Meteo-sensitivity - myth or reality?
Changing temperatures brings many people a bad mood and lack of energy. Joint pain, headache, fatigue, and even excessive nervousness are just some of the problems faced by those who call themselves weather-sensitive.
What is meteo-sensitivity?
Meteo-sensitivity is not a disease in itself. It is defined as a phenomenon that manifests itself by deteriorating health in response to changes in climatic conditions: temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, electromagnetic radiation, and the chemical composition of the air.
Man as a biological being is subject to the same changes as the environment. No wonder we associate a good mood with a sunny day, rain with sadness or anger with a storm or something threatening.
People for whom weather changes only affect the emotional side are called meteo-stables or weather-resistors. Their health does not depend on weather changes. If, however, the weather conditions cause other symptoms (discomfort, headache, joint pain) we are talking about meteorology or weather dependence. Thus, weather sensitivity in a person can manifest itself in two ways: weather resistance and meteo-lability.
However, many researchers say there is no direct correlation between weather changes and disrupting people’s well-being. They explain it through common pathophysiological mechanisms.
Possible explanations for weather sensitivity
The body is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in atmospheric pressure and temperature. At the same time, humidity is also an important factor involved in the appearance of the unpleasant clinical picture of meteo-sensitivity. All these phenomena affect the human body and can unbalance it with each change of season. Being weather-sensitive can be a problem that arises over time. Changing your lifestyle and moving to an area with a different climate than the one you knew can lead to the above accusations. Although a higher number of cases of psychiatric decompensation, gastric ulcer, or heart attack have been reported during weather changes, there is no clear evidence of a causal link between them.
Simply put, when the weather changes, more biochemical reactions occur in our body as a result of environmental stimuli, and it upsets our balance.
How do we know if we are weather-sensitive or not?
To determine if a person is weather-sensitive, an analysis of the history of weather addiction and the symptoms experienced is required. A series of medical tests and tests may be required, such as blood pressure and heart rate measurements, as well as a blood test to see if there is an increase in white blood cells. This part of the diagnosis cannot establish exactly whether the deterioration of the patient’s health is due to the weather. It is also necessary to monitor changes in health in the dynamics and to compare the data obtained with the information of meteorologists. All information is carefully recorded to determine the weather sensitivity index. This process is long-lasting and allows weather sensitivity to be established.
Moreover, a biofeedback therapy session can establish just as well exactly how weather-sensitive we are. It’s a fast and simple procedure and can even relieve most of the bad feelings this “disorder” might cause us.
How weather sensitivity manifests itself
Do you usually experience one or more of the symptoms below in the context of weather changes?
– fatigue and lack of energy;
– concentration disorders;
– general malaise;
– dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, migraines;
– nausea and loss of appetite;
– bone and joint pain;
– sleeping disorders;
– anxiety, nervousness;
– iron-deficiency anemia
Increased sensitivity to climate change can be seen during pregnancy, menopause, and puberty. Each person can respond to weather changes in different ways.
However, it is not uncommon for the combination of these charges with outside temperatures to be a mere coincidence. Persistence over time and the repetition of unpleasant episodes at the change of seasons are indications that argue for increased sensitivity to barometric and temperature changes.
It should be noted that the symptoms mentioned above may differ in intensity from person to person. Moreover, those associated with cardiovascular or pneumatological diseases may experience a worsening of these conditions with the change of seasons.
The chronically ill suffer
People suffering from chronic diseases are most affected by the change in weather. Any change in atmospheric pressure is felt by them. But even perfectly healthy people can be weather-sensitive. They can face fatigue and even mental exhaustion.
Women, the most affected
Statistics show that weather sensitivity mainly affects women, who are three times more likely to develop reactions to weather changes than men. Not everyone feels the same way. The body’s immunity is a factor in which we feel the intensity of the symptoms of weather sensitivity. Apart from headaches and dizziness, depression and insomnia are common manifestations of weather sensitivity.
It also changes blood circulation
Changes in blood pressure cause a change in blood circulation in the body and affect oxygenation. Low blood pressure promotes increased blood pressure and heart rate. Asthma, rheumatism, and muscle ache also intensify when the blood pressure drops. the atmospheric pressure increases, the heart rate decreases, and the blood are better oxygenated.
Surgery and fractures make us aware
People who have had muscle fractures and ruptures are more affected by the weather. Scarred areas become sensitive and pain occurs.
There is no drug treatment for weather sensitivity, maybe just mild pain killers, but the condition passes as soon as the weather stabilizes.
4 types of weather sensitivity are identified:
Meteo-sensitivity can have different manifestations depending on the pre-existing diseases of the person. Thus, weather-sensitive people can be divided into the following typologies:
- Cardiac weather sensitivity. The first sign of this type of weather addiction is a worsening of heart symptoms (heartache, high heart rate, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath) amid fluctuations in weather conditions.
- Brain weather sensitivity. Symptoms such as migraines, headaches, and dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus or tinnitus) are associated with changes in the weather.
- Mixed weather sensitivity. The simultaneous onset of symptoms of the two types of weather dependence described above is observed.
- Asthenoneurotic meteo-sensitivity. The symptoms observed correspond to the asthenic type of the nervous system: general weakness and irritability, and sudden fatigue. People with this type of weather sensitivity complain that they cannot work, and suffer from depression and sleep disorders.
There is also undefined weather sensitivity. People in this category complain of general weakness and weakness due to weather changes, complaining of muscle and joint pain.
- Normal weather sensitivity. The body does not react or change its mood to weather changes
- Increased weather sensitivity. It is characterized by mild malaise, emotional instability, impaired mood, lack of concentration, and low productivity.
- There are pronounced disorders in the body: increase in blood pressure, changes in heart rate, increase in the number of leukocytes
- It negatively affects both the person’s health and his ability to work
How do we deal with weather sensitivity?
As each person reacts differently to weather changes, the methods of relieving the symptoms experienced vary from case to case, age, and the presence of chronic health conditions.
In general, the treatment of weather sensitivity in adult patients includes:
- Exercises to relieve joint pain – performed on the recommendation and under the careful guidance of a physician specializing in Physiotherapy and Medical Recovery. A series of exercises are recommended to strengthen the muscles, but also to help the person to be more relaxed mentally, which leads to improved mental health.
- Exercise that promotes better oxygenation of the body: brisk walking, running, skiing
- Breathing exercises
- Spa treatments: relaxing therapeutic baths, cold and hot showers, swimming
The prognosis of weather sensitivity depends entirely on the patient’s desire to be healthy and happy. It is clear that the cure for chronic diseases is almost impossible, and therefore the symptoms of weather sensitivity in patients with chronic diseases can be at most alleviated and not eliminated. This is if specific measures are taken to control the underlying disease, controlling changes in weather conditions and preventing any unpleasant symptoms.
Balancing the underlying conditions is the first step you need to take if you want to avoid the unpleasant symptoms of weather sensitivity. A nutritionally balanced diet, proper hydration, and regular physical activity are the most effective ways to counteract the effects of temperature changes. At the same time, the massage (which will move the blood) and the various therapeutic procedures (galvanic baths) can increase the body’s resistance, improving the general condition and increasing the tolerance to the smallest fluctuations in the thermometer.
Also, biofeedback therapy is a must-try, especially when the seasons change. It is a non-invasive, complementary type of medicine, which helps relieve in natural ways all that fatigue and meteo-sensitivity.