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COOL IT! Beat the Heat

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Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather is very hot or humid or when they run a fever, sunbathe, get overheated from exercise, or take very hot showers or baths.

These temporary changes can result from even a very slight elevation in core body temperature (one-quarter to one-half of a degree) because an elevated temperature further impairs the ability of a demyelinated nerve to conduct electrical impulses.

Strategies for Easing the Effects of Heat

  • Drink plenty of fluids - preferably cool water - throughout the day. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already getting dehydrated.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned environment during periods of extreme heat and humidity. The cost of an air conditioner may be tax deductible if a physician has written a prescription for it.
  • Wear cooling garments such as vests, headbands and neckbands during exercise or outdoor activity; be aware of the added weight of a cooling vest.
  • Exercise in a cool environment, such as an indoor mall or an air-conditioned gym. Pick cooler times of the day to exercise outside, such as early morning. 
  • Exercising in cool water (80-84 degrees) is an excellent way to combat heat during physical activity.
  • Try pre-cooling before exercise; get into a bathtub of comfortably lukewarm water and add cooler water for 20-30 minutes.
  • A cool bath or shower can help reduce core body temperature following activity or exposure to heat.
  • A simple damp cloth or towel can be helpful if you don't have a cooling product.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats and light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Icy drinks or popsicles can provide temporary relief.
  • Don't overdo it, especially when you're outside in the heat. Know your own limits.

Heat-Related Symptoms are Temporary

  • Heat generally produces only temporary worsening of symptoms and does not cause more disease activity or demyelination or damage to the nerves themselves. The symptoms generally reverse when the source of increased temperature is removed.

Additional Cooling Products

Coolture

Polar Products

MSAA (Multiple Sclerosis Association of America) has a financial assistance program for clients who need cooling products. 

MSF (Multiple Sclerosis Foundation) has a cooling program that offers a variety of cooling products free of charge.

Friends of Water

Steele Inc.

Stacool Industries

Other Resources

Energy Outreach Colorado  - the Colorado-Wyoming chapter receives a grant each year to provide one-time assistance to people who need help with their energy bills.

If your energy costs prevent you from running your air conditioner to stay cool, the EOC grant may be able to assist you. Contact us for more information about this program. 

Colorado Medical Exemption Program - The Colorado Medical Exemption Program is designed to help reduce summer electric bills for low-income Xcel Energy customers who use life support equipment or have a medical ailment that requires high power use. 

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Contact information

Information Resource Specialists
800-344-4867


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