These are 2 links that will take you to a group of articles on two different Multiple Sclerosis sites.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/site/S ... it&inc=100
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
http://www.msaa.com/searchpro/index.asp ... search=%A0
This is a general article form the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on MS and heat. It suggests some other simple strategies for coping with heat.
Hot flash! It’s summer!
Summer beckons us with images of easygoing days. But it’s a mixed bag. Hot, muggy weather can sap anyone’s energy. For people with MS, hot weather often brings additional challenges. Heat can cause symptoms to appear or make the ones you already have feel worse. It can affect walking, thinking, strength, and energy level. As many as 60–80% of people with MS have had heat-related symptoms. One theory holds that while damaged nerves may be able to conduct electrical impulses adequately under ideal temperatures, higher temperatures interfere with the process. Fortunately, the effects of heat are usually temporary. With hot weather on the way, take time to assess your own sensitivity. You may then want to consider some CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine strategies.
Cooling strategies can improve symptoms for many people. Many are just common sense (fans, air conditioning, cold drinks). A spritzer bottle of water is great to use during exercise. People report that dampened clothes and a fan may give symptomatic relief. Cool clothes rule Consider personal cooling garments. Vests, jackets, and neck wraps have pockets for inserting ice packs or refrigerated gels. Cooling suits that circulate fluids, a method called active cooling, are more expensive. Cooling garments may be covered by health insurance and may be tax-deductible. Research on the active cooling system funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) showed that lowering core body temperature by only 0.5 degree Fahrenheit could produce small but immediate improvements in walking speed and vision and suggested that there may be long-term benefits as well.
Mind over matter?
There are several CAM strategies that don't need a thing. They're in your head, so to speak. Even though there’s scant clinical evidence for people with MS, there’s little risk involved, so they're worth considering. If nothing else, they might just help you feel more relaxed. Meditation has been shown to calm the nervous system and has been used to treat such medical conditions as high blood pressure and pain. There are many types, and most include breathing techniques. A basic meditation practice is sitting or lying comfortably, eyes open or closed, and simply focusing on breathing. Visualization involves creating a mental image. Images such as a waterfall flowing over your body may help you feel more comfortable. Develop an image that you like, and practice bringing it to mind. These are practices you can call on at any time, any where. But it’s best to practice a technique regularly so that you can access it in a pinch. Many health-care professionals have experience in teaching these techniques.
Yoga is cool, too
Certain yoga poses and breathing techniques are said to be “cooling.” Yoga practitioners believe that these poses may actually help lower core body temperature. Most gentle or restorative yoga classes are appropriate for people with MS. But many yoga poses are believed to create “heat,” so find an instructor experienced in adapting poses for people with special needs.
Listen to yourself
Biofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that teaches people how to regulate mental and bodily functions. It has been used to reduce blood pressure and treat pain. There is some evidence that biofeedback can help people learn to regulate body temperature. However, it has not been studied in people with MS. Since biofeedback can be expensive, consider the lack of evidence before trying this approach.
When exploring CAM, it’s important to be aware of the difference between proven evidence resulting from clinical studies and personal opinion based on individual experience. Like so many aspects of MS, CAM therapies affect individuals differently. You have to find what works for you. Dr. Allen C. Bowling, neurologist, and Tom Stewart, certified physician assistant, are both at the Rocky Mountain MS Center in Englewood, Colorado, which emphasizes a holistic approach to MS care. For more information about CAM and MS, go to www.ms-cam.org
It’s important to tell your physician about any complementary treatments you are considering or taking. It’s equally important that your physician listen respectfully to your questions and concerns regarding CAM.