While most people enjoy the summer months, for those living with multiple sclerosis (MS), the warmer weather can bring a new set of problems, exacerbating symptoms and making life pretty uncomfortable. Keeping cool through the summer heat can be a challenge but there are ways you can make life a little easier. We’ve put together a list of ways to get you through the stickiness with help from Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons Canterbury, metro.co.uk and Living Like You.
- During the hotter months, it’s essential that you drink plenty of cold drinks to keep you hydrated and replace the fluids you lose in sweat. Get in the habit of carrying a bottle of water around with you.
- If you have bladder problems, you might find that sucking on ice cubes or popsicles works better to keep you cooler rather than taking on too much extra liquid.
- Avoid drinks which dehydrate the body such as coffee, cola and alcoholic drinks.
- Metabolic heat in the body is increased by eating large meals or meals that contain high amounts of protein. Avoid raising the metabolic heat by eating several smaller meals or snacks rather than three large meals each day and limit the amount of protein you eat.
- Chrysanthemum tea has cooling properties which are also reported to help clear your head.
- Wear loose clothing in manmade fibers that allow the body to breathe, including your underwear and nightwear.
- Avoid nylon pantyhose and socks.
- Choose lighter-colored clothing that reflect the sun’s rays rather than darker clothes which absorb them.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when in the sun.
- You can also try wearing a cap that’s been placed in the freezer for an hour beforehand.
- A wet scarf or bandana around the neck can help cool you down.
- Wear open-toed shoes or sandals to allow the feet to breathe.
- Buy a cooling bra made from microfibers that allow airflow and also have inserts which can be placed in the refrigerator beforehand.
- Cooling vests, collars and other wearable cooling products offer relief if you want to spend a few hours outdoors.
- After-sun creams containing aloe vera help to cool the skin after being outside.
- Take a dip in the pool or ocean if you can, if not take a cool shower or bath.
- Applying cold water or ice packs to certain parts of the body will help bring body temperature down. Try the wrists, ankles, backs of the knees, inner elbows, temples, and inner thighs.
- Place a flannel or small towel in a bag in the refrigerator for a few hours and then pop it behind your back if you’re going to be in a warm car for a long period of time.
- Open doors and windows in your home to create a cross breeze.
- If there is no breeze, close curtains or shutters to keep the home dark and cool.
- Exercise in places with air-conditioning, go swimming or take a water aerobics class.
- Arrange your day so that you do any chores around the house or garden in the early morning before it gets too hot.
- Choose easy-to-prepare meals that don’t require spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen.
Keeping Cool at Night
- If air conditioning is out of your budget, invest in portable fans that can be placed in the bedroom and living room. A frozen bottle of water in front of the fan will create cool air.
- Keep bedroom curtains or blinds drawn throughout the day so heat doesn’t build up in the room.
- Choose cotton sheets and pillows with natural fibers and filling.
- Take a cool shower or bath just before bed.
- Put your pillow and bedding in the freezer for half an hour before going to bed.
- Open the window to create a breeze for an hour before going to bed if you don’t have air conditioning.
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.
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