Would a warmer climate be beneficial?

I live in northern Europe where the winters can be quite severe. After having being diagnosed with PMR in Feb 2013 I have taken Preds for almost 2 yrs. I tried to decrease the dose from 5mg. to 2 and a half mg without success. The slightest knock leaves me badly bruised which is unsightly and discourages me from swimming which I love. Recently read about Statins (which I also take for my cholesterol) and decided to stop taking them..............only been four days.......am thinking that the combination of both drugs could be detrimental to me.......am I wrong? Would it be wise for me to take a trip to a warmer climate and get some sun....please say yes.

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  • Where in northern Europe are you?

    A trip to a warmer climate for some sun might improve your mood and be enjoyable so I'd say yes - but whether it would improve your PMR is another matter altogether. I live in northern Italy - from March to November it is warmer than where you are, especially this year, but I really can't say that my PMR is any better during the summer than it is at present in the depths of winter with overnight temperatures well below freezing and daytime temps that may get to plus 5C. The sun helps - and we do get a lot of sun - but the temperature, really not particularly. I prefer dry cold, damp and wind are not nice - and I suppose most of northern Europe doesn't come up to our standards! There are a few ladies who spend the winter in Spain - I don't think they find it consistently significantly better and I know there are a few on the forums who spend most of their time in Spain. They still need pred. There is a recent new member somewhere who lives in Cyprus - still has PMR, still needs pred.

    What I WOULD suggest is that if you tried to go directly from 5mg to 2.5mg that that is far too big a drop in PMR. It has been recommended for years that in PMR no reduction should be more than 10% of the current dose. You would have been trying 50%. 1mg at a time at this level is more than enough, 1/2mg is better - and this slow reduction perhaps even better - it has worked for a lot of people:

    healthunlocked.com/pmrgcauk...

    Two years on pred for PMR is not long and 5mg is a low dose - I've had PMR for over 10 years, have been on pred for 6+ years and have got down to 5mg where I have been for a couple of years now. I've tried 4mg. it was OK but I'm better at 5mg. 3.5mg was too low - the aches came back. Maybe I'm lucky, I now have no noticeable side effects from the pred (I did 3+ years ago, massive weight gain, mad hair and skin, a lovely beard, all gone now) and despite also being on anticoagulants I don't bruise badly at all. Yes I get the occasional big black bruise and wonder where it came from but overall, acceptable. Many people find a good emollient cream/gel such as Diprobase or Doublebase, helps the sin problems greatly - especially when used instead of soap for cleansing.

    I don't know that the combo of statins and pred is detrimental - statins can cause PMR-like symptoms and almost put me in a wheelchair. I stopped taking them after a couple of weeks and very slowly improved again.

    One lady had a lovely combo of bruises and a rash due to pred - she found it assured her plenty of room at the pool! I promise you - you may notice your bruises, most others won't. I hated swimming because I couldn't get in and out of the pool unless there was a flight of steps rather than a ladder. The weight gain also put me off - but when you look around you will see people far worse than we are. Have the courage of your convictions and go swimming.

    Oh yes - DL has reminded me, arnica helps bruising a lot!

  • Hi patoal,

    I'm sure we all agree a nice dollop of sunshine would do us all good!

    Did you try to drop from 5mg to 2.5mg in one go - if so, too big a step me thinks. Once I got down to about 7mg I dropped by 0.5mg at a time , and slowly. Now at 2.5 dropping to 2mg - so far, so good!

    As for your bruising, try Arnica gel or cream, helps them go quicker, and try Doublebase cream, or any gentle, light skin cream which makes the skin slightly less likely to bruise in the first place. My right forearm is scarred for life unfortunately, but such is life!

    I was already on statins before Pred, and I haven't noticed any problems since taking both, although I do know lots of people don't like taking them (statins). You have to get as much info as you can, and decide what's best for you.

    If the Sun's calling, then go - and enjoy yourself.

  • I say "yes" if you are in a position to do so, I would even say, move somewhere warmer..why not? life is only once chance. I find cold, wet days, totally unbearable. Around 9C, I could manage and am quite happy. Around 4C.."I gotta get out of here!!" But I don't tolerate too much heat either. Around 17C, I struggle badly. The best solution would be have two places. One in Northern Europe and another in Florida.

  • I'll dream that I won a couple of million dollars. Summer (our winter) in New Zealand, spring in Victoria, British Columbia or England, autumn in Nova Scotia, summer, also Nova Scotia, but the Fundy or Northumberland shore, not the Atlantic. Or perhaps move onto a cruise ship and spend much of the year going from place to place....

  • Hello Patoal

    I find the sun extremely beneficial for my PMR, diagnosed at the end of 2014.

    Lying on a lounger, letting my aching shoulders soak up the sun's rays, seems to ease the pain enormously...although some might say it is the combo of the sun and the laziness rather than the sun alone.

    Maybe it's psychological, since there is no tonic like sunshine, but I have to say that last year whenever I went away to a sunny spot my symptoms improved.

    Now in the British winter, even though it is a mild one, I am not so good, and I have seriously considered escaping to somewhere hot.

    So I would recommend you do that, see how much better you feel...and let us know please!

  • Hi there

    I live in Florida USA and it never gets cold here. I had PMR for 3 years and now have GCA and feel like the PMR is acting up as well. I am on 35 ml of pred. and am having pain even in our lovely weather and with all the pred. so don't know what to say. If you find something that helps, please share it. I cannot say whether I was worse in the cold winters of the northern US because it didn't happen. When the PMR started, I retired to Florida. It was the right time for me. I was 70 and although not thinking retirement, the PMR helped me decide quickly. Keep in touch. Would like to know if the warmer weather helps you Patoal.

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