Weather

My husband and I were talking about the kid’s symptoms, and we realized that the days he’s felt best since all this started were the days right before Thanksgiving when it snowed.

I know weather can be a trigger. Does it sometimes work the other way – if the “wrong” kind of weather makes things worse, can the “right” kind of weather improve things? Or was this just a coincidence?

If “good” weather is helpful, what would it be about the snowy days that would be good? What makes weather “bad” for migraine?

Mamabear

Mamabear - it probably depends on where you live and each person’s individual vulnerabilities. I was born in the Denver area, and even with MAV, whenever I go there to visit - even in snow or rain, I do really really well there in spite of the altitude and plane rides. Odd, but I think it’s the overall dry climate there not the temperature. I live in northern california and have had all sorts of problems with my respiratory health ever since I moved here (almost 30 years ago). So, depends on the person, how they’re “wired”, and the environment they reside in I would guess. I have noticed that even in Denver when it snows, the humidity is a lot less here when it’s not even raining… ugh.
Gail

Correction: even in Denver when it snows, the humidity is a lot less there than it is here even when it is NOT raining. : ) Apparently, higher humidity is not my friend… I wish I’d known that when I’d moved here so many years ago.
Gail

That’s interesting. I looked at the historical weather data for our area on www.wunderground.com, and those days that it snowed were very dry. Well, compared to every other day. I mean, I know in other parts of the country, 68% humidity wouldn’t be very dry, but here it is. For the two weeks that I looked at, every other day was over 90% humidity. So humid air can be a problem? If you live in a very humid part of the world (we’re near Seattle), and humidity is a problem, what can you do besides move? Would running a dehumidifier inside help at all?

The other thing I noticed was that there was almost no wind those days. But there wasn’t a lot of wind on the other days, either, and there were some crummy days with no wind.

Mamabear

Hi Mamabear,

I’d say weather can be a trigger, when your son is symptomatic. I remember talking to my neurologist and suggesting to him that one of my triggers is changes in barometric pressure (storm brewing). He made a “hmmm” sound and said “but you don’t ALWAYS get a migraine then do you?” And the answer was “no”. I think this particular neuro likes to not have his patients over analyse their triggers and I think there’s something to be said for that. You can tie yourself up in knots trying to pin down every possible trigger. And I can’t really avoid storms can I?

One of the neuros who has posted on here (Rauch I think) talks about the swimming pool and how a migraineur has the water lapping at their chin - you manage your lifestyle to make yourself grow taller and you can take some meds to drain some water out of the pool. Some days however an unknown fat kid jumps in and you get wet anyway.

As for you son feeling better in different weather conditions - I’d say that is a less likely relationship than him feeling worse in different weather. Probably just a coincidence.

Cheers
Vic

— Begin quote from "Victoria"

One of the neuros who has posted on here (Rauch I think) talks about the swimming pool and how a migraineur has the water lapping at their chin - you manage your lifestyle to make yourself grow taller and you can take some meds to drain some water out of the pool. Some days however an unknown fat kid jumps in and you get wet anyway.

— End quote

nice analogy :smiley:

I actually read an explanation recently about the impact of barometric changes on the body, especially in certain chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, fibro, and migraines. However, darned if I can remember where I read it. And, my migraine books written by well known neurologists mention barometric pressure as possible triggers as well. Again, I know that I personally feel much better in lower humidity, so I strongly disagree it’s coincidence…or in my case it’s been a 50-year coincidence! However, how to assist your son or pinpoint the affect of different weather patterns or indoor/outdoor influences would be pretty individual. It’s not unusual for migraine sufferers to be have to be careful of cool wind, bright sunlight, noises, etc. that may set off dizziness/headaches. Just dialing into what and when those variables hit is one of the big keys to all this.
Gail

— Begin quote from "miniandelsa"

I actually read an explanation recently about the impact of barometric changes on the body, especially in certain chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, fibro, and migraines. However, darned if I can remember where I read it. And, my migraine books written by well known neurologists mention barometric pressure as possible triggers as well. Again, I know that I personally feel much better in lower humidity, so I strongly disagree it’s coincidence…or in my case it’s been a 50-year coincidence! However, how to assist your son or pinpoint the affect of different weather patterns or indoor/outdoor influences would be pretty individual. It’s not unusual for migraine sufferers to be have to be careful of cool wind, bright sunlight, noises, etc. that may set off dizziness/headaches. Just dialing into what and when those variables hit is one of the big keys to all this.
Gail

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Hi Gail,

That’s interesting to hear. I have sometimes had migraines when the pressure has abruptly changed - storm, altitude etc but not every time. So maybe for me it’s a problem when I’m symptomatic, but not otherwise. On the other hand I am ALWAYS bothered (feel queasy and weird) by flashing lights - although they won’t necessarily trigger a migraine. I’ve wondered if that’s more like how I easily get motion sick.

