8 Tips for Dealing With the Heat When You Have Multiple Sclerosis

Many people living with multiple sclerosis find that their symptoms become more pronounced when they are subjected to heat. With summer arriving in most parts of the country, many people with the condition will soon experience a temporary worsening of symptoms. (The same can happen if the person takes a bath or shower that’s too hot.) According to verywell.com, the symptoms affected could include blurred vision, fatigue, tremors, numbness, cognitive abilities, and general weakness. Thankfully, the symptoms ease off when the weather cools down.

MORE: How to manage multiple sclerosis relapses.

According to the National MS Society, there are ways that those living with MS can help relieve heat sensitivity, including:

  • Installing air conditioning (which may be tax deductible if recommended by your doctor)
  • Staying indoors in extreme hot weather
  • Wearing cooling products such as cooling vest, bandanas, and neck wraps
  • Drinking icy drinks or eating popsicles
  • Exercising in a cool swimming pool (under 85ºF)
  • Exercising outdoors in the early morning or late evening
  • Exercising indoors with fans or air conditioning
  • Taking a cool bath or shower

Some people may find that if heat becomes too much of a problem that moving to an area with a more suited climate is the only way to find relief.

MORE: Three tips for newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis patients.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

20 comments

  1. Billy Sahm says:

    I really appreciate the hot weather tips, especilly the Drinking icy drinks or eating popsicles.

    I like popsicles.

    Love, Billy in D.C.
    (your welcome to publish my email address, I come from a world where we aren’t concer

  2. Sandra Harris says:

    I was diagnosed in 2003 with RRMS. I have multiple health issues out side of MS.
    My most recent visit with my neurologist my ears hear I am now going from second stage progressive to primary progressive.
    Heat has always been my worse enemy.
    I find my self in 2017 not handling this humid hot Louisiana. I was able to get cooling products free with an RX from my doctor through a MS organization.
    Check all of your associations and organizations for MS. They help us or guide us!
    Thank you for time

    • Dianne Roncal, DMD says:

      So sorry to hear that, Sandra. I agree that it is always good to check with different MS organizations as they are really helpful when it comes to patient support and other useful information. 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    All of these actions do relieve the uncomfortable effects of being in high heat environments.
    The difficult environment is at work.

    The control and sometimes the battle over – what is and/or should be the temperature in the office, falls in the realm of reality.
    There are those who fill that 80 degrees should be the temperature in the office and we who have MS 70 degrees is a workable temperature.

    Drinking cold water is great and short acting, Fans in 80 degree indoor temperature move the hot air around.

    I realize that this is a more personal concern, however, it may not be as personal as I think.

    The working environment is a real issue that needs to be addressed and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    There are those of us who do and need to work in order to maintain income, insurance and sanity.

    Thank you for the opportunity to access the knowledge and experience of others.

    MICHAEL

    • Mary Wyatt says:

      Michael – I believe your workplace has to accommodate you in light of the facts concerning heat and MS. If you have a private office, they can put a separate air handler to your office and you can have your own thermostat. Having said that, if you work in an open area, you should be given a private office in order to get the temperature right for you. Good luck.

    • Ruth says:

      Print off OSHA’s recommended office temp range and take it to human resources for assistance. The range is 68-76. Make sure to have good communication with coworkers (if they know) in terms of how heat worsens symptoms and it’s not about comfort for you. They can wear a sweater; you can’t strip.

    • Jeri says:

      I don’t know if it’s just California but I thought work places are suppose to be kept between 68 and 72 degrees for optimum work performance. All year round. Don’t know where you work so not sure what your options are.

  4. Suzanne schauer says:

    Thank you for hot weather tips. I live in Ga near Florida so I stay away from the heat as much as possible and drink icy drinks-really helps!

    • Dianne Roncal, DMD says:

      Ice cream or any icy drink really helps when it comes to heat. Thank you for reading, Suzanne. 🙂

  5. Frank says:

    Heat is absolutely my Kriptonyte! As the temperature increases, I get more and more weak to the point I can just barely lift my feet. I used to love summers at the beach. Now it’s Summer on the couch in an air conditioned room.

    • Jorge ochoa says:

      When I go to Costco they have the walk in fridge I just open the door and I’m in there for a minute or two and feels great. Just get permission from one of the employees.

  6. Karen Bucher says:

    I have found when I have to run errands and it’s hot, getting in an out of the car can set off my symptoms and put me to bed the next day. I bought one of those cooling vests. It has pockets that hold ice packs. It’s bulky but it works. Look on the MS website to find a variety of them.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Yes, cooling vests can work to help combat the heat. God to hear that you are able to get some relief during the hot summer days.

    • Kim Flores says:

      I found my vest at ClimaTech. It has 4 Ice packs that holds 2 on each side of the vest. You can add to it if you are going to be out for a while. I use my vest when I go the my kids baseball and softball games!! It works great and I live in Central/West Texas.

    • Kim says:

      Central/West Texas
      I found my cooling vest at ClimaTech. It has 4 ice packs 2 for each side. I use my vest when I attend my kids baseball and softball games. I works GREAT!!

  7. Kimi says:

    Certain stores now have services where you can grocery shop online. Then pick a time to pick up so you never need to go through these big markets again. Some even have home deliver for a small cost

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Home delivery is a great way to go! Even if you can find a concierge service in your area. They can help tremendously with a lot of errands. Great tips. Thank you for sharing!

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