Life With Lupus

Rheumatologist's explaination of how cold weather affects us!


This info is from a Rheumatologist at University of Specialty Clinics, Univ of S Carolina. This is a good explaination of barometric pressure. Arthritis and Raynauds are mentioned.



I also posted this on a new sub-group of Fibro, 'Fibromyalgia and Arthritis'. I started it 2 days ago, already have 42 members!


Hmm… That explanation wasn’t very convincing or in-depth, but the good thing about his comments is the acknowledgement of patients’ own self-knowledge, as well as the fact that something can be true without being fully understood. Good on him for speaking up! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:


Hi Brynn,

I do agree that it was just a thin slice of information for such a Specialty Clinic, and would be pleased for a more convincing, indepth, lofty explaination, as they seem rather hard to come by!

My Chiropractor explained low barometric pressure's influence simply as expanding or swelling the body and causing it to 'thump'. As basic as that is, it gets right to the point!

I see you are a med student, please, when you have time, could you explain this for us as you understand it!




Hello Susan,

The link although not purely pecific still gives member's an insight to what can be happening if it was proved 100%.

I know this part of it was true...regarding myself but where swelling carms in the summer with joints...not with me it don't.

"A lot of the rheumatic conditions I treat become worse with a sedentary lifestyle—a condition that is more prevalent in the winter months," said Fant. "During winter, many people lead a less active lifestyle and their joints tend to stiffen up. This is commonly referred to as gelling, where your joints become ‘gelled' because you are sitting in one position too long and it causes pain and stiffness."

Love Terri xxx


To Susan,

I think your chiropractor’s “thump” theory makes some sense, at least in my experience :slight_smile: The article seems to discuss only joints/arthritis, which I rarely have, yet I do get a lot of overall muscular pain and fatigue when the weather cools and dampens, plus another telling sign: nosebleeds. My guess is something having to do with the pressure’s influence on circulation or even respiration, while the cold causes constriction of the vessels. I have bad Raynaud’s and livedo reticularis, and I can get raynaud’s-like pain abd numbness throughout my body when I get too cold… Plus cannot warm back up without external heat. Luckily I moved to California last spring! Unfortunately crossing the Bay to a foggy day in SF city is like going from Seattle’s summer to fall in 6 minutes flat :(, but at least it will rarely get below 40 or a above 90 degrees anywhere around here :slight_smile:

Another side point related to weather/pressure and my concept of the lupus weather catastrophe is that I’ve gotten altitude sickness (one time pretty severe) from going up snowboarding at only about 5,000 ft. I’ve lived at sea level my whole life, but a half-day trip to 5,000 shouldn’t do that to a healthy and very athletic 23 year old! All my friends were fine and looking at me sideways about it. I didn’t know yet I had lupus… But when I found out it started to make some sense: switching between hot and sweaty with burning quads and glutes on the way down, painful cold riding the lifts up, constant cold in the lungs and I the face, plus thinner air while ever using vigorously… If your blood vessels are spasming like crazy, you can’t get oxygen or sugar (or heat!) where you need it, which leads to pain and exhaustion like you just finished a mile-high marathon rather than a fun snow day. The more severe time I had nausea to the point of throwing up the next morning, plus had bloating and diarrhea more painful than ever from the time I came down the mountain through the whole day I missed of work (my boss, a nurse, was highly suspicious of my sick call that day. I had a few rounds of the same issue when getting two much sun on a holiday weekend and missing the Tuesday, appearing to be extending my vacation with lies when really I’m home miserable in bed! So glad I’m diagnosed finally…)

And on the medical student front… I’m actually giving up that plan (not a cup of tea even for “healthy” individuals!) but considering working in the field on research and/or more patient education/advocacy :slight_smile: But given my pre-med studies, working two years on clinical research at a hospital, and all my lupus adventures, I probably have the same level of knowledge and familiarity as most students halfway through med school :stuck_out_tongue: Doesn’t mean I could hack the schedule they keep, though…