Heat and MS Do Not Mix! - A Guest Blog
Our friend and awesome blogger, Caroline Kyriakou, shares her view on this warm, humid weather and how it isnt mixing well with her MS! Heat intolerance is common to those with MS and small increases in body temperature can increase MS symptoms. In MS, the demyelinated nerves are unable to effectively conduct electrical impules, making them more sensitive to heat and temperature differences. Depending on the location of the nerve damage symptoms may include increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, muscle weakness, vision problems, slowed reaction times, reduced energy, and difficulties with attention and concentration. Try and stay cool! Here is Caroline’s feature:
There is a heat wave in a large portion of the US and Boston is no exception. My MS does not like this one bit!
Last week the weather was high 90’s and very humid. Today is not much better. I must say on these kinds of days, I really do not mind being at work, in an office with AC! I am fortunate to have an AC unit at home and my apartment is fairly small, so the one AC keeps the whole apartment cool enough.
On days like these, my MS acts up more than usual, as I am sure it is the same for many people with MS. The heat intensifies symptoms, and for me the most annoying one is the increase in tingling throughout my body. Sometimes I feel like shouting to my body, “Enough already!” You might think “Good thing she lives in New England when there are extremely cold winters!” Nope!! The winter and cold weather have a whole set of negative effects of their own. Luckily me! I am sure that it is not uncommon to many of you too, but it’s no fun.
It’s only the end of July, so there is plenty more summer to go. To survive the heat as best I can, I stay indoors by the AC as much as possible. At times that can be a bummer, but I find a lot of activities to keep me busy, like writing! (I also love reading.) I try to keep hydrated (which everyone should do, MS or not) but sometimes find it difficult as I am not water’s #1 fan. (Please don’t suggest flavored waters, I like those even less than regular water!) I also try to run errands early in the day when it’s the coolest out which works well since it is also when I have the most energy.
There are, however additional things I could do to help myself out, but I don’t. For example, my new car has a lovely remote start function, where I can start the car from indoors. This means if I leave the AC on in the car, when I get inside, it will be nice and cool. I haven’t used that function once this summer. I know, I’m bad! I think it is because when I first got the car I tried to use that function but I would set off the car alarm each time. Eventually a friend showed me another way to unlock the car that wouldn’t set off the alarm and that one time it worked. I guess I would rather get into a hot car than set the alarm off. Even as I type this, I feel silly, so my promise to you is to use the remote start function!!
Here is to surviving the rest of summer!
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