Gravity's Rainbow

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Finding a place to live with limited barometric pressure changes AND cool weather

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Barometric pressure changes are bad for my migraines. Not only does a storm system moving in or out make me sick, but getting on an airplane or driving up a mountain does, too. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on though – I’m not sure how much pressure change is too much, the time scale it matters over, or even if it’s any change or just drops. Some studies show migraines are associated with pressure change, but other studies don’t. Different studies also disagree about whether any change, positive changes, or negative changes are the problem. But pressure changes aren’t the only aspect of weather that hurt my poor head – high temperatures also seem to knock me off my feet. I’m not the only one whose migraines get worse with heat. While there’s some disagreement about this in the literature, higher temperatures seem to be a clearer case of migraine trigger.

Migraine patients can change a lot of things about their lives, but weather seems a bit out of the average person’s control.

Rán and the Wave Girls (1831)

Rán, Norse goddess of sea and storm. By Legis, Gustav Thormod. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t control the weather where you are, but you can possibly control where you are in the first place. I’ve moved three times because of migraine. Kerrie Smyres at the Daily Headache has also moved because of migraine. If pressure changes affects your migraines you might be interested in this list (or this more detailed list) compiled by another migraineur who moved to try to find relief.

I found that list of cities with low pressure variability because I was trying to figure out somewhere I could go that might help my migraines. I wasn’t encouraged. Almost all of the “good” places on it are very warm to hot as hell. That is, if I escape one trigger, I’m exacerbating another.

There’s also the thing where moving seems to be a temporary fix. Each time I’ve moved, I’ve had a year or two of good to moderately good health, and then been totally debilitated by migraine again. It sounds like Kerrie’s moves have also not been as helpful as she might have hoped.

In an ideal world, I might move to a new place once every couple years, but there’s no guarantee it’ll work, it’s financially and logistically difficult, it’s emotionally horrible as I can’t develop and maintain relationships, and it limits my access to good healthcare.

I don’t think I’ll be moving to try to fix my migraines any time soon after all.

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Linkfest: 13 February 2016 | Tea 'N' Mango Juice

  2. You might try Crescent City, CA or Brookings, OR. Nice and cool and the barometric pressure, while not as good as San Diego, have a great number of stable barometric pressure days. Also, you might try a juice cleanse. Juicing tends to reset the body, but you would have to do a long one, maybe even 60 days. It’s hard at first but gets easier. A lot of times, people want to keep juicing at the end of one. I’m heading into one now. Doing two juices a day and one healthy meal. Heading into two juices and one raw soup. Then three juices a day until healed from fibromyalgia. Check out Reboot with Joe. Several migraine and fibromyalgia sufferers have healed this way.

    • can you explain the juicing. My wife suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and peripheral neuropathy. do to our government the pain meds that worked have been taken away and I hate to see her suffer like she is. Thank You

  3. I live in Brookings, OR. The weather changes constantly and I am bed bound by the migraines. Every time the weather changes bringing in a fresh storm I am screwed.
    Thank you for letting me know another move might not help.
    Please contact me if you have questions. I am happy to talk about all of it.
    Yours, Patrice

  4. Phoenix AZ has a low barometric pressure swing per day. I have RA and used to live in MN and was in pain always. I feel 20 years younger here. the summers are brutal though with the HEAT (dry heat but 110 is hot). So you hibernate from April through Oct

  5. Our family moved from Olympia WA to Santa Rosa, CA. The difference has been huge! Most of California south of Redding and west of the Sierra Mountain has more stable barometric pressure compared to the Puget Sound. This article and map shows places with more stable pressure. Hawaii I’ve heard it very stable to.
    https://www.securevideo.com/blog/2013/10/07/avoiding-migraines-resulting-from-changes-in-barometric-pressure/
    https://www.securevideo.com/blog/2016/03/18/global-barometric-variation-annual-maps-and-monthly-raw-data/

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