Wednesday, May 09, 2007

managing ms: beating the heat

Handling the Heat of Summer
(from the MS society)
Summer will soon be upon us. But for people with MS, hot weather often brings additional challenges.
Heat can cause symptoms to appear or make the ones you already have feel worse. It can affect walking, thinking, strength and energy levels. As many as 60 to 80 percent of people with MS have had heat-related symptoms. One theory suggests that damaged nerves may conduct electrical impulses adequately under ideal temperatures but higher temperatures can interfere with the process.
Fortunately, the effects of heat are usually temporary. With hot weather on the way, take time to assess your own sensitivity and find strategies that help you ease the effects of heat:
Stay in an air-conditioned environment during periods of extreme heat and humidity. If an air conditioner is needed to help minimize the symptoms of MS, the cost may be tax deductible if a physician has written a prescription for it.
Use cooling products (vests, neck wraps, bandanas, etc.) during exercise or outdoor activity.
Exercise in a cool environment. Pick cooler times of the day or use air conditioning or a fan to help maintain body temperature. Spraying yourself with a hand-held spray bottle may also help you keep cool. Also, exercising in a cool pool (recommended temperature of 80 to 84 degrees) is an excellent way to combat heat during physical activity.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose, breathable cotton clothing and wide brimmed hats.
Drink plenty of water. Icy drinks such as slurpees or popsicles can provide temporary relief.
A cool bath or shower can help reduce core body temperature following activity or exposure to heat.
Don't be discouraged by the heat of the summer months. Find the strategies that work best for you, because you can beat the heat!

i think there are many outdoor cooling plans that are feesible, but it is necesarry to be sure to have one

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