Is efficiency of meds affected by weather?

I realise that this sounds a stupid question, but was wondering if anyone has found this to be the case? I have been away in my caravan over the last weekend. When I am there my meds usually last longer, but this time my tremor has been much worse. I don't know if this is because it was extremely cold, though we kept warm, or could be related to just having started on Sinemet CR. I already take Stalevo and Requip daily and Sinemet CR at night I noticed my meds worked really well while on holiday in the Canaries earler in the year when my tremor was hardly noticeable. Maybe I should move there!

15 Replies

  • I do think this cold weather affects the PD. I am so very stiff after getting up in a morning from a warm bed to a cold room, and until the heating kicks in and the medication starts to work.

    once the house warms up I can move around better.

  • So many things can affects my tremors. Cold weather is one, loud noises, big crowds, well really any kind of stress can cause my Parkinson's symptoms to show themselves.

  • yes yes and yes, had a mmamogram yesterday in a chilly lab plus other tests. hold still? fuhgettaboutit! :D

  • Never noticed that weather affects me, but amount of sleep definately does.

  • Good Morning from FL, my wife has told me many times she feels theweather plays with my meds as well

    Have aGREAT day


  • Yes, but I still prefer the cooler weather. As long as the heat is working :)

  • I live in Arizona but am moving to Oregon. Can't handle heat anymore. Living close to my son will hep too.l

  • I've found that many people find that their symptoms and energy get worse in hot weather, and for some of them as well as for others that their tremors worsen when they get the shivers from the cold...How about you???

    Steve (Bisbee, AZ)

  • I found the heat suited me and that my tremor was well controlled. However, it could just be coincidence but this spell of cold weather has seen my tremors worsen. I don't know what to think. Will have to see if it is just a trough and will, hopefully, improve soon.

  • Maybe the weather is making you feel worse and your meds can't keep up.

    Here's the best explanation I know of regarding weather and us, written by a colleague.

    "Feeling bad? Blame it on the weather! (by Dr. Martin Orimenko, Ardmore. PA) 04/25/2011

    We are walking barometers! Just like animals and plants can sense changes in weather, so can many people. And many people do not realize that it’s the weather that is making them feel lousy. Some of the meteorological variables implicated include: temperature, barometric pressure, rainfall, humidity, thunder-storm activity, sunshine, and the level of ionization of the air.

    Rapid changes in temperature affect blood pH, blood pressure, urine volume, and tissue permeability. Our bodies react to cold by constricting the blood vessels in the periphery, making the heart work harder. A significant drop in barometric pressure leads to an expansion of air in isolated body cavities and of fluids in membranes. This can injure tissues in joints or muscles, causing aches and pain. Some people experience the same phenomenon during air travel when the cabin pressure drops during take-off. In addition, bones and muscles have different densities. During temperature and humidity variations unequal expansion and contraction of these tissues may increase the pain in inflamed joints and injured muscles.

    Winds can bring dramatic temperature changes and, more importantly, changes in electrical charge, and this can directly impact our moods. Negatively charged ions in the air, such as those produced by ocean waves and waterfalls, make us feel positive and lift our spirits. Positively charged ions make us feel down and agitated. When warm, dry winds blow, dust attaches to negative ions and they lose their charge thus increasing the ratio of positive ions which means more negative mood. Humidity, pollution and high pollen counts also deplete negative ions. As long as the winds blow, the positive ions tend to accumulate. In many cultures, seasonal winds are referred to as ‘ill winds’ or ‘winds of depression’. Such winds are associated with feelings of anxiety, stress, depression and sleepless nights around the world. Studies show that when some of these winds blow, traffic accident, crime and suicide rates all rise significantly. In Traditional Chinese Medicine wind is considered a pathogen, just like a virus is considered a pathogen.

    There are a few cities where there are more negative than positive ions in the air: Niagara Falls, Canada; Sedona, Arizona; Mt Shasta, California; and Kauai, Hawaii. People living in these areas say they feel healthier. A ratio of 5 negative to 4 positive ions produces a sense of well-being. ‘Sick building syndrome’ is more common today than it was 20 years ago. Most homes and offices are built to be airtight and when the heating or air conditioner is running this causes friction, which depletes the negative ions. Consequently, only the positive ions are left to re-circulate. Bacteria, mold, mildew and allergies thrive in positive ion air. Synthetic clothes and carpeting cause friction and deplete negative ions. Some natural fibers repel positive ions! Nature has its own way of creating negative ions. When it rains heavily negative ions are generated. That is why the air feels so refreshing and uplifting after a heavy downpour.

    Weather is also associated with changes in birth rates, sperm count, outbreaks of pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis. In advance of a cold front, we often see showers and thunderstorms, and a decrease in barometric pressure. In these low pressure conditions some people feel edgy and their arthritis flares up. More than 50% of migraine sufferers say their headaches have a weather trigger, and studies confirm the relationship between the numbers of reported migraine attacks and rapid changes in barometric pressure. One study found that migraines were most likely to occur on days with falling pressure, rising humidity, high winds, and rapid temperature fluctuations.

    What Can You Do?

    The following are some countermeasures that could improve your reaction to those malevolent weather fronts: Avoid overheated and stuffy rooms; Go for full spectrum lighting, not fluorescent, (you may need to add you own incandescent or full spectrum fluorescent. lamps); Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine; Try enjoying the outdoors in all weather conditions; Open your windows more; Take alternating warm and cold showers; Wear natural fiber clothing rather than synthetic; Go for hardwood and tile floors over synthetic carpeting; Ensure regular sleep; Have a balanced and healthy diet, (As part of my nutrition counseling, I typically suggest an anti-inflammatory diet high in vegetables and fruits and lower in animal products); Try anti-inflammatory supplements such as curcumin, boswellia and as well as anti-histamines like quercetin, NAC and stinging nettles."

    That's all you need to know about weather and aches and pains. It's not all from PD, although I'm more sensitive to weather now, but I'm old, too.

  • Thanks for this. I read it and found it very interesting. Did not ever think the weather could have such a dramatic influence. It explains why aches and pains are always worse in cold weather, as mine are now. It also has helped me to understand a lot of other things, although not all related to Parkinsons, still useful all the same. Will reread it again so as not to miss anything.

  • I am always glad to share info.

    Too often PD is blamed for conditions not related at all.

  • I have noticed in temperature extremes, either hot or cold, that my tremors are worse. I had someone question me about PD and pain......"I didn't think there was pain with Parkinson's." I for one feel that there is, and am seeing more and more people saying the same. Education is the name of the game here.

  • I agree with you about education being key to understanding Parkinsons. A number of us on this site did try to get people interested in raising the awareness of Parkinsons. We had a very good response initially, but could not get people to commit. Unfortunately, this idea did not come to fruitition. It is probably gathering dust in the Archives!!

  • I find that my guy looses his ability to function when he gets too many stimuli at once. If there is a cold wind, rain , too many people trying to talk to him at once or too many instructions at one time. If he steps on to a cold tile floor in bathroom etc. The messages from his arms legs to the brain seem to get side tracked and he freezes. My son installed a heated floor in the bathroom and the tiles are so nice and warm .Just turned them back on now the weather is getting cold. I find hubby has difficulty eating and watching TV at the same time. Hates the air conditioner. There has to be a link if not the weather than the stimuli it causes. Wind is a major stressor too. Trying to keep your cap on etc. This strictly my observations not scientific fact.

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