KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Have you ever known someone who can predict the weather based on what their body is telling them? You know, the sore knee, the aching shoulder?
April showers were followed by snow showers around tax day, then some warm, sunny days, and now we have seemingly endless rain again.
"When the weather is extreme one way or the other, real cold or real hot, I'm going to be really affected by the weather in those extreme conditions," said Robert Devereaux, who suffers from Rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Richard Martin, a rheumatologist at West Michigan Rheumatology, has heard the same stories for decades.
"It is true that people experience a change of symptoms with a change of weather."
He decided to interview hundreds of his patients when he transferred from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, a retiree capital.
"And I said, 'Jeez, when you move down here from North Dakota, Minnesota, what did you notice with your arthritis?' Consistent pattern: 'Yea when I moved down here I felt better for the first six weeks, then I went back to my normal up and down cycles."
He heard the same from people moving to Florida and Texas. Dr. Martin, also a tenured professor at Michigan State University, says the only research he's seen on the subject dates back to just after World War II.
"The Air Force built a climate control chamber and put people with arthritis inside," he said. Humidity alone didn't seem to be a problem.
"They found barometric pressure didn't affect symptoms; temperature so much wasn't an issue. But when they changed all three, then people did complain more about this."
Think of it like when a cold front moves into the region.
But since you can't control the weather, Dr. Martin says to control what you can to make your bones feel better.
Watch your stress, get exercise, and think positive thoughts. He says your mood can make a big difference in how you feel.
"You're just sitting inside because he weather is rotten, you're going to be more stiff and less able to do things."
Martin believes he has a temporary solution.
"My theory is everyone in Michigan should go to Arizona for six weeks every winter," he said.
"I like the Michigan winters too well. That will never happen," said Henry Van DerMyde, who also suffers from arthritis.