Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Research Shows Warmer Weather is a Migraine Trigger


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Warmer temperatures are associated with an increase in emergency room visits for headaches according to research published in the March issue of the journal Neurology.

The study measured weather and air pollution conditions right before the ER visits and at other times during the same month. Researchers found than an increase of 5 degrees Celsius lead to an 8 percent increase in severe headache attacks.

The reason why warmer weather leads to more migraine attacks is not yet clear.

Lower barometric pressure was also associated with an increase in ER visits, but is not as strong a factor as warmer temperatures.

Warm weather, humidity and sun exposure are my oldest triggers. When I got migraines as a child (I started having them around age 6), something like 8 in 10 of them were caused by heat exposure.

The study's authors noted that migraineurs can use this information in their lives by paying close attention to weather forecasts. Knowing what to expect can help migraineurs plan ahead by preparing to face the coming trigger (such as double checking to make sure you bring your treatment medications with you) and by minimizing other triggers that can be controlled.

Sources:
Warm Weather Could Cause Migraines, Study Finds
Vital Signs - More Headaches in Warmer Weather

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