Feeling Under the Weather?

Posted: January 2, 2011 in A Day in the Life of Rheumatoid Arthritis

How can countless doctors tell me that my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is not affected by the weather when I feel like I’m 100 years old as soon as the temperature dips south of freezing???  Seriously. I was fine all summer and then BAM! it hit me like a ton of bricks two weeks ago. My fingers, my hips and my knees feel like they’re literally going to fall off and die.

I honestly had one of the best summers of my life this year.  Maybe because it was the last summer of my 20s? Or maybe because it was hot in Chicago and my arthritis was actually under control? I was feeling young again for the first time in a LONG time. I think this was pretty evident to me and everyone else I know as I wanted to do everything I possibly could for 3 or 4 straight months. Shouldn’t life always be that good?  Why do RA sufferers have to simply deal with the pain?

Has anyone with RA experienced relief by moving to a warmer climate? I need to get some opinions before I off and run for the border.

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Comments
  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Katie
    l do think the weather does affect, our RA, l have lived in Scotland for 42yrs(damp cold) then moved to Houston 6yrs(humid), Africa 2yrs(humid) Russian 2yrs (Siberia) -40,(dry cold) the effect with damp cold, l feel as though the cold seeps right in to them, the dry cold gave me a feeling of having weights on my joints, now l live Houston and it does make a difference being in the heat, l have been on Enbrel 50mg once a week for 8months, l have had RA for 23yrs now 52yrs, l had remisson for 6yrs from 35yr to 41yr, what a feeling that was the freedom my body felt was amazing. Hope you this helps!

  2. Jose says:

    Hi Katie,
    I live in Arizona. The heat feels nice on my joints. I have not lived in cold climates, so I can’t tell you if it’s that significant of a difference. What I can tell you that the cold is murder on me. I can also tell you that when a storm is coming I can feel it in my joints and I ache during the storm. I know it’s not supposed to be like that but I find that more it most definitely make a difference.
    Be well,
    José

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I live in Indiana. It’s cold and often damp as it is today with snow. I can say the hot tub is one of the very few things that help with the pain.
    Last year I had had enough of the cold. I went to Hawaii and stayed thru mid May. It was incredible the difference I felt! I strongly believe the cold and damp make a huge difference. The bone pain becomes severe. I think it’s also partially the mental impact. The cold and worsening pain just becomes totally depressing.
    I wish I could move to a warmer climate. However, I have made my home here for many years and see no way possible to move.

  4. Mimi Molina says:

    Yes, the cold weather affects RA, no doubt about it.

  5. Ginny says:

    Personally what difference does it make that the Dr’s say! We the sufferers of RA & FMS and many other autoimmune diseases KNOW what we feel. I have been suffering for over 35 yrs and I Know that it affects me. I have traveled all over the US and spent 3 months in TX & AZ in 2007 & it was so much better. I will be spending a couple months each winter from next winter on in AZ or NM & when we finish getting my nephew thru High School and & Grandkids in grade school, we will spend most all of winter out there. I live in Ohio and hate the cold and many weather patterns & HATE Alberta Klippers fronts with a passion. Just do whatever you can to make yourself comfortable, you can’t count on anyone to understand unless they too suffer your disease! Sorry.

    • katiestew says:

      True that Ginny!!! Most of those Dr’s have no idea what it feels like to be us because they’ve never had RA, FMS, etc. Thanks for stopping by! I hope your Ohio winter was bearable this year.

  6. Leslie says:

    I actually said “Amen sister!” when I read this. I have been saying for months that I am more reliable then those goof ball weather people on TV, yet when I asked my doc about it she acted life I had just jumped up on the exam table and river danced. All I can say is I am SOOO glad I invested in a electric mattress pad and electric blanket!

    • katiestew says:

      I love it!!! I’m going to need to start investigating an electric mattress pad. Never knew they existed. Glad to hear someone else shares my thoughts about RA and cold… Maybe I’m not crazy after all :)?

  7. Sheryl says:

    I live in Kansas and we have had a cold cold winter. I feel the cold makes my RA feel worse. I look forward to hot baths and sitting in the warm sunshine. It just makes me feel better.

    • katiestew says:

      Me too! I wish I had access to a hot tub on those cold days. Have you tried heating pads and/or those one-time use, sticky, medicated warming pads that you can buy in the Pharmacy? Those have been a life saver for me!

  8. Robert says:

    I have RA less than 2 months but seems that cold makes it worse and heat makes it better. I was outdoors in the cold on Saturday and had a very bad day Sunday -hands swollen, shoulders and knees creaky. I applied a heat pad to my shoulder for 20 minutes and it was nearly completely okay.

    • katiestew says:

      Hi Robert,
      I feel the same way! What type of climate do you live in? I feel like I suffer all winter here in Chicago and do so well in the hot summers. Maybe it is time for me to ship off somwhere warm… permanently 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Katie

  9. Sherry says:

    The weather definitely makes a difference! And oddly, here in Oklahoma, I’ve never had my doctors argue that it doesn’t. My rheumatologist actually explained to me that it was the pressure inside my joints changing relative to the air pressure outside when a front comes through! We have a lot of weather changes here–especially in spring and fall, and people with any kind of arthritis or headaches feel them all. I can’t wait for the stable weather of summer to get here! Spring used to be my favorite season, but I’m coming to dread it! Like the rest of you, I just want to be warm!
    Glad to have found your blog–
    Sherry

  10. Jackie H says:

    I know everyone has a body that reacts differently but, heck yeah — the weather plays a part in when my body wants to cooperate! The cold, the rain – bad news. The summer, heat, beach vacation…this IS when I feel great and try to take advantage of it. Maybe some of it is simply being in that sunshine, but I’ll take it 🙂

    • katiestew says:

      You are so lucky to live near the beach Jackie! I sometimes wonder why the heck I still deal with the cold Chicago winters every year… especially knowing how much my body would thank me to be in a warmer climate. Looking forward to seeing you later this evening!

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