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Avatar universal

Weather patterns and Migraines?

I have had migraines since I was a teen but for the last 2 years I have had "seizure like" auras with extreme neausea and vertigo. There was some debate about what was causing these symptoms. After extensive testing I have now been told it's non-epileptic and all migraine. We are now trying to find a daily preventative program. My Dr has suggested that our weather patterns might not be the best for my condition and that I might want to consider moving. I have not been able to narrow down very many triggers but I do know that weather shifts can trigger me. This has been very debilitating. I can have 3 auras a day and 3 full on migraines a week. The current preventatives are helping, they have knocked me down to 3 auras a week some with headache. If this is the best I can get here then I can't live like this. Does anyone have experience or ideas with determining good  weather patterns for migraine sufferers. Perhaps specific places. Please help.
27 Responses
Avatar universal
LW,
Here is the model we used and you should be able to do the same.  Go to Weatherunderground.com (it a free weather site).  Select the Local Weather Tab.  Scroll down to History Data.  Enter your zipcode and begin selecting dates when you have had migraines.  You should begin noticing patterns of when your migraines start and what the major weather factors were.  For my wife it will always be a low pressure weather system having high West winds with humidity exceeding 50%.  I should also note that her migraines typically preceed the winds by about 10-12 hours on average.  The center of the low pressure system is usually on the Illinois/Indiania borders and moving East.  Now that we are aware of this we watch for developing systems that will move East through that area.  

To get the medical community trained in this area will take a sea change at the medical school level.  Doctor's are trained in a pathology rather than a meteorology philosophy.  The challenge for Doctor's is to accept that they need to consider consulting a broad range of outside specialties to fully appreciate a holistic approach to medicine.  The old adage of a butterfly over Indian Ocean causes a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.  The small and seemingly inconsequential can lead to larger unanticipated problems.

Hope this helps you to help yourself.  
Avatar universal
Hi there, I too have chronic migraines, went more than a year w full blown migraine almost everyday. I have about 10-15 monthly now thank to Botox. I live in Texas, where it is completely normal for the temp to drop 60 degrees in a day, and the weather is changing drastically everyday. I have been researching a good location to move to, and my top choice for stability of weather, fair cost of living and good economy is the Tampa fla area. Yes they have short thunderstorms everyday after lunch, but these storms seem to have no effect on my head, whereas in Texas I get an aura 4 hrs in front of the storm. The main draw is the lack of seasons, rarely below 60 in winter, rarely above 90 in summer. And yes, I lived just outside Tampa for around 3 years, experienced maybe 4 real migraines the whole time. I have visited the lower gulf coast of FLA every year for 10 yrs, don't recall ever having a migraine while there. I plan on moving when my oldest son graduates from high school next year, probably to the Bradenton area.


Avatar universal
Thanks, I have vacationed in FL. My grandparents lived near Ocala and last year we stayed a week near Orlando. I felt really good when we were in Orlando but I wasn't sure if it was just because I was on vacation. My husband is an electrician and the job market doesn't look very good for that in FL.
We have the same types of shifts here. 9 degrees when you wake up to 50 in the day. Some winter days we are -10 and get up to 30. COLD and extreme shifts in humidity and wind. So I'm wonder is it temp, humidity, wind or fronts that affect us so?
Avatar universal
Weather is just one of many triggers.  You folks are correctly defining your triggers and I always thought the same components were involved and they are to a degree.  

