Climate experiences

Hi, I was diagnosed with a 'borderline autoimmune disorder' in 2007 in the UK and confirmed mild SLE in Australia in 2010.

2 months ago we moved back to the UK to be closer to family and I am experiencing my worst flare in a long time.

I've just seen a specialist, had a steroid injection (which is kicking in now, thankfully). He's repeated the full lupus blood screen so just waiting to see those results next week.

My question is, how do other people find the climate in the UK and does anyone have the experience of a comparison with Sydney?

I have an 8 month old and have struggled the last month with him. I never experienced that at all in Australia and fear we may have not fully thought through this move. My specialist out there did advise that a move to the northern hemisphere could impact negatively.

I still have difficulty accepting that I do have lupus. Sometimes the symptoms are so non-descript!

Any comments/experiences/words of wisdom welcome.

Thanks

7 Replies

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  • I don't have experience with Australia v UK but what I can say is stress like a house move, let alone a country move, is very likely going to exacerbate your lupus and cause a flare. It will probably settle down once you've settled down and the treatment kicks in.

  • Hi 52Wharf

    I too don't have experience of UK versus Aus climate but agree with Purpletop about stress of move affecting you. Also my Rheumy told me recently that these illnesses can be worse over here in the winter and better in the summer but I've found the exact opposite , I 'm recovering from a flare now and noticed I've been ill a lot in the summer these last few years and more stable in the winter!. Good luck for your Lupus blood results, I'm awaiting similar results too, let us know how you get on and I hope you get started on treatment and feel better soon.X

  • Hi 52Wharf,

    I can only compare to UK v The Caribbean. I like you suffer badly with flares when in the UK. I've been abroad 5 times over the past 3yrs and found every time I'm away I feel so much better and can do so much more. I have been for various periods from 2 weeks to 3 months increasing my times accordingly and the reasons for going have actually been to test this theory. I spoken with my consultant prior to each trip, who encouraged me to go and agrees, some of us suffering with Lupus, do a lot better in climates where the weather is 'hot'. I also suffer with extremely low vitamin D, which increases when I'm away so this is probably one of the reasons why my symptom dramatically improve.

    If you haven't had your vitamin D levels checked since arriving in the UK, I'd advise you to do so. Hope things improve soon.

  • Hi there,

    I'm sure climate can affect lupus to some extent. Especially cold and damp weather. But surely what can affect lupus is having babies! My lupus had been under control just with hydroxychloquine until 6 months after my daughter was born. I got a massive flare that is still going (3years) and impossie to control even with increasing doses of steroids, dmards etc... My Doctor said it was quite common to get a flare after having a baby so maybe that's what's happening to you as well..

  • Climate can definitely affect flares. I am much better in the summer months, but even then on wet, chilly days I am worse - joints ache and pain in body and gut difficult. bruising, bleeding, etc. The winters have been terrible for me especially last winter.

    However, such a move could easily cause a flare for you especially afterwards, which seems to be the case. I find my flares are always after stressful incidents. Look after yourself and I am sure it will settle down again with your usual management techniques.

  • Hi. As others have said, a move and having a very young child are often big sources of stress (as well as being happy experiences!). But I can only agree with you, and others who have commented, that climate seems to play a big role in how I am. I live in the far north of the UK and every autumn, from around mid-October but very definitely mid November, I plummet to early January. It is then a couple of months before I slowly perk up. Just about every year for 8 or 9 years now I have had a trip to A&E before Christmas with some horrible symptom or other. Although until I read your post, and some of the replies, I had thought I was simply rather odd (for Lupus, given that the sun makes many feel worse). But there's no two ways about it, I am so much better and can do so much in warmer and, critically, sunnier, drier weather. So if we get a very dry winter with a lot of light, even if it's very cold, I do so much better. And even during a run of fine weather a bad day has me feeling blurgh usually.

  • I would be keen to know your lab results to see if your Lupus screen went up in sync with your symptoms or not.

    I often think these results go up and down never low or high all the time..one minute, it can be ok then next..it changes if that makes any sense? I agree, any stress such as any major relocation/move or divorce/relationship breakdown etc do affect us. I don't know but do you feel if UK lifestyle being far more stressful than in Australia?

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