Weather related RA symptoms: I know many people say... - NRAS

NRAS

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Weather related RA symptoms

WillowsMother profile image
71 Replies

I know many people say they have painful joints when it's cold and damp in the winter months, but I'm wondering whether this hot spell is behind this awful flare I'm currently experiencing... I'm interested to hear from anyone of their own weather-related experiences - can you predict a storm by the way your joints feel? Are your fingers or knees like a personal barometer?! 🌞🌥🌧⛈

71 Replies

Yes it could be. I struggle in hot weather to, particularly with high humidity. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is high humidity and not hot or cold that is problematic. For instance, we go to Cyprus for a holiday every couple of years. It is hot but the humidity is low and I have no problems at all.

Interesting...

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

High humidity seems to be the problem for me too - combined with heat is the worst. 😌

I have been very vocal on this subject and many on here will agree that when we have hot humid weather I’m the first to moan about it. 😁 I swell up like a puff ball mushroom I’m stiff and my mobility is so limited. On top I can’t sleep yes I have fans etc but the atmospheric pressure that I can’t control.... roll on winter. Many on here suffer with hot humid weather double swelling on the joints .. use to love hot weather 🥺 I know when it’s coming the niggles and swelling start. Sudden drop in temperature or dramatic change in weather I know about it I get achy but it’s the hot humid weather that causes me the most problems

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to

Agh, it's awful, isn't it? This is all new to me. I was only diagnosed 2 years ago (symptoms for at least 2 years before that) but never experienced such a dramatic response to the heat/humidity. Add that to hot flushes, and it's one big hot mess!! 🙈 Glad to hear I'm not alone but sorry to hear you and others are suffering. This really sucks.

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25

Yes hot humid weather and I am swelling and don't feel great. Again if the pressure changes in the weather quickly my joints let me know. I know consultants don't always agree (mine doesn't), but I've had RD for over 18 years and it has always been this way for me.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Pippy25

Do you get puffy ankles when you fly? I wonder if it's related, as the cabin pressure rises and drops very quickly. It feels like that's what's going on now but in all my joints 😪

in reply to WillowsMother

Yep I also start limping

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to

😥

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25 in reply to WillowsMother

I never used to but my feet this year have swelled up and my shoes (apart from a dog eared pair) don't fit.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Pippy25

Oh that's miserable. Can you manage with flip flops or velcro fastening sandals?

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25 in reply to WillowsMother

Thanks, I'm just grateful I can get one pair on. I'm not good on my feet so flip flops would be unsafe. I've got a pair of velcro sandals somewhere so will see if they will do.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Pippy25

Yes, I thought that might be the case with flip flops. My feet still swell terribly in velcro sandals and I can't wait to get them off when I can, but they're the best option at the moment. Good luck with yours!

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25 in reply to WillowsMother

Thanks x

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to Pippy25

Try FitFlops... they’re so comfortable!! They do sandals, mules, shoes, slippers and boots. Honestly they give me great relief.

I showed my mangled old pair to my podiatrist and she now recommends them to others.

in reply to Pippy25

I haven’t pair that fit today . My feet are so swollen the skin is shiny🥵

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25 in reply to

Take care as they sound similar to mine today.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to

Sorry to hear that, it's just miserable! Have you tried soaking them in a bowl of cool/cold water?

in reply to WillowsMother

Ice cold water as I type 🙄😁

oldtimer profile image
oldtimer

If you put 'weather' into the search box, you should get the many previous posts on this subject!

I hate the humid weather which makes my joints swell and increases the pain. And yes, I think I can predict rain!

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to oldtimer

Like the old adage, "I can feel it in my bones"!

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to oldtimer

Me too!! Who needs weather forecasters...?!! I’m usually more accurate

😂😂

12Chrissy34 profile image
12Chrissy34

For me, it's damp and/or cold. So humidity is bad! Today is my first achey day in ages and it's a billion degrees and sunny.

GranAmie profile image
GranAmie

Def the humidity 4me - I enjoy heat up to abt 26C, but dry heat! Where I am nowadays {N. Ireland] doesn't have the heatof Wessex... but abt a week ago I was stung by a bee which was in my shoe... not a twinge since even tho' my infusion's overdue... reminds me of people at home who would visit bees, or grasp nettles to ease their 'pains'...

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to GranAmie

Wow, that's amazing... although I don't think I'd want to get stung on purpose 🙈

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to GranAmie

Yep. Allotment nettles do the trick 😂

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

Wow! Is it just a distraction from the pain, or is it linked to an immune response? I hate getting stung by stinging nettles, the rash seems to hurt for at least 48 hours!

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to WillowsMother

Hi WillowsMother

Not sure of the science behind this one. Something to do with histamine I guess 😐

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

Interesting... I shall do a bit of research!

