ALS, muscle mass and body temperature. 🌡️❄️

As I perused social media when I was diagnosed I noticed images of patients under mountains of covers. I often wondered why? Now I know.

As our condition progresses our body looses muscle mass and as we move less and less we don’t generate body heat. Thus requiring more layers to stave off a cool environment. What may feel comfortable to you, may be very cold to us.

Muscles in general can generate body heat by simply flexing, shivering and by simply metabolizing fat and muscle tissue. You can see the obvious correlation here to weight and muscle mass. Just like more senior persons; a more sedentary lifestyle and decreased body mass brings on heightened sensitivity to changes in temperature.

A secondary effect of cold temps for pALS is it’s effect on spasticity. These highly”tense” moments can and often are preceded by a very exaggerated yawn.

What? No that’s ridiculous!

Ask a pALS if they yawn when cold, not to mention getting rigid, spazing out!

How can becoming sensitive to cold be troublesome? Well if you have a spouse that runs on the warmer side, arguments over the thermostat setting can ensue… “who changed the temp?” It wasn’t me! Or was it?

Damn it, now I’m hot!

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