Question: Sauna for people with MS?

"I'm studying about how to reduce levels of mercury and other toxins in the body. I came across an article that claims that 15 minutes in the sauna 5 days a week will reduce those toxins by sweating it out. Does anyone know if this works with doing any harm to people with MS?"

Answers: Re: Sauna for people with MS?


“I absolutely LOVE (love love love) the sauna and I sauna every time I go to the gym (three-four times a week) for 20-30 minutes. I make sure I am pretty well drenched before getting out. It is much more difficult for folks with MS to sweat, which is perhaps why heat is so difficult for them.

My advice would be to work up to 20-25 minutes and looks for sweating in the eccrine sweat glands - the glands that cover the main parts of the body - the arms proper and the legs, rather than the apocrine sweat glands which are in the armpits and groin.

I feel like I am flying after getting out the sauna every time from the endorphins. Yes, Nerve conductivity is reduced from heat, but that is the case for everybody, but especially for PwMS. But this is TEMPORARY! I have to drag my bad leg back to the changing room, but once I am showered and cooled, I am completely back to normal. It doesn't permanently harm folks with MS. Jelinek says so himself in the chapter about exercise in the book. In fact, here is a very very encouraging new research paper that suggests every person with MS should make heat acclimatization an important part of their self care routine. Perhaps up there with sun and supplementation, especially for folks that live in colder climates. I wanted to post this to the forum but hadn't a chance yet, so when I saw your post, I jumped to do it.

Temperature dependence of multiple sclerosis mortality rates in the United States.

Sun H1.

Author information


BACKGROUND: It is well known that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are very sensitive to heat events. However, how MS patients respond to the significant temperature difference between the high- and low-latitude regions is not understood.

OBJECTIVE: The goal is to identify the primary factor responsible for the fact that MS mortality rates of the United States is more than three times higher in the northern states than in the southern states.

METHODS: Correlation coefficients between the age-adjusted mortality rate of MS as the underlying cause of death and the state average temperature, altitude, latitude, duration of sunshine hours, and solar radiation in the 48 contiguous states were compared.

RESULTS: MS mortality rates correlate significantly and inversely with temperatures in the 48 states (correlation coefficient r = -0.812 and significance p = 0.00). Durations of sunshine hours and solar radiation do not correlate significantly with MS mortality rates ( r = -0.245, -0.14, and p = 0.101, 0.342, respectively).

CONCLUSION: High environmental temperature is the primary reason for the low MS mortality rates and likely the low MS prevalence in low-latitude regions. Implication of the study result is that benefits of longterm heat acclimation through gradual and prolonged exposure to environmental heat for MS patients may be greatly underappreciated.

KEYWORDS: Multiple sclerosis; heat acclimation; solar radiation; temperature dependence; vitamin D." - Midwest US. Diagnosed 2006, OMS June 2016


“I am bumping this post up because I think the study about heat acclimatization and lower MS related death rates is really important and exciting. I would be really interested in seeing what Dr. Jelinek has to say about it. I know I feel amazing once I have cooled down after a sauna. It feels healthy on a deep, intuitive level.” - Midwest US. Diagnosed 2006, OMS June 2016


“I think it's great advice to use the sauna with someone else until you know how you will react to it. Do your own research and find out the in general. Just never attempt it alone and try and see if you can tolerate it” - OMS since 17/08/2015 Diagnosis 28/05/2015 - 22/09/2015


“Just another interesting part of our individual MS journeys? I actually love the feeling of getting out of a hot shower?” - 1st sign no diagnosis Oct 1999, DX 2007, SPMS 2011


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