Our Nurses > Ask a Nurse > Calling it a truce when it comes to the thermostat
Calling it a truce when it comes to the thermostat
November 19, 2013
Heat really exacerbates my MS symptoms. I keep turning down the heat in our house, but my husband says I am making everyone suffer because it is too cold.
First of all, 69 degrees is not cold. Second, I would rather him be cold and me be able to walk! Sorry if I am sounding grumpy, but I really can't take it when he keeps turning the heat up to 74 degrees. What should I do?
– Too Hot in the House
Nurse Karen replies:
I hear this a lot from people with MS because so many of them are intolerant to heat and they do feel better if it's cooler. The problem is, most people share a home with someone else and controlling the thermostat can become an issue. The first thing you should do is try to find a middle ground. You like it at 69 degrees, which is cold for him. He likes it at 74 degrees, which is definitely too warm for you. Call a truce and say, “Let's try leaving it at 71 degrees and see how it goes.”
From there, it's about both of you making adjustments. You can try wearing a little less clothing around the house, and maybe he can put a sweatshirt on when he's home. You can also try drinking cold drinks or using ice packs to stay cool, because it's the increase in your core body temperature that can make your MS symptoms more noticeable.
The other thing I would recommend is having a discussion with your husband and the rest of your family about how heat intolerance is a very common problem for people with MS. You can ask your doctor for information to share with them that shows how heat can make MS symptoms more noticeable. They need to understand that it's not a personal preference; there are actual medical reasons for why you need the house to be cooler.
— Nurse Karen, MS One to One® Nurse
Helping since 2013