Do you get a gout flare when the weather changes?

The climate plays a big role for us gout sufferers especially when it’s hot and humid which may lead to dehydration and triggering a gout attack. When your body is depleted of fluids through perspiration, you can suffer recurrent gout attacks so it is imperative that you drink a lot of water when the humidity index is high.

There are also many gout sufferers who have reported to me that they get gout attacks in the fall and when seasons change. After an extended period of time where the temperature is stable at a certain range of degrees, our bodies then become accustomed to this consistency. Then if the temperature drops dramatically overnight, bringing about unusually cold mornings as in the fall season, it is very reasonable to believe that your excess uric acid may crystallize in the joints triggering a gout attack.

Remember that gout is a form of arthritis and that people who suffer from arthritis are also sensitive to weather changes. As your body adapts to the new season and new range of temperatures, your uric acid levels also adjust accordingly until the next change in weather or season. To avoid a gout attack it is important to maintain a regular temperature in your body despite the changes of temperature and pressure of the environment.

Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, of the Boston University School of Medicine, evaluated the link between weather and the risk of recurrent gout in 619 individuals who already suffered from gout with a median age of 54 but ranged in age from 21 to 88 years old. The study stated that there was a 43% increased risk of developing a gout attack when temperatures of 50°-59° degrees Fahrenheit moved up to 70°-79°.

When temperatures dropped from 30°-39° degrees Fahrenheit to less than 30° degrees; were considered with a decreased risk of developing a gout attack of 25% and 40% respectively. The researchers also noticed a connection between temperature and humidity. They found that there was a two-fold increased risk of a gout attack when the temperature was higher than 70° degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity index was below than 60% in comparison to when temperatures were 50°-69° and the humidex was 60%-74%.

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

So what is a gout sufferer to do?

Maintaining a regular temperature in your body although the weather is changing drastically is the key to avoiding a gout attack. It is important when the weather changes towards heat and humidity to keep hydrated since you lose more water when it’s hot, drink frequently because water will help your body maintain a constant temperature. Try and have air conditioning in your house and car if possible, this will help you a lot.

When the weather changes to cold you definitely need to warm yourself up, if it’s possible for you to move to a warm area in the wintertime, then good for you. If not make sure to bundle up when going out, so wear an extra layer of socks to keep your feet warm and dress in layers. Drinking warm beverages like coffee or your favorite tea will warm up your body and raise your body temperature. Try and keep moving in cold weather, this will produce body heat and since you are more active this may improve your blood circulation. At home make sure to have heating or at least electronic blankets to keep your body warm at night when it’s coldest.

Regardless of hot or cold weather, take the necessary precautions and avoid that painful gout attack. What has been your experience with weather changes over the years? I’d like to hear from you, leave your comments below.

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    43 replies to "Gout and Weather"

    • keith

      Makes sense. I live in HCMC and my joint pain gets really bad during the rainy season. Like the chap said in an earlier post, the sun seems to do me good. However, in the rainy season by the time I finish work, it’s time for a downpour.

    • Dan

      Nice blog! As an arthritis sufferer myself (which is most likely gout– I’ve been measured at 7, 8 and 9 uric acid) I wanted to share something that might be coincidence but worth mentioning. I recently had photodynamic therapy (blue light therapy) on my face for other dermatology reasons. It actually did not help my skin, but low and behold, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in arthritis pain– almost totally gone!

      I’m pretty sure sunlight might have done the same thing as my pain always is worse in fall/winter. I’m wondering now if lack of sun is making issues worse for all of us? I don’t recommend going out and getting burned, but being safe, applying some more modest SPF such as SPF 8 and just getting some more light. It might be the answer for some of us? Interested to here what others might say on this?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Dan!

        Totally agree!

        I just came back from Florida and my body feels better, my joints feel better, my skin feels better. It’s amazing what a little sun can do.

    • Gregory Miller

      Hello my name is Greg, I have been suffering with Gout for many years, I am 55 now. I have mentioned the weather to my doctor for years. Both Spring and fall season changes get me.
      I live in Ontario Canada, about an hour from Toronto. I have been home from work for three days, I currently have it in my knee, it was so bad I could only walk with a cane, afraid to do stairs. We just had a very weird weather front, big temp change, high winds, worst bout of gout yet.

    • Steve

      The article says high temp low humidity has a 2-fold risk, but I notice in some of your responses you tell people to move to Arizona and Nevada. Can you explain why you feel this way.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Steve!

