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Warmer weather is here and many with MS experience heat sensitivity. Heat sensitivity can be caused by a rise in body temperature from exercise, staying outside in high humidity, or taking a hot bath or shower. This can exacerbate MS symptoms, which we call a pseudorelapse.
It is very important to remember that these potential symptoms caused by heat and humidity are not harmful and are also temporary. Symptoms related to heat sensitivity usually reverse once the source of heat is removed. Here are some helpful tips to decrease negative effects from heat:
Wear loose, lightweight clothing. Fabrics such as cotton or linen are ideal. Synthetic fabrics such as polyesters or spandex should be avoided as they can contribute to rising body temperatures. Additionally, darker fabrics can also absorb heat and should be avoided on very hot days.
Products such as cooling vests are very helpful to decrease heat sensitivity. Avoid spending prolonged time outside in the heat and humidity. Instead, try to stay in an air-conditioned environment during periods of extreme heat. Avoid exercise outside in extreme heat. If you do exercise, pace yourself. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
As always, our nursing line is open to answer any questions or concerns.