Lifewatch: Weather and your health

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Many people check the weather forecast to know whether to expect rain or sun, but for some the information is vital to protect their health.

Over the years medical records have been compared to thousands of weather events, and scientist say how patients feel can be predicted by the weather.

Bad weather is big trouble for Laurie Weil and says storm clouds signal horrible migraines, but if she's alerted before the weather moves in, it's better.

"You're telling me that it's migraine weather," said Laurie.  "Ok, this is the day where I'm going to go extra heavy on the meds or extra heavy on the ibuprofen, or make sure my ice pack's at work."

Laurie receives an alert from a company called Mediclim that warns her when a migraine is most likely to be aggravated.

One of the founders, Canadian Doctor John Bart, says technology now allows them to alert tens of thousands of people every month.

"With the prediction people can then go to their other triggers, take maneuvers avoid falling prey to the disease from which they suffer," said Dr. Bart.

A sudden drop in barometric pressure triggers migraines and changes in humidity trigger arthritis.  The wind may affect heart disease and thunderstorms are linked to asthma attacks. now has an official "aches and pains" forecast based on dropping pressure, increased humidity and changes or extremes in temperature.