A constant throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head can ruin your day. Yes, migraine not only ruins your day but impacts your social life, personal life and emotional well-being. There might be multiple reasons for migraine to hit you hard on your head (literally too this is what happens) but what about people blaming it on the weather as the primary reason for their migraine attack?
Thoughts that Bring About Actions
We feel sick before an examination, children complain of fever/stomach pain right before boarding the school bus (believing they can bunk classes for the day) or our body aches with pain before a presentation at office. In most cases, these are false attacks that vanish once the actual presentation/examination/school day is over. On second thoughts, we arrive at a conclusion that these are mostly mental blocks that stimulate a virtual pain/feeling in order to avoid things/activities. Effect of weather on migraine might be on similar terms with this. While most people think that weather changes trigger a migraine headache most scientific studies have been unable to bring about a solid link between weather patterns and migraine.
A small study of not more than 20 migraineurs came up with the conclusion that only a small sub-group of them were weather sensitive. Another study involving 238 participants revealed that the effect of weather changes on migraine is almost negligible. Migraine is a complex disease that can be triggered by numerous factors and weather might be the primary reason for migraine only when there is a dramatic change in it. Also, weather might be an additional trigger owing to certain other reasons such as fatigue, stress or lack of sleep. Weather changes might not be a triggering factor in all people with migraine. Even when it is one, the weather that triggers the disease actually differs from person to person.
Sun or Rain, which Causes More Pain?
Each migraineur has a definite set of triggers and likewise, the type of weather that triggers a migraine differs from individual to individual and also depending on the country’s climatic condition. We insist on a country’s climate as the amount of sunshine seems to induce migraine in people according to some studies. A study from Austria shows that sunlight for more than three hours a day can induce migraine while another Norwegian study showed that migraines were likelier during the long summer days in the Arctic. Falling barometer pressure or strong wind also induce migraine headache in some people.
Other weather-related triggers include extremely bright sunlight, dry air, sun glare, wind and storm and extreme heat or cold.
Move Out of Your Country
If certain kinds of weather influence the attack of a migraine on certain people, would it prove useful if these people moved from one country to another where the weather conditions suit their requirement? It might, but you cannot escape from weather altogether.
The country where you relocate to might have much stable weather conditions, but you cannot be sure of avoiding migraine triggers as you don’t know what weird weather conditions prevail there. The only way to keep weather triggers to a minimal is by minimizing other migraine triggers during times when the weather might be a problem for you. Ensure to get a good night’s sleep, eat meals at scheduled times of the day, drink water, don’t skip meals and most importantly, manage these triggers well during times when weather might be a problem for you.
Its understandable when people are irritated over migraines owing to weather changes because nothing is in our hands to control the weather. We might not be Lord Vayu or Indra to control the wind or lightning, but we can take every step possible from our side to minimize its impact on migraine. If you feel that the weather outside might impact you please stay indoors. To diagnose the weather that impacts you the most, try to maintain a diary listing down every migraine occurrence, when it occurred, how long it lasted and the circumstances under which it occurred. This helps to determine some specific pattern that finally lands you on the weather change causing it (if weather is a reason!). Above all, lead a healthy lifestyle by balancing your meals and activity routines to reduce the frequency and severity of a migraine attack. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to start practicing healthy food changes and physical activity routines for adapting to a better lifestyle.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.