Sunday, April 3, 2011

Heat Sensitivity and Uhthoff's Phenomenon

Does Uhthoff’s phenomenon only involve vision?

A rise in body temperature (whether from exercise, a hot bath, illness, stress, or other causes) may cause other symptoms to appear or re-emerge in patients who have a demyelinating disease.  It is not only vision which can be affected.  For example, my legs become weak and ataxic when my body becomes overheated.  I become extraordinarily fatigued which affects my physical and cognitive abilities.

This is often called “heat intolerance” or “heat sensitivity.”

Some sources strictly associate with Uhthoff’s phenomenon only with visual symptoms, while others expand the description to include additional temporary deficits in body functions caused by damage to the central nervous system.

Read this post in its entirety:

MS Signs vs. Symptoms: What is Uhthoff's Phenomenon?


  1. Living here in the South the toughest part of having MS is in the summer between the front door and the car...I now have a "wardrobe" of the cooling neck scarves which help!

  2. My vision goes, my legs get weak, I get all floppy, I can't think straight, I get dizzy, and I feel like I am going to vomit. I really dislike the heat!

  3. I originally presented with Uhthoff's sign and optic neuritis. Heat always worsens things for me. I can walk a little farther in cold weather than I can when it's warm. But no matter the weather I will begin to limp and become increasingly off my balance the further I go past 2 blocks. I've had to change my workouts to be made with equipment that supports my clumsy self.

  4. Actually I think I have inverse Uhthoff's syndrome. I feel better when it is warm. Maybe not extremely hot. But better hot than cold. I enjoy our hot tub. If I get cold I can have symptoms of flare ups of some of the other symptoms - my sock feet for example. I will have to ask my neuro if I think of it. I know early on he asked about whether hot baths etc bothered me, and when my answer was no, and that I enjoy soaking in a hot tub and that it seems to help, he didn't say anymore other than to say it was sometimes a sign of MS. Regardless I was still diagnosed with MS.