Why does heat help ?: I'm lucky and been to Tunisia in... - NRAS


32,313 members39,543 posts

Why does heat help ?

medway-lady profile image

I'm lucky and been to Tunisia in May and just back from Cyprus so my question is why does the RA just dissappear in the dry heat of a foreign country or is it so simple that not doing all th normal stuff and giving the body a rest actually helps in reducing pain and swelling. I'm wondering do people in hotter dryer climes get the same amount of RA in the popuation or just don't have the same amount of issues caused by RA. Diet, heat or rest ? I wonder !

39 Replies

That’s an interesting question: I don’t know but definitely feel better in the heat like glorious summer we just had 😀

Some really feel much better in heat and others don't. I think it has to do with how well your thyroid is able to regulate your body temperature. If you have hypothyroidism, a large % of RA sufferers do, even though seldom diagnosed. If you have low body temp, feel often cold you benefit from the warmth since your lazy thyroid doesn't have to work. Hypothyroidism also makes your RA symptoms worse when you are cold.

Matalow profile image
Matalow in reply to Simba1992

Simba you’ve made me think, I really feel the cold hands and feet.ive looked up hypothoidism and fit the symtoms I’ve had thyroid surgery and radioactive iodine scan.

I will contact my GP regards blood tests and hopefully have a better winter if the suggested meds work.

Thanks again Regards Mike

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to Matalow

I'm glad if I could be of help😊I think it's all too often that we are not aware of this dysfunction that can when fixed make a big difference in our wellbeing. Hope you find a good endocrinologist, not always easily diagnosed.

NanaFifi profile image
NanaFifi in reply to Simba1992

Never thought of that Simba1992! I am always much better in the heat and have an under active thyroid.

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to NanaFifi

It's really funny that doctors do not inform their patients of this fact especially when underactive thyroid is so common in RA and increases oxidative stress that is one of the key players in RA. Supporting your thyroid function in RA may make a big difference.

Omg I was thinking the same I had a brilliant two weeks in Crete no pain no swelling ( I had a random 24 hrs but that was it ! ) returned home next day at work hands swollen wrist supports back on ! Is it work ? Weather ? Heat ? Sea water I do not blooming no but if it carries on I will emigrate lol !!

The truth is I don't know but I still had RD living in Spain! It was better, or I coped better, in dry heat. Rainy weather & humidity I didn't do well with & if you live in a 'hot' country you have both to deal with so it's not all roses. I can't tell you how many people asked when we returned to live in the UK, "but weren't you better in Spain?", they think it's hot or at least as warm as it is when they go for their hols but really it isn't.

Like you nmh I don't know. But I think maybe when most people are in a hot country they are on holiday so their stress levels are probably lower.

Personally I didn't find any difference .....even though I have hated the cold all my life my pain wasn't worse in the cold. I have friends in both South Florida & Southern California & they have as much pain there as I had in the UK (before I was on RTX)....so who knows?

I so agree about weather in "sunny" Spain.....I spent a month in Calahonda a couple of winters ago....it rained 80% of the time & was thoroughly horrid...so never again!

You're likely right, they relax on holiday, no work & the sun let's face it is something to get up & about for. Also the joints could be easier from swimming in a pool or the sea if on a beach holiday.

Rain, wind, hailstones the size of marbles. The only thing we didn't have where we lived was snow, whilst we didn't have any on our mountain we could see it on the ones half an hours drive away, every winter.

I naively thought Southern Spain never got really cold! Huh!

I had grand plans to visit Granada & Rhonda.......where it snowed for three out of the four weeks I was there.....so trains were all over the place.

I did actually have a warm coat......& I took my heat pad as I still had painful joints then......but my apartment had no central heating so I spent a lot of time with friends along the coast who had a fireplace!

I now escape to the Canary Islands where it can be wet....but it's nothing like as cold as I experienced in Spain! Brrr....hate the cold!

Right now c/htg on high, electric blanket installed & woollies out of storage. Just bought a new DVD.....all set to hunker down for the winter....really hope it's not as cold & snowy as the last one!

Well, you now know it does! The Sierra Nevada is in the Province of Granada & is a skiing destination, it's pretty high up there hence the snow. Definately more temperate in The Canaries winter time. More expensive I believe though. Have you ever needed a hospital there?

No heating in winter can be horrible. We had a lean winter one year when we were setting up the business & couldn't afford wood for the log burner, we had some but it hadn't dried out enough. My h would only take so much from his mum & dad (who would gladly have helped more) but it was a long, cold winter usually only having heat in the house on Sundays when they visited. The old buildings like ours don't have a cavity wall like here so you can't even insulate your home. Anyway, I lived through it in spite of it!

You do right hunkering down. Unfortunately there won't be a lot of it for us as we'll be having an extension on the whole of the back of the bungalow mid winter. Makes me shudder thinking about it. Aldi have a electric heated throw in at the mo, think I might invest in one!

Thankfully I have never needed Hospita treatment in Tenerife, but a friend & her husband retired there about 10 years ago...soon after he developed renal failure. He is now picked up twice a week & taken for dialysis ....all free on the Spanish health service. They are very happy with all aspects of his treatment, ,but are concerned what will happen after 29/3/19 , but their top up insurer has assured them that will not change...but that is a private company....so who knows?

