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RA flares from altitude changes?

I live at sea level and recently traveled up to the mountains at about 7000 feet. I felt my hands and wrists become painful and swollen. And my ankles also felt affected. Has anyone else had this experience? And is there any medical evidence that this reaction is real or coincidental?

  1. What a great question! I’ve wondered too as I notice it when we travel by car to higher elevations, especially in my feet. I sleep in compression socks, and sometimes wear them in the daytime when I notice it. Compression gloves are also available, but personally I don’t find them comfortable. I’m curious to see what others have to say. Jo (Moderator)

    1. Traveling by plane, irrespective of having or not having RA, can cause swelling. In my early days of global travel, we learned not to take our shoes off during the flight. On long trips, like SFO/HKG, you would not be able to put your shoes back when the plane landed.

      1. There is scientific proof that higher level elevations give you less oxygen, thus causing you (anyone) possible medical problems, not just having RA but healthy people too. Here is couple of links that might help you, can be a little confusing, personally the one from wikipedia was the easier to understand for me. Could your travel in general cause you a flare, sure could especially, but the swelling would have been from the elevation and lack of oxygen.
        Hope you are feeling better now!

        1. just found this chart that might be helpful somewhat too. This made me very question made me very curious for RA has affected my lungs and we are looking in to a family get-away- for a couple days. Glad you ask for now I can get myself ready to go play safely!

        2. Wow. Thanks for sharing all these resources, . Very interesting and helpful stuff. - Lori (Team Member)

      2. dltld thank you that chart is awesome. I used to be able to go up in altitude and would adjust pretty rapidly with just one good nights sleep up there but I do not seem to be recovering as quickly. This is the first time I have actually noticed RA flair activity. I hope this is just a coincidence and not a continuing problem. Thank you again!

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