Researchers in Dijon, France, found a connection between a drop in temperature and high barometric pressure and high humidity and the incidence of Ischemic Strokes. They found that the number of strokes caused by a blockage of the arteries in the brain occurred more often under those weather conditions. While this is only one study, it certainly points to an interesting area of research and seems to bolster the claim that weather has an influence on health and well-being.
Canadian researchers have shown that certain winds called "Chinook Winds" that come off the Rockies cause patients to develop Migraine headaches-again demonstrating what patients have claimed for a long time. Patients with Arthritis have always claimed to have significantly more pain when the barometer falls and that their Arthritis "goes into overdrive" when a storm hits.
To test this claim, Rheumatologist, Dr. Richard Pope of Northwestern Medical School in Chicago, put 12 of his patients in a chamber and adjusted the barometric pressure and humidity. When the barometric pressure was low and the humidity high, 11 of the 12 patients sensed their pain more. Dr. Pope speculates that the barometric pressure caused the tissue around the joints to swell and thus added to the pain.
Not to be outdone, the Weather Channel now has a U.S. Aches and Pains Predictor Map. The map shows where your pain will be worst. While you cannot do much about the weather, it is comforting to know that it is not just "all in your head."
We may ask our weatherman, John Robinson, to start forecasting our potential pain level as a community service. You can check out the U.S. Aches and Pains map by (clicking here ).