Weather, other factors and RA

Hi all, does anyone find the weather plays a part in whether their pain is worse or better?

I don't know if my brain is playing tricks as I have been trying to look for factors that might make my pain worse but I have a feeling that when the weather is nice like it has been the last few days that my pain is much better than it is when it's cold and or raining.

I also wondered if stress plays a part? We are moving soon and I think I'm slightly stressed with that as I'm not sleeping great, pain is up and down, putting on weight and my hair is falling out more than the usual shedding that we all lose daily.

I had my first rheumatologist apt 2 weeks ago where I had more bloods done and xrays. I'm having 2 MRI's done tomorrow on hand and wrist. Then will be seeing rheumatologist again soon he said to discuss treatment.

Just wish things could move along quicker.


14 Replies

  • Hi Julia,

    You're brain is not playing tricks on you,the weather seems to play a huge part in our pain levels.

    On really cold days I can manage the pain as long as I am appropriately attired and spend a minimal time in the cold ie -sat in the house with central heating on full blast.

    The worst bit for me is the damp weather,neither hot nor cold,and when this gets into my bones it makes me so stiff all over and in a lot of pain.

    In the past the hot/ warm weather has always been a godsend for me.The pain eases,less stiffness and an overall feel good factor.However the last few days we have had exceptionally good weather and I have felt downright miserable and uncomfortable.I really can't understand why as I am the first one to be under the sun.

    Since we last experienced anything like decent weather it was last year and I was fine but I have changed meds since then so not sure if that is responsible for the change in my reaction to the heat.

    As for stress moving house is rated quite highly on the stress factor league,so along with the sleep deprivation,hair loss,etc I am not surprised you are stressed which will add to your pain levels.

    Until Nov last year I suffered massive hair loss.I was taking methotrexate injections and sulfasalazine but have now stopped those and my hair has thickened up again.Dont know what meds you are on but these can sometimes play a part in the hair loss.

    All these diagnoses seem to take forever and especially when you are waiting for things to happen.Many folks on here say the same thing.If you are seeing your rheumy soon it's always a good idea to form a good relationship with them and also with the rheumatoid nurses.Write down any questions you have before you go there so you don't forget to ask when you have the opportunity and it's always a good idea to take someone along with you.I take my husband both for moral support and it also gives him an understanding of what I am going through.

    Make the most of your appt with the rheumatoid and ask all the questions you need to about meds and side effects etc.Everyone is different there is no one size fits all with RA and can sometimes take a while to get the right dose or mixture of meds.

    So no your brain isnt playing tricks on you this is all part of the condition.

    Hope you appt goes well and even more so your house move.

    Easy for me to say but try not to let it get on top of you the energy needed just to do it will take it out of you so you don't need anything extra on top.

    But just to let you know there are a load of folks on this site who have mountains of knowledge and expertise and are always willing to offer advice and help so come back if you have more questions

    Take care.



  • Thanks Crusee.

    I'm not on any medication yet so I can only think I'm losing more hair tha nnormal because I'm stressed with the move and being diagnosed. No idea but I hope it settles soon.

    I have been writing things down so that I don't forget but thank you for the tip.

    Looking forward to my MRI scans tomorrow - lucky me! :-/

  • Wishing you all the best for the scans tomorrow and the forthcoming rheumy appointment.



  • I definitely find cold and rainy increases my pain. (I call myself the human barometer) but by the same token very hot does the same thing. Stress and lack of sleep both make me hurt more, too.


  • That's reassuring Bats although wouldn't wish pain on anyone. x

  • The weather can make a difference I find. I'm not as good in damp or humid conditions, my joints really play up & I creak! I used struggle for a good few weeks when living abroad whereas the warmth, even heat is fine, once humidity rises it's as bad as the dampness of winter here. At least we can wrap up when it's cold but the dampness gets into your bones somehow.

    Stress can also play a part & why if we can it's best to try to avoid it but of course it's not always possible & packing up house & home when moving can be very stressful. Careful planning can alleviate some stress but you're fortunate if it goes totally smoothly. You're not in the best position either, not yet settled into treatment, hospital appointments, even diagnosis all can add to your stress levels. Not sleeping well either, we need as much restful sleep as our body allows otherwise it will all add up & pain is the result. Not painting a good picture am I really. You'll learn to avoid certain situations & signs of things going awry but still it isn't always possible. Flares are often brought on by stress which really is what you're in the middle of now being newly diagnosed.... uncontrolled or unmedicated RD is a flare really.

