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You may have heard people complain about the weather outside affecting certain conditions such as arthritis, but you may never have suspected that the climate in which you live could be a gout cause.
Though a number of studies have been performed the impact climate has on gout is by no means well understood. Therefore, the studies looked at geographical distribution as a guide to establishing whether climate has an impact on the condition.
Study results showed that flare-ups of gout were most common during hot and humid weather. However, this could have been due to dehydration; with an increase in fluid intake being an effective preventative for gout attacks during these hot, humid periods.
The research was performed in 2006 by Boston researchers (and presented at the 2006 American College of Rheumatology’s annual scientific meeting) who studied 197 participants with gout, and examined the influence of temperature and humidity on the frequency of the condition. When the participants experienced a gout attack, they completed a two-day control questionnaire.
Further data was obtained through the collection of the ZIP codes of the participants and the federal climate data from those regions so that they would know when the participants were in risk periods, and when they were in control periods. Adjustments were made when additional gout risk factors were present, such as the consumption of meat, alcohol, or diuretics.
Researchers noted that humid, hot temperatures brought about a significant increase in the number of gout attacks in the participants. However, in terms of barometric pressure and precipitation (rainfall), no gout cause association was found.
The researchers suggested that in order to prevent flare-ups of gout, it was very important that sufferers avoid dehydration by drinking additional fluids during periods of hot and humid weather.
If you live in a climate that is hot and humid some accommodations can be made, including introducing climate control into your home and workplace environments. A dehumidifier may also be helpful, but an air-conditioned environment could make all the difference for keeping the temperature gout-friendly and minimizing the additional humidity in the air. However, it’s worth saying again, it’s vital to remain hydrated whether you’re in an air-conditioned environment or not.
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