Lupus Quick Tip: Are You a Summer Lupie or a Winter Lupie?

Similar to other auto-immune/ inflammatory/ chronic illnesses, weather can trigger or reduce certain symptoms. For example, extremes in humidity can make joints more achy and aggravate inflammation (I know it wreaks havoc on my breathing and joints). While it’s no fun to feel like a slave to your local weather service, seasonal weather patterns can a little easier to prepare for.

Think about your symptoms and ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • Which bothers you more: a sunny, cold winter day, or a sunny, warm summer day?
  • Does cold air make breathing more difficult or make your joints hurt more?
  • Do heavy, wet summer days make breathing difficult?
  • Do your joints feel more tender during summer storms?

If you notice more daily symptoms during the winter, overly dry air might by a secret lupus trigger. Likewise, if, like me, heat and humidity knock you flat, then summer may be your time to exercise a little more caution.

Dry, winter air can trigger your muscles to contract and tighten for warmth – which could lead to achier muscles, and joints. Humid and hot air can make inflamed joints feel even more tender and sore. Summer heat can also cause more dehydration – the symptoms of which can easily get lost among a lupie’s other symptoms. Finally, as much as you might love snow and water, keep in mind that both reflect sunlight and UV rays – even on cloudy days. So watch that hidden sun exposure!

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