Tips to keep cool
For people with multiple sclerosis, it is very important not to let
themselves get overheated. When the body overheats, there is usually an
increase of symptoms. Medically, this is called a pseudo exacerbation.
Typically this causes mild or occasional symptoms to get worse. The most
common MS symptoms effected are dizziness, speech difficulties, loss of
balance, fatigue, and clarity of thinking. However, it is important to
remember that any symptom the person has experienced can be effected.
Cooling vests can be purchased for minimal cost. Some of these vests are
designed to be soaked in cool water and put in the freezer, others have
inserts that you keep in the freezer until needed, much like ice packs
used for keeping lunches cool. For those on a limited income, the
National MS Society can sometimes help with purchase.
Wearing a large bath sheet around your neck will do the same thing. Just
keep the bath sheet or towel in the freezer until you need it.
Whenever possible, stay out of the direct sun and away from hot, stuffy
places. During summer, ask a friend or family member to run errands for
you. You might consider hiring a local teenager to do these for you, as
well. If you must go out in the heat, drink plenty of water, wear a wide
brimmed hat to keep the direct sun off, and always seek shade. Wear a
cooling vest or cold towel around your neck. For outdoor activities,
invest in a personal, handheld fan, they spray cool water on you and can
help lower body temperature.
Listen to your body. If you find yourself feeling unwell, feeling
unusually tired, or having an increase in symptoms, stop what you are
doing and go cool off. Find an air-conditioned store, or just sit in your
car with the air running until you feel better.