        High temperatures and high humidity weather is what you need to avoid. Arizona and Nevada is high temperature but low humidity which is more comfortable and beneficial for your joints.

    • Sara Sweeney

      Husband has been laid up in bed for almost 3 weeks with gout so bad he can’t get out of bed. Took him to E.R and they said he has it in both knees, fluid and inflamed, sent him home with steriods, pain meds and naproxen. They said it’s unusal to have it in both knees. It seems to act up more in the cold, thinking about moving to Florida, wonder if it would help. It’s never been this bad.

    • Nishanth

      Am suffering with gout for the last 5yrs,now I am 33…the pain is killing me and making me depressed. Is there any permanent solution for getting rid of gout/hyperuricemia?

      • Dheeraj

        If you’re non vegetarian then better you change yourself to vegetarian. Me too suffering from gout from 2012, I guess but I founded it’s gout in 2015 the more you stress your mind, the more it hurts make your body fight for it, stay relaxed. I recently had attacks with gout on November 1st 2017 and was in bed for a week and used medicine and had celery tea.

        It stayed 25 days and started moving out for a week and had pain in ankle and after few days had chicken on Sunday and it attacked on third day like on 10 dec 2017 and even now I’m still suffering in my right ankle, not able to move but not able to move out of house it hurts if I stressed my leg so not only you bro, there are number of people who are suffering gout in India.

        Don’t stress the affected food take control on having foods with low purine content banish high purine foods if you feel to treat yourself with your favorite foods which is high purines, then I suggest never ever get into the trap which affects your health with gout and you get plenty of information from this site and try these remedies and eat foods they suggest and find which food is working well for you and maintain it because life is very precious.

      • Dev

        Hey Nishanth,
        I am from Bangalore, India. I have been getting this gout attack since 2015 and once in a year.

        In 2015, I consulted General medicine, but did not help me and I had to suffer for 20 days. Later I got referred by my friend to try Homeopathy and to my surprise the pain was relieved in 20 minutes. That was a relief

        In 2016, when I got this, again the homeopathy medicine just helped in 20 minutes!

        In 2017, I got this on 11th Dec, but this is still on for a week [One mistake that I could recall was that I ate fish]

        So I suggest you to consult Homeopathy doctor and see it helps you. Let us know how it goes !

        Also, this website has some very good home remedies which you could try. Epsom salt gives good relief. I am trying others too, but with less luck so far for me !

        Take care !

        Hello Spiro !
        Just wanted to take this opportunity to “Thank you” for this initiative in bringing the community to share their views, learn and apply so we could all be relieved from “Gout” !

      • Daniel

        I am also 33 and I had lots of trouble with gout. I started to avoid sugar/soda and that helped a lot but I would still get the occasional flare up.

        Then I started taking tart cherry concentrate pills and I have gone 7 months gout free. I really recommend tart cherry pills.

      • Sarah

        Hi Nishanth,

        I’m 29 and just discovered I also have hyperuricemia/gout. The doctor told me to eliminate or strictly limit daily intake of red meat, seafood (with the exception of salmon), alcohol, processed foods, white bread and rice, aspartame, and high fructose corn syrup.
        All those foods are high in purines. My understanding is, people with gout lack a gene that allows the body to process high amounts of purine out of the body. The remaining purines are tuned into uric acid. The uric acid shards are deposited into your joints, causing excruciating flare ups. About 2/3rds of the purines in your body are created by cell death (something you can’t control), so you can only control 1/3rd of the purines in your body through diet.
        Hope that helps. There’s a lot of us out here. Check out some instagram recipe groups! There’s a lot of people on anti-inflammatory diets! Stay strong!

    • Dwest

      Your article describes my condition very well. For me its December 20 on the dot for the last 7-8 years. The attack will last 2 to 3 weeks. When other seasons change it’s milder maybe a week. At times if a sudden climate change occurs it can trigger extremely painful events without much swelling. Thanks for the article I dont feel like a nut job for noticing the events following the weather patterns.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Thanks Dwest! It is very common even with sufferers of arthritis.

    • Karl

      I don’t know Spiro my heat and pain sometimes here in Australia going to bad. I don’t know how long I can put ua with that.

