Is a Storm Coming? (Weather and Migraines)

The weather has been up and down here in Texas and I’m like an old lady with bad knees who can tell when a cold front is moving in— except it’s not my knees aching, it’s my head.

Weather changes are a migraine trigger for me, and lately, we’ve had beautiful days in the 70s, rainy days in the 50s and sunny days in the 80s— most all in the span of a week.

There is some debate over whether or not weather is actually a migraine trigger, but I’ve talked with enough fellow migraineurs to know I’m not the only one affected by a change in barometric pressure.

I’ve had four “mini-migraines” in the last 10 days. I call these “mini-migraines” because they are ones that last less than 8 hours and/or can be snuffed out or dulled with one of my magic pills.

My left eye is achy and feels bruised. My eyebrow is usually pretty tender, too, but they’re not full-blown migraines, where my eye feels like it’s being stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Still, four in 10 days is a lot for me, so I’ve been trying to see how I can better prepare myself every day for weather changes.

For example, I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow, and lately, I’ve been lucky and the weather has been either overcast or under 65 degrees when I’ve logged in those long miles, but this week is a strange one for November.

By 11 a.m., it’s supposed to be sunny and near the 80s. For most migraineurs, that’s too hot to run.

So I’ve resigned to trying to wake up a little bit (OK, a whole lot earlier) to try to get the run in. We will see if that actually happens because I’m a bit of a night owl.

Weather isn’t something I can control, but there are other elements I can be extra adamant about … like getting enough water every day and sleeping well and keeping my neck and shoulders relaxed.

Because weather changes + long run in the sun could equal a migraine later in the day, I’m also planning to jump in an Epsom salt bath after the run. (I’ve been doing this after my long runs each week, and my muscles feel so much better the next day.)

I’m also trying to be more flexible. I love crossing off the workouts in my training plan, but last week, I had to delay my long run because I woke up with a migraine. I was bummed because I had laid out my running clothes and energy chews. I had my new 10-mile route planned out. I was ready, but my head on that Thursday morning wasn’t.

I was tempted to get in the run later that day when my headache was “sort of gone,” but I knew I couldn’t go 10 miles while recovering from a migraine. If anything, I would only have triggered another one.

I resigned to take a rest day and when I ran my 10-miler on Saturday, I felt great.

So here’s to watching the weather.

Is weather a trigger for you? What do you do when you know the barometric pressure is changing?