Living with multiple sclerosis can bring up a variety of challenges, especially when in a warm environment or engaging in activities that raise internal body temperature. MS damages the nerve protective sheath, thus making the body more sensitive to extremes. This sensitivity is known as Uthoff’s phenomenon; as body temperature rises, a person’s symptoms can worsen leading to muscular weakness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, trouble concentrating and issues with vision.
The effects and fear of overheating are enough to prevent those suffering with MS from engaging in any activities that do not entail air conditioning, increasing the possibility of another side effect; depression/isolation.
Luckily there are a variety of products available to help those with MS continue to live without such uncomfortable symptoms, spend time outside in warmer weather, and exercise more safely. The most valuable product to someone suffering with MS is a cooling vest; specifically an evaporative one.
Cooling vests are designed to stabilize or lower your internal body temperature, allowing for a more tolerable experience when outdoors or engaging in any activity that will increase body temperature (even household chores).
There are two types of cooling vests: passive and active.
Active vests require a power source such as a battery or electricity (making them quite difficult to wear/travel with) and normally run at a very high price point.
Passive vests do not require any power source, and instead function using material that absorbs body heat, contains ice packs or uses evaporation technology. Evaporative passive vests like our Hydracool line are the most lightweight, portable and cost effective option on the market.
The process for activation is not only wildly simple and short (a few minutes soaked in cool water) but the benefits are also long (cooling for up to 72 hours).
A 2017 study from Medical News Today, suggests that wearing a cooling vest could improve mental and physical performance in heat-intolerant people with MS. Researchers asked 18 individuals with MS to wear either a cooling vest or a cotton T-shirt during a 7-week physical training program. The results showed that a cooling vest improved emotional well-being, physical and cognitive performance, and perceived fatigue levels.
Our evaporative Hydracool Vest is lightweight, form fitting and easy to travel with, making it the perfect solution for whatever you are doing and wherever you may be. Having a reliable product to aid when MS symptoms may arise is key to living more comfortably with MS. With its accessible price point, modern aesthetic and superior function, the Hydracool vest is a top product for those suffering from MS.
Stay cool out there.