Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


Heat intolerance - Facing MS symptoms from A to Z

Chills and sweats may be hallmark symptoms of the flu, but they also come with the territory for those with multiple sclerosis. It’s sort of like our internal thermostats are on the fritz sometimes. 

Having spent countless hours in medical appointments with multiple sclerosis practitioners in various neurological and other offices, I’ve been frustrated to find this issue acknowledged only in part. Most of these doctors readily acknowledge that an increase in body temperature can send MS symptoms into overdrive. Some will add that excessive cold can also aggravate MS woes.

Very few medical types seem to understand how MSers seem to go suddenly from hot to cold (or cold to hot), regardless of the actual temperature wherever they happen to be. I have no idea why they don’t go with this, because tons of MS warriors describe similar experiences.

We peel off jackets and sweaters, when everyone else in the room is bundling up. We shiver and reach for extra layers, when others are melting. And we seem to go back and forth from hot to cold and so on.

Heat is definitely the worst part of this equation.

Uhthoff’s Syndrome is well documented. MSers suffer in excessive heat. Optic neuritis, vertigo, tremors, spasticity, and other symptoms tend to be exacerbated by warmth. That’s why so many of us seek shade, don cooling vests or neck wraps, and kick off bed-coverings. We sleep with fans running, even in the winter. We steer clear of hot baths and step away from hot, stuffy rooms. And we try to schedule outdoor exertion extra carefully in the summer months.

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Series title graphic adapted from public domain artwork.

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