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Are you a walking barometric pressure sensor?
If you’re not sure what I mean by being a barometric pressure sensor, then perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who is not affected much by weather changes.
If you know precisely what I mean, then this post is definitely for you!
Many of us are greatly influenced by fluctuations in weather or nature’s “mood” if you will. Some of us will even detect a storm coming from the aching in our knees. Others of us will present with a migraine headache or even feel dizzy and light headed.
Initially, it was really hard for me to make a connection between weather and feeling sick. Maybe that was because most of the time we hang out in our temperature controlled, dry homes; all comfy and warm.
Actually, if it weren’t for the pain (and windows), we may even forget what’s going on outdoors altogether some days.
Okay, So What is Barometric Pressure?
Perhaps the biggest weather related culprit for causing issues is none other than barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is a measure of the weight of the air. We measure the air heaviness in inches of mercury (Hg); it is essentially just the force of the atmosphere at a certain point. For more on that, just look here.
Many times, my head acted like a barometric pressure sensor as migraines would hit about the same time the barometric pressure was rapidly changing.
I recall feeling really badly one day, when it was super windy and cold. Of course, I had one of those migraines that feels like a knife jabbing through one eye. Not only that, I was also feeling very light-headed and my right knee hurt too! It was pretty awful.
The news stations kept talking about the major storm that was literally circling around us, but not quite hitting us dead-on. I realized, that had to be what was making me feel as if someone was literally standing on my face.
What Can You Do?
So, I decided to look into it a little further to see why this phenomenon was happening to me. More importantly, I wanted to know how I could help alleviate my weather-related symptoms. I was tired of losing hours and even days to migraines and loopiness.
In my reading, I discovered that for one thing, congested sinuses can definitely contribute to weather related migraines and light headedness. That made sense. I’m allergic to dust and mold and both are pretty plentiful in this area. So, my sinuses are often moderately congested.
Luckily, over time I have figured out a few easy ways to minimize the amount of pain and discomfort I experience with barometric pressure changes.
Hopefully, by my sharing, I can help you alleviate some of your suffering too!
The following are simple tips but they could help a ton! So, you may want to try some of them. Especially, if you are a human barometric pressure sensor like me.
Tips on how to minimize effects of the weather on your body
1.) Know what’s happening-Track It-
- It stands to reason that if you know what’s coming you can be better prepared right? Here are a couple places where you can see what the barometric pressure is doing near you.
- NOAA.Gov allows you to look at the barometric pressure within their 3-day history (this includes the current day) Just enter your zip code and then look at the middle of the screen on the right hand side and you will see the 3-day history. Simply click that and a chart pops up.
- Weather.com shows a small arrow pointing up or down that really only indicates rising or falling pressures.
- Watch your local weather forecast on TV. Many times they say what the pressure is doing and predict what it will do over the next few days.
- Another option would be to try out an app for that. There is one called chronic pain tracker which may be of help to you.
2.) Preventing Those Migraines
The pressure difference between the inside of your head/sinus cavities, and the outside world creates a sensation of increased pressure and for many people, this results in migraine headaches. I’m not sure the specific medical reasons behind this and I’m not convinced anyone truly does yet.
How to avoid:
- Pre-Medicate. If you have prescribed migraine medication, take it proactively when you know a front is coming through. If you are not into medications much, you can also try using peppermint, frankincense, or other essential oil. They can be very effective for many people! Another option would be to take some CBD oil (if it is legal where you live, of course!) The CBD oil I like is organic and made from Hemp. I actually take a small dose daily.
- Sleep well. This is so obvious yet so critical!
- Avoid your known migraine triggers. Be extra careful if you know weather changes are about to happen. Things like chocolate, aged cheeses, chemicals, and stress could be triggers and eating them when the weather is fluctuating only adds fuel to the fire. If you don’t know your food triggers yet, you can do an elimination diet to find out.
- Clear your sinuses. Take a nasal spray with a steroid in it for inflammation control (normally I am not a fan of steroidal medications but as always if the benefits outweigh the side effects and in the case of possibly avoiding a true migraine, heck yeah, take the nasal spray! Another option may be a more natural nasal spray called Xlear which is a xylitol based product and that works quite well too.
3.) Maintaining Blood Pressure
That feeling of loopiness on some days (that I thought was for other reasons), was most likely due to my blood pressure dropping with the barometric pressure.
How to avoid:
- Stay well hydrated. One way you can hydrate better is to add a little bit of sea salt to your water so your water can hydrate your cells better. Hydrating can help to increase your blood volume, hence decreasing the chances of blood pressure drops to the point where you feel dizzy.
- Stay well rested. You’re always stronger constitutionally and better equipped to handle the stress of weather changes if you are well rested
4.) Dealing with Joint Pains
Our joints can tell us when a storm is near. That is because the pressure changes around you affect the joint fluids and can result in that familiar aching pain.
How to Avoid.
- Apply an anti-inflammatory cream and staying diligent with the anti-inflammatroy diet could help you avoid much of this kind of pain.
Although I had personally experienced the above three weather related symptoms, I was surprised by a few of the things mentioned in one of the articles I referenced. That one was called 13 ways weather affects your health. Thirteen? Thank God I only have three!
For example, I had no idea that diabetics have a more difficult time controlling blood sugar levels as blood thickens with the arrival of cold fronts. Perhaps they could be very careful with their diet and decrease or ramp-up their exercise and/or medication levels to help themselves avoid blood sugar side effects of barometric pressure changes?
Being prepared, like most thing in life can prevent some discomfort allowing you to have a better day!