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    Always Cold

    Hello, sorry if I am asking too many questions. I am new diagnosed and trying to figure stuff out. I have a question about temperature regulation. There is a lot of talk and information on overheating with MS but whom, of all of you, are severely affected by the cold? I live in Ontario, Canada (in the snow belt) and, obviously we have our fair share of cold weather. I am extremely cold-intolerant. I've been this way going on 15 years. It could be 22 degrees celcius (72-ish, F) and everyone is sitting on the deck in a T-shirt. I'm sitting there shivering in a sweater. Right now, I am sitting at the office with a space heater and I'm freezing. I HATE the winter. Hate it. I am so cold all of the time.

    Anyway, just wondering if this is an MS thing. I have had my thyroid checked, etc.

    #2
    Originally posted by Pistachio View Post
    Hello, sorry if I am asking too many questions. I am new diagnosed and trying to figure stuff out. I have a question about temperature regulation. There is a lot of talk and information on overheating with MS but whom, of all of you, are severely affected by the cold? I live in Ontario, Canada (in the snow belt) and, obviously we have our fair share of cold weather. I am extremely cold-intolerant. I've been this way going on 15 years. It could be 22 degrees celcius (72-ish, F) and everyone is sitting on the deck in a T-shirt. I'm sitting there shivering in a sweater. Right now, I am sitting at the office with a space heater and I'm freezing. I HATE the winter. Hate it. I am so cold all of the time.

    Anyway, just wondering if this is an MS thing. I have had my thyroid checked, etc.
    Pistachio ~

    I am both heat sensitive and cold intolerant. It can be an MS thing.

    This is from an NMSS article in their Momentum magazine:

    "Dr. Bermel’s patients have described feeling their muscles “locking up” or “freezing up;” others describe the sensation as “burning pain.” Amanda Rohrig, a physical therapist with Horizon Rehabilitation Centers in Omaha, Nebraska, and consultant to Can Do MS, says some of her clients experience powerful stiffness, spasticity, spasms, muscle pain, difficulty walking and difficulty transitioning in and out of chairs or cars in frosty weather. In addition, muscle stiffness and spasms also increase the risk for falling. “The cold can influence a person’s movement to the extent that he or she requires more assistance than usual,” says Rohrig. One of her clients uses a wheelchair in winter when cold aggravates her symptoms, and then goes back to using a cane or walker come spring. “When it’s tough to move around,” Rohrig adds, “it’s also tougher to generate warmth, so it can become a vicious cycle of feeling cold and having cold-related symptoms.”

    Cold intolerance is likely to get worse as MS progresses, especially for people who already have stiffness and spasticity as symptoms. “The two go hand in hand,”Dr. Bermel adds."


    "Neurologists aren’t 100 percent sure what causes cold intolerance, but they know what doesn’t, and that’s a change in core body temperature.

    With heat intolerance, a rise in core body temperature—even just a half a degree—can interfere with nerve impulses. “If you heat the body up, movements become slower,” explains Dr. Bermel, citing research done on eye movements. But the dynamic is totally different when core body temperature drops. “If you cool the body down, movement improves—often even better than baseline, so cold is not likely to slow down nerve activity.”

    Here’s what neurologists think is happening instead: MS is known to cause problems, in some individuals, with the autonomic nervous system—the part of the nervous system that controls key involuntary functions such as movements of the heart muscle and the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s this system that helps the body adjust to changes in ambient temperature—making us sweat if it’s too hot, for example, or shiver if it’s too cold. It can make our blood vessels dilate or constrict, and our blood pressure rise or fall as needed to stay a comfortable 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (individual temperatures vary). “These natural compensation mechanisms may not work right in people with MS,” Dr. Bermel explains, “so they might not shiver to send extra blood flow to the limbs when they’re cold, as people without MS do.”

    https://momentummagazineonline.com/warm-up-to-winter/

    PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Pistachio,

      I live just across the border from you, near Detroit, so hello neighbor!

      I am both heat and cold intolerant. I have a small temperature window of about 5 degrees I feel comfortable in. For me, heat intolerance started first, but it was several years after my diagnosis. I think it was another five years when the cold intolerance showed up.

      I'm less mobile now, so don't generate much heat. I'm sure that has something to do with it, but not entirely. I get so cold, I literally feel chilled to the bone. I also have spasticity, which gets worse the colder I am.

      Not sure how much a role MS has in your cold intolerance, though, since you were just diagnosed and yours started 15 ago. Regardless, not fun.

      "Doctors believe that MS can cause blood vessels in your hands and feet to overreact to cold temperatures. If you have MS, you may also be at risk for Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition in which your fingers and toes lose heat. They turn from white to blue to red as the blood begins flowing again. You may feel numbness, pain, or like someone is sticking you with pins and needles.

      To protect your hands and feet from the effects of the cold, try wearing hand warmers or using a heating pad. But don’t place the heating pad directly on your skin. It could cause burns or blisters."
      https://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/ms-fall-winter

      Just hope it doesn't get worse for you, and best of luck keeping warm this winter!
      Kimba

      “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck

      Comment


        #4
        I get cold really easily! I like to have a magic bag that I heat up in the microwave and I put it on my back when I'm sitting. Sometimes I just hug it when I am standing up. My feet get crazy cold too, and I find taking a walk around helps warm them up - I have to get the blood flowing.

        Comment


          #5
          I am both heat and cold intolerant. Summer time, in the car, I have the air conditioner on and the heated seat on. I have had to do this for many years. My husband will tell me I feel quite warm but I feel cold. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Raynaud's.
          Diagnosed 1984
          “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic

          Comment


            #6
            I am another who is both heat and cold intolerant. My ideal temperature is 63, but I'm okay between 58-67. Outside of those numbers, I start having issues. Too hot and I get slower and weaker. My brain gets sluggish. Too cold and I stiffen up and feel more pain. The cold affects me much more quickly than warm weather. Sometimes all it takes is going from the house to the car 30' away. That said, I've had 85-degree days where I've been bundled up in a comforter and shivering in the sunshine.

            All I can suggest is to follow whatever your body's telling you. If you feel cold, wrap up. If you feel hot, start stripping!

            Comment


              #7
              The cold makes my spasticity worse. I don't like it.
              The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Boudreaux View Post
                The cold makes my spasticity worse. I don't like it.
                Same here. And I don't like it either

                Diagnosed 1984
                “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Boudreaux View Post
                  The cold makes my spasticity worse. I don't like it.
                  YES! Looking back I can see that this is also true for me. However, I also downhill ski but I am not bothered then - mostly because skiing is work and I'm getting pretty warm in my cozy ski coat. I ski pretty hard and do the experienced runs. But any other time that I am out in the cold my muscles tense up terribly.

                  Comment

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