Multiple sclerosis (MS) can make it harder for the body to regulate temperature, leading to heat and
Sensitivity to cold is not as well-known as heat sensitivity but both occur quite frequently in MS. Just to confuse things, some people are sensitive to both heat and cold so the temperature needs to be just right for them to feel at their best.
Temperature sensitivity in MS
Heat sensitivity or Uhthoff's phenomenon occurs in 60–80% of MS patients , where increases in core body temperature as little as ~ 0.5°C can trigger temporary symptoms worsening.
People should consider the diagnosis of MS if they have one or more of these symptoms: vision loss in one or both eyes. acute paralysis in the legs or along one side of the body. acute numbness and tingling in a limb.
Everyone's body has a slightly different reaction to cold, and some people feel cold more often than others. This is called cold intolerance. Gender can play a part in cold intolerance. Women are more likely to feel cold all the time, in part because they have a lower resting metabolic rate.
MS can cause temperature dysregulation
This temperature dysregulation makes us susceptible to extreme hot or cold, which many of us have experience with.
Some people with MS notice that symptoms, particularly spasticity, become worse in cold weather. It is generally recommended that people with MS who are sensitive to temperature try to avoid extremes of either hot or cold.
Although poor circulation isn't a primary symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic condition that involves the central nervous system (CNS), circulation issues can affect individuals with MS.
Common symptoms include fatigue, bladder and bowel problems, sexual problems, pain, cognitive and mood changes such as depression, muscular changes and visual changes. See your doctor for investigation and diagnosis of symptoms, since some symptoms can be caused by other illnesses.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) triggers that worsen symptoms or cause a relapse can include stress, heart disease and smoking. While some are easier to avoid than others, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and overall health and wellness can have outsized benefits for MS patients.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the effects of heat on people with MS were used in the diagnosis of the condition. The hot bath test involved lying in a bath of warm water. If this caused or worsened neurological symptoms, it was taken as evidence that the person had multiple sclerosis.
MS causes nerves to lose their myelin sheath, making them more vulnerable to heat and temperature changes. Heat exposure can cause or heighten fatigue, numbness, blurry vision, tremor, confusion, imbalance, and weakness. This is a pseudo-exacerbation as symptoms typically dissipate once the body is cooled.
The bottom line
An increase in body temperature is more likely to cause this effect than a decrease in body temperature. Humidity can also be part of the equation. For this reason, some people with MS relocate to mixed-dry or cold climates to help manage their symptoms.
Despite having a similar core temperature to those without MS while resting and exercising, people with MS show a significantly reduced sweat response.
People with MS can be sensitive to extremes of temperature, and may find that either heat or cold makes their MS symptoms worsen. Some people can find they experience problems with both extremes of temperature.
When your body runs low on vitamin D, it affects your immunity, making you more prone to ailments like cold and flu, fever, allergies, asthma, and eczema. These are just a few among more than 80 illnesses that can be caused by problems with the immune function.
Blame our slower metabolisms. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that the resting metabolic rate, or the amount of energy your body burns at rest, was 23% higher in men than women. A slower metabolism causes women to produce less heat so they tend to feel colder.
Cold hands and feet can be a result of iron deficiency anemia. People with anemia have poor blood circulation throughout their bodies because they don't have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to their tissue.
Here's where MS (typically) starts
Although a number of MS symptoms can appear early on, two stand out as occurring more often than others: Optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve, is usually the most common, Shoemaker says. You may experience eye pain, blurred vision and headache.
While there is no definitive blood test for MS, blood tests can rule out other conditions that cause symptoms similar to those of MS, including lupus erythematosis, Sjogren's, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some infections, and rare hereditary diseases.
Multiple sclerosis is caused by your immune system mistakenly attacking the brain and nerves. It's not clear why this happens but it may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The connection between vitamin D and MS is strengthened by the association between sunlight and the risk of MS . The farther away from the equator a person lives, the higher the risk of MS . Sunlight is the body's most efficient source for vitamin D — suggesting that exposure to sunlight may offer protection from MS .
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.