Weather related flares: Does anyone find that they... - PMRGCAuk


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Weather related flares


Does anyone find that they are more likely to flare during colder weather? For the past 2 years I have experienced flares as soon as the weather changes in the autumn. Looking back over my almost 16 years of treatment during which time I have been off Pred on several occasions, the return of the aches and pains generally seems to ocurr at this time of year. I am considering increasing my Pred (currently 4mg) over the winter to cope. PMR seems to be correlated with northern climes, what experience do others have?

10 Replies

It's supposed to be late spring in NZ but it's freezing and yes, I ache badly in the cold and damp, could be PMR or fibromyalgia but whatever the cause, I just want to hibernate 🐻

Yes, podo, I notice elevated PMR symptoms (pain, stiffness) in colder / more humid / damp weather too - and especially recently here in the UK. This topic comes up a lot at this time of year! From what I've learned, the symptoms of our types of illnesses are often affected more by climate / changes in it. I'm currently at 2mgpd Pred and my intuition tells me to stay at that level until or unless things warm up...

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

In any extreme of temperature our bodies have to work harder, but as Mark says the cold seems to affect some illnesses more than heat does.

Your blood vessels can narrow in colder weather which makes it harder for oxygen etc to get around body, so everything is much more effort.

Yep DL, and a known symptom of Vascular Disease? I.e. (as you say) a reduced capacity for blood vessels to transfer precious Oxygen to the various bits of the body that it needs and feeds.

On my PMR Journey I've become so much more aware of and sensitive to changes in ambient temperature and / or humidity by as little as 10% either way...


There is some thought that PMR/GCA has a seasonal component with clusters being noted at specific periods. I find damp and windy weather is worst - so the UK can be most uncomfortable! Don't mind how cold it is as long as it is dry cold - same with heat.

In Germany they have bio-weather forecasts - telling us which illnesses are likely to suffer as a result of the next day's weather. Rheumatism appears frequently in winter!

podo in reply to PMRpro

Yes I get that. Wet & Windy definitely worst. Like you, cold & dry doesn't seem to bother my PMR.

Any cold makes me feel better, I thought I was dying in the summer. But then I am a winter person and a night owl. So always bad in the morning and always healthier in winter. I think I like the dark. I guess our own body rhythms are affected by hormones

Interesting that you bring this up. My pmr first began in November and during the past 4yrs, I’ve had 3 flares - all occurring in October or November. I wonder if this could be prevented ? A little extra pred might be better than the larger increase needed to handle a flare? Kind of a leap of faith, though!

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Bronni

You often don't need a big increase to manage a flare - a lot of doctors overreact.

My rhuemy told me not to reduce over the winter till I see her in March, I am on 7.5mg at the mo. Struggled last winter so know what you mean. Defo don't like the cold and damp!!!

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