Meteorological dependence: how weather affects human health

Weather sensitivity is thesensitivityof an organism to changes in weather conditions. Today, this relationship has been scientifically confirmed, but a few decades ago, not everyone took the existence of meteorological dependence seriously. By the way, weather sensitivity is not just drowsiness or headaches in rainy weather - everything is much more serious. It has been proven that against the background of certain weather conditions, some people may experience exacerbations of chronic diseases, asthma attacks, heart attacks or strokes. Why is this happening, what kind of weather is the most dangerous for weather-sensitive individuals, and is it possible to somehow break your “connection” with the weather? Modern science has already found answers to these questions.

Is weather sensitivity a disease of modern people?

Someone might think that the dependence of well-being on weather conditions is the lot of a modern person and that bad ecology or frequent stress is to blame. In fact, the reasons are different. Let's say more, even in ancient times, people noticed that weather changes affect their well-being.

Hippocrates also mentioned meteorological dependence in his writings about 400 BC. The ancient Germans noticed that in wet cold weather, joint pains become more frequent and they called this condition nothing more than weather pain. And Tibetan doctors did believe that any ailment to one degree or another is associated with weather conditions. In later times, researchers assumed that even a change in wind direction could affect a person’s well-being, and the constant alternations of warm and cold atmospheric fronts were called the main cause of malaise.

Why do we react to the weather

The human body is designed in such a way that it is able to resonate to any changes in weather conditions. Any changes in the weather do not go unnoticed by ourbody. The reason for this relationship is usually attributed to our nerve receptors, which, like antennas, pick up changes in the weather. As a result, the whole body adjusts to certain signals of nerve cells, and in this case, the organs and systems temporarily switch to functioning in a state of stress, that is, “high alert”. The outcome of such events is not difficult to predict: the most weakened systems begin to fail. In some people, the cardiac system reacts, in others it is nervous, and others complain of digestive disorders.

But here's the question: why do some react extremely painfully to the change of weather, while others do not even notice meteorological vagaries. The whole reason is the body's ability to adapt and adapt to natural phenomena. If the adaptation mechanisms in the body work properly, then the person does not react in any way to changes in the weather outside the window. Otherwise, we have to talk about meteorological dependence or meteorological sensitivity.

Meteopathy and meteosensitivity: how to recognize

If the general condition of the body changes against the background of a change in weather, then they say that a person has meteopathy (meteo is a celestial phenomenon, pathos is suffering, disease). Meteorological sensitivity, or meteorological dependence, is an increased sensitivity of a person to changing weather conditions. Researchers suggest that approximately 35-40% of the world's population suffers from weather sensitivity. Most of them are people of age: about 8 out of 10 older men and women complain about the dependence of their well-being on the weather.

Weather dependence can manifest itself with a variety of symptoms. In many ways, the manifestation of the disorder depends on the age and general health of the person. In young people with relatively good health, a change in weather can be accompanied by ailments of varying degrees, in elderly people and those suffering from chronic ailments, their health worsens at such a time and old sores remind of themselves. Weather-sensitive individuals usually complain of increased fatigue, loss of physical strength, decline in mental activity, inability to collect their thoughts.

An abrupt change in the weather also affects the quality of sleep: while insomnia interferes with some, others, on the contrary, fall asleep on the go. In addition, the weather also has an impact on the mood of weather-sensitive individuals. It can make us short-tempered, irritable, overly restless.

One of the most common symptoms of weather dependence is a headache that occurs when the weather conditions change. It is often difficult to determine the nature of such pain and at first it seems to be causeless. The same can be said about abdominal pain. Weather-dependent people may develop spasms in the digestive organs without visible signs of poisoning. Also, against the background of meteorological events, blood pressure and body temperature may change (for some, it rises to 37.3).

Meteorological sensitivity index: how to determine

If earlier many doctors brushed aside patients complaining of a deterioration in their health due to weather changes, now it is customary to carefully examine them and even calculate the weather sensitivity index.

