Fighting Parkinson’s, and very extreme temperatures

In the Northern Hemisphere it is summer, and many of you have been facing extreme heat. In the Southern Hemisphere it is winter, and many of you have been facing extreme cold. Each of these causes symptoms to look worse. Keep your faith and defeat your fear…you ARE NOT getting worse!

You need to realize that you are impacted by weather. I have discussed this in the past, but everybody needs a refresher as people have gotten afraid of increased symptoms over these last few weeks.

Parkinson’s sufferer’s in the Northern Hemisphere have been impacted in a harsh way during these last few weeks of summer. If you look in the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, in cause number 2, you will see that heat agitates wind. This means that internal heat makes you have larger tremors. As you know, larger tremors will set off a worse-looking set of other symptoms.

In the Southern hemisphere, the cold weather tightens rigidity and increases tremors. The body is using extra energy to stay warm. However, your Parkinson’s body was low on energy to begin with, so when the body is needing more energy to stay warm, you will suffer with increased symptoms.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the record hot weather has caused people to experience dizziness and fatigue. The difficulty with staying hydrated has caused increases in tremors and slowness. The body is using extra energy to stay mobile. However, your Parkinson’s body was low on energy to begin with, so when the body is needing more energy to stay mobile, you will suffer with increased symptoms.

This does not equate to you getting worse with Parkinson’s. It equates to a shifting in energy for comfort and survival. In the Northern Hemisphere, the body needs a certain amount of water to stay hydrated and to use perspiration to regulate body temperature, and it is prioritizing its energy. In the Southern Hemisphere, the body needs a certain amount of warmth and it is prioritizing its energy. That’s all!

Please know that you are not only impacted by weather, but also that the Parkinson’s body is moving very slowly inside. As a result, recuperating from the effects of extreme weather takes time, so do not be afraid.

When I had Parkinson’s, here is an example of how I realized how slowly my body was moving inside. One evening, Sally and I had roasted beets with our dinner. The next morning, Sally reminded me that beets will bring a reddish color into urine and bowels, so not to be afraid if I saw red in my urine or bowels.

It was three and four days later that there was a reddish color in my urine and bowels. After my full recovery, the reddish color from the beets appeared the same day or the next day.

I offer this story so you can understand that heat or cold has built up inside of you and exacerbated your symptoms. By the time your symptoms appeared worse, the heat or cold already had taken hold of you on the inside, but it had taken a number of days to appear as worse-looking symptoms. Drinking plenty of water and eating cooling foods (you can go on Google and look up cooling foods) will start the process of cooling you down (or warming foods for those on the Southern Hemisphere to warm you up).

Since you already are behind the heat or cold, and your body is moving slowly inside, it will take some time to catch up to the heat or cold.

As you have been struggling, it is important to know that your best is good enough. Not only do you need to know this, but you need to know that each day “your best” will be different than the day before. Don’t judge or criticize yourself…just do your best. And, let your faith defeat your fear.

Click here for a refresher that your best is good enough.

Click here for a refresher on faith over fear.

Be strong. We will get through these extreme temperatures together.

Here is a way to approach the situation and help your recovery: Every time you see an increased symptom, announce to your symptom, “This is caused by the extreme heat (or extreme cold). It is not caused by Parkinson’s getting worse.” Blame the heat. Blame the cold. DO NOT blame the Parkinson’s. You are getting better!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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10 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and very extreme temperatures

  1. Sharon says:

    Thank you, dear Howard, for this encouraging reminder!
    Love to all,
    Sharon in North Carolina

  2. Paul says:

    Oh my God, Howard. You totally read my mind with this reminder. Thank you so much for all you do for us.

  3. Jeff A says:

    Thank you, Howard, for the info. I did not know weather affects symptoms.

  4. Robert says:

    Thanks for this crucial information, it is very hot where I am and I definitely have worse symptoms. I know now why this is happening. Thanks Howard for all that you do for all of us!

  5. Tery Brun says:

    Thank you Howard! We didn’t know that this is affecting the body so heavyly, but it did the last days.. now here the weather is nice again.. to feel much better!
    So we do not blame PD🤗.. thank you very much🙏

  6. Chris Meyer says:

    Yeah, I’m definitely perkier in the cool morning air than the afternoon humidity and heat. Night and day really! I just have to be much more patient with myself in the afternoon. The bit about keeping the fluids up is great too – essential even.

    I’m going to see what laying in the hammock in my swimsuit with the water hose set on mist does for my attitude this afternoon!

    Thanks for the great seasonal reminder.

    Chris

    • Chris Meyer says:

      In a side note, our 3 month old Engish Cream Golden Retriever can’t be pried off the cool ceramic tiles in our kitchen. Interesting that a puppy instinctively understands the debilitating nature of heat and knows what to do about it while people need to be reminded to give themselves a break!

      Chris

  7. Denean and Mike Ragland says:

    Thank you Howard!! This was a bit of news we needed reminding of!! Thanks always!

  8. Dustin Anderson says:

    Thanks Howard,

    Summer hasn’t arrived on Vancouver island yet. It’s still grey, moist and moderate. But luckily, I have increased symptoms. :0)

    Dustin
    Nanaimo BC

  9. Francine Levy says:

    Hi Howard
    So good to read this. We’re in tight quarantine but we have a lovely pool and pretend we’re at a resort. Gorgeous weather here, summer heat – Good reminder to drink more. Not easy but we’re maintaining. Love to you and Sally.

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