doesn’t take a big swing in temperature to cause a problem.  If the room goes up by even half a degree, it can have an effect on us.  Our nerves, like a house without insulation, can feel the changes outside much more easily than if we were fully insulated.
  • We can have many different problems when it gets warm.  People are sometimes shocked by the many types of symptoms we have.  It’s important to remember that we are talking about the brain and nervous system.  It’s vast, complex, and controls everything in our bodies, so of course damage to it can cause a lot of strange problems.  From fatigue, pain, trouble moving our limbs, seeing (if I get too hot, my vision goes blurry), speaking (I also slur my words when I get warm), cognition (I forget everything when I’m too hot), weird sensations (sometimes I feel like my legs are soaking wet when they aren’t), mood swings, and more.  Our symptoms are as vast and complex as the brain and nervous system.  They may or may not be apparent everyday, but will definitely show up if I get too warm.
  • I’ve mentioned a lot about warmer temperatures, for some of us with MS, you can take everything said here and apply it to cold temperatures as well!
  • These problems we have with temperatures can be very isolating.  I’m at a point where I normally need to be in a nice air conditioned room when it’s hot, or even slightly warm, out. That can be rough when it’s summertime and everyone wants to hit the beach or BBQ outdoors.  If we aren’t around as much during warm weather, it’s not because of you, it’s because of our disease.
  • Even though we know warm (or cold) temperatures can be a problem, many times we might still try to grit it out and deal with them so we can feel included.  That can end up being rough on us.  I’ve been at this a bit and sometimes want to just push through and maybe not see for a bit in order to hang out with friends.  I know I can get cool and recover.  Sometimes though, I’ll overdo that and need to be carried out.
  • Problems with warm temperatures don’t necessarily mean that the winter is any easier.  I find that the winter time can sometimes be worse, because many places jack up the heat.  At least in the summer, if I stay indoors, most places are trying to keep it cool.
  • We work hard to stay the right temperature.  Many of us have cooling gear, from vests to headbands.  I’ll actually put ice packs in my pockets when I go out to help keep cool.
  • As a final example to help demonstrate what warm temps can do to us, I’ll mention that many years back, if a person was suspected of having MS, doctors would use the “hot bath” test to diagnose them. Basically, they’d have a person sit in a hot tub of water and if they started to experience neurological problems, then they’d accept that as evidence that they had Multiple Sclerosis (this makes an MRI seem nice in comparison!).

It’s getting warmer

I’m sure there is more to share on this topic, but I don’t want overwhelm anyone!  I wanted something bulleted and short that people without MS could take a look at and hopefully get a better idea of what temperature can do to us.  Feel free to share and raise awareness, particularly as it’s now getting warm in many parts of the world.  As always, I’d love to hear some comments about your experience with temps (warm or cold) and also your tips on fighting the issues we have with them!  As always, thanks so much for reading!
Devin

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (54)
  • litahuggy123
    5 days ago

    On another note, I live in Tavares,
    Fl. It does get hot here, I’m forced to hibernate and stay only air condition rooms, shopping, drving and buildings. The heat does get to me, im forever fatigued. How can i get the iced vest and head gear? Also I’m in need of some house repairs and installations of a couple of ramps, put up handicap bars. It would be much better if i had a walk in tub in my guess bathroom and would be. nice if my shower area was a full shower with a seating area in my master bathroom?

    Again please advise if i can get help making these changes?

    Sincerely,

    Lita Higginbotham facilitator of
    “PITY US NOT” MS support group.

    Thank you for entertaining these upgrades and installations. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • litahuggy123
    5 days ago

    Excuse me, when i attempted to put the password in it came back telling me I’m already logged in. Unfortunately i forgot my password? Unless the password provided me Ndz*p3@6j9wstm(g282@
    Do i use this one or can you find my password I used when i open up to subscribe? PLEASE ADVIZE!

    Respectfully,

    Lita Higginbotham facilitator of;
    “PITY US NOT” MS support group.

