Last reply 6 years ago
Does the cold affect you too?

I am from Melbourne, Australia and it’s winter at the moment, and we are experiencing a very cold one! This winter I am finding that I am experiencing more spasticity in my calf muscles in both of my legs. I am alo experiencing stiffness at times. Thankfully it’s not resticting me too much, but does anyone else feel these symptoms in cold weather?

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reddread
6 years ago

Hi Monique,

Although I am still in the process of getting a diagnosis, most signs are pointing toward MS, and I experience the same symptoms when it’s cold outside. I live in central Canada, so the winters can get pretty rough (-50 Celsius is a regular occurrence). Anyway, I had what I think was my first “relapse” or exacerbation on christmas night of last year, and my symptoms got way worse when i had to go outside, or even when I was warm and then started cooling off.

Many websites around the interwebs say that MS symptoms are worsened with heat, and many mention the hot bath test for “diagnosing” (but that’s ages old) but few mention that some people are affected by cold temperatures as well. I actually posted a question on here a while ago asking the same question, and the lovely people on this forum confirmed that cold can have the same effect as heat on symptoms.

Simply put: Nerves have an optimal temperature for operation, so temperature changes + or – can have adverse effects


Alison
6 years ago

I agree, there seems to be a lot of literature about the effects of heat but very little about cold. I find that in “normal” slightly cool environents eg an air conditioned office my extremities get freezing cold and my legs become stiff. I used to sit in the office wearing fingerless gloves so I could type!


willie11lfc
6 years ago

hi, yeah the cold definately effects my ms. I live in northern ireland where it is generally cold or raining or both lol.. Whenever it is cold or im out in the rain, my vision deteriorates greatly and the numbness in my legs increases. Managing this can be tiresome, but we have to keep going, onwards and upwards….

William


Anonymous
6 years ago

I’ve always been sensitive to cold. It what has made my heat sensitivity suck so much. I used to LOVE being warm and loathed being cold. Now I prefer being more on the cold side then the hot. But when I am too cold I get stiff and achy and generally uncomfortable.


willie11lfc
6 years ago

chels, i know how you feel… too warm and i cant see properly and i feel weak, too cold and my joints ache….. its a pain, difficult to find a happy medium. i used to play football and do a bit of fitness/weight training, but due to the heat sensitivity i had to give it up…..even writing about it pisses me off……


pottypete
6 years ago

I’m cold sensitive. It screws me completely. Heat is my saviour. I’d love to live somewhere like Greece, with its more arid climate.


aardvark
6 years ago

I’m more sensitive to cold than heat. Having said that, I’ve never experienced 50 degrees, as my work has never taken me to sub-Saharan Africa. Yet.


chezza40
6 years ago

Yes, I get affected by the cold too. I get leg spasms and cramps and have to be very aware of the weather. I am always wrapped up when other people are in tshits. MS has a lot to answer for.


chueykooh
6 years ago

Sometimes in the winter when I get extremely cold i find my legs almost lock up, I walk like the tin man until I warm up. My heat sensitivity has lessened over the years but the both of them still get me.


ophelia
6 years ago

This is all starting to ring true with me…I had an horrendous relapse at the beginning of the year, stiff legs, spasms, weakness, numbness. Maybe everything got exacerbated because of the cold?!


Anonymous
6 years ago

I hate being cold, and I cannot get warm after when I am cold; but the heat kicks my butt.


jenko1972
6 years ago

Hi

Yes I cannot bare the cold either. My colleagues are amazed when I turn up at work with multiple layers on! I love the sun and feeling warm, a long time ago way before being diagnosed I use to relax and sit in the sun I wonder now if this was my body trying to tell me something. I feel bad wishing for sunnier weather when I read how the heat affects others.

Neil


monique89
6 years ago

I think we are dealing with a juggling act! I can’t stand it when it’s scorching hot but I do like the warmth, not so much heat. The cold never used to affect me, I’ve had MS for almost 9 years now, and it’s never been an issue. I guess things change, but I think finding the right temperature balance for our body is important. Thanks for all the comments 🙂


DjBlack
6 years ago

Hey monique89

I lived in the complete opposite … North Queensland haha. I just moved to Sydney though for work. I found that the cold was nicer to me … getting really rowdy and exercising when it was all warm and muggy (much nicer than freezing cold haha) I had my symptoms flair up like loss of feeling, pins and needles and stuff

But I really do think it is each to their own … gets everyone differently.

Dave.


kateee
6 years ago

I agree with what most people have said it’s a lose lose situation. Heat makes me feel worse and the cold tenses my muscles at the back of my legs.


messpositif
6 years ago

Me too to hot and to cold.
My hope is that with practice, my system acclimatises. I’m sure that as summer came, in years gone by, my body seemed to cope better with heat after repeatedly getting too hot.
As to cold, taking exercise takes more than 1/4 to thaw me out. As an instant cold remedy, when you can’t seem to shake off the cold that’s got in your bones, I do the washing up in the hottest water that I can bear. That and wear enough layers to look like a bear.


music
6 years ago

Hi
I live in London, so it can be cold or hot at any given time. I can have all the symptoms, but heat is worse for me.


travis15
6 years ago

i love the a/c its been 90 in detroit for about the last week.this will be my first winter with ms so i dont know how the cold will be in the past i get really stiff in the cold.


highheeledfagin
6 years ago

My fingers stiffen up to the point where I can’t even send a text message on a bus or even hold my toothbrush properly. I tend to wear gloves as soon as it gets cold and probably rub my hands together a lot to keep the sensation in there, but generally I adapted by buying gadgets – something as simple as getting an electric can opener and electric toothbrush helps so much. I bought bags of chopped onions and jars of minced garlic because peeling got difficult, and a mini food processor can help with chopping.


lloyd
6 years ago

Cold is brutal on me all my bones are stiff and hurt, but the heat ducks all my strength away.


messpositif
6 years ago

Which would you prefer, warmth or sunshine (where I am it is never too hot)? For me, it is light. Britain’s seemingly endless dank winter darkness is what I think turns off my internal warmth. With sunshine everything is better whether hot or cold. With sunshine I can creek and crank my stiff frame into action and through that get going, and suffer aching icicle hands with so much more tolerance,


emmak
6 years ago

I have heard that colds and other disorders that affect the MS. Sounds plausible as the MS is our immunity system getting in places where it has no business, Like under the brain cap, and with a cold (or likewise) we activate our immunity system.


crystal10
6 years ago

I have noticed that in the cold my muscles stiffen and my left leg locks behind the knee. In the heat I start to get the burning, numbness and tingling with shooting pains. And activity in either weather I’ve noticed my muscles tire easily…

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