Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not …

November 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
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Today I got my excellent and informative copy of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society magazine. In it is a very short piece about a very small piece of Norwegian research showing something that will come as no surprise to many RA sufferers: levels of RA pain may be affected by the weather.

I can’t tell you who the researchers were, what research they did or how they reached their conclusions because NRAS, for all the magazine is interesting and informative, haven’t seen fit to share any of that information with us. However, they said that 61% of the people they studied were affected by the weather (although they only studied 36 people), and that different people were affected by different weather conditions.

Well, I’ve noticed in the past that I certainly feel it before a storm, and I’m wondering if my coming and going fizzle (it’s fizzing away merrily again today after a ‘day off’ yesterday) is related to the fact that we’re having lovely, sunny days followed by very wet, rainy nights. Then again perhaps it was the lack of chocolate pizza last night?

I’m afraid I’m too lazy to keep a weather/RA diary and try to work it out, and anyway there are so many weather-related factors that it might be hard to do that without a mini weather station in the garden!

I hope I’ve spelled weather and whether correctly throughout – I’m very tired, so not promising anything on that front!

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  1. You know, to me this question — does weather affect RA pain levels in some individuals — is a no-brainer. Surely it can’t be that hard to find several hundred RA warriors who’d be willing to keep track of their pain and pain levels during weather/pressure changes for a year! Or maybe it is — I’m no scientist. Still, nearly everyone I’ve talked to with this disease says they can usually tell when a change is coming because their joints start muttering, jabbering or yelling. Silly NRAS and silly Arthritis Foundation (US). They can do better than this.

    Hope your fizzle fizzles again. I just found a recipe for Black Bean Chocolate Cake. I think I might have to try it!

  2. I’ve never actually put the effort into recording it, but I know I always feel much worse on damp days – and awful on hot, humid days. My joints puff up visibly on steamy days in the summer.

  3. Be nice! It wasn’t NRAS’s research, they were just reporting it. It’s only stating the bleedin’ obvious if you have RA and suffer from the problem. I’m afraid I was a total skeptic about the whole weather-related thing … until it happened to me! What I want to know is did they just get people to record how they felt and then see what the weather was doing? It would be far more fun to get shipped from Norway (where the research took place) to some dry, warm place (e.g. Barcelona, or California) and see if they felt better.

    Don’t shout at me for using California as a place where you should feel fine, when you’re feeling lousy – it’s just a generalization!

  4. Shout at you? Never! :o)

    But you know, I live in California. The nothern half, but still. The weather here is mostly dry and mild, except in the summer, when it’s dry and hot as an oven. We do usually have some rain in the winter (thank goodness!) but the sunny days wayyyy outnumber the cloudy ones. It only gets really cold in January and February. At least, it does at my house, which is about 50 miles west of Lake Tahoe, in the mountains.

    And yet, when the barometric pressure changes, heralding an incoming high or low pressure area, my joints twinge, ache and often, go into full flare. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s sunny or rainy, dry or humid. The rheumy is the same. But the weather really does have an effect on me, even here in California.

    I’d love to see a real study done on this phenomena. I’d be glad to participate, as it just fascinates me! (Can you tell??)

  5. I know you live in California: that’s why I thought you might shout at me for using it as an example. ;o) Your bit sounds (and looks, from the photos on the blogs) gorgeous – much nicer than the better known touristy bits!

    Yes, I think it’s a combination of just WET and the barometric pressure changes that make me fizzle. (Haven’t had a real flare for a while, thank goodness.) Certainly I fizzle away like a sparkler just before a storm, so I figure that’s a pressure change.

    I’d love to see a real study done on it too – perhaps that Norwegian one was a real study, if small, but due to the rather thin reporting it’s hard to know!

    Do hope you’re feeling better soon!


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