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

I found this: healthline.com/nutrition/be...

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

And this: "Nettle leaves are covered in tiny hairs which have a high silicon content, meaning they’re extremely brittle. When the leaf touches your skin, the round tips of the hairs break off. The sharp point of the hair then enters your skin and several chemicals, including histamine and serotonin, are produced. These chemicals can help to reduce pain by stimulating pain neurons, so the skin irritation overrides musculoskeletal pain."

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to WillowsMother

Well done. Impressed you researched it.

It is interesting isn’t it?

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

Yes, fascinating! I'm still not tempted though!!

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to WillowsMother

We have two allotments... and nettles!! I regularly get stung and although I wouldn’t say it’s a pleasant experience, it certainly isn’t unpleasant either...

... it takes all sorts...😂😂

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

Wow! I absolutely hate getting stung... we have a small holding with lots of nettles around every corner, waiting to catch me out!! I've tried all sorts of remedies but only lemon juice seems to make it a bit easier. Maybe I have particularly sensitive skin 😂

in reply to WillowsMother

I have noticed since I’ve been on medication for Ra. I’m much more sensitive to stings etc where I use to get stung the irritation soon goes but now the stinging and rash lasts days.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to

Interesting... there must be an explanation! Something to do with the immune response, I imagine. I'm becoming a bit phobic now I've experienced it a few times.

Caza profile image
Caza

I’m in a flare at the moment which has gone on for a few weeks gradually getting worse. Very unusual for me to last so long. My joints have swelled up badly. My back & ribs have joined in for the first time ever. Sleep is difficult because of the pain +the heat ☹️ I can’t take painkillers so it’s a bugger 😡.

For me it’s extreme weather. My consultant agrees about the cold 🥶 but not the heat. ☀️ Well hello I think we can all put him right on that score. I can’t tell when the weather is going to change tho.

Today I’ve given in & sat with my feet up drinking water with a good book. Just as the guys on here told me to do & it works. 😊

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Caza

Poor you, I totally sympathise! I've been sitting with my feet up watching Netflix all day and sipping water through a straw because my hands are too sore to raise a glass to my mouth. This is day three of barely being able to move. Praying it'll go away soon. 🙏

Aliceeliza profile image
Aliceeliza

Was diagnosed in February so not sure about winter weather really but I I do hate extremes of temperature and this humidity has made me feel worse

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Aliceeliza

Sorry to hear that. It's a small consolation to know we're not alone... x

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother

I'm wondering whether anyone has air conditioning in their house? Does it make a difference to keep the room you're in nice and cool? Maybe you'd need a de-humidifier too? The noise would be quite something, but at this point, I'm considering anything not to be so incapacitated every summer.

Pippy25 profile image
Pippy25 in reply to WillowsMother

Unfortunately for me air conditioners would only trigger off my nerve neuralgia....RD or RA as people call it is the gift that keeps giving. I think it's the gift that we would all dearly return with pleasure any day if we could!

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Pippy25

Yes, I'd be very happy indeed to return the gift/break the curse! That's a shame for you about air conditioners. I'm thinking of getting one that has a very low/gentle setting, just to keep the temperature in one room around a comfortable 18-20 degrees. I'm okay with our car's "climate control" so that's a hopeful sign... it's probably a bit late for this year though.

in reply to WillowsMother

I went to Rhodes last year . Never again I honestly thought I would die. Stayed in the room with air conditioning. Helped with the heat but not the atmospheric pressure so I still had swelling and mobility problems.🥺 soon as landed home it was like a switch changed everything no swelling and mobility so much better.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to

Well if that's not proof, I don't know what is! It's interesting that many Rheumatologists aren't that bothered about the various triggers. I guess they just focus on getting the medication right to deal with the errant immune response, whilst leaving us focus on discovering and if possible, avoiding the triggers.

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to WillowsMother

I react badly to high humidity. I find air conditioning deadly for RA, however, dehumidifiers are a life saver. Several years ago during a spell of high humidity, I spent half an hour in a climate controlled room with a super computer - low humidity. I hobbled into the room in agony and half an hour later walked out pain free for the first time in weeks. I have a portable dehumidifier at home, which greatly improves things when the humidity is high.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to achyknitter

That's very good to hear! I have a small dehumidifier, I wonder whether it's powerful enough. Worth a try, anyway.

achyknitter profile image
achyknitter in reply to WillowsMother

I have a small electronic device which, as well as temperature, tells me the humidity in the house. If the humidity reaches 70 my joints start to react and I find it worth putting the dehumidifier on to bring the humidity down to below 65. I still get RA for other reasons - often no discernible reason at all - but any reduction in the number of days I ache the better.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to achyknitter

Sounds good! Thanks for the tip!

