Monday, 1 July 2013

Heat wave

I have never been so sweaty in my life. 

That's right - in Burnaby B.C. - it feels like 38 degrees. 

But it's not an enjoyable heat.  It's a slicked-with-sweat kind of heat.  A state of perma-frizziness.  Our townhouse soaks up the heat.  Bottles us in like we are baking.

Heat and MS do not go well together.  Why?

Heat can produce a temporary worsening of symptoms but usually does not cause more disease activity (demyelination of the nerves themselves).  Heat intolerance is most commonly seen as decreased cognitive function, numbness in the extremities, fatigue, blurred vision and weakness.

This is caused by a rise in body temperature. Damaged nerve cells (the lesions in my brain and spinal cord) are much less efficient when the body’s core temperature rises, and functions or sensations associated with those damaged nerve cells will appear worse.

The immune system also becomes more active in any situation when there is a rise in body temperature.  This can manifest a situation where white blood cells are produced to fight an enemy within one's body.  With MS, unfortunately, there are no infections to fight - and these chemical reactions destroy healthy tissue instead.

So yes - this means my hair will be wet and frizzy until it cools down.  I will have ice packs all over my body.  And I am *this close* to sitting topless right in front of our portable air conditioner.

For those who love the heat, enjoy!

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