There is one component that medical science has not considered but may have a considerable effect on migraines.  Science currently believes it is a cortical spreading depression within the central nervous system.  If you think about it, we live because of electrical activity within our bodies.  Therefore, outside electrical forces have the ability to upset the delicate electrical activity inside our bodies.  Metorology has never studied the electrical activity that weather creates.  Take for instance that a westerly wind moving perpendicular to a magnetic field (i.e. the earth's magnetic field) creates electrical activity.  The fields can range from small to large electrical currents.  The point is that this phonomena has never been studied or measured except by NASA.  
Avatar universal
Thank you for your replys. I really wish there was some good difintive answers from the medical community. I also wish there was some good data on weather patterns that are good for migraine sufferers.
Avatar universal
I read unfortunately don't remember where, that in Germany you can have access to a site that gives wind patterns, etc in your area & additional migraine risk.. Anyone else read this?
Avatar universal
So I have been pouring over weather data and just when I think I see a pattern it gets blown apart. Interesting news though, I just found this map http://www.weather.com/maps/activity/achesandpains/index_large.html . It's a pain/ headache index map. You can also put in your zip code or town and get more information. http://www.weather.com/activities/health/achesandpains/
Avatar universal
Check out the weather map link I posted below, it might really help.
Avatar universal
If you let me know the date and time of  migraine onset I will be happy to help you track this.  Just let me know what part of NY you are from such as Manhattan or Long Island or Central NY, or Upstate etc.  That way I can narrow the weather stations and get a little more precision.  
Avatar universal
I'm sorry to take so long answering you but there are many days I just can't look at the computer screen. I would greatly appreciate your help. Most of my bigger auras/migrianes are on my migriane tracker, is that info okay to use? Many days I have smaller symptoms like neausea that I don't have on the tracker. I'm in upsate New York near Syracuse.
Thanks
Lisa
Avatar universal
I get migrianes and vertigo with the weather. It generally starts like this: One day, sudden bad vertigo. no reason. i  get scared. the next day, veritgo and headache..and then either that night or the next day, massive sudden storm. Every. Single. Time.
Avatar universal
Sorry, I didn't realize that we could view each others trackers.  I take a look at your tracker and start that way.

By the way, tomorrow, 2/29/12, I am predicting that my wife will have a major migraine episode as the forcasted low pressure system has the characteristics that typically lead to this type of migraine - that being a nearly perfect West to East Direction.  Sorry to say, this one may affect you as well.  I had my wife prepare today by eating a larger meal since it might be a few days till she can eat again.  I'll keep you posted on what happens.  Oh and by the way I do understand the lag time for you to get back because of the headaches.  My wife is completely debilitated by these as well.
Avatar universal
Please read my comment in the next post below.  Since I don't know where you reside I don't know whether the storm we are getting will affect you.
Avatar universal
I just compared a few dates and times then looked at dates and times that you didn't have headaches and just based on this quick review, there is a strong correllation to high wind gust, high humidity and wind direction to your tracker headaches.  I try to look at a few more dates tomorrow.

Based on Accuweather the forecast for the next few days does not look promising.
Avatar universal
For me the vertigo is the worst! I've completetly stopped driving because it has hit while I was in the car. I find the vertigo even scarier than the seizure. Does looking ahead at the weather forcast help you?
Avatar universal
It's about 10am and half an hour ago I had that strange feeling slight vertigo that sometimes proceed a significant event. So it might not be a good day! Thanks so much for looking at all this for me.
Avatar universal
According to weather underground for your area at 10AM, wind speed at was East at 10 MPH, humidity 61% and it began snowing.  All are essential elements under my theory for what I call a EMRICH headache to begin.  The center of the low has not hit your area but is due West so it will be interesting to see if it will let up for you.

We were fortunate in that the system stayed further North of our location so a migraine did not develop for my wife.

Has your Doctor considered Heart health for the vertigo?  Atrial fibrillation  is notable for vertigo.  Also Ear abnormalities can also be a cause.  My wife has not ever had vertigo associated with her migraines, but my Mother has.  

We use the forecasting tools so we can better plan any activities that could impacted by the weather related migraines.  So it is helpful.  
Avatar universal
According to weather underground for your area at 10AM, wind speed at was East at 10 MPH, humidity 61% and it began snowing.  All are essential elements under my theory for what I call a EMRICH headache to begin.  The center of the low has not hit your area but is due West so it will be interesting to see if it will let up for you.

We were fortunate in that the system stayed further North of our location so a migraine did not develop for my wife.

Has your Doctor considered Heart health for the vertigo?  Atrial fibrillation  is notable for vertigo.  Also Ear abnormalities can also be a cause.  My wife has not ever had vertigo associated with her migraines, but my Mother has.  

