Heat, Humidity and PsA

It is Summer here in Australia and today is really one of the first days for me to really feel the affects.

I live in Sydney, where not only is it hot it is humid! The combination of both makes me swell and when I swell I am reminded of just how many of my joints are affected by this disease. I have taken my usual painkillers, but they have not made a dent today. Luckily the kids are content to sit and watch movies today. I would love to go to the local pool, but I have put on weight and my swimsuit no longer fits and I cannot afford a new one.. Sigh... Whine Over...

I have been wondering if anyone else is affected adversly by heat and humidity?

I have lived in 4 different cities with 4 different climates having had PsA, and have also been travelling to many places while in a flare state. I firmly believe that weather plays a huge role in my disease activity.

I tend to find places that are hot and dry are the friendliest to PsA sufferers. Last February I went to Morocco from London UK. I was on crutches with knees the size of melons when I arrived. Within 2 days of being in the hot dry sun, I lost my crutches and was hiking up a mountain (slowly and with some assistance mind you).

I find damp and humidity are the worst, which in some countries means summer humidity (Toronto) and in others means winter rain (Vancouver). My worst flares have been in Japan (summertime humidity) and in London UK and Vancouver (Winter rain). Cold and dry, Ontario winter seems to pose no problem.

My feeling is that it has less to do with the temperature and more to do with the dampness and humidity. Would love if I knew why this was the case. I do find though when it is humid in Toronto in the summer, a few hours in an air conditioned room (sorry atmosphere) makes my joints feel loads better. It's truly a shame as I love heat, and humidity means summer to me.

The problem then is... where do you live... English summer's tend to be humidity free, but their winters are so damp and the flats I can afford are not properly weather sealed to keep out the damp. Ontario (my home province) has lovely cold dry winters but summer might as well be Singapore with the heavy humidity. As beautiful as it was to visit, I don't want to live in Morocco and can't get a green card for New Mexico... so where? I suppose the Prairies are calling my name??? So it remains... weather is not the friend of the arthritis sufferer unless moving to a desert is a possibility.

I do however wish that some published scientific correlation was made...I'm a bit tired of doctors pushing the weather card aside.

I don't travel, boo hoo. I haven't noticed a difference in the summer between humid stretches and dry stretches, not that there are so many of those in New York. I get a flare up every spring that seems to be associated with spring allergy season, and it lasts well into the summer, often into the fall allergy season. Specific weather issues? I seem to have the most problem with cold and damp weather, it really makes my joints ache.

I live in NY but my family lives in FL. I thought that when I visited there in the spring it would be great for my pain since it was so hot there. But, like you, the humidity was horribly hard on me. My rheum says that low barometric pressure definitely affects pain, so not all docs are dismissive of this issue. My allergist also said that I should expect more pain when my allergies are bad! I wish I could clone my compassionate docs for all of you!

We live in the high desert - so humidity is not a problem but the cold is a factor. I have noticed that with my daughter she is like a barometric gauge. When the rain is coming, she is in pain - when it is here, she is in pain.......when it clears up she is much better.

Sorry to hear of your discomfort. I presumed that Wintertime (here in Asheville, NC) made PSA worse. I know my hands can hardly grab on to things as it has gotten colder. When I wake up, before painkillers, my hands and knees hurt. I'm only 48 and feel 90 in the AM.

Regarding heat and humidity, I did have a terrible time at the beach in August. The salt and sand were really bad on my feet. But I have only recently been having the joint discomfort. I am new to forum and look forward to learning more about this ridiculous disease.


Yes weather definitely can make it miserable! And the pain killers don not help much. We had a hot summer here in San Diego and I was in pain everyday. Mornings are the worst for me. Takes me a couple of hours and a real hit shower to get my day going. I have also put in weight… It really sucks:-(
I have a retail store can I offer to get you a bathing suit? Please let me know what you are looking for and I will ship it out to you:-) it will make you feel better to be out there enjoying with your kids so it takes your mind of the pain. Please let me know :slight_smile:

For me it is changes in barometric pressure. I can feel them coming 2 days in advance. It starts as a deep ache and fatigue all over and become stiffness and then pain. Once the change actually occurs I feel better. It can be clear changing to rain, OR rain changing to clear. I grew up in WI and the weather changes every few days were REALLY tough. I lived in CA for 3 yrs and felt great there. I lived in AZ for 2 yrs and felt pretty bad there, the summers with high humidity killed me. I live in the Seattle area now and the stable winters and summers with really no weather changes are pretty good. The spring and fall kill me though. So many weather changes. I can hardly get out of bed sometimes.

We've toyed with moving back to the SF area where I felt best but it's just too expensive and the traffic is a nightmare.

