It is not even officially winter yet but the temperatures are saying something different. The high for today is only 36 degrees with a mixture of rain and snow and then tomorrow they are still calling for snow. Even though it is cold, I think the snow they are calling for will only be rain. There will be no accumulation on the ground and the roads will just be wet.
Some people love the cold weather and it makes them feel much better than the insanely hot days, but for some it really has negative effects. The cold weather results in less blood supply to the extremities to preserve body heat in the core torso and head. The reduction in blood flow means there are less white blood cells available to fight diseases. With a weakened immune system you are more susceptible to winter illnesses, such as a cold and the flu. However, colds and flu are not directly caused by cold weather but caused by viral infections of the upper respiratory tract caught from others.
Those that suffer from migraines can also have some negative effects. Decreased temperatures come from falling barometric pressure. An atmospheric change can be so intense it can lead to sinus issues and migraines. It is hard for me to say if my sinus issues get worse in the winter or not because I have year round sinus issues.
MS and weather can have a challenging relationship. Hot temperatures can be almost unbearable but cold weather can also bring on other issues. Cold can lead to muscle cramps, stiffness and tightness which can cause increased fatigue. The shorter winter days and less sunlight also have an effect on depression, which is very common with MS. Vitamin D levels are lower in the winter months due to less exposure to sunlight. It is important to do what you can to increase your Vitamin D level. Vitamin D levels with MS have a huge impact on any relapses that might occur.
There are many ways to manage MS and cold weather:
- Keep your hands and feet warm
- Soak up as much sunshine as possible (There are sunny days, even in the winter)
- Don’t overdo heat inside (There is a delicate balance between cold and heat! Too much heat can cause additional issues. Hot showers and baths feel nice, but you must be careful with them!)
- Warm yourself from the inside (Warm beverages can take the chill off and actually warm the body’s core faster.)
The next few days are going to be rather cold but then there are days next week it will warm up. The inconsistencies with weather is horrible. Our bodies are not able to adjust to a temperature before it changes again. It seems to go from the threat of snow to sunshine and warmth. Hopefully the temperatures will balance out soon so I can get acclimated to the weather and feel much better than I do now!
I hope y’all had a great week and have good things planned for the weekend! Enjoy the weekend as much as possible, as you already know it goes by so fast! Thank you for reading and commenting on my post for today! Take care and stay warm! Much love and strength to all of you!