We use the forecasting tools so we can better plan any activities that could impacted by the weather related migraines.  So it is helpful.  
Avatar universal
So my head did let right up and I had no more issues. I went for 5 days of testing in Strong Hospital and they ruled out several things incliuding heart problems, they don't think that I have an inner ear problem but many of my symptoms do line up with inner ear.
Avatar universal
I appreciate you sending me this... Had you not sent it to me by name I wouldn't have received, as I haven't been watching the discussion. I have had migraine activity every day since the 23thd, will be interesting if the weather site can help explain why.. What a great tool, thanks so much!
Avatar universal
Just checked out the weather site, what a lot of great information! I was really surprised they have as a 2 or low risk a day where there's a strong chance of thunderstorms! Even though the risk they associate w the day may not be accurate for me, it helps to have the info in advance, like the humidity is going up 60% over the next few hours, we'll see what happens w that!
Avatar universal
FYI, the migraine indicator you mention is not reliable.  They don't cite what qualifications they use to make that determination.  This is also the problem I have found with medical science in general.  Barometric pressure became synonomous with migraines due to a very simple survey that was done by a Philadelphia Psychologist.  The results of the study were unscientific and wouldn't stand up to todays research standards.  It's really weird how something like that stuck with the medical profession and isn't based on medical research at all.
Avatar universal
Hi, curious about the EMRICH headache, I know weather changes, especially storms and serious temperature swings give me migraines, but it sounds like you may understand which particular sorts of weather patterns are likely to cause headaches, the west winds, humidity factor, etc. Would you mind discussing the EMRICH headache, I think it would be helpful to many people w weather induced headache & or migraine. Thank You - Elle
Avatar universal
Hi Elle,
EMRICH is an acronym for a syndrome identified in a female who was surgically clipped for a ruptured brain aneurysm.  The long name is called Electromagnetic Radiation Induced Cranial Headache.

In this female, electromagnetic fields from everyday electrical devices were found to induce various intensity headaches to full blown migraines depending on the intensity of exposure.   Briefly, electrons are used to power equipment we all use.  Physics has long taught that electricity and magnetism follow well known and accepted rules.  Based on these rules, the EMRICH syndrome explains how her headaches evolve.  Keep in mind that you and I live because of electrical pulses generated within our bodies.  It contracts heart muscles, and it also is responsible for our central nervous systems such as how we sense pain and interpret our world.

Jumping way ahead now, EMRICH is also explained by weather.  We know the earth has a magnetic North and South Poles with its fields surrounding and protecting us.  We can't see it but look at any compass and we know it's there.  Going back just a second to Physics, it is well known that a electricity is generated when a particle crosses parallel to and within a magnetic North South field - that's how electrical generators work.

In weather, particles (like water vapor, dust and air molecules) collide when wind mixes them.  We know this because this is how lightning occurs.  In other words, a electrical charge is generated.  The amount of electrical charge in the air varies but is usually about 300 volts per square meter.  In more intense weather associated with low pressure systems, the voltage can greatly exceed 10,000 volts per square meter.  The greatest ambient atmospheric voltage occurs when low pressure systems move in a direction of West to East or vice versa.  At other angles like Northeast for example, smaller ambient voltages occur.  Keep in mind that low pressure systems typically carry large amounts of atmospheric particles.  This, along with the system movement West to East or vice versa create the condition similar to a electrical generator.  

At higher voltages, electrons have the ability to penetrate our skulls which are generally highly resistant to electrical pulses.  In those individuals that are susceptible or have a bone defect such as having had a concussion or fractured skull will have less resistance to electrical impulses.  

In the case of the female cited above, she has five stainless steel sutures arrayed and penetrating her skull to the menages level (a highly charged neuron area).  If she is not nearby a electrical device she will have no EMRICH condition.  Similarly, when weather conditions create a highly charged electrical environment, the conditions are favorable for EMRICH to commence a headache or migraine.  I must also note that sunlight, which are called photons, contain electrical energy and it can also create EMRICH conditions.  

This is a summary of EMRICH and the full research document is much more detailed.  I hope this helps answer some of your questions.  By the way, the author of EMRICH Syndrome is Edward Dunleavy.
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