Supplemental Content: Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches

Keep up with Migraine & headache news, tips, tools, and more... View our blog!

Migraines Often Triggered By Change In The Weather




Living Well With Migraine Disease & Headaches is available in paperback and e-book editions. For a description on the book or an Amazon link, click HERE. To read an excerpt from my book or other content, check our Supplemental Content Section.


Optimal health care
can be achieved
only when patients
are educated
about their health
and patients and
physicians work together as
treatment partners in an atmosphere of mutual respect.





June 10, 2004

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Migraine sufferers may be able to avoid triggering the excruciating attacks by skipping the red wine with dinner and forgoing the chocolate mousse for dessert, but there's little they can do about one of the most common Migraine triggers: the weather. Half of Migraine sufferers were sensitive to weather variables, but most were wrong in their prediction of which climate variable was the culprit, according to findings of a study being presented at the 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society (AHS).


Weather may trigger attacks in half of Migraine sufferers, but they're often wrong in thinking they can predict the type of weather that is the culprit, suggests one study.
It's change that usually is to blame - whether it's a change in temperature, humidity or barometric pressure
The brains of Migraine sufferers are sensitive to change - not only in weather conditions, but in sleep patterns or hormone levels.
About 1 in 8 American adults suffer from Migraines disease.

Marcelo E. Bigal, M.D., Ph.D., director of research at the New England Center for Headache, Stamford, Connecticut, and assistant professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., explained:

"Most people in the study thought they could predict which type of weather factor (temperature, snow, etc.) triggered their Migraines, but they really couldn't ... Ironically, we found the one constant in weather-triggered Migraines was change. For instance, even though the heat, high humidity or a storm can cause the headaches in some people, it's usually the change in temperature, humidity or barometric pressure that brings Migraines on in most sufferers."

People who get weather-related headaches often blame them on sinus problems, when they likely are Migraines, he said.

More than 32 million Americans - 1 in 8 adults - suffer from Migraine disease.

In the study, 77 people diagnosed with Migraines were given a questionnaire asking if they thought weather triggered their Migraines and, if so, what type of weather they believed was the culprit. They kept daily headache journals for two months to two years, providing details about their Migraine attacks, including when the headaches started, how long they lasted, and their severity. At the same time, researchers collected weather data from the National Weather Service. The journals were compared to the weather patterns.

The researchers determined 39 people (51 percent) were sensitive to weather, but 48 (62 percent) thought they were sensitive to weather. Thus, more than 1 in 10 people in the study wrongly believed weather triggered their Migraines. Twenty-six (34 percent) were sensitive to a change in temperature or humidity, 11 (14 percent) to a changing weather pattern and 10 (13 percent) to a change in barometric pressure. One in 10 were sensitive to more than one type of weather factor.

A change in the weather can mean a variety of things, said Dr. Bigal. For instance, a bright day with 12 hours of sunlight followed by a cloudy day with seven hours of sunlight can trigger a Migraine in some people.

"We're realizing more and more that change - or fluctuation - is a major factor in Migraine triggers, whether it's a change in sleep patterns, estrogen levels or weather," said Dr. Bigal. "That's because the brains of Migraine sufferers are extremely sensitive and stimulation that has no affect on most people can trigger Migraines in those prone to them."

While they can't change the weather, people who recognize it triggers their Migraines can begin taking medication at the first sign of a Migraine, before it becomes entrenched, said Dr. Bigal.

Co-authors of a study Dr. Bigal is presenting at the AHS meeting are P.B. Prince, A.M. Rapoport, F.D. Sheftell and S.J. Tepper.

The American Headache Society (AHS), founded in 1959 as the American Association for the Study of Headache, is based in Mt. Royal, N.J. AHS is a professional organization for those interested in the study and management of headache and face pain. AHS has approximately 2,500 members. For more information, visit the AHS Web site at To fill the need for patient education, AHS established the American Council for Headache Education (ACHE), a non-profit patient-physician organization for the advancement of the treatment and management of headache and the encouragement of more constructive social attitudes toward the disease. Individuals who would like more information about headache, who would like a referral to a specialist who treats headache or who would like information on support groups can call (800) 255-ACHE at 19 Mantua Road, Mt. Royal, N.J. 08061, or visit the ACHE Web site at

NOTE: The information on this site is for education and support only. It is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without consulting your doctor.


 The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA)...

a patient-focused, patient-driven organization for patients with Migraine and
other headache disorders and their family, friends, and care partners.
Anyone interested in the concerns or patients with these disorders is welcome to join.

The AHMA exists to EASE the burden of Migraine and other headache disorders through Education, Awareness, Support, and Engagement.


This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

Search only trustworthy HONcode health websites:

NOTE: The information on this site is for education and support only. It is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without consulting your doctor.

All content on this site is physician reviewed by Dr. John Claude Krusz.

Our Mission & Purpose     About the Information on This Site     Our Privacy Policy     Site Funding, Advertising, & Linking     Contact

All content 2004 - 2014, Teri Robert unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.
Last updated Saturday, September 27, 2014.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


Looking for awareness items? Your search is over...

"Headaches Do Not Have Me" Mug

from Cafe Press

"Not the Boss" Thermos Tea Tumbler

from Cafe Press

"Knowledge Is Power"
Tile Box

from Cafe Press

"Migraines Are Not the Boss of Me!"

from Cafe Press


You can find these and other items in our Awareness Shop!