Don't forget to 'Ask TiMS'
If you have a question concerning any aspect of managing people with MS, please contact the working group and we will do our very best to help you.
Each quarter we publish one question which has been sent to the TiMS:
Question: I have a patient who gets very tired when they get hot, to the point where they can hardly function. Do you have any tips on how to keep cool?
Answer: We know that nerve conduction can slow considerably with even small increases in temperature. In fact many years ago the 'hot bath test' was put forward as a way of testing whether someone had MS! Keeping cool can prolong someone's ability to keep going. Ask the person to avoid hot drinks and hot meals if they are out and about, especially if they are doing any sort of activity. An iced drink or cold pudding may help them to feel stronger for longer. Other ideas include:
- wearing a cold, damp T-shirt (maybe under a dry top) to do activities - sounds horrible but it works!
- keeping a few cold, damp cotton scarves in a cool box or fridge and using them one at a time to tuck in around the neck if they begin to feel hot
- keeping a water spray handy to spray on the face to keep cool and running cold water over the inside of the wrist
- trying not to turn the heating up too high or putting on too many warm clothes (although many people with MS have problems with their internal thermostat and feel the cold so this is often difficult to do!)
Hope that helps!