Barometric Pressure, Menopause, Aches And Pains And Changes In Mood

barometric-pressureThe weather outside is delightful, not frightful, so why do you hurt so badly? Shouldn’t you feel great physically?

Upcoming changes in weather and barometric pressure alterations impact the body and brain. There are people (I am one of them) who can predict the weather better than a meteorologist based on the way their body feels.

For instance, today it is hot and sunny with no hint of moisture yet my body feels as though it’s been run over by a Mac truck. I checked the barometric pressure for the town I live in. It is 30.19, which is in the fair range, not stormy, but it is falling.

Tomorrow’s forecast: Thunderstorm. (Told you so.)

For some of us, our bodies are flawless weather vanes. We can tell you with utmost accuracy what is on the horizon weather-wise according to how our bodies feel. We would prefer that we couldn’t.

R.S.: Impending rain = excruciating joint pain. Once the rain starts, it’s better.

The Weather and Your Body: Inter-related

Weather takes its toll on our bodies and brains because it puts stress on our breathing or, conversely, supports it. Our bodies are constantly pressed and pressured from within. When there is a change in the barometric pressure, you feel it in your knees, shoulders and hips, which are comparable to suction cups. When barometric pressure becomes less, joints skid and you reach for pain meds and an ice pack.

Barometric Pressure
Barometric pressure is the weight of the air surrounding us. It changes prior to weather alterations. When barometric pressure fluctuates, people begin feeling pain and stiffness because body tissue and joints expand as a result of the change in barometric pressure. Studies have been done on cadavers demonstrating how barometric pressure adjusts the pressure inside joints.

J.C.: My pain is mostly temperature-related but I notice pressure changes in my joints, like the gas in the joints expands or compresses and my joints ache as a result.

What Happens?

When joints and body tissues enlarge, this prods nerves to issue pain signals. If an individual has inflamed joints, which many oldsters do, the joint reacts to the pressure change and the person begins to hurt and reaches for Ibuprofen.

Bodies contain pressure-delicate systems preserving blood volume normalcy. These systems are impacted when barometric pressure fluctuates and release hormones, which have an effect on kidneys and how much fluid we keep in our bodies or how much we expel. Your feet and hands swell when retaining too much fluid.

Alterations to oxygen levels in the body take place when barometric pressure changes. When pressure goes down, blood vessels narrow, leading to headaches, including migraines. An individual isn’t getting as much oxygen when vessels constrict and smaller amounts of blood are getting to the brain. Your mood is modified because of the change in the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Additionally, there are baroreceptors on the ends of nerves detecting when atmospheric pressure changes and are aware when weather switches from dry to moist and the barometric pressure is low.

A.P.: My sinuses feel changes in pressure and I get lots of headaches.

Menopause and Arthritis
Toss menopause into the equation and its impact on joints and this leads to stiffness and aching among the menopausal set. Estrogen levels are drastically reduced during menopause. Estrogen protected a woman’s body in numerous ways and those safeguards, including protection against joint inflammation, are gone as a result of menopause. The less estrogen in the joints, the less protection for joints and inflammation runs amuck, leading to pain and stiffness.

C.S.: When it’s getting ready to rain, my wrists, fingers and hip hurt.

Kids are Impacted, Too
No one is completely exempt from the affect weather has on moods and the physical body, including children, although some people are more sensitive to weather changes than others.

It was observed children become more aggressive and moody prior to a storm and a low pressure system is on its way, according to MaryLou Beaver, New Hampshire Campaign Director Every Child Matters Education Fund. Teachers refer to this as the ‘barometric pressure syndrome.’

When there is low pressure this means there is less air in an area than in surrounding territories, causing a rush of neighboring air to move in, leading to storms and wind. People (including children) can become cantankerous and agitated as a result of this weather change.

Some refer to low pressure as a falling barometer. If you have sinus issues, they are going to get worse when the barometer falls. If inflammation is your problem, gird your loins. Pain is on its way.

And then there are those glorious days when barometric pressure behaves itself. It’s not too high or too low. You’re feeling great!

However, if rain is on the horizon, the pressure starts dropping and you may find yourself stricken with a headache and feel stiff and achy in general.

If you have arthritis, you may experience pressure in your joints as well as pain when barometric pressure is low and a storm is approaching.

Ask your physician if anti-inflammatory medications are your best bet for keeping weather-related pain at bay.

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About This Blogger

Cindi Pearce

Cindi Pearce has been writing professionally since the days of manual typewriters. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, Cindi is especially interested in women’s health concerns. She teaches yoga, is an amateur belly dancer, loves mowing her five acres of land with her beloved zero turn mower, has three grown children, one granddaughter and five large dogs. Cindi has managed to stay married to the same man for 35 years.

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