Heat Intolerance and Ways To Beat the Heat


Heat and MS


It was a beautiful day by anyone’s standards, except a runner.
72, mostly sunny, perfect early summer day in June. But to me, it felt 90 degrees and scorching. It was 2013 and I was running the B.A.A 10K. I was in the middle of my running “career” and onto my 2nd or 3rd 10k. Everything started out just fine, music was pumping in my ears, adrenaline flowing through my legs,
“I got this” I thought. 
Until I hit Commonwealth Ave. 
For those of you unfamiliar with Boston, Commonwealth Ave is a fairly straight, uncovered, stretch of pavement. And this was where the majority of the 6.2 miles were ran. 

It got hot. It got hot, real quick. 


Heat Intolerance

One of the most well known symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, at least to us MSers, is heat intolerance. Being exposed to heat, whether it is from being outdoors, being in a hot shower or exercising, can make MS symptoms temporarily worse, which is called a pseudo-exacerbation. Once our bodies return to normal temperature, the symptoms dissipate and return back to their normal state. During a pseudo-exacerbation there is no actual disease progression taking place, however, while the symptoms are being felt, they are very real!
In fact, back in the day before MRI’s and modern medicine, doctors used to use the “hot bath test” to diagnose MS. In this test, individuals who were suspected of having MS were put in a hot bath to see if their symptoms increased. As unpleasant as an MRI is, I’m sure that would be much worse.
Doctors believe a pseudo-exacerbation occurs because heat causes the nerves, which are already are damaged, to perform their functions even less effectively. When body temperature increases, even by a quarter or half a degree, the electrical signals sent between demyelinated nerves are even further negatively impacted.
Some of the most common symptoms that individuals experience when in the heat are:
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision (Uhthoff’s Phenomenon)
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Pain
  • Cognitive Difficulties

Strategies to Manage the Heat

Sometimes being in the heat is unavoidable, so being prepared is the best thing you can do! Here are some tips for beating the heat:
  • AC is your friend! Staying in the AC during times of high heat or humidity is sometimes a must. Or having a nicely air conditioned house or room to come back to is important. When I didn’t have central air my doctor gave me the hint to make one room an “AC oasis” that is cool 24/7, which should be your bedroom, so you can sleep comfortably too.
  • Have ice water, or popsicles on hand all the time. Ice water is one of the fastest ways to bring your core temp down asap.
  • Have a personal fan/personal water mister that you can bring with you EVERYWHERE.
  • When working out, be smart about your environment. Chose indoor areas that have AC. If you must workout outside, pick morning or evening times when it is cooler.
  • Try cooler/cold showers to bring down your body temp too. I really like this after a workout, this helps to bring my body back down to a normal temp quite quickly. If you have a hard time tolerating a cold shower, you can also dip your feet into a cold bathtub or run your arms under cold water or splash your face with cold water as well.
  • There are tons of personal cooling vests or articles of clothing that you can purchase that can help for longer term cooling as well. I have a cooling head wrap that I used for running, that I somewhat liked. It started out cold, but would warm up quickly, especially if I was super warm.
  • Be smart about your clothing. If you’re at home and feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to ditch some clothes! Sometimes I’ll hang out in just a long t-shirt at home. It’s amazing what that does for your body temp. When I’m out, I’ll wear flowy shirts and loose shorts as well.
  • Get shady. When doing outdoor activities, try to find a spot where you can hide in the shade. It may not seem like it, but shade can feel like a huge temperature difference and can make being outside tolerable.

My Experience

My hubby and I like to go to the beach all the time. Like one summer, we went on a beach tour and went to a new beach each weekend. So to say I’m “used” to the heat is an understatement, but it still gets to me.
What I’ve found the most helpful for beating the heat is having a place to run back to that provides shade, whether that is an awesome beach tent or big tree, something that provides relief from the sun’s rays is key. I’ve found that sometimes in the shade it feels 10 degrees cooler than when in the sun. I also like to have a cooler with ice water with me. Yes, this means lugging a cooler to the beach, but in order to make my beach time fun, this is a necessity. My last thing that is key? Running in and out of the water. Obviously this isn’t always do-able if you’re not at the beach, so bringing some way to apply cold water, either a personal mister or cold towel or even having a mini AC handy is important.

By the time I hit the race turn around point, I felt like I was going to pass out. Looking back on it, I had no business finishing this race. But, I’m stubborn. And I was even more stubborn back then. 
Thankfully, my sister ran 99.9% of my races with me, and she was right there by my side. She didn’t know it, but she gave me the strength to keep going and in my mind, was there in case I passed out. 
By the time we hit the home stretch, I told her to go on ahead (she was great at sprinting to the finish) and I came behind about a minute later. My hubby (boyfriend at the time) was also there, at the finish line. He took one look at me, yelled at the medics, “GRAB HER”. 
I was stumbling to the finish, barely able to see, my legs were numb and tingling (at the same time, totally weird feeling) and I couldn’t feel most of my body.
Against my overheated, belligerent will, I was thrown in a wheel chair and carted off to the medical tent. I fought the entire time, stating I was “fine” and I just needed to “walk it off” (ha!).
My core temperature was 106 degrees, I was dizzy, confused and fighting the nurses. They tossed me in an ice bath for what seemed like an eternity (to me, as well as my then boyfriend and sister) and I thankfully didn’t have to go to the hospital. I think I told them I had MS, and that everything was much worse because of the heat, but I don’t really remember too much else of the conversation. 
Obviously both the act of running and the heat got to me that day. But I think the heat was the most impacting factor. I was a well conditioned runner at the time and the distance had previously given me no issues on 50 degree days.
The only things gained from the experience was a new shirt and a healthy respect for rising temperatures. 

I’M ALISSA!

I help women who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis make specific and personalized diet, lifestyle & subconscious changes so that they can begin to heal their body, reduce disease symptoms, and return to a life they love.hey there,

follow along on Instagram:

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.
...

58 9
This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡

This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡
...

21 4
Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️
...

24 10
This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment. 

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?

This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment.

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?
...

55 2
Thank you for supporting my business this past year. 

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!

Thank you for supporting my business this past year.

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!
...

38 7
👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!

👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!
...

16 0
Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!

Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!
...

3 2
The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS. 
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

14 1
Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡

Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡
...

22 1
Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis. 

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now. 

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis.

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now.

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

90 4
This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️

This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️
...

20 2
I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!

I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!
...

18 2

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