Property is quite cheap there......not as cheap as Spain, but much cheaper than here.......building is just starting to pick up, after a long depression......but with the £ being so low, a lot of Brits have sold their villas & are renting apartments. They are stuck there & can't afford to come home Those with only State Pensions have lost almost 25% over the years, & those with private/company pensions still don't know if they will be able to get them sent to their Tenerife bank account. The cost of living isn't too bad if you go to the big supermarkets, but if you shop in the villages it,s mega €3 for a Lettuce...but tomatoes are cheap!!!

Must look at that Aldi throw...Christmas present Ideas?

I am not really sure if heat helps I think it depends if you feel good in yourself and not a bit under the weather I am in Singapore at the moment not in any pain but feet and hands can feel a little stiff but have been here before and had a flare x

nomoreheels profile image
nomoreheels in reply to Tillie20

Hiya Tillie. Off the subject (sorry ML) but do you know if Raffles is open yet, or if not if there's word when it will be? I ask as my brother in law & his wife are stopping over in Singapore early next year on their way to Australia & weren't aware it was closed for refurb, it's only to have a Singapore sling, they won't be staying there. I believe there's a pop up bar but it's not quite the same.

Hope you're having a lovely time.

If you check on Business Traveller nmh, it says the refurb is delayed again until 2019...but no opening date yet.

Unusual for Singapore....things usually run like clockwork there!

It's only a short walk from Orchard Road, so your BIL could go looksee, but will but may have to have his sling elsewhere!!

Thanks Kathy. It is unusual for delays there isn't it? Hopefully they'll enjoy their stopover whether it's reopened or not. It will all be new to them so an experience whatever they see.

I think RA is pretty much the same among all caucasian populations. Asian people do have a slightly lower incidence. As do African and hispanic populations but they tend to get more aggressive disease according to one article I read. Bit doesn't seem to be a huge amount of recent reliable information.

All I know id that i don't like heat! Cool, dry climate works fine for me.

I’ve just returned from 10 days in Cyprus, felt fine. Got home, back to feeling really tired and lethargic again. Absolutely no energy. Strange isn’t it. Not looking forward to the winter months. Definitely prefer the warmer weather!

Hmm, I live in Adelaide, Sth aust - where 9 months of the year are equivalent to, or better than, an English summer. However, the cold 3 months (don’t laugh when I use the word “cold”, I know it’s not UK cold :) ) - I’ve really started to feel since I got RD.

Not sure the hypothesis is going to work too well lol , cheers Deb

For me, it's not so much the heat, but lack of humidity. In the summer in the UK this year, I was all over the place because of the high humidity. I'm now in Portugal and at the start of the week it was 32 degrees, but humidity was only 30% and I am miles better. Can't say whether it's work related, as I'm working out here so no difference really.

Where in Portugal are you? I have a place in the Algarve. The heat helps me but not humidity

I'm in Guia. Near Sir Cliffs gaff

I’m between Loule and Sao Bras snoot 30mins from faro

Lol about not snoot

Are you here now?

For a couple of weeks. Then I’m back in Uk till after Christmas. Got some stuff to sort out.

I must be solar powered as hot, dry, sunny weather makes me feel like me again. We should have moved to Cyprus all those years ago...

It is not just dry heat. We go to Thailand for a month most winters and within 4 hours of landing in Bangkok my RA is much eased. Their heat is pretty humid and so I think it is the heat that is important. I think my RA was also fairly good this last hot summer in UK.

I think I'm a troll (Terry Pratchett fans will understand!). I'm better in dry cold weather and useless in the heat if it's at all humid. My brain doesn't work and as for my fingers and hands....! Painful and clumsy is the least of it. Burning throbbing agony more like it.

The heat doesn't seem to make much difference to me, although rain is probably my worst weather. Damp...yuk!

GranAmie profile image
GranAmie in reply to

and this is the girl who hikes in wet wet Wales LOL xxooxx

in reply to GranAmie

It was sunny! 😄

GranAmie profile image
GranAmie in reply to


Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to

With all your energy you must have an overactive thyroid😊

Hi, I find that extremities of either or either make my RA worse, had two holidays abroad this year and temperatures topped 28degrees and it really inflamed my joints.

My friend who has RA moved to the South of France. She was on holiday there for two weeks 4 years ago. As soon as she arrived she said her RA just left her body, after returning to the UK all symptoms came back! So she moved there and 3 years on no RA symptoms!!

We go warm France, Florida, Tunisia, Cypress, etc and I think it is common and I know when a joint is sore a heat pack helps. My RA nurse said well known that heat helps but not too hot. My husband is always on about going to live in Brittany but I'm not keen yet. I wish I was brave enough to throw caution to the wind and sell up but I like my life here even with the RA which is really not a problem once in remission.

I find my joints are far worse in the cold weather, swollen painful and stiff. I feel the cold massively...I have permanent dibs on the table right next to the radiator at work :)

You may also like...