I call myself the human barometer. Don’t laugh. It’s true. I’m sure many of you can relate. You can feel your health change as the weather changes. People sensitive to weather changes say things like “A storm’s coming. I can feel it in my bones.” Actually, most of my friends say “I can feel it in my head,” or something similar. In recent years, studies have been undertaken to back up the idea that the weather affects your health.
A few weeks ago, a study was released by the University of Cincinnati pointing to lightning as a contributing factor for the onset of headaches and migraines. That one is just the most recent. Other recognized weather-related triggers include dramatic changes in temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity. Migraine sufferers are often told to keep a headache diary in an effort to find trends relating to the onset of their headaches. It’s a good idea to include the weather for the day in those journals. While red wine and stress are more widely accepted causes, more and more doctors are open to the idea of weather as a factor as additional studies are completed.
The weather can affect your health in other ways. Poor air quality contributes to asthma attacks as well as heart attacks. Arthritis sufferers complain of more joint pain when the temperature goes to extremes: very cold or hot and humid. An indirect way the weather can cause health problems is most often felt in the spring and fall - when plants bloom and mold spores strike - people with outdoor allergies really feel it.