Fighting Parkinson’s, and extremely hot and cold temperatures

Here we go again. 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 couple of 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,


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11 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and extremely hot and cold temperatures

  1. Rick says:

    My symptoms definitely increase in cold weather. I’ve noticed, stiff as a board and my walk is completely off beat! Normally my left arm shakes like a leaf while typing this message on my phone, but not tonight as it’s the best it’s been in long time. Thanks for this message Howard, it’s like you read our minds. Love to everyone 😀😀😊

  2. Marie W says:

    Thank you Howard for listening to us so intently and taking our thoughts and feelings and putting them in perspective for all of us. Thank you for reminding us that this disease did not come to stay. It is only passing through our bodies. And although our symptoms may temporarily increase, you have experienced the same and can actually coach to get to the other side of wholeness and healing.

    Sending Blessings to All
    Marie in SC

  3. Tom says:

    Thank you for your reminder Marie. My soul needed to hear that. And as always, thanks to Howard. Tom Arizona

  4. Dora says:

    Hi Howard, I knew about MS symptoms worsening with extreme temperatures but not about Parkinson’s. I have noticed a slight increase in tremors and worsening of the freezing gait. Thanks again for explaining it so well.
    Blessings to you and your family,

  5. Val H says:

    Thanks for this timely reminder that sweltering heat makes Parkinson’s symptoms worse. My best is good enough! 😎

  6. Mary Ellen T says:

    Thank you, Howard. You are an inspiration, giving us much hope!

  7. Margaret says:

    Thank you Howard,
    I had an incident happen before I was diagnosed that really demonstrated this phenomenon. We were at an amusement park one beautiful sunny fall day, I was dressed for the sunshine, as soon as the sun set it got very cold. I started shivering profusely or was it my first tremors, I couldn’t do anything except wait in an indoor area until everyone was ready to leave. I was fine afterwards until diagnosable symptoms appeared about 6 months later.
    Love to all!

  8. Neville S says:

    Thanks Howard. You nailed it well. Even mild shifts in temperature have an effect. Here in Australia’s wet tropics region, where shorts and shirt are normal winter (dry season) wear, a cool breeze has an effect on me, while non-parkinsons people feel no change. And yes, all the problems that you mention are present, to the point where I had to postpone my morning exercises for a few hours until I gained some energy, and my balance returned. Those energy levels have been down for many days. Thanks for the timely reminder of the link between nature’s timeline and our our vulnerability.

  9. Tery and Werni says:

    Thanks dear Howard, this reminder is very helpful not to lose the hope of recovery, thank you so much!!

  10. Dear Howard…thanks again for another timely message…your unwavering support and awareness is deeply treasured, certainly by me and many others too, I’ll bet.

  11. Dianna Suggs says:

    Thank you dear blessed Howard. I didn’t know there are cooling foods. This is very welcome news I intend to explore. Wyoming weather is hotter than usual causing me to want to just sit or sleep. I will remember it is the heat not Parkinsons. I agree with Penny. Your support and awareness is deeply treasure
    With joy, Dianna

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