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Heat, humidity, and rain: effect on Fibromyalgia

Thursday 14 June 2012


From's Adrienne Dellwo:


Storm cloudsHeat, Humidity & Rain: Effect on Fibromyalgia

By Adrienne Dellwo, Guide
June 11, 2012

It's common to hear people with fibromyalgia say that a certain type of weather makes their symptoms worse. However, a new study contradicts much of what people say. So who's right?

First, a look at what we know about this study. First, it's important to note that the data were presented at a conference and the paper has not yet gone through peer review.

Here's what the data say:

  • Most weather factors did not have an impact on symptoms.
  • Humidity increase lead to more pain the next day in some subjects.
  • Rain increased pain on the same day in some subjects.
  • Heat increased pain on the following day in some subjects.

Weather conditions that stayed the same didn't appear to have any effect - it was weather changes that seemed to matter, and only those listed above.

Clearly, this doesn't jibe with what a lot of people believe of their symptoms. I've written plenty of times about how hot weather makes me puff up and get achy, while cold weather means I'm unable to get warm and my cold skin is extremely sensitive (thermal allodynia.)

I hesitate to dismiss research (as long as it's well conducted), but I do have to wonder if something skewed the results. A few things come to mind:

  • Participants were all from the same area (the Netherlands), so perhaps it's possible that acclimation make them somewhat more adapted to certain types of weather.
  • It may be that sub-types of fibromyalgia including temperature sensitivity are less common there.
  • The time period of the study may not have involved a wide enough cross-section of weather conditions.
  • The methodology used may not have been sound.

It'll take full access to this study to answer some questions, and more research of this type to answer the rest.

Meanwhile, I'll keep to the habits that help me avoid temperature-related symptoms.

What do you think? Does the weather seem to influence your symptoms? Are changes in weather worst for you? Take the poll, and leave your comments here!


The above, with comments and a poll, originally appeared here.


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