View Full Version : Best place to live for a lupus patient?

12-14-2004, 10:32 PM
Is anyone aware of any studies that track how lupus patients in general fare in different cities? In other words, are some cities (based strictly on geography and climate) better suited for lupus patients? I imagine Seattle wouldn't be bad based on the amount of cloud coverage. Then again, harmful UV rays still come through on cloudy days, don't they?

12-21-2004, 02:03 PM
Systemic lupus erythematosus is also called SLE or simply, lupus. It is a disease characterized by general symptoms of feeling bad, arthritis, and skin lesions, with gradual or rapid progression to serious manifestations, such as pneumonia, disabling arthritis, and kidney failure. Lupus is a member of the group of diseases called "collagen diseases," which include also rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis, and others. Lupus often starts with a fever of unknown cause which lasts for days, weeks or months. A rash, typically in the "butterfly area" of the face, may begin at that time. The disease is caused by an alteration in the chemical structure of collagen, a type of connective tissue fiber especially common in blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, skin, and the lining membranes of joints and body cavities. The organs where the connective tissue collagen fibers are most numerous will be most severely afflicted by the disease symptoms.
There have been studies done to see if there are geographic causations for lupus, but all of these studies have either been inconclusive or discarded because of inaccurate methods. So far, Lupus has been found to occur in all types of geographic locations, from very cold climates to very hot climates...from sunny climates to rainforest-type climates. The occurance has more to do with the chemical structure in certain ethnic races than geographic location of the patients.
I hope that I have been helpful to you.

12-21-2004, 04:33 PM
Thanks, Saysusie. Yeah, this was helpful. But to clarify, I was wondering if living in one part of the country has proved more beneficial to lupus patients than living in another. Has anybody had the experience of moving from one city in America to another and found that their condition improved dramatically, or otherwise?

12-22-2004, 05:18 PM
Interesting topic. I come from Leicester England--right in the centre ofEngland although ~I don't live in the city. Its heavily populated. Climate very different to USA much damper generally I think.I personally cannot cope with very hot, very cold or very damp--is there anywhere left.


12-23-2004, 01:13 PM
I agree with Val...I moved from a rather moist, temperate climate to a hot and dry climate thinking that the change would help. It did help my son's asthma a bit, but did absolutely nothing for me!! On the nice hot dry days, I am still in jeopardy due to the sun. On the cold, moist days, my bones and joints ache. I think that, no matter where we live, we will have to deal with or protect ourselves from some part of our illness.
Unfortunately, Lupus is not exactly like arthritis where climate does make a difference!! At least not for most of us :?

Peace and Blessings

01-28-2005, 11:17 PM
being in the cold causes me geat PAIN!
i find the temperate climate of south florida in fall and winter very kind to my health.
i get bronchitis a lot, especially when exposed to cold dry air, as when i visit my parents in SC during the winter and their "heat pump" blows drafty air through the house. i have to humidfy.
i had bronchitis 3 times last year- two in winter. i kicked it in record time this last time with homeopathic medicine! a new and blessed discovery that made me very happy. norammyl i'm out for 2 weeks, but the stuff was gone 2 days after i got the homeopathic med. hooray!
so, for me, staying out of extreme cold. i literally lose all feeling in hands and feet if i'm in 60 degrees or lower without a topasty coat, and 50 or lower even with a coat.

i had some time ALONE at a time share (my mom had one week she ahd to burn at her time share and gave it to me) and i was AMAZED at the difference it amde to have a place to myself, do some swimming (that has been the most therapeutic thing for me- even when i was too weak to walk i cold swim)- the pool was as warm as a bath!- relaxed and played bingo (!!!) i was pain free for like a week. normally i have to take 1-3 advil to go to sleep, adn often get out fo bned in the middle of the ngiht and take more.

i took none for that week and week after. it was a real lesson in what being kind to myself for a week and actually relaxing and getting away from it all - even people i love-can do for my health.

06-11-2005, 07:46 AM
Becareful when you take alot of advil or any kind of IBpro. My lupus effected my liver after I had been taking alot of different medications for my pain. My doctors prescribed Tylonol 3 with codine for me when I normally went to bed because it seemed like all the pain occured during the night. I would make sure that if your taking some sort of pain medication to be sure to eat something small beforehand.

07-04-2005, 06:33 PM
does anyone live in or near Atlanta, Ga? If so how does the weather affect you, if at all.

07-05-2005, 04:44 AM
Nicole, I am not in Atlanta, I'm about 5 hours south of there in Florida. I know their weather is similar to ours. When we get a lot of rain, seems that is when I hurt the most. And since this is hurricane season it's having a good old time with my body. ;) Usually tho the weather here isn't too bad on me, so long as I stay out of the sun.

07-05-2005, 06:27 AM
I'm in Northern IL.

What I've found is that I'm a bit better in the winters - as I can stay cool enough without difficulty. In the summer, it is AC or well covered outside. We have hot - humid weather as well - though not as steamy as the south!

I don't know, I think that no matter what, the weather just IS, and we may have differing reactions to it. I had a chance to move to the SW USA, but decided against it - the sun and heat would have been too much.

02-02-2011, 10:02 AM
When I was first diagnosed I lived in PA, around the same time that I went into a very long remission I moved to TN, I remained in remission the whole time I lived in TN. I have been back in PA for 4 years now, and just started getting symptoms again about a year ago. I miss TN so I am going to say that the climate there was better for my disease, but I think there are so many factors that you have to consider that there is no way to say that location makes any difference.

