Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weather and inflammatory rheumatic diseases

It is not uncommon that patients with rheumatic diseases report an increase of symptoms under certain weather conditions. Some of my patients feel that it will rain soon based on their symptoms. Other patients with rheumatoid arthritis report that cold, wet weather conditions or changes in air pressure will worsen their symptoms, such as pain, stiffness or joint swelling.
The results of studies on the effects of weather on the rheumatoid arthritis haven’t been conclusive, but there’s a new study that proved a link between weather and symptoms, which has been presented at the ACR 2013 Meeting in San Diego. See link below.

Weather sensitivity - findings from the last few weeks:

"Not the weather itself, but the change no matter which direction leads to more complaints." (female, RA)

"If there’s a change in weather. But I don't know if it isn’t in the mind. If a rain front comes. When the sun shines, I feel better." (female., RA)

Weather sensitivity: no (female, PsA)

"Maybe it was because poor weather. I thought the heat was really agreeable. You can’t always blame the weather. If it wouldn’t come so suddenly, but if the temperatures would go down gradually, so peu à peu." (female, RA)

"The cold and wet weather is not conducive. But it's then not particularly severe. The warm weather is good to me, I don’t get not much flares." (female, AS)

"Really bad. Such a weather [wet, cold] is fatal." (female, AS)

"Sweating in hot weather, nothing else." (female, RA)

"Since the weather swings back from warm to cold, I have more complaints again. But maybe I just feel it in my head.” (male; RA)

Weather sensitivity: "I'd say no." (male; RA)

"It depends on the weather. If it’s wet and cold, I've got more complaints again. I notice 100%, if the weather turns." (female, RA)

"I immediately notice the change in the weather in my back." (male; PsA)

"There is a comfortable temperature. It should be not too hot and not too cold." (female, RA)

"The hands are swollen since the change in the weather. More fatigue. More sluggish. As usual, when the weather swings." (female, SLE)

"With the change in the weather last week I put on a splint, because the whole right hand hurts very badly. I’ve put the hand immediately at rest. Then again, the next day, it's alright. I can tell you, if it's hot, because then my right little finger points to the outside of my hand." (female, RA)

"When it rains, or when the weather changes, the pain gets stronger." (male; AS)

"With the rain, it's worse. I have more pain if it’s damp. (female, RA/SLE)

"I had the feeling for the first time that it is related to the weather. I've never experienced  t this way. The rain." (female, RA)

"It has to be the humidity. Saturday was my date for the injection, I noticed it two or three days before." (female, RA)

"I'm always weather sensitive. More problems with damp and cold weather. Even in air-conditioned rooms. Running is more difficult and breathing, and my heart is racing." (female, RA plus lung involvement)

"Since Thursday I have more complaints on the back. The rain, the cold." (female; RA)

"Complaints from time to time. Once the moisture hangs out in the air." (female; AS)

"In the rain all joints hurt. In wet weather, I notice it immediately, then I can not run. In the summer, it is better. Now it hurts everywhere." (female; RA)

"Especially now with the weather [it’s worse again]. Before the weather change arrives. The other day we have rain. Then I can not sleep." (male; PsoA)

"When the weather change comes, if it gets wet, when the extreme weather change comes, then stiffness lasts much longer; then, you don’t want to put the elbow onto somewhere. No matter whether it turns from good to bad or vice versa." (male; RA)

"Last change in the weather a fortnight ago led to a swelling under my right foot, lasted 2 and 2½ days. Cooling with ice also didn’t help. Right hand starting from the outer edge, until it covered the entire hand." (male; RA)

"When it gets so cold, I've always cold hands; feet also." (female; RA)

(RA - Rheumatoid arthritis, PsoA - psoriatic arthritis, AS - ankylosing spondylitis, SLE-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

When the weather is particularly rainy and cold weather seems to increase joint pain and stiffness. But there are lots of differences.

Here’s the link to the blog post on the ACR 2013 Meeting:

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