    • Peter Buckmaster

      Thank you for this. I live in Japan where the summers are extremely humid. This is maybe my fourth bout of gout in a decade, always in summer. The doctors have never said anything about the heat/humidity so I just supposed I was dehydrating and drinking more beer due to hot weather. Reading your article confirms this but also brings up something new for me, mainly the sudden change in weather. In June we have the rainy season and when that finishes the temperature shoots up to mid 30s (centigrade) and the humidity is over 90% most days. Nights can be tricky to judge. Air-con or windows open. So I guess my body reacts badly to the roller-coaster ride in temperature and humidity. Again,thanks for the insight.

    • Dennis

      My wife and I had moved to south Florida and we both were getting Gout attacks for the first time. We finally moved after 3 years because of the heat and humidity and relocated south of Atlanta and have lived here over 2 years and neither of us have had any attacks since.I believe that the weather conditions definitely have a big part in this equation. Thanks for your perspective on this.

    • Susan

      Last year we left Canada after Christmas where it was well below freezing to come to Florida for three months. When we arrived, it was hot and humid. Within 10 days of arriving, my husband developed his first bout of gout. He was treated at a local clinic, after blood work and an x-ray. This year, we left Canada to come to Florida and again, within a week, he has developed the symptoms of gout. Could the temperature/humidity changes be affecting him and, as his body adjusts, should his symptoms disappear? He’s taking black cherry concentrate, Omega 3 and an OTC gout treatment and ibuprofen for pain/inflammation.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Susan!

        Yes humidity and rapid change of weather can affect the joints as well as gout. Many gout sufferers report this.

    • jim mitchell

      WHEN YOUNG, gout attacks were severe. Lesser so in middle age. Now at 70, severity increasing again. Heat (hot summer temps) especially in August-October seem to trigger gout attacks.

      Always in August when my feet get hot – I get the bad gout attacks. Cold does not bring on gout.

    • Matt Ogiwara

      I recently had an attack just before Hurricain Matthew passed through. After the storm i went to the VA Hospital in Miami where the Physicians assistant said there was a major increase of gout attacks. I think the change in pressure may be partially responsable.

    • Baloydi

      I have high uric acid level since high school, and now I am 24 years old. Old also, have hyperhydriosis (in-born condition). The highest uric acid I had was 13. Currently, I am suffering because my hyperhydriosis sweat has some kind of chemical that would irritate my sinus causing them to sneeze and would eventually lead to fever.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Baloydi!

        I never hear of your condition as you explain it. I suffer from hyperhidrosis as well, I am very sensitive to humidity and sweat rather easily, very embarrassing at times.

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    • andrew

      i am 42 , have had gout since i am 27. It was a birthday present to me literally , 1st attack on my BDAY. I thought I broke my foot somehow.
      I lived in Fl the whole time and then moved to Boston area in Feb. Since in the cold I yet to go 2 days without an attack somewhere in foot or knee. My uric acid level is 5.35 (tested every month and consistent under 6) I am now suffering 6 days in the knee but not swollen so no fluid to drain really. Can not walk for the 1st 3 days. kept me in bed. In Fl i get about 3 mini attacks a month and 4 major a year max. Here in Boston its all bad and minor but its daily. Should I just move somewhere else? I left Fl to be near family but I can live anywhere as I work from a computer.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Andrew!

        If you go anywhere, the best weather is dry weather out in Arizona, Nevada, south California, parts of Texas, where there is not much humidity and rain but mostly desert.

    • Ermin

      I have gout attack now it’s almost a month I consult my doctor in the first week of pain and he gave medicine but the season is changing and its getting colder up 0 degrees here in my place and I feel terrible pain in my toe In nigth I can’t sleep of pain. I hope any solution to less the pain.

    • Ronald

      The study seems a little backwards to me because I live in an area that is very hot (up to 105 degrees in summer)and also very cold with no humidity (below 20 degrees winter nights). Summers I have no flare ups, but the cold weather makes my feet cold and pain develops in the feet and ankles like clockwork. There is zero doubt that weather is a contributing factor. I am guessing this is because there is less crystal formation at higher blood temperatures. Anti-inflammatories work well, as does baking soda type products and cherries. Can go from not being able to walk one day to running the next.

      • Tony

        Hey how are you I was reading your comment about the gout. I work in N. Dakota but live in Texas and 3 or 4 days after I get back to work I have a flare and I can’t control it. What do you take for it. I’ve gone to my Physician and got some mess and it works at home but not here. Do you have any advice?

