Heat waves are awful for many of us with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, because our body's homeostasis (regulation system) generally doesn't work well. We heat up too much, and we can't cool down.
I've written frequently about our need to cool our bodies, but I recently learned that I'd overlooked one aspect of it - when you're really hot, being too aggressive about cooling off can cause its own set of problems!
In a region that rarely sees 100 degrees, we recently had several days in a row of 100+ temperatures. I got badly overheated at a wedding reception where the air conditioning had decided not to function. When I got home, it was straight to the bathtub, where I ran some cold water to soak my feet in. I was distracted, so I didn't test the water. I just ran a couple inches of straight cold and then plunged my feet in.
The shock of that extreme cold on my hot, puffy, achy feet was agonizing! They jerked back so fast that I nearly fell off the side of the tub. My whole body tensed up and went into full fight-or-flight adrenaline mode.
Most of us know the consequences of that: dizziness, disorientation, pain spikes, hammering heart, panic, nausea and other symptoms are all possible. They're usually followed by a crash, with some combination of fatigue, brain fog and pain hitting hard.
What I realized is that I usually take things much more slowly and carefully, but I'd never really thought about it. I know now that I need to pay attention and not deliver this kind of shock to my system.
For ways to keep yourself cool or cool off when you need it, see:
What does the heat do to you? How do you keep cool? Leave your comments below!
- Temperature Sensitivity in FMS & ME/CFS
- Excessive Sweating in FMS & ME/CFS
- What to Keep in Your Purse
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