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madlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 1/7/2007 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm considering a membership and the Y but someone told me that I should avoid swimming because the chlorine in the pool will cause problems with a compromised immune system. I'd love to hear from others about their experiences.

madlou

Denda
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 1/7/2007 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi MadLou -

I don't know anything about the chlorine affecting the immune system, however, I know several people that have friends that have MS that state swimming has helped them tremendously. Since their balance and weakness issues make it difficult for them to get out and walk or walk treadmills, they started swimming everyday and state it helps keep them strong.
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
  Author: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/7/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I've not ever heard of clorine affecting the immune system in any way, negatively or positively.
 
Only worrisome thing about the Y pool...see how hot and humid it is.  sometimes they're way too hot and humid, and that will affect your ability to stay in the water long enough to benefit from it.
 
Otherwise, there are lots of exercises that are perfect to be done in the water -- which helps support weakened limbs -- and I know lots of people with MS who greatly benefit from water aerobics, and swimming in general.
 
You might ask at the Y -- sometimes they'll have a special time set aside where they'll have cooler temperatures in the pool area and in the water, for people who need/want cooler water to exercise in.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 1/7/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Madlou,
 
    Swimming is an excellent exercise for those with MS.  Can do so even with balance and weakness problems and harder to overheat the body than with most exercises.
 
    I've never heard of chlorine being a problem with immune systems disorders.  The only thing I've heard of is it possibly causing breathing problems in those with asthma or other lung problems. 
 
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carpe diem
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/7/2007 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Madlou, Just a thought. Chlorine is added to the water at many water treatment plants that so many of us get our water from every day; if not at home at the places we visit.

I have spent a lot of time in pools (including at the Y) and never noticed any impact on my MS. Believe me, I invouluntarily drank a lot of pool water when my former employer brought in a former Navy Seal to teach us how to survive in the water in an emergency (I'm still convinced he was actually trying to teach me how to drown :-) especially after he caught me cheating. Hey, I was young and stupid. Don't try to fool a Navy Seal in the water was the lesson I learned that day. After he caught us cheating, he decided to teach us how to use our head for a bobber to float. I think I proved I was not an airhead that day considering all the water I drank, but eventually I learned how to do it.

Despite all the punishment I was able to see that swimming was a great form of excercise that didn't put pressure on, or injure my joints, although I have heard that "extreme" swimmers have their activity related injuries also (i.e. rotator cuff), I still think it is a great alternative aerobic activity to running or walking as may be the case with an MS'r, and it carries much less risk of injury overall. Running is not an option for me anymore. I can do it, but that's when people can notice my wobbly gait.

Finally, I would agree with Uppity and be more concerned about the water temp. I have a great neuro with great nurses so I would call them for advice on the chlorine vs. immune system question.

Good Luck and happy swimming.

madlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 1/7/2007 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the input and so quickly! :-) I am so glad that I found this forum. I received my diagnosis of RRMS on 22 December. Merry Christmas! Actually it was no surprise and I wanted to know ASAP. Saw the neuro on January 2nd and will start Rebif sometime this week, if all goes well. Anxious about the shots but I want to get started as well. I'm sure ya'll can understand those mixed feelings. For those of you on meds for other symptoms, such as fatigue and spasticity, did you wait until after starting crabs? do you get these meds from primary or neurologist? My neurologist seems to want to treat only the MS itself and none of the symptoms.

madlou

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/7/2007 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
madlou said...
Thanks for all the input and so quickly! :-) I am so glad that I found this forum. I received my diagnosis of RRMS on 22 December. Merry Christmas! Actually it was no surprise and I wanted to know ASAP. Saw the neuro on January 2nd and will start Rebif sometime this week, if all goes well. Anxious about the shots but I want to get started as well. I'm sure ya'll can understand those mixed feelings. For those of you on meds for other symptoms, such as fatigue and spasticity, did you wait until after starting crabs? do you get these meds from primary or neurologist? My neurologist seems to want to treat only the MS itself and none of the symptoms.

madlou
I have found that neuros (and other specialists) kind of "lose interest" in the patient after they make the diagnosis.  Sort of like, "...well, I did MY job; I'm a specialist; I figured out what was wrong with this patient...someone else needs to tend to it now..."
 
Which is why I let my family practioner treat ALL of my health needs, including anything relating to my having MS.  It was many years ago that a neuro first prescribed the Betaseron...but now my current family practioner exams me annually, we discuss my MS, talk about any new treatments or medicines either available or "on the horizon" -- and she renews the prescription for Betaseron, talks about relief of spasticity (I'm not on anything right now for that, but I'm due for a physical in February and I'm sure we'll talk then), renews the prescription for oxybutanin (Ditropan -- what I use for bladder control), and so on.
 
Do you like your primary care physician?  If so, I'd talk with her and find out if she's comfortable treating your MS.  What happens with me is my primary doctor has access to a neuro. If I have a question she can't answer...or if there is some question about treatment or how to proceed, then she'll call the neuro and consult with him, then get back to me with a course of action.  We agreed that if I ever am uncomfortable with her recommendation, or want further treatment, she's quite willing to send me to a neuro for further evaluation.  So far, in 9 years now, I've not had any need to do that.
 
If your primary care doctor is willing, it might be that she'll tak over all your care, and you'd only need to learn how to do the rebif. And maybe, since you're so newly diagnosed, see the neuro several times (quarterly?) this first year, and then less and less.  But you should talk with your primary to be sure she's comfortable with this.
 
Short answer: My primary treats all my symptoms....and monitors and prescribes the Betaseron.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

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