Heat Sensitivity

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 12/26/2006 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
"Be aware that Florida (and other areas of the country) is very hot and humid. You may find yourself very heat sensitive - -many folks with MS are -- and unable to function well in that cllimate."

I want to know how many of you have a problem with the heat and humidity, Florida or otherwise. I take hot showers. I use a heating blanket at night. I have used a hot tub. Live in Michigan now. Tired of the cold. But I'm newly diagnosed. Haven't started interferon. Am I an anomaly?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 12/26/2006 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I don't know that you're an anomaly...but perhaps in the minority.

Many folks with MS find that our internal thermostats are "broke" -- the thermostat that controls our "core body temperature". So we overheat very quickly and easily.  I'll use myself as an example: I used to sweat a lot as a kid.  Once the MS took hold, I stopped sweating.  Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself -- you sweat, the water comes to the surface of the skin and evaporates, the evaporation is a cooling agent, so you are cooler.

I don't sweat. So if I'm in the sun, especially in humid weather, I overheat in as little as 20 minutes or so.  Any sweat that does come to the surface doesn't evaporate in the humidity.

A very long time ago, one doctor-performed test for an individual to determine whether she had MS was to put the patient in a tub full of hot water...let them set there for awhile, then tell them to get out.  Generally the patient would be unable to do so: the legs would not hold up the body, overall weakness would affect other muscles.  If the patient indeed couldn't get out -- she'd be diagnosed with MS. So it's not like I'm making this (my comment you referred to) up! And it's not a side effect of the interferon....but more commonly a symptom of MS.

I can't take hot showers. If I stay in the shower too long, it's a challenge to even transfer from shower seat back to wheelchair. I'd never even consider a hot tub, or any tub of water for that matter. I know I'd not be able to get out.  I live in Wisconsin, plenty cold in winter. My house thermostat is set for about 64 degrees, and I have central air in my house. I go barefoot (well, I do wear socks) all year round inside.

When I DO get overheated, the first thing that happens is my face flushes bright red.  My legs weaken dramatically. Then I start to get dizzy.  If I don't retreat to the cool air right then, I'll start to get disoriented, and eventually would faint.  So on hot days when I know I have to be outside I carry PLENTY of water, cold packs, wash cloths that I can wet down and drape around my neck or even just plunk on top of my head. I wear a hat, carry a fan --

actually generally I try to avoid going out at all if the temperature is much above 75 degrees.



...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 12/26/2006 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Madlou!
   Heat sensitivity is very common, but I hope that it's something that you will continue not to experience.  My husband has big problems in this area, so much so we have to maintain a constant temperature inside the house of 76 degrees year round.  He has problems with cold as well, but that's another issue.  
   He experiences issues similar to Uppitycats when overheated, flushing, dizziness, disorientation, and extreme fatigue.   Cooling devices help quite a bit around the neck and wrists, and allow him to stay outside a bit longer when it's hot, but mostly at high temps it's just better to stay inside. 
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 12/26/2006 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I was in Florida at the end of October and I felt great, but then again, the temperature was in the 80s and humid. I'm trying to plan my future. Each time you post I gain new insight. Your warning about Florida made me stop and think. I didn't mean to imply that you were making it up...no offense. I just need to know if I'm jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! So far I haven't experienced this problem with heat, but there are any number of things I haven't experienced yet. And I don't know what effect new meds might have either.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 12/26/2006 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Madlou

I live down in south mississippi and it's VERY hot and humid here. I have some sensitivity to heat in that being out in it makes me weak and my legs get like jello. Otherwise, heat is a prob variably to me. Meaning...hot baths for the most part aren't a prob...i get tightness in my legs and sometimes in my torso and arms...but very, very seldom anything more. BUT...anytime i eat hot foods my mouth will get numb, including my tongue, and i'll get dizzy. Yes, the summer time heat down here is a big no no...but in small quantities it's bearable. During the summer i can walk outside and be ok for about 5-10 mins, then once the heat hits me (i get warmed up inside and out i guess!) i start to feel a stinging on my skin. Most often after that i'm fine unless i stay out there for a long period. Just as with all other ms funkies...heat is different with everyone, but for the most part a real prob for folks with ms. I hope this thread helps u make a decision on u'r move and u'r able to deal with heat as well as u have thusfar. Best wishes to u!


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 12/26/2006 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
My heat problems come and go. Sometimes I am very comfortable and people will come up to me and wonder why I am not turning up the heat because they are freezing.

Now I can take a hot bath, but a couple months ago that would have not been possible. Just a luke warm bath is all I could take. A hot bath would make me dizzy. For a while my spouse didn't want me to have a bath unless he was around to help me if I needed it.

But now I am fine for the moment.

I am glad you haven't had any problems with heat. Enjoy while you can. Just be careful if you go in a whirlpool or sauna maybe go with someone else so they can help you out if needed.
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