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Heat Intolerance Affects many with Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm
An Overview of Heat Intolerance

By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., - Originally Published June 26, 2008 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

For many of us with multiple sclerosis (MS), summer fills us with anxiety. Hot weather means MS symptoms and, well, suffering. As most people are going outside to enjoy the hot weather, we are drawing the blinds and resigning ourselves to cleaning out closets and reading novels. Even vacations are a challenge, as each year we look for places further from the equator or “adventures” that take place in air-conditioned coolness.

Heat intolerance in MS shows up as a "pseudoexacerbation" -- the experience of having symptoms appear or worsen due to heat exposure. This is different than a true relapse. In the case of a pseudoexacerbation, when the body’s temperature returns to normal, these symptoms disappear. No damage, such as inflammation, demyelination or new lesions, has been done during these pseudoexacerbations.

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