Monday, 28 May 2012

Migraine and Weather

Hello my FBR's (fellow blog readers). I'm in my sunny garden! Yes!! The UK has finally discovered the Summer. The paddling pools are out, I'm showing my rather white legs, the children are running around naked in the garden, and icecream, ice pops and ice cubes are being consumed in abundance. We are finally, after a long month of rain, basking in high temperatures and sunny days.

And I've had 3 migraine attacks since Wednesday. That Ugly Beast is back with avengeance!

The Ugly Beast must like a spot of sunbathing as it came to visit me on the day the hot weather started. I suddenly remembered that I can find the Summer hard work. Everyone is rejoicing in the sudden appearance of the heat and sun and I'm feeling like a right old party pooper (English saying for someone who can ruin everyone elses' fun!) I love the sun but my brain appears to have a reaction to it.

The other two attacks may or may not be due to the weather but I'm pretty sure it has contributed to me feeling unwell.

There are a few studies on the influence of weather on migraines, none of which prove that weather is definitely a factor. But neither has it been disproved.

The BBC reported on a study that found that the risk of migraine goes up by 7.5% every 5 degree celsius increase. So I guess the sudden swing over night last Wednesday may have been a factor.....

A study in Canada reported that South Easterly Winds can affect migraine. There's plenty of wind in our household (3 children who laugh their heads off when someone blows off.....can toxic smell cause a migraine?!) But reading that makes me think I must watch the weather more often! In Germany there is a telephone number you can ring to find out the changes in weather, to find out the risk to your it!!! A migraine hotline......

Another study states that low Barometer readings (stormy, cloudy skies) can induce a migraine 2-3 days later and high humidity can also have the same effect.

We don't have much chance really do we!?!

A preventative approach
So what is the answer to this? Firstly, the research suggests that migraineurs try to avoid as many other triggers as possible during the above mentioned weather changes. Whilst I agree with this, I also think it
is quite often impossible, especially when you have so many other triggers that are out of your control (children!).

Secondly, they suggest you take your medicine as soon as you notice any changes in your head/neck. Good advice. You won't stop a migraine coming by taking the triptans before the migraine appears....

Eat healthily....yes
Drink loads....of course
Exercise regularly.....try to, dancing to the Wii!
Get enough sleep.....not always under my control with children waking with bad dreams, sick, temperatures, or just needing a cuddle.....but I do try to catch naps or go to bed early if nights are restless ones.
Have sunglasses with you always (see link for Mediview migraine sunglasses)

The final suggestion is to keep a diary. This is excellent advice as it helps to show you where your brain is most sensitive. By doing this, you are more likely to learn to avoid the triggers you can avoid whilst the weather is causing you a bit of strain.........

Ultimately, it's obvious we can't avoid the weather but we can learn to manage our Ugly Beasts in the weather to maximise our good health.

I would love to hear your thoughts on whether the weather (!) is a trigger for you.....please leave a comment if you can so we can learn from each other how to cope with this uncontrollable trigger....

See The Migraine Trust for an online diary Also the Migraine Trust has a travelling migraine diary...a book is sent for you to write your migraine story in and it is uploaded onto Flickr with everyone elses' stories. This will become a document for developing new nationwide policies. If you prefer to have a hard copy of a diary then visit for a printable diary

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