Video Q & A:

Daily Life and RA

Question:

Does the weather affect RA symptoms?

Expert:   Kenya Beard , ACNP-BC, Hunter College »

Many people with RA think that weather has an affect on their symptoms. Is this true? Watch this to find out.

Transcript: Many people with rheumatoid arthritis have a definite reason to dislike cold weather—they say it makes their joint pain WORSE. Research has indicated that this common observation isn’t necessarily anecdotal—several studies have shown that symptoms DO get worse when there’s a change in weather. Some healthcare providers theorize that when RA pain strikes in clear, COLD weather, it’s related to changes in barometric pressure. High pressure MAY make already-inflamed joint tissue SWELL and cause more pain. There’s also some evidence that high HUMIDITY heightens joint pain as well. Based on these findings, the BEST place for someone with rheumatoid arthritis would have a warm but DRY climate. But on the other hand, there are just as many reports that indicate weather DOESN’T make a difference in the long run, either to symptoms OR to disease progression. So the best advice? If you REALLY want to move to a different climate for your rheumatoid arthritis, TRY OUT the location first to see if you notice a sustained improvement in your symptoms. And one more myth debunked-- there’s no evidence that a person can PREDICT the weather based on joint pain. Find out more about rheumatoid arthritis by watching different videos in this series! More »

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