Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 06:36
No clear association between weather and fibromyalgia, says Dutch researcher
A recent study in the Netherlands shows that there is no real link between weather and the worsening symptoms of fibromyalgia, particularly pain. In an email to Reuters Health, Utrecht University Researcher Ercolie Bossema said, “The few significant associations that we found (between weather and fibromyalgia symptoms) were very small, too small to affect daily functioning.” According to her, weather-associated symptoms may be present; however, “perhaps these factors differ from person to person,” she said. stuart anthony/flickr Around 92 percent of patients suffering from fibromyalgia claim that some weather conditions may aggravate symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue. 300 women with fibromyalgia participated in the research study. For a month, they kept daily records of their sleeps, symptoms, and activities. They rated the quantity or quality of both pain and sleep using a 5-point scale. A rate of 5 means “very much” while 1 indicates “not at all. The researchers evaluated the findings on the journals in comparison with the daily weather conditions. Factors like humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and sunshine were all taken in consideration. Although higher pain scores were linked to humid and gloomy days, the results were very small. For example, an extra hour of sunshine a day resulted to a 0.005 reduction on the 5-point pain scale while a percent added to humidity was associated with a 0.004 point pain increase. According to Dr. Stuart Silverman, a specialist in fibromyalgia in Beverly Hills, California, the link between the sun and the symptoms seems sensible. “Everybody feels a lot better in the sun,” he said. Silverman told Reuters Health that the sun encourages people to go out and be active, which then reduces the symptoms of pain. He added that fatigue becomes slightly worse on warmer days; nevertheless, these are small variations.