  • JohnRRoss
    6 months ago

    I also live on the Big Island. I was diagnosed with MS while working here for 28 yrs. I live at 1400’ in Mt. View on the east side. That by accident I-live where the temps are just right much like the person living on the same Hamakua coast north of here. It’s nice to know that I’m already where I need be for the best conditional relief. Let’s hear it for good luck!

  • Sarasshore
    6 months ago

    I live in TX so I’m a little shocked that I haven’t had more heat related issues, only 3-4 this summer, even with our triple digit streak these past couple weeks. I’m actually in the midst of heat related slump as I type(single finger, chicken peck) and I get SO FRUSTRATED with this new(ish diagnosed in ‘15) MS thermostat/body. I try to do things that I “should” be able to do, fold clean clothes when they come out of the dryer. Only problem, I got TOO HOT in the laundry room where I live so now I’m sitting on my couch staring at a basket of clean clothes that’re wrinkling every second I’m not at least laying them flatI’m a little ocd about my laundry. And there’s nothing I can do about it cause I can’t lift my arms I grew up here, used to be fine in 100+ weather and then, THIS! I can’t wait for Oct-April when it cools off a bit. I joke that my thermostat is gummed up and I need a new one but when I call any parts store the clerk laughs at me when I try to buy a replacement if I didn’t make fun of myself and symptoms, I’d probably go INSANEstaying positive is one of the main battles.

  • richinhi
    6 months ago

    This might sound counter-intuitive, but when my wife was diagnosed with MS, and we were living in Massachusetts, we started looking for a better climate to retire to. After an exhaustive internet search and a few research trips, we settled on the Big Island of Hawaii. You might think that Hawaii is the exact opposite of what we should have been looking at, but it turns out that at higher elevations (1500′-2500′) along the Hamakua coast, the year round temps are moderated by ocean breezes (Trade Winds) and typical afternoon clouds. We’ve been here for 14 years now, and have lived comfortably in houses without any heat or a/c. While it can be hot out in the sun, any little bit of shade unveils temps in the low to mid 70’s most days. It’s been wonderful for my wife, and we have never heard of any other place in the US that offers such a great climate.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    6 months ago

    Thank you richinhi! It makes sense to me, I lived in California for a while, and to some, that wouldn’t make sense, but I having a consistent climate was extremely beneficial for me. The rapid changes in temps are often what get me in to trouble. Glad to here she is doing well out there!

  • lisadevoll
    7 months ago

    If I find it gets too hot out and I don’t have anything readily available. I stop at a pharmacy and get the ice packs you break to make cold. It’s a great idea to keep them in the car, in you bag/purse, and places that are usually close by, so in the event u need an ice pack, u simply break, shake and cool down. I’ve had spaghetti legs from heat and it happens pretty quickly. But I find if I make sure I prepare for ” just in case” I can enjoy summer activities. Have to let go of wearing make up and pony tail is a go to…but small price to pay to gain some fun time. On days you know the heat is just too high, and inevitably going to cause problems…invite people to come to you instead, so your still being social and active. Positivity is key. Is it or lose it is very true for so many of us. But listening to warning signs are extremely important. Wishing you all a safe healthy summer.

  • pun-kin
    7 months ago

    I could share every article ever written or every ‘heat’ discussion my Neuro has had with me about what the heat does to me with my mother and sisters and they would still NEVER get it. My birthday is August 1st and it NEVER fails that if they plan something for my birthday it’s always, always something outside. I’ve explained tens of thousands of times that heat and my MS do not go together. I’ve said things like it’s MY birthday and if I’m going to drive the hour and a half to come home that I’d at least like to enjoy myself and having a cookout or a picnic is not something I can enjoy when it’s 95 degrees with 100% humidity. Yet what do they do? Roll their eyes, say that they’ve been wanting to go such and such and my birthday is a good time to go and totally ignore everything I’ve said. Several years ago I was in the midst of a relapse and the Sunday they planned MY picnic was also my 4th day of high dose steroids IV infusion. I don’t know about y’all but the steroids in the IV infusions make my internal thermostat blow up and I’m constantly sweating, I can not get cool no matter what I do and I’m mean, cranky, snappy and will cry at the drop of the hat. I called my mom that morning and told her that it was just simply too hot for me to sit outside that day. Oh the guilt trip she laid on me about how hard she and my two sisters had worked to get the food ready, how she had ordered my favorite cake from a nearby town and had made a special drive of 48 miles one way to pick it up and 48 miles to get back home and how much SHE had been looking forward to this picnic for weeks. BLAH! BLAH!! BLAH!!! Thankfully a good mood swing took over. I politely told her to put my cake in the freezer and for all of them to go on and do the picnic and to have a wonderful time sitting around in the heat as they discussed how horrible I was for not coming to my birthday party that THEY were looking so forward to. I told her I was exhausted from the infusions, that the dr had reminded me again about the effects of heat, that I was hurting all over, my vision was still blurry, and that my right leg was extremely weak to the point that I had just fallen that morning and that my bladder was spewing whenever it wanted to so I was going to lay on my bed and do what I should have already been doing…resting. I told her that She could call me later in the week. And that was the last time my family did anything for my birthday.
    A little birdie shared with me last week that they are now planning a trip to the beach for our entire family in August. Still waiting to see if my husband, son and myself are invited. To be continued….

