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    Heat Increases Symptoms for MS Sufferers

    By by Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
    June 23, 2012, 1:23:45 AM EDT

    As the weather heats up outside, it could also amp up the symptoms for multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers.

    According to the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, heat intolerance is often developed with MS, and core body temperature increases as small as half a degree Fahrenheit can increase symptoms.

    "The cause of this is that nerves that have lost their conductive coating (myelin sheath) become more sensitive to heat, and the nerve signal slows down or is blocked resulting in an increase in symptoms," according to the MSCE.

    Symptoms can vary from person to person, but can include: increased heart rate, sweating dizziness, muscle weakness, decreased reaction times, lethargy, and difficulty concentrating.

    To ease symptoms during the summer months, stay in an air-conditioned environment during extreme heat, wear lightweight clothing, avoid sunbathing, and limit exercise to pools and cool, indoor areas.

    The good news: Heat-related symptoms are temporary, says the National MS Center. "The symptoms are generally rapidly reversed when the source of increased temperature is removed."

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