Thursday, June 5, 2008

Heat and Multiple Sclerosis

Almost every book or article you read concerning MS says something about how heat affects Multiple Sclerosis. It seems like most MS patients have an adverse reaction to heat. My wife is somewhat of an exception with this, and I have a feeling that there are others out there that are the same way. She can handle hot baths and hot days, and most of the time it doesn't seem to affect her at all. On the other hand, if she gets really hot or really cold it seems to be very difficult to get her body regulated again.

We recently moved to Albuquerque, NM to work at a children's home as house parents. Albuquerque is at about 5,000-6,000 ft elevation and is around 80 to 90 degrees this time of year. It is beautiful! Most days start out in the 50's or 60's and at the hottest time of the day, it is still comfortable. This week we are back in our home town in West Texas. The average temp during the day is around 105 degrees. My wife noticed in Albuquerque that her body regulated very quickly to the temp and the heat gave her no issues. Once we came back to West Texas, she has felt weak and becomes tired very quickly from the hot days. She has been staying indoors most of the day so that her body stays cool and comfortable.

I guess I write all of this because your environment seems to play a huge role in the quality of life you live when dealing with MS. Heat doesn't seem to affect my wife's MS unless it is extreme one way or the other, and we have already seen how living in a more temperate climate helps her have more energy and stamina. My wife commented the other day that if she knew that it would be that much different to live in NM, that we would have moved sooner. I guess we all need to take a look at how our environment is helping or hindering the quality of life we hope to live. We are going to continue to evaluate how and where we live so that my wife can live a full life.

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