  • whisper13
    7 months ago

    Thanks For sharing this. People without MS just really don’t understand this. Anything over 75 is too hot for me. And right now our avg is in the nineties. I’m thinking of trying a cooling vest. It does help to know I’m not alone! Thanks to all….May we find a cooler day tomorrow!

  • spgilm
    7 months ago

    Got I wish I could make my parents imderstand. I have RRMS and they know it but still they constantly cheq me out for having the AC on when “its not that hot out its only 80”. I’ve gone temporarily blind before from being too hot and regularly get mental foginess when in heat above 70F

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    7 months ago

    So sorry to hear that spgilm! It can be difficult to get people to understand. Perhaps trying sharing this article with them?

  • Broce
    9 months ago

    This is one of the most difficult and frustrating symptoms for me. I have to keep my house under 55 degrees F. Anything warmer and my balance goes, my eyes blur, and I shake from head to toe. I also feel like my body is on fire. I sleep in a 53 degree room, with a light coverlet and three large completely solid blocks of ice. In the summertime, my central air conditioning can’t keep up, and the misery is even at home. Thank heavens, I live alone, because no one else wants to live like a polar bear!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    9 months ago

    Thank you Broce! I too keep my house as frosty as I can! In the summer time, I even have a supplemental portable AC I bring into a particular room to help the regular central air. People don’t realize just how vital something like air conditioning is to people like us.

  • kimfrank
    10 months ago

    Hi. I’m newly diagnosed (2 months). I’m also in men’s pause and have been associating my heat intolerance and hot flashes from that….now I’m not sure if it’s been the MS all along. I’m also unsure how to differentiate a new flare up? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Kim

  • SuzanneSparks
    11 months ago

    I agree with Devin. The tiniest variations in temperature can affect so many of us. I live in the lovely winter resort town of La Quinta. The past 2 weeks have seen higher than usual temperatures (80+ degrees Fahrenheit), & I was not feeling great. This week’s temperatures are in the 70s & I have more energy. It was very apparent to Michele, my physical therapist yesterday.

  • PetieJ
    1 year ago

    I’m so glad you mentioned the “half a degree” which may sound a little crazy, but it Can and Does make a difference. If I’m still laying awake at night bcuz I’m just too ‘warm’ I know that ‘somebody’ didn’t check the thermostat, so I get up to lower it by 1 degree. Makes All the difference! Every year my heat tolerance is less. Very inconvenient. I must say “hibernation” sounds a whole lot better than “housebound”. So thanks for that! But, it still pretty much feels the same. In the winter time, anyone who comes over generally keeps their coats on and I just can’t afford to feel bad about it.
    If someone could tell me how or where to attempt to exercise and manage to stay coolish
    that’d be cool!! Thanks, Devin, for painting this temperature picture!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you PetieJ! Yea, it will sounds crazy to some, but a half degree can make a huge difference for me!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you DebPowers! Appreciate you reading and sharing! I run into that same issue that you discussed a lot during the colder months. This time of year can actually be worse than summer for me, when it comes to going places, because everyone tries to keep their locations warm. That, couple with winter clothing is a recipe for disaster!

