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    You are here : Home » Get Involved » MSRC Interactive » Help, Advice and Inspiration from people with MS » What Has Helped You » Treatments / Techniques » Cooling


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    Heat Intolerance Treatment

    Heat Intolerance I live in Las Vegas, Nevada where summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees, with low humidity. Although I've been told I don't have MS this might help those of you who suffer from heat intolerance. I have developed an effective routine of treatment that has prevented or minimised the following symptoms, which in my case have been associated with heat intolerance. If this treatment helps you, I would love to hear your feedback : [email protected]. Stay cool!

    SYMPTOMS: Red face, hot face, headache, fatigue, irritability, impatience, cognitive (altered decision making), chills, cold hand-hands-foot- feet and/or nose, hot abdomen, stomach cramps, diarrhea, belching, skin turgor, dry skin.

    TREATMENT: The key in my case has been prevention of symptoms instead of delayed treatment after symptoms have already started. However, once symptoms have started, the sooner treatment is applied, the greater the chance that treatment will be effective in diminishing the intensity and duration of the symptoms experienced. Besides the great importance of maintaining proper hydration with water, I hope the following ideas help you as much as they have helped me:

    1) ICE PACK ON HEAD: 10"x5"x1/2" Flexible Polar Pack #1100 made by (your local physical therapist & chiropractor can often supply).

    NOTE 1: I have tried smaller, or lesser quality packs, but they don't work, probably because they don't get cold enough, or stay cold long enough, or don't cover the needed volume.

    NOTE 2: Wear ice pack during even the smallest amount of time. (even when exposure is only 1 minute in 90+ temps; or whatever temperature brings on your symptoms).

    IMPORTANT: place pack into lightweight small cotton pillowcase & place pack atop head with only 1 layer of fabric between pack & your head. Position pack so it covers back of head near base of skull to top back of your head (or) back top of head to front top of head (don't just keep on top front of head). Cover pack with a light colored, fully wide rimmed, cotton bucket hat that has space above head and draw strings under chin to keep hat positioned on head.

    2) EXPOSURE TIME: TIME OF DAY: Reduce outdoor activities to cooler times of day (i.e. 5-10am) when temps are below 90 degrees (or below the temperature that brings on our immediate symptoms).

    DURATION: reduce duration of time exposed to these temperatures that exasperate your symptoms: 5 min. max for outdoor activity. 15-30 min. max for car drives using a/c.

    3) SHOWER IMMEDIATELY: Luke warm to slightly cool for 10 minutes IMMEDIATELY following 15 minutes of exposure to outdoor temperatures exceeding 90 degrees (that even goes for driving car with a/c on in these temperatures).

    NOTE 1: Use coolest water you can handle without getting chills NOTE 2: Air dry by walking or standing in front of fan (as long as not overly chilled by process). Towel dry only chest & torso prior to air-drying & keep towel on your chest during air dry to prevent chills).

    4) HOME A/C THERMOSTAT: Keep range in your comfort zone (70-73 works for my case, but as day progresses I adjust thermostat to keep a/c in my comfort zone or a degree below that zone so a/c doesn't work too hard at peak time of heat. I push the thermostat up 2-3 degrees at bedtime to allow for declining outside temperatures during night; this will prevent getting chilled at night, therefore preventing excessive blankets at night, which can create overheating during sleep).

    NOTE: I recommend a small mobile digital temperature gauge: mine is `acurite'; sits on a table in the room I frequent most (shows min/max temp); warning: it often reads differently than a meat thermometer, but it doesn't matter (just get a knowledge of what the different thermometers read when you are in your comfort zone (my comfort zone is only 4 degrees during summer).

    5) MEAT THERMOMETER: Keep one in your home and another in car (take one with you at exercise too). Even if the temperature reads differently than other gauges, it will help you know you are in your comfort zone). (This has been very important for me, as my body doesn't always quickly tell me that I'm getting overheated until the symptoms start manifesting themselves minutes or an hour later).

    6) DRIVING: Keep car a/c on the coolest setting that won't create chills. If humidity is low enough consider wearing long sleeve lightweight cotton, keeping it wet at abdomen & arms. (If humidity is high, and I'm wet, I get chills that continue throughout the night, however, you might not have same issue).

    7) PARK CAR IN SHADE ONLY: This will prevent windows and interior temperatures from rising above outside temperatures, which can escalate 20-60 degrees within minutes. (With higher heat, there is less chance my treatments will provide as much relief).

    8) EXERCISE: Do exercise in temperatures 5-10 degrees below comfort zone allowing for body heat rise. With outdoor exercise, look for shade, grass, trees, sprinklers. I have found that parks with many trees and grass are often 15-25 degrees below outdoor temperatures if used just after sunrise (carrying a meat thermometer proves useful in this type of outing). NOTE 1: gives good detail re: temp/humidity/wind for specified zip code (shows past 48hrs too).

    NOTE 1: wear loose light coloured, lightweight cotton clothing and hat (hat should be fully wide rimmed, the cotton bucket type that has space above head for air circulation. Also is useful to add thin piece of cotton fabric to back and sides of hat for coverage of neck. (Using these above specifications will create cooling environments when hat & clothing are damp). Keep head and hat wet, and clothing damp at arms, abdomen, and sometimes gluteal muscles.

    NOTE 2: properly hydrate with water (2 cup within the hour prior, 1 cup every 15 min. during, and 2 cup after)

    9) PEPPERS: Peppers are known for capsaicin, which provides vasodilation which can help body manage environmental heat better. If you can handle them without stomach trouble, this can be helpful. Anaheim, Cherry, Pepperocini are considered mild. I've had some Anaheim peppers that were too mild not providing any relief; however, I've also had strong Anaheims that have provided some relief.

    10) SUPPLIMENTATION (under doctor supervision): B6 50mg daily, and B12 1000mcg shots weekly. If I follow the above regimes (excluding the peppers) I have noticed a benefit, although small, from using these supplements.

    NOTE: Belladonna 12c seems to broaden my comfort zone a couple degrees

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