It’s not all in your head: Weather can trigger migraines

It’s not all in your head: Weather can trigger migraines

By Mayo Clinic News Service

Troy Warren for CNT

Does the heat and humidity of summer trigger your migraine? If so, you aren’t alone. Some people who have migraines appear to be more sensitive to changes in the weather.

So how and why does summer weather sometimes trigger these headaches?

“That is a great question,” said Dr. Rashmi Halker Singh, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. “Patients ask me that all the time. We don’t have a great answer.”

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For some people, extreme weather conditions may cause imbalances in brain chemicals, which eventually can lead to the severe throbbing pain of a migraine.

“A lot of people with migraines feel that sunlight glare is a trigger,” Halker Singh said.

Other weather triggers include high humidity, extreme heat and dry air. Halker Singh said these conditions might lead to another migraine creator.

“In the summertime, when it’s really hot outside, a lot of people forget to maintain adequate hydration,” she explained. “And dehydration can certainly be a risk for migraine attacks to happen.”

Halker Singh’s advice to people with migraines is to avoid extremes — in summer weather and everyday schedules.

“Be consistent with your eating habits; be consistent with your sleep,” she stressed. “Sometimes skipping meals can be a migraine trigger. Sometimes not sleeping enough or sleeping too much can also be a trigger. So maintaining consistency with that is important.”

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By Troy Warren

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