The weather sensitivity index (meteotropic index) is a general medical assessment of the patient's meteolability (sensitivity to changes in weather conditions).

To determine the level of meteorological lability, physicians are guided by a set of specific clinical criteria. Most often, the 10 most popular questions are used to collect anamnesis:

  • complaints when the weather or climate changes;
  • decreased activity;
  • feeling worse;
  • prone to depression;
  • ​​
  • anticipation of a change in the weather situation: signal reactions of the body even before the weather changes;
  • repeatability of the same features in a specific weather situation;
  • synchronicity of weather reaction with other weather-sensitive people;
  • normalization of well-being in favorable weather;
  • short duration of deterioration;
  • the absence of other reasons for the exacerbation of the disease or deterioration of the condition.

If a patient has 5 or more symptoms out of 10, they are said to be weather sensitive. In addition, to determine the nature of weather sensitivity, a person may be asked to undergo several laboratory tests. As a rule, doctors are interested in heart rate, blood pressure, platelet and leukocyte counts, blood clotting rate, cold test changes and some other indicators that are measured twice: during a period of good health and under adverse weather conditions.

Meteopathological syndromes

In recent decades, many studies have been carried out with the participation of people with increased weather sensitivity. This allowed experts to identify some of the typical symptoms of weather dependence. Researchers call them meteopathological syndromes or symptom complexes. In different people, the syndromes can manifest themselves either individually or in combination with other symptoms.

Today, the following meteorological symptom complexes are most often observed in patients:

  • rheumatoid (fatigue, general weakness and fatigue, various inflammatory reactions, pain sensations);
  • cerebral (irritability, general irritability, headaches, sleep disturbance, respiratory dysfunction);
  • vegetative-vascular (jumps in blood pressure, vegetative disorders);
  • cardiorespiratory (cough, increased respiratory rate, accelerated heart rate);
  • dyspeptic (discomfort in the stomach, intestines and / or under the right ribs, nausea, lack of appetite, stool disturbance);
  • immunological (violation of the body's defense reactions, tendency to colds and fungal diseases);
  • skin-allergic (skin rashes, itching and other reactions typical of allergies);
  • hemorrhagic (bleeding rashes on the skin, bleeding of mucous membranes, flushing of the head, nosebleeds, increased blood supply to the conjunctiva, changes in the blood count).

Sometimes if the body's reactions to certain meteorological factors are very pronounced and are repeated quite often, they speak of the development of a general adaptive-meteotropic syndrome. In this case, the balance of the whole organism is disturbed. There are problems in the field of metabolism and energy metabolism, enzymatic activity, tissue structure and blood formula change.

Weather sensitivity in adults and children: who is at risk

In the course of evolution, the human body has learned to adapt to changes in weather conditions. If the weather situation changes uniformly and insignificantly, healthy people, as a rule, do not notice this. Another thing is people suffering from chronic diseases. In this case, in response to a change in weather conditions, a person may experience a pathological (meteotropic) reaction. By the way, if earlier experts believed that mainly the elderly suffer from weather sensitivity, then in recent years they have recorded a significant “rejuvenation” of the disorder. This is associated with the acceleration (accelerated development of the body) of modern people. In addition, some researchers suggest that this disorder may be hereditary, and it is also worth remembering the weather sensitivity of infants.

As observations show, the level of meteosensitivity manifestation depends on various factors:

  • age and sex of a person;
  • form and stage of disease (chronic);
  • type of nervous system;
  • the level of adaptive capacity of the organism.

It is known that the inhabitants of different climatic zones can have their own characteristics and manifest themselves in different ways. A weather-sensitive person does not necessarily respond to all the vagaries of nature (changes in atmospheric pressure, magnetic storms, humidity, etc.), only one of the factors can cause a deterioration in well-being, while others go unnoticed by the body.

