Multiple Sclerosis has a multitude of symptoms, and a lot of things can influence it – for the better or for the worse. When a patient is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the diagnosis comes sometimes as a relief and a source of despair, as, the symptoms were already there and present for some time, but the diagnosis itself is the thing that lets patients know that their disease has no cure for the moment and that they will have to live with it for the rest of their lives.
There are a lot of symptoms that can come and go, and while some like bowel problems, muscle weakness, fatigue, depression and others are to be expected and are well documented, there are other symptoms that can be very surprising and disturbing at the same time. One of these symptoms – if it can be called like this – is heat intolerance.
If for people who don’t have Multiple Sclerosis heat is never something pleasant, especially intense heat – let’s all take a moment and remember the torrid summer days - people with Multiple sclerosis are affected by heat more.
Summer, or very hot days, or hot environments have a very negative impact on persons who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. Hot showers, hot baths, saunas, and other placed where prolonged exposure to heat is possible need to be avoided by multiple sclerosis patients.
This is due to the fact that extreme heat is known to cause extreme weakness in Multiple Sclerosis patients, and needless to say, if a Multiple Sclerosis patient is in a bathtub there is always the risk of drowning, or if he or she is in a sauna, there is the risk of respiratory arrest.
Fortunately, there are several options for multiple sclerosis patients. If hot showers, baths and saunas can be avoided, summer heat or a hot day is something that can’t be prevented 100%. This is why, Multiple Sclerosis patients are encouraged to use air conditioning in the summer months, and cooling vests (filled with ice) and frozen gel packs are also indicated. These will provide the necessary coolness that a multiple sclerosis patient’s body needs in order to function properly. It is also recommended not to take long hot showers, and baths are to be avoided as much as possible. Air conditioning is something very useful for Multiple Sclerosis patients, especially during hot summer days. At the same time, during cooler days, patients should not set their thermostats to a high temperature, because even the slightest increase in temperature can exacerbate some of their symptoms.
The cause of multiple sclerosis heat intolerance is still a matter of debate in the scientific community, and there are several theories on it. However, before a permanent solution will be found, Multiple Sclerosis patients should avoid prolonged heat exposure and use some of the above mentioned tips to keep themselves cool at all times.