Can The Heatwave Cause Inflammation In People With Arthritis?

Heat can trigger an inflammatory response, causing joints to swell and become more painful.

Can The Heatwave Cause Inflammation In People With Arthritis?

Minimises direct exposure to heat and UV radiation, which can worsen inflammation

A heatwave can exacerbate inflammation in people with arthritis. High temperatures and humidity can lead to increased joint pain and stiffness for arthritis sufferers. The body's response to excessive heat includes increased blood flow and sweating, which can cause dehydration and lead to the thickening of joint fluids, reducing their lubricating ability. The stress and fatigue caused by coping with high temperatures can also amplify the perception of pain. Consequently, during a heatwave, individuals with arthritis may experience heightened discomfort and inflammation, making it essential for them to stay hydrated, and cool, and avoid excessive sun exposure. Read on as we share tips to help manage arthritis in summer.

Tips to help manage & reduce inflammation during summer for people with arthritis:

1. Stay hydrated

Proper hydration helps maintain joint lubrication and prevents the thickening of synovial fluid. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. Carry a water bottle with you and take regular sips throughout the day.

2. Stay cool indoors

Reduces exposure to high temperatures, which can trigger inflammatory responses. Use air conditioning or fans to keep your living space cool. Spend time in air-conditioned public places like shopping malls or libraries if necessary.

3. Avoid peak sun hours

Minimises direct exposure to heat and UV radiation, which can worsen inflammation. Plan outdoor activities for early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower.

4. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing

Keeps your body temperature down, reducing heat stress and associated inflammation. Choose clothing made of natural fibres like cotton or linen, and wear loose-fitting garments.

5. Apply cold compresses

Cold therapy can reduce swelling and numb the pain in inflamed joints. Use ice packs or cold compresses on affected joints for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

6. Have an anti-inflammatory diet

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce overall inflammation in the body. Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, such as fatty fish, leafy greens, berries, and nuts, into your diet.

7. Practice gentle exercise

Maintains joint flexibility and reduces stiffness without overexertion, which can be exacerbated by heat.  Engage in low-impact exercises like swimming or yoga during cooler parts of the day to keep joints mobile.

8. Take cool showers or baths

Helps to lower body temperature and soothe inflamed joints. Take a cool shower or bath when you feel overheated, particularly after being outside.

9. Use fans or portable coolers

Provides direct cooling to reduce body temperature and inflammation. Place fans or portable coolers near you, especially when sleeping or sitting for extended periods.

10. Monitor weather reports

Being aware of upcoming heatwaves can help you plan and take precautions in advance. Check weather forecasts regularly and prepare by stocking up on supplies like water, cooling packs, and planning indoor activities.

By following these tips, people with arthritis can better manage their symptoms during a heatwave, reducing the risk of increased inflammation and maintaining a higher quality of life.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.