Hi Victoria
I guess that’s why this condition is so darned slippery really… I like Buchholz’s analogy of the trigger threshold where if you’re pushing the limit on food/beverage/stress/etc. triggers then the added extra (wine, chocolate, caffeine, etc.) makes you dizzy, headachy, aura, etc. I find that to be so true. However, preventative meds give you the ability to keep the threshold more manageable though right now mine is still not real high so I’m having to really watch foods/beverages like a hawk until I’ve been on the topamax for around 3 months or so. The holidays are a bitch while I listen or watch the food consumption going on all around me… AAAARGH!! I’m really tired of my neighbor telling me of the wonderful holiday food she’s been consuming. Sigh.
Gail

Gail, isn’t it worse–it is for me–to go to an event where the food’s actually being consumed (going to waist) and we have trouble finding dishes even worth taking a chance on? And it’s still not 'orrible–just irritating.

David - I didn’t even want to bring THAT up… but, yes… I can’t even eat most of what is served at parties, potlucks, etc. anymore. In fact, I went to my local grocery store and just got depressed the other day thinking about how to put together a nice Christmas Eve dinner for 5 people with 3 of us having wild or severe food allergies/sensitivities. It’s just crazy. I’ve seen on the forum that at least some of you can get by with eggs and different kinds of flour, but I think those may be off the list for me so I’m just completely out of ideas for desserts, treats, etc. other than plain hard candy with no dairy. I really need to get allergy testing done but haven’t been able to come off antihistamines long enough to do the test. However, that won’t help with triggers anyway. I feel like a sad elf with MAV.
Gail

Gail, we went to a house concert Saturday, hosted by a very hospitable couple. There was one plate of cookies prepared safe for a fellow with diabetes, another for a gal with celiac. The hostess was very concerned that there might not have been anything I could eat. I was busily chomping away on the fresh cherries (as well as on some items you may be avoiding, such as shortbread).

AACK, David… I’m salivating. I LOVE shortbread. I pretty much need to avoid dairy. I saw my neuro today and she reassured me that aside from hard-core food allergies, I should do much better with food triggers after 3 months on the topamax. In fact, she recommended that I raise my dose again if I want to do better during the holidays… sheesh. Problem is a bit higher dose makes me sleepy, freezing cold, and a bit grouchy and that’s NOT a good thing at this time of the year. Ho Ho Ho. Enjoy that shortbread, David !
Gail : )

I can tell you, Gail, that I have pretty much substituted olive oil+egg white for butter in my baking, and it works quite well. Hypertension and a family history of cardiovascular causes of death make me want to minimize saturated fats, so I layer that concern on top of avoiding MAV triggers. Right now I have a tin of spice cookies that worked out well, but which I’m thinking of bestowing on friends, because I mixed a fair amount of butter into the recipe–gratuitously, as far as I can tell, since the main flavor is ginger, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. (Besides, next week my sweetie is taking off work and doing her christmas baking.)

I’m going to try to sneak back in some olive oil and/or eggs separately in the next few weeks just to see how that goes. I took the Buchholz diet advice and banished anything that even seemed like it might be a problem and have been really reluctant to add things back in while I’m functioning pretty well. I hate relapsing and that’s what happens when I push my luck with foods so far. My neuro still holds out hope for some chocolate, some decaf coffee, etc. but I think she may be dreaming…!! However, she has a lot more clinical experience with migraine than I do though I would be the best judge of triggers and intolerances and allergic reactions. Sigh. Enjoy those cookies!!
Gail

We’re having another cold, dry, sunny, high-pressure day here (dry being a relative term, of course – thisis the Pacific Northwest). And the kid is having a *really * good day. He had his MRI today, and when he got home, he asked if he could have a friend over. We expected that he’d come home after the MRI and just go to bed.

We’ll enjoy this while it lasts.

Awesome, Mamabear. Enjoy! I love cold, dry weather. Having said that, it’s cold, damp and raining here in the Pacific Bay Area of Northern California. Ugh. Hope you guys get some good news and direction soon. That would make a wonderful Christmas gift.
Gail