    • Meredith

      Hi, I live in Bogart, right outside of Atlanta.
      I was diagnosed with kidney failure 2 years ago due to high uric acid levels. Mine were as high as 13 until I went vegan this summer.
      I’m down 32 pounds and my uric acid level is down to 7.8
      I’m doing much better, but am currently experiencing a gout attack in my left foot. My only things I can come up with are walking 2-3 miles per day (which is new for me and that it’s cold, about 26-46 degrees this week).
      Any thoughts? Thank you!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Meredith!

        If it’s cold and you can’t handle it, then do your walking in laps inside the mall or signup at a local gym and walk on a treadmill.But walking really helps gout and keeps you in shape. I’m happy you dropped your uric acid levels, good job!

    • samrid

      I get gout attack cloudy humid weather. Any solution

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Drink plenty of water Samrid and stay cool as much as possible!

    • Patrick

      Thanks for your blog I am 33 and have been suffering from gout attacks for about 12 years, I always concentrate so much on my food and diet when i get an attack being told by others ‘what did you eat it must be something you ate’, when my diet didnt really change. Then I started to realise that it would happen at the similar times every year and linked it to the weather myself. I refuse to take any gout medication, rather at the sign of an attack i take voltaren 50mg tablet and drink as much water as possible to flush the system out.

    • Barry

      I can guarantee you seasons play a role. Here I am 49, 6’4″, 225 lbs and can bench press my weight 16 times, run a 10K, and do 25 pullups. I eat a great diet, no processed foods, no sodas, only drink water, and no alcohol. And it is August 31, the nights have turned cooler, and my toe has taken me down yet again, this time in my right foot and I have never had it there. Advil and cherries are my only defense. I grit my teeth and suffer as I pull on my shoe and try to walk normally. This ridiculous little malady won’t win.

    • Gerald Goldberg

      Woke up with gout in my knee and started wondering did I do anything to bring it on. The first thing was, I had some chocolate last night and wondered did that trigger it, but then I came across your blog and you gave me the answer. We have had a bad summer, so when we get a hot day I overdo it and stay out in the sun for hours, as I did yesterday and of course during the night the temperture would have fallen and I only had a sheet covering me – RESULT, that know tingling in my knee that warns me that I have the beginning of a gout attack.

    • Dan Houlihan

      Hi… Im 50 yrs old. Started getting gout attacks about eighteen yrs ago. Finally after suffering with attacks for years finally gave up alcohol…red meat and seafood. Started to exercise more and drink a ton of water daily. For last ten years only a rare gout attack. Last june moved from upstate Ny to Tampa and have had several gout attacks. My new dr an internist considers a food allergy a possibility but i think its humidity. Arrived Tampa last June was find for three or four months. I drink even more water here take colchicine when get an attack and allopurinol daily but nothing has been helping? And again been drinking ton of water. Sorry this is so long.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Try Arizona, Nevada or South California. The humidity is so low that I who sweat a lot, barely broke a sweat in Vegas when it was high 90s, 100+ F everyday!

    • Stephan

      Took me a few years to figure it out, but everytime I flew to Florida, within 7 days I’d have an attack while there or shorty upon returning to California. The first time I went to Florida I even managed to get a kidney stone. Next time I go I’m going to drink a lot of water and avoid beer which was also a Florida indulgence.

    • mark

      I do get pain in my joints when the weather changes.
      However,the most notable times I get gout attacks are during cloudy days when the pressure is low.
      As soon as it rains, the pain receedes.
      At times, I would start feeling the pain even before the bad weather comes. I would be able to argue with my colleagues that there would be bad weather.They would laugh at me. But my predictions would be correct. They started believing me after that.
      As I write this, there are dark clouds hanging over us and I am in pain…..just wishing for then to burst open and let of the rain.
      BTW, thanks for the wonderful tips.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Thanks for the comment Mark and yes I’ve spoken to many people who suffer from different types of arthritis and gout who also tell me the same thing, I myself noticed gout attacks when the weather changed rather suddenly, so the weather can affect your gout for sure!

    • Theresa

      Again, great info. I noticed with the temperatures being very hot here in Atlanta, my big toe flared up again last week. It wasn’t as bad as the attack I experienced in April, but it was quite uncomfortable. I had on hand the Ibuprofen and I did drink a lot of water which helped tremendously!

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