Recently, researchers have become seriously interested in the impact of meteorological factors on the human senses (vision, hearing). It turned out that visual meteorological images (clouds, rain, rainbows, etc.) can influence the external behavior (actions, speech) of a weather-sensitive person. While auditory meteorological images cause changes in internal behavior (thinking, motivation, imagination, faith). Interestingly, a person can perceive weather sounds at a distance of more than 50 km from the source.

Weather factors affecting well-being

Magnetic storms

magnetic storms. As a rule, in such news, weather-sensitive people are advised to carefully listen to the signals of the body during a dangerous period. And many listen, although they do not fully understand what magnetic storms are and why they affect people in different countries and cities. To understand where this relationship comes from, let's remember physics. Our planet is surrounded by a magnetic field that protects the Earth from radiation from space. But sometimes, when very powerful flares occur on the Sun, even the magnetic field does not help. After the flare, a shock wave is directed towards the Earth at a speed of about 1200 km/s. It also shakes the magnetic field, which causes those same storms.

For weather-sensitive people, such changes in space rarely go unnoticed. Severe headache, arrhythmia, jumps in blood pressure, aching pain in places of old injuries and other types of ailments. And although many still believe that the deterioration of health during magnetic storms is the result of banal self-hypnosis, medical statistics show that ambulances during space storms go to calls much more often than at other times. Doctors agree that during such a period people with hypertensive crises, strokes and heart attacks are more likely to come to them. Many of these attacks during a magnetic storm end in death.

So why do magnetic storms affect our well-being? It's the chemical composition of our blood. It is known to contain a lot of iron, and this element is characterized by a response to magnetic waves. As a result, during a magnetic storm, the blood in our vessels circulates with malfunctions, the blood supply to the heart and brain is disrupted - hence most of the problems.

Dangerous winds

Do you think that the wind can only get you a cold or earache? Not at all. Even while at home, weather-dependent people can react painfully to the wind outside the window. In particular, Japanese researchers found a relationship between the direction of the winds and the frequency of asthmatic attacks in patients.

The most dangerous for meteorologically dependent winds are those directed from top to bottom (for example, foehns and mistrals). For example, those that form at the tops of mountains and descend to the foot. Along the way, such a wind becomes drier, warmer and faster. When such winds blow in a certain area, doctors record a variety of deviations in patients: from mild malaise to severe headaches and even heart attacks.

And the inhabitants of the Mediterranean region since ancient times had a belief that the north wind of the tramontana brings madness to some, and makes others brilliant. In our time , the doctor-psychotherapist Rojo's death has tried to find out what is behind this legend. It turned out that a certain influence of tramontana on the mental health of the inhabitants of the region does exist. In particular, having studied the condition of 300 people, the doctor came to the conclusion that a natural phenomenon affects the state of brain neurons. During the Tramontana period, some people are more prone to depression and experience complete exhaustion, while others have a northerly wind that acts as an antidepressant. Why this happens, scientists have not yet been able to unravel.

Atmospheric pressure

It is well known that the planet is surrounded by a dense air mass, which we call the atmosphere. And, of course, she is not weightless. It's hard to believe, but about 10-15 tons of air mass presses on each of us every second. Meanwhile, we do not feel this mainly because our blood contains oxygen.

For people, the most comfortable atmospheric pressure is considered to be in the range of 750-760 mm Hg (depending on the geographical location). If this indicator changes dramatically, this affects the well-being of weather-sensitive individuals. Many of them do not even have to leave the apartment to predict changes in the weather. Wet palms, severe headache and incomprehensible weakness - this is how meteosensitivity usually manifests itself in VVD, diseases of the endocrine and cardiovascular systems. According to the observations of researchers, the heart, liver and nervous system react most quickly to changes in atmospheric pressure. By the way, women living in megacities react harder to sharp jumps in atmospheric pressure. Presumably, due to weighting factors: poor ecology and a hard rhythm of life.

