New Research Supports What Most People Already Could Have Guessed – Weather Causes Migraines
New U.S. research suggests that a hot day can increase the hazard of a migraine the following day, leading to the belief that weather may trigger migraines.
The potential of a migraine increases 7.5% for each 5 Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) increment in temperature.
Unlike other headaches, migraines are chronic, far more common in women (maybe because of hormonal influence) and often run in the family.
Diet can also affect how many migraines you get, alcohol and caffeine withdrawal are also known to be linked to headaches.
Estimates suggest about 18% of adult females and 6% of men in the US cope with these crushing headaches.
The options to help contend with the nausea and pain have improved drastically, and this along with lifestyle changes and other strategies can make a huge difference in the number and severeness of headaches for many people.
Beyond rise in temperature, this study found a link between migraine headaches and lower barometer readings. So watching air pressure or a coming storm might also be a sensible idea.
The connection however isn’t as strong as the one to temperature, but it is there and could provide an early warning that a headache in on the way.
People who climb to high altitudes may also notice that air pressure at higher altitudes also makes a headache more likely.
Amazingly the research found no connection between air pollution and headaches.
The study, published in the March 10, 2009 issue of the journal Neurology, involved more than 7,000 subjects whose headache had them going to the emergency department of a well-known U.S. infirmary, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, between May 2000 and December 2007.
Three quarters (75%) of the subjects were women. Of the total 2,250 were diagnosed with migraine; 4,803 with stress or unspecified headaches.
The study team also employed weather and pollution monitors to monitor environmental influences like temperature, air pollution index and barometric pressure a week ahead and a week after the visit.
“Fairly consistently, it was warmer on the days that individuals came in than on control days before and afterwards,” suggested Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, lead author of the research and a doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
No one understand why (or how) temperature may be linked to migraines.
Hot days have us leaving cool air conditioning on for the oppressive heat outside. The heat means that doing anything physical out of doors while breathing in that heavy air a miserable, sweaty experience.
Even becoming dehydrated (and getting a headache as a symptom) is more probable on hot days. Headaches are a complex process that may be impacted by many things, some of which are not yet understood.
Dr. Mukamal remarks, “These findings help tell us that the environment around us does affect our health and, in terms of headaches, may be impacting many, many people on a daily basis.”
So, the research confirms what many individuals who have to deal with migraines on an all to regular basis, that the climate can spark a headache.
Now knowing this it can do no harm to to follow temperature and barometer readings and utilize this information to warn of a potential attack.
This does not mean taking medication “just in case”, but rather bring your sunglasses, keep eyestrain to a minimum and avoid potential triggers that might bring on a crushing headache.