02-02-2011, 12:13 PM
This is a great thread. Let's run through it all again. I find it very interesting especially with the climate changes that we seem to be going through the past few years.

The Atlanta area is good most of the time; this winter however the cold has been horrid and painful. I don't have that much problem with the sun except when I sit at the girls' softball games.


02-02-2011, 12:45 PM
very interesting thread.

I'm like Saysusie - moving didn't do anything different for my symptoms but different weather definitely has different affects on me. Cold is all achy and swollen joints. Hot is all rashed and exhausted. I've lived in NY, PA and VA and haven't seen much difference.

Also, a while back I read a book that this thread reminded me of called the Autoimmune Epidemic. In it, the author explores an angle of this question. She has done some research and has a theory that there are more Lupus/Autoimmune outbreaks in areas with greater populations & with high chemical concentrations in the air and land. This same theory has been shown to be true in this country with the breast cancer population clusters and I think she may have a point in transferring that theory to autoimmune conditions as well. Just a thought...

02-02-2011, 05:38 PM
Good thought Sandy

02-02-2011, 09:46 PM
This is a great older thread. As a military wife, I've lived in quite a few states.
Sandy - I was raised in Illinois, near several oil refineries, an ammunition plant, a chemical plant and a glassworks. The pollution there was really bad, and I'm not the only one among my family and friends with AI symptoms. I've often wondered if the pollution there had something to do with it.

We've lived in MO, OK, OH, TX and now CA. I've found that I feel the worst where there is lots of heat and humidity. Texas was the worst for me. It gets so horribly hot and sunny there, combined with humidity from the gulf. That's where I really got sick.

I have to vote for the place that I live now to be the best for my AI symptoms. We live right on the coast of Northern California, overlooking the Monterey Bay. The best thing about the weather here is that it is consistent. It rarely gets into the low 30's and people here consider 70 to be a hot day. Most days range from 50 for a low to 65 for a high - pure heaven for me. The ocean breezes keep the humidity just perfect, too.
Jeff will have to drag me kicking and screaming back to Texas when he finishes his PHD. I want to stay here!!!!

02-03-2011, 01:05 AM
I think you may have a point there Marla; consistancy. No change, that seems to be a key, at least for me. Evert time the weather changes my body has to readjust to the barometric pressure.


02-03-2011, 01:46 AM
i find that hot or cold weather i still feel the same pain and affects of lupus what i did notice is that in autumn i tend to feel a little better whether that is because it is in between i do not know hugs kim l

02-03-2011, 02:09 AM
I lived in Arizona when I was diagnosed with SLE. I was used to the heat and it never really bothered me until SLE affected my ability to tolerate heat. Of course, the UV radiation there is intense. About five years ago, I moved back to Maine, where I grew up, and for me, this is the perfect place as far as climate. Although the interior of Maine can have harsh winters, I live on the coast, and the coastal climate here is very mild. The winter on the ocean can get cold, and it does snow quite a bit every 3rd or 4th winter, but overall, winter on the coast is mild, and short. Summer temps never get much higher than 75 degrees F, and of course, the UV radiation up here is quite mild, which is a huge plus. And, it never gets humid here.

I suppose you could say that anyplace with a mild and fairly consistent year round temperature combined with sunlight that's less intense, is a good place for a person with SLE or MS. Another consideration for me, was stress. Living in a big city with all the stress caused by crime, traffic, noise, and pollution, was just killing me. My stress levels dropped significantly after my move from AZ back to Maine, and with that, my flares became more manageable. Life here is very peaceful. My one and only neighbor is nearly two miles away, and there's nothing but ocean in one direction, and a vast wilderness in the other. That works for me.


02-03-2011, 05:12 AM
My biggest problem was the heat and humitity in Texas and after living there for 20 years, we have moved to upstate NY.
I feel better here, I can breathe better and I can actually go outside in the summer, which I couldn't do in Texas.
My joints hurt all the time, it doesn't matter if it is 80 F or 20 F degrees.
All in all things are better in a colder climate for me.


02-03-2011, 05:30 AM
Life here is very peaceful. My one and only neighbor is nearly two miles away, and there's nothing but ocean in one direction, and a vast wilderness in the other. That works for me.


Rob that sounds so great I'm jealeous


02-03-2011, 08:31 AM
I think that's a good point about the stable climate. I know when I lived in VA I was the least sick and the temperature was the least extreme of all the places I have lived I felt the best. Except for allergies. The pollen count in VA was not good at all for that.
Also I know in my family that the ones who have the most AI problems all still live in this area and this is a very densly populated and highly commercialized area with several thousand manufacturing, refining, chemical processing companies all located on a strip of land 10 miles wide and 120 miles long. There's an even larger carbon footprint at the mouth of long island where NJ, Manhattan, or the Bronx must be passed through to get to the mainland by car. There's also a high number of cars and car pollution itself here so I really believe that this theory holds water.

02-03-2011, 09:35 PM
So, it seems that we all agree that Texas is the worst place for people with AI issues - it figures.
Extreme heat seems to be the worst for us, and a clean, consistent climate seems to be best.
Rob, it seems that you and I with our ocean views and peaceful towns seem to have chosen best.
Now, it's going to be even harder for Jeff to get me to go back to Texas!