  • DebPowers
    1 year ago

    Hi Devin, I am new to this blog but not to MS. Just yesterday I went into Walmart to do a little in person Christmas shopping. After just 10 minutes of walking around in a short sleeved shirt and light jeans, I started feeling weak and my sweat glands got the wrong message that the temperature there was in the mid 100s. The temperature outside was in the mid 40s. By the time I got to the checkout, I was dripping wet all over and I knew that I would be lucky to get to my car. It is not the first time this has happened to me. Sadly, I am still embarrassed when this happens. I so much appreciate this blog just to reassure myself that I am not the only one that is having problems like this. BTW I am just going to go back to doing my Christmas shopping on line, I can control the temperatures in my home office. Thank you for being here and Happy Holidays to all of my fellow MS sufferers.

  • Sulig
    1 year ago

    I try to stay cool in the summer. If I have to go out in the heat it can bring on some really bad fatique. My worse symptoms come at the end of October and last till around March. October it all comes on…….anyone else?

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you Sulig, so sorry for the delayed response. I try to get to every comment made on something I write, and occasionally, I miss one. My apologies! I enjoy the cooler weather that usually comes with October, that said, when I look over my years with the disease, most of my relapses have been in either late October or March, months when the weather transitions. I also find that cooler months can be rough because most places jack the heat up. At least in the summer months, most places try to keep it cool!

  • SuzanneSparks
    1 year ago

    This is an excellent overview of the problems MS patients have with temperature variations. Thank you, Devin!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you SuzanneSparks! I very much appreciate that, I wanted something that I could share with those who don’t have the disease, in hopes of enlightening them!

  • chalknpens
    1 year ago

    Another great post, Devin. Thanks for making it easier for us to offer good information to others. It beats making excuses that others tire of hearing.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thanks so much @chalknpens, I very much appreciate hearing that. That’s always been my goal, to write something that others can share to explain their own lives to others (because that’s what I wish I had for years!).

  • chalknpens
    1 year ago

    Here’s what i just posted at FACEBOOK, including a link to this article.

    I’m not known as a compliant patient. Thsoe who now me know I chafe under the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a seemingly one-size-fits-all-catch-all-diagnosis that neurologists apply when all else fails. I make it a point to prove that I can walk quite well most days, and that my symptoms are not mobility-related. On ‘bad days’ (read that: extreme temperature days) I do rely on a cane for stability and balance. But on good days i can play soccer in the back yard with my grandpuppy. Rick knew that about me. His hand was always there to steady me in the heat and cold. The cane is a poor substitute, but it’s what I have.
    My central nervous system has been under attack for decades, and I was told in my fifties that my brain looked fine for someone in their late eighties. One doctor at MGH said he read my file and viewed my scans before he met me, and he was shocked to find me walking and talking and seeing and hearing.
    So I have what is more recently called ‘benign multiple sclerosis.’ Rather than needing a wheel chair, I have cognitive impairment … no, I haven’t forgotten my multiplication tables and can still, on a cool dry day, add long columns of multi digit numbers in my head. On other days, I cannot. Most often i can’t remember a new friend’s name, and old friends’ faces are disappearing from my recall. Yes, it is all in my head. I’m not sure who decided that cognitive losses were ‘benign’ but at least they are beginning to see that we are not all alike.
    What I do share with those who experience a more traditional course of mobility-limiting multiple sclerosis is temperature intolerance. Both heat and cold temps throw me off my game. Here’s an article written by another with MS … no need to reinvent the wheel … easier to share what’s out there.
    And right now, t’s hot out there! We all are feeling the effects of days of thick air, humidity and high heat. But some of us lose more than our energy for the duration… I lose confidence, sense of direction, memory, and a sense of time as well as energy, balance and any sense of well being and functionality. I’m not happy with the diagnosis … I’m not happy with the word ‘benign’ … I’m not happy with the general assumptions that ‘we’re all hot and tired.’ But I may get over it when Mother Nature stops messing with us.At least there’s that in the word benign…

  • BaltoRic
    2 years ago

    One bad experience I had was in a movie theater. In the summer, during a movie, the AC stopped working. I was not aware of this problem because I no longer can really tell the air temperature (no longer sweat – a topic in and of itself). So I went in with a cane and had to leave in the wheelchair that I always carried with me in the trunk of my car.

