question regarding flares-weather related?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 3/3/2010 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey y'all,
Are any of you having a crazy time with your joints lately?  I can't seem to figure out what kind of a pattern my body has been in the last month.  I was diagnosed last March with lupus and was in the worst shape with my joints.  I was pretty much bedridden for a week until the prednisone kicked in and alleviated all the swelling.  By April I was feeling pretty good and all the way up to mid-January was pretty much back to myself.  My rhuemy was pleased with all of my bloodwork and said to keep doing what I was doing cause everything looked good.   I had periodic episodes of joint inflammation, but not like it is again now.  The problem is, I will have 2-3 days that I'm pretty good, wake up with hardly any inflammation then I will have a day that for no rhyme or reason I feel like I'm flaring real bad.   I wake up with alot of swelling in my fingers and it also seems to affect my knees right now.  Is this how lupus works, or do you all think it could be weather related?  How can I be so good for several days and for no apparent reason have a bad day, and then the next day it's good again.  We've had a crazy winter here and when I was at my last dr. apptment Feb. 12th everybody in the waiting room was complaining as well.  My dr. wanted to start me back on the methotrexate, but I really don't want to add another drug if it is just the time of year that this happens.  I really felt good when the weather was warmer and not so back and forth. Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same?
Trying to be patient,
DX - sle and carpal tunnel syndrome
RX - plaquenil, prednisone, lisiniprol, folic acid, etolodac, cenestin and prometrium (hormones) fish and flaxseed oil, vitamins c and d and multi-vitamin, darvocet as needed

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 3/3/2010 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lynette,

Oh yes! Our joint pain definitely waxes and wanes according to the weather. It tends to get worse for those living in humid, wet climates. I live in a very dry area of southern Alberta. My joint pain isn't bad at all. But when I travel to the west coast, it's a different story altogether.

Lupus joint pain can be bad for a few days, then good, then bad again for no reason. It's just the nature of the disease unfortunately. Finding exercises or stretching routines that work for you will help keep the pain in more tolerable areas. Wet or dry heat/ice can help as well.

The best thing I did for my pain was to get moving. Treadmill walking, and resistance training. The stronger your muscles are, the better they can support the joints.

Hope you feel better soon!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 3/3/2010 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Lynette! Im so sorry you are dealing with joint pain. Like Ginny said, the weather does play a huge part in how your joints are affected! I usually can tell a few days before the rain or snow because my joints will get worse than normal. Then after the snow/rain stops, my joint pain becomes to what it usually is.

Some days I will wake up and the pain/swelling will be in several joints and then the next morning i wake up the swelling and pain will have moved to completly different joints. I asked my rhuemy why it did this and all she could say is thats how it is with most people who have arthritis do to lupus or even regular arthritis.

I agree with Ginny, find some type of exercise you are able to do, even if its not much. Everything you do helps build up your strength. I borrowed a friends heated swimming pool for awhile and did exercises and that help a lot with the pain, didnt take it away but helped greatly!!!

Quick question...I see you have carpal tunnel, has the prednisone helped with that???

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 3/3/2010 10:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I have RA with the lupus and can honestly say winter sucks for joint pain. I live in southwestern Michigan and this winter has been screwy as all get out. I find that 2 celebrex a day has made a huge difference in how I feel in the winter and 1 a day is enough in the warmer months. As to feeling okay for a few days then having a bad day or two then being okay for a few days that seems to be how lupus works for many people. You might want to listen to your doctor about the extra meds though because you seem to have developed a pattern of doing okay a few days then poorly then okay then poorly and it may be your disease is just more active. Or you could keep a diary of the weather and your symptoms and see if a pattern develops there.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, cozar
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." T. E. Lawrence

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 3/4/2010 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey guys,

Well, I'm glad to know that I'm not losing my mind!!  I can't wait for the warmer weather so I can get outside and do the things that keep me moving like gardening and walking.  We are supposed to get up into the 60's this weekend so I'm hoping that will help.  I told my rheumy that if things didn't change by the next apptment I would agree to go back to the methotrexate.  Amy, as far as the carpal tunnel goes, the pred definitely helps, but not always, so I go in about every 3 months to my orthapedist and he gives me cortisone injections to relieve the symptoms.  Sometimes I'm not sure if it is the lupus creating the inflammation in the joints of the hands or the carpal tunnel is acting up.   It seems like whenever I get these injections, I can back off many of the other meds, especially the prednisone.  The problem is that unless I get the surgery done, this is the only way to keep it under control.  I don't have very many symptoms during the day, just mostly at night when things get bad so I don't feel like I need the surgery yet.  I asked him and he told me that I would be the one to tell him that I want the surgery.  Thank you all for your responses.  I feel pretty good today (so far) and I hope you all have a pain free day.

Hugs and Angels,


college coaches wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 3/4/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Gosh. Am I glad to hear I'm not completely losing it. Tuesday was a nightmare I could literally feel the bones in my legs. Yes they were screaming!! Wednesday I felt a lot better - no rhyme or reason. Usually when the wind is blowing from the SE, my headaches build and when there is also a front moving from west to easy with wind blowing from southeast to west, my head feels like it is in a vice grip and my brain is trying to ooze out. Graphic huh? Not a textbook migraine--my doctor doesn't like giving out narcotics so I take serious amounts of Excedrin. Clonazapam helps me a little. I would love trading bodies with my doc for just one day. He would be wanting to swap back after an hour. I'm positive he would write a script for morphine after that - ha! Any suggestions for headaches other than what a bullet wouldn't cure? (kidding) I suffer from fibromyalgia, but saw this thread on weather and hopped on the pain griping bandwagon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 3/7/2010 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey coaches wife,
I really can empathize with the achiness in the entire body, but I really don't suffer from headaches (thank god!!) It's bad enough when you ache all over to try and keep a good positive outlook but when your head is throbbing too I'm sure that is hard to do.  My sister-in-law suffers from chronic migraines and is on alot of pain medication for it.  She said the weather also affects the intensity of the headache and she can truly predict when they will come.  My doctor prescribes darvocet for me for the bad days and believe me it helps.  Maybe you need to find a doctor who will listen to you better.  I would think if you have to take alot of Excedrin it could be real bad for your stomach and liver.  One pain pill may do the trick and be safer in the long run. Oh, this all sucks though!!  I'm tired of the whole medication path.  I want the old me back!!  I really wonder how much money is spent on research for auto-immune disorders and finding cures.  Can't remember really seeing anything in the media regarding fundraisers, telethons or whatever to help find a cure for the auto-immune diseases.  Sure see alot of drug commercials though.  Stay sane, sounds like you have a good sense of humor through it all. 
Hugs and Angels,
DX - sle and carpal tunnel syndrome
RX - plaquenil, prednisone, lisiniprol, darvocet, etolodac, cenestin and prometrium, folic acid, fish oil and flaxseed oil, calcium and vit d and other vitamins.
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