Aline that is so sweet of you ! I would be more than happy to chip in on the bathing suit. I am so blessed to have found this site. Please let me know and I will help out. That is so thoughtful of you. Water has made all the difference for me. I swim in a warm pool a couple of times a week. It is the only time I am pain free. T88-92 degrees, 10$week.

The barometer runs my llife too. Humidity just kills me esp. if hot. I sit next to the wood stove all winter, dry and warm!

I am from Qld, Aus. I find if rain is on its way, this affects my joints as well as humidity. I think that I can predict the coming of rain better than the weather forecasters. I live on an island and because most days there is a sea breeze this helps me in summer. I have to go to the mainland in and around Brisbane for medical appointments and the combination of PsA and the humidity completely wipes me out for the remainder of the day and the following day. Winter doesn’t help either as the cold affects my joints and I had terrible trouble warming up my feet last winter. I knitted wool slipper sox which worked for around home.

Hi Aline,

Thank you so much for your very generous offer of a bathing suit! I would like that very much. Although I do not wish to put you to any trouble. I do not wish to be a sponge, or sound ungrateful. I will pay the favour back when I can:)

Lets chat privately. Again, thank you so much. Words cannot convey how much this will mean to me.


Aline said:

Yes weather definitely can make it miserable! And the pain killers don not help much. We had a hot summer here in San Diego and I was in pain everyday. Mornings are the worst for me. Takes me a couple of hours and a real hit shower to get my day going. I have also put in weight.... It really sucks:-(
I have a retail store can I offer to get you a bathing suit? Please let me know what you are looking for and I will ship it out to you:-) it will make you feel better to be out there enjoying with your kids so it takes your mind of the pain. Please let me know :-)

Aline, your offer to help really touched my heart. God bless you!

Yes to heat--all kinds. Yes to barometric pressure. Thank heavens for air conditioners! Mine is on 365 days a week controlling it. I stay indoors as much as I can. It helps.

Hi Loise
My e mail is ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ please email me with what you would like
No worries on repaying anything… My pleasure:-) will be happy to know you are enjoying
the summer with your kids!

Same here! Humidity is THE WORST! It makes me miserable! Barometric pressure creates havoc with my body. And actually any temperature extreme change makes things hard to handle. I live in Ohio where the summers are humid and can be anywhere from 60's to 100's. And our winters can be harsh with several feet of snow, ice storms or just cold and rainy. I've thought for years prior to my PsA dx that we should move to the desert. And now that I know I have arthritis I long to live somewhere that the weather doesn't shift constantly.

I spend nearly the entire winter indoors, like a hermit. Going out in the cold makes all my muscles tighten up. And subsequently I get so much pain just from a simple trip to church that I find myself preferring to just stay home. And the past 2 years have been that way nearly year 'round. With the exception of the mild spring time or mild fall weather. At 48 it's crazy to have gone from a fully functioning adult with a job and social life to a nearly complete hermit on disability in a matter of 4 years.

We NEED a cure! And we NEED a Hollywood spokesperson who will make this illness get the attention it deserves. It's sad that most diseases only get attention if someone "noticeable" is afflicted.

littleredhairedgirl, now that Phil Mickelson, the golfer, is affected, do you think progress will be made? He makes commercials about Enbrel.

If you are interested, my congregation here in NY has live streaming during our church services. I watch it on my computer when I'm too ill to go out. It starts at 2:00pm on Sundays. I attend the Long Island Church of Christ in Central Islip. I have to warn you that's it's not a schmoozy professional production, but a "real life" video production! You will hear a good lesson, tho. Go to licoc.org if you're interested.

Wishing you all the best blessings!

Thanks for all the replies! It make me feel less alone. We all have the same disaese, but it affects us differently and we all have variying degrees of success and failures with the different medications. But there are commonalities. I like that we can share and discuss these here.

I really like thie place. :)

I live in shepparton Victoria. Today is 40 degrees here and it does really knock me and my joints etc around. I find keeping cool with fans and the air con imperative. Also sitting in a nice cool bath or shower helps keep me cool. And finding a comfortable place to rest. Drinking lots of water to make sure you don’t get dehydrated. Your joints seem to feel the dehydration first.

Hi Robyn,

I know Shepparton. I grew up not too far from there in Bendigo.

You are corroect, my joints doo seem to fell dehydration first.
As I type this, it is going to be 41 here today and it rained this morning (ugh). I am in so much pain at the moment. I have taken extra painkillers, but they are not helping me today. I am also tired, as I didn't sleep last night, a combination of heat and pain.I have no air con :(

I feel like I have whining now. Sorry. As I said, tired and pain.

Careful with the extra pain killers. Pain is a mental activity. Keep the brain occupied and it'll hurt less.