    That was 5 years or so ago. Now, Io combat that issue, and other possible inconveniences, by staying in the wheelchair in the first place. One good thing about that is there usually is no one in front of you because the seat has been removed to accommodate wheelchairs!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you BaltoRic! Even though I do sweat, I still often have trouble noticing when the temp has changed until it’s too late. I’ll realize suddenly that I’m not doing well and will realize the temp has risen!

  • MSluped
    2 years ago

    I knew I couldn’t tolerate heat, but was forced to be in 90 degree temperatures for a few days 3 years ago & I ended up with active lesions on my optic nerve, brain, & spine. I permanently lost vision in my left eye. I’m not saying this to scare anyone, but more as a helpful warning on what to look out for so you don’t blow off the warning signs like I did.

    I knew it was bad for me to be in the heat, but I didn’t recognize the warning signs when it came to my vision. I started seeing streaks of light, but it had been typical summer days in FL~which includes afternoon thunderstorms. So, what I thought was streaks from lightning, were in reality, warning signs I had a lesion on my optic nerve (steaks of light in your vision). On the 3rd day of being in the heat, I also started going color blind. I didn’t notice until I asked my daughter to hand me a shirt that was brown, but she didn’t understand what I was asking for because the shirt was red.

    I hope this helps someone recognize the warning signs of optic neuritis. Had I not waited so long to go to an eye doctor, I could’ve regained vision in that eye. I’ve gotten used to it now & no one can even tell I’m blind in one eye by looking at me. I’m also allowed to drive again. Hoping everyone has a nice cool summer. Stay safe & take care of yourselves.

  • Jan
    2 years ago

    Very good article, before MS I would spend my summers in Palm Springs, Ca in 120 degree, just give me a pool, a raft and a cold drink. I left Ca desert to the Pacific Northwest. It is so much easier, yes there are several days I use my AC day and night but most of the time I’m comfortable. Over heating can shut me down, unable to walk to loss of bowl control. I do my very best to stay in 70 or less. I don’t seem to get too cool. I haven’t worn my warm jackets I bought when I moved up here. a light weight jacket with a hood is all I need to keep the rain off me.

  • Sarayvonne
    2 years ago

    I feel like what has changed for me is my tolerance to heat. I used to love hot, sweltering temps at night out of the sun and I would dance the night away on roof decks, etc. Nowadays I can’t handle it. I have to excuse myself and sit in a cooled room. I work at restaurant and I often leave the floor to go sit in the beer cooler. I wonder if i’m alone. I think the cold has more of an effect on me.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Sarayvonne, I think you are most certainly not alone! If my house had a beer cooler, I’d go sit in it often. My heat tolerance got significantly worse over time. It seems like ages ago, but I too once loved being out in the sun!

  • Lisa
    2 years ago

    Nice list. I do have trouble explaining why I am not excited that it is getting warmer. I live in the blessedly cool Pacific Northwest am I am staying here even though my husband is retiring (EEKS! Today is his last day.) During the summer we do get higher temperatures than I can handle easily. Despite the fact that many of my green friends give me crap, we had air conditioning installed two years ago. (No I don’t have little green men as friends. You know what I mean.)

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you Lisa! I find air conditioning such a necessity, because even when the temps are ones I can handle, having a consistent temperature seems to be very important for me!

  • Mhewish
    2 years ago

    The first summer after I was diagnosed, I painted my deck for 3 days in 85+ degree heat and immediately had an exacerbation. I quickly learned that I needed to keep myself cool, even if it meant missing out on some outdoor activities in the summer. The first time my son squirted me with a water gun (filled with cold water), it felt like little knives stabbing me! I guess the difference in temp from a hot day to cold water (fast and unexpected) threw my body for a loop!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Mhewish! I find that abrupt changes can have that effect on me too. While cooling off is usually helpful for me, it can’t be a sudden shock like that (with cold water).

