intolerance to: alchol, sun, heat?

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river watcher
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 3/3/2007 12:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there.  I have been thinking back to things that I have experienced in the past ten years and wonder if anyone else has any problems with being in the sun (for any amount of time) and an intolerance to liquor?  I have been treated for sun stroke more times than I can count and I can't drink without throwing up within a few minutes.  Anyone have any idea if these things are related to ms?  Thanks for any help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 3/3/2007 12:18 AM (GMT -6)   
hi Sherry,
I don't know if this counts, but I am a recovering alcoholic. I ended up in rehab at 19 and have been sober ever since. My body could not take alcohol and I did crazy things - my problem was that I couldn't stop though even when I knew I couldn't handle it.

I know that is different from what you are talking but the inability for my body to process alcohol at such a young age is interesting...I'm not sure if there is any connection or not.

no problems with sun though!!

Post Edited (angielov) : 3/2/2007 10:32:19 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 3/3/2007 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Sherry!

Good to see u again! :) Yes, these things could be related to ms. Let me explain the ways i've heard of them affecting those with ms tho. Sun is of course a source of heat. Heat and ms typically do not go well together. There are some who are unaffected by heat...and conversely affected by cold...but for the most part if u'r affected by temp it's likely heat. Not all things related to heat, however; affect ms. A good example of that could be the sun. I can go out into the sun and almost immediately i get something like a stinging on my skin...but i'm ok for awhile after that. Later tho, when i'm all warmed up, i'll get somewhat dizzy and off balance. That didn't always happen. At first I could go into the yard and cut my grass and do all my yard work and never be bothered by the sun or heat at all. Many are bothered by one source of heat, yet not by another.  Same way with cold to me at times....too cold and i'll see other probs occur. Eating hot foods will make the inside of my mouth get numb...and eventually i'll get dizzy. Hot baths used to be just fine, tho lately i'm seeing i'm bit weakened after getting into the water for a few mins. Maybe i'm not a good example tho, i'm not dx'd. There are many here who can't be in the heat...whether it be from sun or other sources. Alcohol is prob a no no too. I don't drink, but can tell u that if u'r already having any type of balance or dizzy probs it's prob not a good idea to lessen u'r body's remaining ability to be balanced or not be dizzy.

It's great u'r thinking back and noting all this!! I've done exactly the thing u'r doing now and i can tell u that if u'r like me, u'll be doing this long after u think u'r done. In other words, u'll think u've covered all the little weird things that've happened over time, but almost everyday i realize something new (ahem!...old!) that i hadn't thought of that now may be explained. Be careful looking for answers u can start to assign all things different or odd to this ms. That's dangerous especially if u'r not dx'd yet. The reason is that u could assume it's ms, but miss something else that it really is..and miss a chance to correctly be treated. Be sure to make notes of these things just so u can keep up and see if there has been any patterns. Take care and let us know how u'r doing!

Co-Moderator, MS Forum
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*

Post Edited (rhondab) : 3/2/2007 10:30:35 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 3/3/2007 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   

Heat intolerance is pretty common with folks with MS.  It was explained to me this way:  Our internal thermostats are "broke"  Perspiration -- the body's natural way of cooling -- doesn't happen, or doesn't happen efficiently.  Sweat, when it rises to the skin's surface, is evaporated, and that's what provides the cooling, but if we don't sweat, then our body quickly overheats.  This is particularly true in hot humid weather, or hot humid conditions (like hot baths, showers, hot tubs, saunas, that sort of thing..)

So many of us avoid all those things, or dramatically limit our exposure to them. 

What can happen if you do get overheated (other than sunstroke, a VERY serious condition!) is that whatever symptoms you normally experience with the MS will intensify, until you cool back down.

I always take water with me, and if I know I'll be out in the sun, a cooler with water, ice, wet cloths to put on my head or back of my neck or wrist, until I can get inside again.

As for alcohol: I don't have any serious alcohol intolerance, like you're describing.  I can't drink as much as I could as a young person in my 20's...I'm 60, now .. but it hasn't caused any sort of problem.  Are you on any meds? Sometimes meds and alcohol don't mix.

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

Motown John
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 475
   Posted 3/3/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Saturday a.m.
Very good morning, Miss Sherry:
I live in Michigan....and vwe are surrounded by the Great Lakes.  And hence, much summer humidity.
It is the humidity which really kicks my well as the heat.
My wife and I moved into a new homw a couple of yeats ago w/central air.  Like the song says, "....A Whole New World..."
And as a side note...the last time I was ever on a beach was 20 years ago in Jamaica, where I asked
my wife to marry me...AND SHE SAID YES!!!

river watcher
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 3/3/2007 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys, this feels better already. I try to avoid the heat/sun as much as possible and people think I'm just out of shape...Looking forward to my own holiday someday, Jamaica would be the end of me, were thinking Alaska! Take care.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 3/3/2007 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sherry,
   A lot of people with MS are heat sensitive,  my husband sure is.  He doesn't last too long outside usually, gets nauseous, dizzy, fatigued and that usually goes away relatively quickly once we get him cooled off again inside.  When we know we are going to be outside for a little while, family barbecue or something, we usually get a cooler and fill it with cold drinks and I throw a few towels in there too to wrap around his neck.  He can stay outside a lot longer if we keep his body cooled down.
   As far as alcohol just one drink makes some of his symptoms worse like balance, coordination, sometimes speech even.  Your body will certainly tell you when it doesn't like something. 
   Take good care of yourself!
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3570
   Posted 3/4/2007 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the interesting post.  I am sensitive to both.  Heat makes me real wobbly but I actually don't feel bad - just stagger around.  Alcohol makes me feel awful for about 24 hours.  I pretty much a non-drinker and I can't say as I miss it much.  Sometime I miss the taste of a good beer and then I just take a sip from my husbands. :)
I love the sun and will sit in it when I can - although I don't care for it on my face.  I don't sit out in the sun if it is real hot. 
M-John - I loved your Jamaica story.  So sweet!
diagnosed: MS  July 2006
Treatment: copaxone, prayer, laughter, and positive thinking

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