Can Cold Weather Affect Your Lupus Symptoms?
Lupus can affect just about any part of the body. Factors such as temperature, ozone concentration and wind might cause more flare-ups of organ-specific symptoms. The cold winter months can be difficult for anyone living with an autoimmune disease, like Lupus.
How Does Cold Weather Impact Lupus?
Cold weather could be causing painful flare-ups for those with Lupus. As blood vessels constrict in the cold to prevent heat loss, the pressure increases in the head, joints and limbs. This can restrict blood flow to the fingers, toes and extremities. Many with Lupus already have restricted blood flow, particularly if they are experiencing Raynaud’s Phenomenon.
Winter brings other potential triggers besides the cold too, including dry air. The dry air can dry out your nasal passages and windpipe. Not only does this make you more vulnerable to respiratory infections, but it can irritate the throat and lead to an inflammatory response. This can also be stressful. These are all known triggers of Lupus flares.
How Do You Avoid Lupus Flare-Ups in the Winter?
The following are just a few tips on how to avoid Lupus flare-ups in the winter:
- Dress in layers. Your beady heat can get trapped in your clothing easier with more layers to buffer its escape.
- Get plenty of rest. While the holiday season can be busy, try to manage your schedule to avoid becoming overtired or overworked.
- Watch out for stress. Stress can be unavoidable during the holidays, but it is essential for people with Lupus to avoid putting themselves in stressful situations when possible. Learn some techniques that help you manage your stress, such as meditation.
- Take your medications as prescribed. Never start or stop a medication without checking with your doctor first. Many medications, including some over-the-counter drugs, can trigger Lupus flare-ups.
So to answer the question, “Can cold weather affect your Lupus symptoms?,” yes, but it can affect everyone differently. Contact us with the link below for more information or to schedule an appointment today!