  • nancyprn
    2 years ago

    I’ve had MS for 7 years but the first 3 or 4 I had no trouble with temperature changes. However, in the last year, it has gotten really bad and it goes for cold or hot either one. A 2-degree temp change can only be tolerated for about 15 minutes before the debilitating fatigue kicks in. It stinks!!!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you nancyprn! I totaqly understand, that swing in temperature can have huge effects on me as well!

  • kkcurtis
    2 years ago

    When I was first diagnosed, heat was definitely a killer. Now both heat and cold affect me; heat causes extreme fatigue, both mentally and physically and the cold causes horrible spasms. But the biggest challenge is the fluctuations in temp. When it is 90 outside and I go into a building that has the ac cranked my body it’s wrecked, both spasms and fatigue.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks kkcurtis! Temp fluctuations are a huge problem for me. Even a couple degree swing can throw me out of whack. I wrote a whole piece dedicated to just that: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/battle-against-fluctuating-temperatures/

  • 2 years ago

    Devin,
    Great post on how high temperatures affects us dealing with MS. I live in Miami and the heat and humidity down here in the summer is very oppressive. Im not sure which is worse but the combination of both makes it unbearable. The only remedy is being indoors with lots of AC. Up north hibernation is during the winter months, but for me I see that i have to be indoors as much as possible during the summer. Which means you have to keep the noggin as busy as possible to avoid boredom. I definitely know that low humidity and average temps are the best for me, but this condition affects everyone differently.

    Hope everyone stays as cool as possible out there!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Diego! I am 100% the same way, summer time is hibernation time for me. I need to be inside with lots of AC blasting! Can be tough because I live near the beach and most friends want to head there!

  • Kym
    2 years ago

    Lots and lots of water, I also chew on ice chips. I work part time and when it gets too hot I sit in the break room with a wet washcloth and cool down.
    Sometimes I’m in the break room splashing water all over myself.
    My coworkers think I’m crazy…but they seem to understand I’m overheating.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Kym! it’s nice to hear that your coworkers understand, that can make a huge difference!

  • karek22
    2 years ago

    I find being warm affects my temper, it gets hot too!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks karek22, that happens to me too, I get crazy mood swings if I get to overheated!

  • JustJosie
    2 years ago

    So well said! Thank you for having the words I don’t!
    I love gardening and playing in the dirt. I’ve learned to only work in areas that are in the shade; I’ve learned to listen to my body and take breaks in the air conditioning and use a cooling towel on my face and neck; I’ve learned to carry a step stool around the yard so i can sit down while I work.
    And popsicles. Popsicles/frozen fruit bars help cool me down and help fight off the nausea I get when I’m too warm or too tired. And they’re yummy.

    Hope all my MS brothers and sisters get through this summer with minimal flare ups amd relapses!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you JustJosie! Those are some great tips, I especially like the popsicles idea, I need to pick some up!

  • taramarie75
    2 years ago

    Thank you for writing the article! It was spot on! I shared it my page!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you taramarie75! Very much appreciated!

  • Dimitri
    2 years ago

    I always get surprised how differently people with ms react to temperature. I’m in the minority where I prefer the heat to the cold. I’m more functional in hot weather than I am in cold weather. In hot weather I might sweat like a pig, but at least I can get up and out and do things. In cold weather I get fatigued and depressed and my gait is like the tin man.

  • Sulig
    1 year ago

    Is “sweating like a pig” a M.S way for you? Because as soon as I hit the heat my hair is soaked. The sweat pours off me like a faucet. This is walking to my car. Air condition starts cooling pretty fast. Drench before reaching car. Mostly my hair.

  • RuthGeller
    1 year ago

    Thanks Devin for a great post. You touched base with me on so many levels. I’ve been experiencing what I can only describe as exacerbated symptoms due to the extreme change in temperature and weather conditions. The summer comes and it’s the heat and now Mr. Frosty is here and I’m beset again. I’m always trying to wrap my head around it find I get down because I’m not always in control. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Dimitri! There are a lot of folks who have the same experience as you, where cold is much more a trigger than heat. A lot of times, I like to say that for me, it can be extremes of either or rather, constant changes that are a big issue.

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