Increased blood pressure (anticyclone)

People with cardiovascular disorders react most acutely to changes in this meteorological indicator. For them, the most dangerous is a sharp increase in atmospheric pressure. Such weather conditions cause changes in vascular tone, accelerate blood clotting, which leads to increased thrombosis. On days of high atmospheric pressure, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases. Such weather is especially dangerous for people with disorders in the cerebral vessels. In addition, high atmospheric pressure affects the functioning of the immune system, the number of leukocytes in the blood decreases. Therefore, during such periods, a weather-sensitive person is more susceptible to various infections. Researchers have noticed another interesting pattern: when the mercury column exceeds 750-760 mm, weather-dependent people may have a worse mood and a decrease in libido.

The days when the barometer shows high atmospheric pressure pose a certain danger for allergy sufferers, as well as people withrespiratory diseases. The reason is that with such meteorological indicators, an anticyclone operates - clear and calm weather, when the amount of gases hazardous to health and industrial emissions increases significantly in the air. If the anticyclone with its clear weather lingers for a long time, then for some people such weather becomes deadly.

Low blood pressure (cyclone)

The decrease in atmospheric pressure and the arrival of the cyclone also does not go unnoticed by many inhabitants of the planet. In this case, people who are prone to hypotension (low blood pressure), as well as asthmatics and cores, react most sharply to weather changes. Against the background of low atmospheric pressure, high humidity and lack of oxygen, they may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, general weakness, and difficulty breathing. For people with respiratory problems, the most dangerous is high humidity on hot summer days and slushy winter weather. In addition, low atmospheric pressure is one of the triggers of migraine (exacerbation of attacks of severe headache), as well as a cause of intestinal disorders (may occur flatulence and intestinal colic).

Air temperature

Not every person is able to endure fluctuations in air temperature without deterioration of health. Mostly we are talking about fluctuations of 10 or more degrees during the day. The more often such jumps occur, the more histamine is produced in our body. And this substance is known as an allergy provocateur. Thus, even people who do not suffer from the disease are prone to allergic reactions during the period of temperature fluctuations. In addition, sudden changes in the thermometer affect the mood of a person: he becomes more irritable and quick-tempered.

More health problems for weather-sensitive people occur when air temperature fluctuations occur simultaneously with changes in barometric pressure. People with disorders of the cardiovascular or respiratory system react poorly to a simultaneous increase in air temperature and a decrease in atmospheric pressure. And a sharp decrease in temperature against the background of increased atmospheric pressure worsens the condition of hypertensive patients, asthmatics, as well as people with diseases of the stomach and genitourinary system.

Humidity

Optimum air humidity for humans is 40-60%. If the indicators deviate in one direction or another, weather-sensitive people react almost immediately.

If the humidity drops to 30-40%, irritation of the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx occurs. Such changes are most dangerous for people with asthma or allergies. To prevent deterioration of health, on days with very low air humidity, it is useful to rinse the nasopharynx with a slightly salty aqueous solution.

Excessive air humidity (70-90%), which occurs during the period of frequent precipitation, is no less dangerous for weather-dependent people. Worst of all on such days feel people with chronic diseases of the kidneys and joints. They should not unnecessarily go out in wet weather, and if they go for a walk, then only in warm and comfortable clothes. During this period, the body's need for vitamins and microelements becomes more acute.

Why weather sensitivity is dangerous

Weather sensitivity is not such a harmless disorder as one might think. Under the influence of the vagaries of the weather, different systems of the body suffer.

Immunity. Frequent changes in climatic conditions lead to the fact that the immune system is depleted, as it works in an enhanced mode for a long time. As a result, a person gets sick more easily and more often.

Cardiovascular system. Abrupt changes in weather conditions cause the release of stress hormones that provoke blood clotting, which creates additional risks for people with cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, and vegetative dystonia. Therefore, people at risk on the day of the change of weather and a day earlier should take blood thinners (but only as directed by a doctor).

