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Category Archives: Rheumatology

Myth or Reality? Is cold weather making my joints hurt?

Arthritis & Cold Weather: A recent study shows rheumatoid arthritis patients were more likely to report tender joints with minimal temperature increase and maximal temperature decrease in the winter.

Temperature alone does not seem to give us the full picture: There is an intriguing interrelation between meteorological parameters and the human body. In Patberg’s review, the conflicting results in the literature on temperature and RA pain association are explained by the temperature-humidity couple and its effects on the microclimate near the skin.

What this study tells us: Exercise raises our skin temperature, resulting in a decrease in pain. In osteoarthritis, both cold weather and increasing humidity worsened reported joint pain.

Can cold weather make my joints hurt? Yes, it looks like cold weather and humidity together can lead to joint pain. With lifestyle modification, regular exercise routine and as needed pain medications, we can help manage increased pain this winter!

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May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

Osteoporosis, means porous bones. Is a progressive condition of bone loss in which bones become weak and more prone to fracture. Bone loss is a natural part of life, and after midlife more bone is lost than is it formed, so your bone mass slowly declines.

In the United States 

  • Over 10 million people have osteoporosis 80% of whom are Women.
  • Each year 1.5 million people suffer an osteoporosis related fracture.

There are multiple RISK FACTORS, some cannot be modified like

  • Age of 50 
  • Being female 
  • Menopause 
  • Family history
  • Low body weight (small and thin)
  • Being Caucasian or Asian 

Other risk factors can be changed like 

  • A diet low calcium
  • Having a low vitamin D
  • Low intake of fruits and vegetables 
  • A sedentary lifestyle 
  • Smoking 
  • Excessive alcohol 
  • Sudden extensive weight loss
  • Long term use of certain medications like steroids

To diagnose osteoporosis your doctor will order an imaging test called a bone density scan (DXA scan)

Osteoporosis is a treatable condition: 
Along with prevention and lifestyle changes, you may need a prescription medication to stop bone loss and prevent fractures. 
If you are at risk talk to your doctor today to discuss screening for and the most appropriate therapy to treat your condition.

It is crucial to follow preventative strategies to lower the risk or progression of osteoporosis. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements (at least 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium; 400-800 IU of vitamin D daily under age 50 or at least 800- 1,000 IU after age 50).

  • Do weight-bearing exercises and stay physically fit
  • Avoid smoking
  • Minimize your alcohol consumption. 

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