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Managing MS Symptoms in Summer

By Daryl H. Bryant (496 words)
Posted in Living with MS on June 27, 2019

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Managing MS Symptoms in Summer

There is nothing quite like the sounds of summer - birds chirping, kids playing, pool parties, backyard barbecues, and block parties that last well into the evening. But with those joyful sounds comes the oppressive summer heat. For those with multiple sclerosis, summer temps can trigger heat-related symptoms such as: 

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Tremors

  • Weakness

  • Cognitive Challenges

Fortunately, with a little planning, you can keep your cool and manage symptoms even on the hottest days. Read on for our top tips to beat the heat. 

Stay Positive

Summer can feel like it lasts forever - especially if you live in the southern portion of the U.S., where the temperatures can climb to triple digits as early as late May. Remind yourself that the summer heat is temporary and that cooler weather will return. Stay positive by indulging in fun indoor activities or by enjoying the outdoors in the evenings, when temperatures are less intense. Or, check out our tips for managing MS at the beach, and then plan a trip to the water - the sun and surf are sure to brighten your mood! 

Stay Cool

Don’t let symptoms catch you unawares. Take the time to plan ahead and develop simple strategies for managing the heat. This may require you to adjust your daily routine or bring additional items with you on outings. Here are our favorite ways to beat the heat: 

  • Wear lightweight clothing. 

  • Keep cool indoors with ceiling fans and oscillating fans. 

  • Use cooling wraps, bandannas, or vests to regulate temperature when you’re outside. 

  • Take cool baths or showers as needed.

  • Go for a swim- this is one of the best forms of exercise for those with MS. 

Eat Well

Even if you can’t go outside, you can still reap the benefits of summer. Fruits and veggies are linked to slowed MS progression, so indulge in pineapple, berries, and melons, sweet and juicy corn, and cool, crisp cucumbers with hummus. Or, mix fruits and veggies together in a delicious and nourishing smoothie

An added benefit: Fruits and veggies are naturally hydrating and best enjoyed cold, which can help you manage heat-related symptoms. 

Reach out for Help

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help! Let friends and family know how they can help, whether it’s picking up groceries for you, helping you get to appointments, or simply coming over to keep you company as you stay out of the heat. If you find yourself struggling despite working to manage symptoms, check in with your doctor. He or she may be able to help you devise new strategies or prescribe additional treatments and therapies to better manage symptoms. 

With a little planning, you can beat the heat and make this a summer of happy memories and exciting outings. So fill up the cooler with ice, cool packs, and fruit, grab some friends, and have some fun! 

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