Endocrine system. An abrupt change in weather is stressful for the whole organism, including the endocrine system.In particular, with regard to the pancreas,unstable weather conditions are one of the reasons for its depletion,and, therefore, disruptionof insulin production. The result is an increase in blood sugar anda tendency todevelop diabetes. That is why under adverse weather conditions, even healthy people, it is desirable to control the level of sugar in the blood. And for diabetic patients, this is a must.

Treatment of weather dependence

Increased weather sensitivity pushes people to look for the most effective ways to improve their well-being. It is useful for people reacting to magnetic storms and other atmospheric phenomena to know how to deal with weather sensitivity.

Therapy during magnetic storms

If the state of health worsens against the background of magnetic storms, then during this period it is better not to engage in heavy mental and physical work. To make it easier to endure the period of solar flares, it is useful to get enough sleep, to be in the fresh air more often, not to abuse heavy food and take vitamins. In addition, a few days before the start of a magnetic storm, it is useful to play sports, give up bad habits and switch to a healthy diet.

Therapy at elevated atmospheric pressure

The answer to the question "How to get rid of meteosensitivity?" is also of interest to people who respond to increases in atmospheric pressure. The same recommendations mentioned above apply to them. In addition, it is useful for such people to do light exercises in the morning and take a contrast shower. For breakfast, it is preferable to eat foods rich in potassium (for example, cottage cheese with dried apricots, raisins and bananas ). On such days, it is absolutely not worth overeating, it is hard to work physically, and it is also useful to avoid excessive emotionality.

During periods of high atmospheric pressure , doctors advise going to bed earlier than usual.

Treatment for reduced atmospheric pressure

First aid for weather sensitivity caused by a decrease in atmospheric pressure is to normalize the blood pressure of a weakened person. As a preventive measure on such days, it is useful to reduce physical activity, after every hour of work, take 10 minutes to rest. The day should start with coffee, then drink plenty of fluids, including green tea with honey, and it is useful for core patients to take special herbal tinctures (with the permission of the attending physician). Before going to bed, you can take a contrast shower and go to bed 1-2 hours earlier than usual.

Treating Sensitivity: Universal Tips

Generally speaking, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to relieve the symptoms of Sensitivity. Therapists advise hardening, swimming, running or walking, adhere to the rules of a healthy diet, get enough sleep, give up bad habits, and bring your weight back to normal.

Sleep. Healthy sleep provides rest to the nervous system, and this is the main condition for adequate adaptation of the whole organism to changes in weather conditions. Experts advise going to bed before 12 midnight and sleeping at least 7 hours. It is especially useful to observe this rule before the weather changes.

Stimulants. Most modern people struggle with drowsiness and feeling unwell with energy drinks, strong coffee, or tea. Some claim that nicotine helps them feel better. In reality, our body is so smart that it does not require additional stimulants, and addiction to caffeine causes a malfunction in the self-regulatory system, which further exacerbates sensitivity to weather changes. Tip: give up the abuse of coffee and other energy products and the body will learn to react less painfully to weather factors.

Diet. Food is calories, calories are the energy that the human body constantly needs. Weather-sensitive people benefit from eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals, including proteins, fruits and vegetables. Such food will strengthen the body as much as possible and prepare for the stress caused by the change of weather.

Hardening. Hardened organisms tolerate changing weather conditions more easily. But hardening should begin not with jumping into the hole, but with a contrast shower, gradually lowering the temperature of the water.

Recently, nature rarely spoils with consistently good weather. Rather, on the contrary, it never ceases to amaze with surprises: either snow in the middle of summer, or almost summer weather in late autumn, and snowdrops for the New Year can now bloom not only in a fairy tale, but also in reality. And not everyone can endure all these meteorological surprises without worsening their well-being. Therefore, it is very important to understand what weather sensitivity is and how to help a person reacting to sudden changes in the weather.