Progression of disease in hot climates

It’s found that prevalence of MS is less in hot climates, but is the progression of the disease helped by being in a hot climate?

I know a hot climate could make Uhthoff’s phenomenon worse, but does being in a warm climate reduce the likelihood of future disability as well as the frequency of sufferers or is it just the later? Anyone know of any research looking at this? I was wondering if I should be thinking about moving to a warmer country to help with things or if this would be of no benefit (or worse due to Uhthoff’s phenomenon).

You’re misappropriating the logic of it.

It’s not the heat or warmth, but the sunlight exposure. Sunlight produces vitamin D in the skin. People with MS have lower vitamin D levels. The link isn’t fully understood, but it’s a known link and why we’re encouraged to take vit D supplementation.

Heat would actually worsen the symptoms of someone who has MS, as a rise in body core temperature exacerbates symptoms


hi reddevilade

it’s the climate where you were born or where you were conceived that means you are less likely to have ms.

so it’s more about where your mother was before and during pregnancy.

if warm climate makes you feel better then go for it.

it makes me feel miserable on 2 fronts - the heat does me no favours - it makes me sad that i can’t enjoy it.

complicated disease this!

carole x

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On an individual level cause and effect with MS is impossible to appropriate. I lived in Florida for a while and suffered very little deterioration during this time but I don’t know if it was the climate or if I was just going through a good patch! I know that the sunshine made me feel better - there is something about a blue sky that elevates the mood but I couldn’t say that x was because of y.

Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of anecdotal stories saying the same thing (including one from Australia to Kuala Lumpar which seems like going from very sunny to ridiculously sunny). I was wondering if there was any proper studies looking at it. Good to know that people see it though.

That’s Uhthoff’s phenomenon.

Every time I go to Florida I feel way better than being in UK weather

I just thought that once you had Ms that was it it didn’t matter where you live sunny or not sunny! And I’m sure I read it was the exposure of the sun you had when you were younger. That’s why Ms is not that common in hotter more sunnier countries cos when your little you soak up that vit d! If that makes sense?

Carole, just to further complicate things, wouldn’t that vary according to just what time of year one’s mother was wherever she was when she conceived?


I’m sure I saw research that show migrants from sunny countries to less clement one typically have MS diagnosis rates consistent with the country they move to rather than the country they grew up in (this is contrary to what you & pigpen/carole has posted - I think the younger thing is probably incorrect if I remember correctly - so I’m trying to dig out where I saw it to verify this). This would suggest that it’s the sunshine at the point in time or recent past being the factor that contributes to MS rather than a childhood thing (I’ve been out of the sun most of my life due to being v.fair skinned), in turn I’m wondering if in turn post diagnosis if the climate/sun helps preventing further progression, I’ve never seen anything on this. If it is irrelevant then I do wonder what the point of treating vit d deficiency is since this would seem to be pointless if it’s younger exposure that is the issue.

The hot countries that have a high rate of MS - have a low vitamin d3 because they cover up their bodies entirely.

Australia - have a culture of using a high sunblock - so still covering the skin. And it is now known that more people with indoor jobs get skin cancer then outdoor workers. [Pathways mag] 17 types of cancer is connected to vitamin d3 deficiency. And a high vitd3 supplement is known to help prevent prostate cancer - lowers PSA level - so Gents - start taking it.

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Hot weather worsens my symptoms to the extreme. The cooler I am the better I feel, which is why we have two air cond machines working 24/7. Luckily my hubby and sons love the coolness of the house.

Shazzie xx

Although I find heat greatly affects me (straight after a hot meal, strenuous movement, hot bath/shower), I do find it’s body temperature rather than just general level of heat. e.g. it can be freezing cold and if I eat too much from a hot meal I’m completely wiped out/effectively paralysed, if I’m in a hot environment but not doing anything that raises my temperature (dressed appropriately to keep cool) I feel fine e.g. was on a holiday in cyprus, v. hot but was never an issue as I didn’t do anything to get overheated. Have you experimented with this? I can keep the home quite warm and not let it affect me by wearing loose/light clothing so that my body can get rid of excess temp easily.

Thanks that’s interesting to know.

never had a problem with heat. Love hot countries, warm/hot weather, hot bath etc - but when it gets cold and worst of all windy - cannot handle it at all! A cold shower? physically painful for me! Having spent time in North Africa+ Middle East was some kind of protection for me. When it stopped my Ms started.

Oh isn’t this all very confusing? I know I don’t have ms, as previously diagnosed…but my symptoms are PPMS like. I can’t function at all well when I get too warm. I often do feel cold but don’t lose function.

I’ve got a holiday in Barcelona in sept and hope I won’t feel too bad.

But do we (or should that be ‘most’ of us), feel mentally better just due to being in the holiday mood, does anyone think?


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It did my mind the world of good in Rome Poll, just had to keep of the direct sun. Although my neck got sunburnt so didn’t quite achieve it.

To much heat does make me feel more fatigued-it was worth it though!


I’d best get a wide brimmed sunhat then, eh?


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