    If there's something you already know of, a happy place you have, anything that helps lower stress, reading, listening to music, a hobby you have where you're so engrossed that you don't notice the pain, that is until you stop! Any activity that you know helps calm you utilise it. Some find meditation & relaxation exercises helpful too, or mindfulness has been talked about here.

    I hope all goes well for your move, that the MRI's are helpful in forming a firm diagnosis & you don't have long to wait for your appointment, the sooner you start your meds the better. :)

  • Hi nomoreheels, thank you for the reply. I really appreciate everyone's support and comments. Moving is definitely stressful but not finding it too bad at the moment, should be moving in about 3 weeks or so, we have boxes everywhere at the minute. My daughter is 2 next week and has found the boxes much fun despite me telling her not to touch haha!

    I do have ahobby I love - sewing! Whilst sewing it can be a struggle with my hands buy I love it so much that I can plough on through. It's in the evening that I tend to be affected when I decide to rest after a day of sewing, looking after my children, cooking dinner and well.. you know the rest! Sleep is important for me otherwise it does affect my pain but at the moment the last couple of days it hasn't been too full on. Think it might be the better weather.

    Ihope I don't have too long to wait until my next rheumatologist apt after the MRI's as the rheumatologist 2 weeks ago said he wants to see me quickly at a scheduled apt to discuss treatment. I suppose this means I have RA!

    I've been finding it hard to accept the diagnosis and keep rethinking the appointment I had 2 weeks ago. Asking myself silly questions like have I dramatised it or made it all up or dreamt it etc... I'm finding it hard to accept the diagnosis.

    Anyway thank you all for the support.


  • Aw bless! What is it with littlies & boxes?! So much fun to be had with something so basic, it's great & shows imagination when they become something out of nothing really. Reminds me of the hours I used to play with bed sheets & an old wooden clothes horse, it was a palace, a shop, school room even a car, depending on what I'd been reading or where ever my mind had wandered to that day.

    It's great you have sewing you can lose yourself in, that will help at times & as your hands allow.

    It is a lot to take in, the diagnosis itself, medical terms & not feeling tip top all contribute to getting muddled & accepting the changes going on, a different way of life even, we've each had those feelings to some extent. The positive is you're on the first step & receiving help & once you start on treatment things will get easier given time. Did you have anyone accompany you at your appointment? My h always does with me & I find it really helpful having his viewpoint (& memory as it's better than mine!), I tend to focus on the here & now & although I do write notes nine times out of ten I've missed something because I'm writing notes that he's remembered. It might help if you could have someone close, thinking there may quite a bit of information to take in next time. Something to think about anyway.

    I hope all goes well with the move & if there's anything else you only need to ask, we all know how it is. x

  • Good luck with everything Julia, I hope your Rheumatologist gets you started on the best meds for your symptoms and that you see relief very soon.

    I have had RA and Lupus since I was 20 years old and had to move house with a 2 year old and a baby so you have my utmost sympathy - babies and boxes!! :-D

    Ffi xx

  • Lol thank you Fi!

    Luckily i have 2 older children 12 and 11 who I'm sure will be great at helping with boxes etc.

    Had Mri this week so hopefully see the rheumatologist again soon.

  • Keep in touch, it's amazing the support you will find here. x

  • It does seem to be great here!

  • Hello Julia2009 . Yes the weather amongst other things makes me hurt just a little more. Weather, worry, stress, doing more cleaning than usual, carrying heavy shopping, not getting a good night's sleep, rain, cold, humidity, cleaning the kitchen all these things and probably more that I can't think of at the moment make me hurt. So understandably your moving etc. Is going to cause you to hurt more.

    Once you get the right meds for you, things will get better. I hope the move goes well. Hang in there. Things will get better. Best wishes to you.

    Cas xx 💜

  • Thank you Cas. I hope for my rheumatologist apt very soon.

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