Sep 10, 2018

Migraine Weather?

I noticed a pattern that I tend to get migraines when a typhoon is passing by the area. I wondered if that was a common occurrence and found that it is.

Migraine Weather? photo

One weather site even has a Migraine weather predictor.  (I've found it to have no relation to my actual occurrence of migraines so far. )

Other weather factors like extreme heat, cold, humidity, and dry weather can also cause problems, though most people with migraines will not likely have higher occurrences with each of these weather patterns. It's also likely that the usual triggers (stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, certain foods, etc.) are still the cause of the migraine, but the weather patterns just make it worse or more likely to occur.

An obvious one this summer is dehydration. I can't seem to drink enough because it feels like I'm sweating all day and night.

Migraine Weather? photo

To help with the heat (every summer in Japan, not just this exceptionally hot one), I turn to the 'ice packs' or freezer gel that you can find in any 100 yen shop in cute designs, or get for free when you buy anything that should be refrigerated on a warm day.

I have a collection of these free packs that I use when it's the middle of the day but time to ride a bike to work, for example. I wrap one in a wet bandanna and tie it around my neck and they help to keep me cool for an hour or two. (You can also buy something that looks like a thin neck brace but in cute designs like polar bear. They're expensive and I found them to be way too thick to wear during summer.)

I've taken to using ice packs at home (wrapped in a small towel) as an icy pillow when I'm overheated or have a migraine. It does offer some relief, but isn't going to stop the migraine unfortunately. This would also be useful for sore muscles and bruises to reduce inflammation.

While the ice packs are helpful, there are those days where it's worth it to just take the bus. Today there was some cloud cover and wind so I felt okay riding with my ice pack in 37 degrees for about 30 minutes. I think somehow I'm used to this heat by now. (Or I could just be severely dehydrated and not even feel hot anymore.)

I'm not sure how long the heat will last this season, with usual warm weather lasting until mid October in most of Japan. I think the frequent typhoons will offer a little relief from the heat and humidity. Continue to stay safe and cool out there.



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