Fruitandnutcase profile image
Fruitandnutcase in reply to WillowsMother

Used to have a portable one, about the size of a small tumble drier. After a few years we stopped using it - can’t remember exactly why. We got rid of it in the end. I don’t really like air con. It’s too cold for me.

I don’t like the car air con either, it’s ok for about the first ten minutes or so when you get in if it’s very hot outside (and inside) but I hate it blowing in my face - it’s too cold, even if I regulate it so that it’s not all that cold if you know what I mean and it totally dries out my already dry eyes.

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Fruitandnutcase

I know what you mean. I'm wondering whether there are different types of air conditioning units that aren't so fierce/drying. I'm going to do some research and I'll post anything interesting/useful on here.

GranAmie profile image
GranAmie in reply to WillowsMother

no, never would, hate the feel of it and keep wondering how many allergens are being put in the room. BUT many years ago we spent long summers in a Greek island and kept cool by spray fights ... simple spray bottles and cool water from fridge. An expat resident told me she folded her sheet and kept it in the fridge to be sure of some night time cool !!! June - end Sept a sheet over you was all I cd bear...in the 80s - 90s [years] and temps of 40+.

JEM95 profile image
JEM95

Yes definitely, high humidity. It defies logic in a way, but no one has told my body that!!

It’s awful, but at least it makes me appreciate how good I am feeling in general when it’s not humid.

It won’t last! Autumn is just around the corner x

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to JEM95

Can't wait! 😃

Summerrain14 profile image
Summerrain14

Humidity is a big factor for me in terms of increased swelling of my joints. I have Raynaud’s too so cold weather really impacts on that. I’m a hard person to please when it comes to the weather. 😊 x

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother

Oh dear, so it sounds like early Autumn and late Spring are a good bet then...

Gnarli profile image
Gnarli

Sorry for the late reply but I have to agree with all the others. Not much swelling but I'm a walking ache at the moment and the bits that don't ache don't want to work. I know it's humidity that does it as if it's too dry the asthma kicks in. Happy days eh?

in reply to Gnarli

Snap

Gnarli profile image
Gnarli in reply to

Oh I do

Fruitandnutcase profile image
Fruitandnutcase

Contrary to what I always thought - I now find that hot weather is just as bad as cold, damp weather. I always thought heat was the answer but it seems it isn’t. I think I probably swell up in hot weather which doesn’t help. Nothing is ever easy!

Jollyjill profile image
Jollyjill

I couldn’t say but in my case it’s a distinct possibility. After being completely symptom free for years while on MTX (had to stop - low white blood cells) then Plaquenil, I’m now experiencing stiffness, pain & immobility so P isn’t working as well as before. Will research topic & post my findings. Interesting..

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Jollyjill

Oh yes please do!

VeronicaF profile image
VeronicaF

I am having the worst flare at the moment for ages, I am in so much pain

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to VeronicaF

Sorry to hear that. It's really miserable isn't it?

Piggyinthecraftroom profile image
Piggyinthecraftroom in reply to VeronicaF

Me too. Much more pain and much less mobility... and I’m my Rheumatology department’s ‘walking miracle’...

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Piggyinthecraftroom

Now the weather is breaking, it does feel a little bit easier. Is it the same for you? The only way I've managed to get out of bed or off the sofa in the last few days has to up my dose of prednisolone, which I absolutely hate taking 😕

Siri84 profile image
Siri84

I am from India but based out of London from the past 7 years . You’d think I’d be used to scorching summers but it’s the opposite . I was out of India from last 12 years - so I can never survive Indian summer. I have swollen knee joints and ankles at the moment - started on Friday and increasing gradually . Unable to sleep during nights and fan / AC make my pains even worse . Lot of people say that heat helps but any extreme - and my body stops functioning. It’s crazy - I think I prefer rains / winter now than to these gruelling summer days. Yes, I can predict rain and any change in weather - 18 years since I was diagnosed. I hope everyone finds some comfort and praying that rains are round the corner.

Sops profile image
Sops

Dont know if this is a help, but i have a heat exchanger on my wall which will regulate accurately to any temperature you want, it is remote controlled and heats as well as cools . You often see these in restaurants it was not expensive but needs to be wired in. It is not noisy and i bought it to regulate an over hot conservatory which I can now use all the year round.

Sopsx

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother in reply to Sops

Thanks, sounds interesting! Does it have an external box for the cooling part, like an air conditioning unit has?

Sops profile image
Sops

Yes it does. Mine is in my conservatory and fits over the doors on the wall, with the box outside. I keep the remote by my chair and away i go.

When my family visit for Christmas, we have lunch in there and the room is then used all year round, it is made by Toshiba and i have had it for about 10 years.

Sopsx

WillowsMother profile image
WillowsMother

Thanks!! I'm motivated to sort one out for next year... x

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