The other day, while I was working on an assignment about immunity, I came across a few interesting studies about lupus. By definition, it’s a disease when the human’s immune system starts to attack our own body tissues (weird, right?) What’s more unusual is that lupus can be linked to the weather as well, such as certain weather will have different degrees of effects on the patient. If so, what would be the best climate for lupus sufferers?
Lupus: Cause and Diagnosis
Recently I’ve been studying most of the time, so there isn’t much going on in my life except for the huge amount of research I’m doing daily. Yes, it’s a pain to say, but in return, I get to know some pretty fascinating info. As I said, lupus immediately caught my attention. It’s such a bizarre case of our body assaulting itself, so naturally I have to dig in and figure out more about it.
What causes lupus?
We’ve all probably learned since little that our immunity is supposed to protect our body from external danger. But we’re ‘only humans’ after all – even our body function makes mistakes sometimes. The exact reason why the immune system makes this odd error is still unknown to this day. However, genetics and environment factors are suspected to play the main role. Thus, this disease is known to run in the family of patients.
The inflammation caused by lupus can affect your body system and different organs, such as the skin, blood, kidneys, … Therefore, you can’t take this disease lightly and should seek medical care as soon as possible.
As the cause is unknown, there is currently no proven cure. Only temporary treatments are available depending on the condition of the patient. Although the use of corticosteroids shows rapid effects, it carries unwanted side effects as well.
How to tell if someone has lupus
It’s tricky to diagnose lupus since the symptoms are unpredictable and vary widely. It’s even called one of the “great imitators” – a term that specifies medical conditions which has nonspecific symptoms that can be mistaken for other diseases.
The most common complaints by long term lupus patients are fever, fatigue and body pain in general. However, these symptoms cannot be used as diagnosis criteria for lupus. They very much resemble and links to other diseases also.
Another distinctive feature a lupus patient can have is a facial rash that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose, called the ‘butterfly rash’ because of how it looks. They might also have rashes in other parts of the body.
Signs like these can be either temporary or permanent, and some can experience symptoms that others don’t. The condition might be mild or severe, and episodes of lupus can come and go unexpectedly. Therefore, no two cases of lupus will show exact similar symptoms.
The correlation between weather and lupus
I found that lupus patients frequently share their discontent that their episodes of lupus get worse when the weather changes. For example, their joints and muscles will experience heavier pain as soon as the cold season arrives. It’s the sudden change in the temperature and air that can worsen the flares of lupus sufferers.
A study by American College of Rheumatology confirm that there is a strong relation between changes in the atmosphere and environment to a patient’s lupus activities. Data was taken of 1628 patients, displaying how lupus symptoms associated with changes in temperature, humidity, wind and air quality in general
Lupus and hot weather
Rheumatologist George Stojan noted that a rise in temperature can influence the immune system in not just lupus but also other diseases. An increase in heat can cause rashes, inflammations, joint flares and blood cells decline. However, patients showed less serious lupus renal flares in summer time, meaning organs other than skin and joints have different patterns of lupus activity.
Lupus and cold weather
During the temperature drop, patients are more affected by muscle and joint pain, which is also extremely common. Rashes also show signs or flaring up more intensely during cold seasons. Wind can also result in lung, blood and neurologic complications. In this type of weather, lupus symptoms can be easily mistaken as having a cold.
Lupus and air quality
Air pollution will worsen the condition of inflammation and closely link to an increase in rashes, infection and blood abnormalities. At the same time, a rise in humidity significantly links with joint flares and serosal inflammation.
Best climate condition for lupus patients and autoimmune diseases
It’s undoubtedly difficult to find the ‘perfect’ weather condition for all lupus patients, since their symptoms and severity level vastly differ from one another. Therefore, the best climate for lupus sufferers is one where temperature doesn’t have extreme changes throughout the year. In addition, humidity level should be rather stable, and the air should be clean year round.
However, not all patients can have access to such weather conditions. It’s important that you give them support when they are suffering from lupus episodes that might happen when the weather changes.
Thanks for reading this post about Best Climate For Lupus Sufferers. I hope the information that I compile can help you help a loved one who is currently suffering from lupus. If you want to know to deal with lupus, you may interest in essential oils for lupus treatment.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment!