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Sensitivity to Weather - Is Culprit Absolute Pressure or Variabtion?

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I've seen other people on this forum acknowledge what I've long experienced in my own life - conditions are worse when barometric pressure is low.

I've been wondering though, whether the problem is LOW pressure or downward variation in air pressure.

It could just be that we feel worse when air pressure drops and better when it comes back up. But, I've noticed that I also, initially, feel better when it goes higher than it has been. This occurred on a recent flight to Florida. I passed out on the plane from dizziness. Then we landed and I felt SO ALIVE! But the feeling did not last. I don't know if it was because I landed in Florida on a particularly high pressure day and then it came back down, or if I just adapted to Florida's baseline barometric average. 

I've been wondering if I'd do better near the ocean - I used to live in LA and I feel like my symptoms were much milder than they've been in St. Louis. Again, was this because the average barometric pressure is higher in LA, or because there is less variation in barometric pressure in LA?

Has anyone thought about this or found research on it? I wonder, for example, if I moved to some mountainous region with stable weather condition - would I feel worse indefinitely, or would I adapt (perhaps slowly) to the low pressure on the mountain?

I found a list of cities in the U.S. by barometric pressure variability, not sure if this helps:

https://www.securevideo.com/blog/2014/09/23/u-s-cities-barometric-pressure-variation-full-list

 

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This is a very interesting question. I live in Florida and can't say that I feel these fluctuations that I hear you guys speak of. I don't know if I am just too obtuse to notice or if I lucked out with pressure issues. In the summer we get terrible thunderstorms, but I don't know if that counts as low pressure systems. We do get hurricanes, in fact, just had a category 3 in October, and I didn't notice a change. With the hurricane, I just assumed there was enough excitement going on with preparations that the adrenaline offset any negative health issues. Can sea level versus above sea level also contribute to it? 

All I can tell you about dysautonomia and Florida is the heat keeps you inside or in water from early April to Thanksgiving. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, "You live in Florida. Where is your tan?" I would be in a mansion on the beach. ?

Kim

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I feel the effects most when the pressure is actually changing. If we have rain for 3 days, I will feel awful as it becomes cloudy/starts to rain. But, then, after about 12 hours of rain I will level out. Then, when the storm rolls out and things start to clear, I will feel lousy again. I definitely have less of an issue when the weather is moderate and not too hot or cold but I think that's more to do with my temperature dysregulation than the barometric pressure.

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You can collect data to test this question from NOAA.gov.  Go to your location's forecast page.  At the top there is a section for current weather at the closest weather station.  To the right is a list of links under the title More Information.  Click on 3 Day History.  It will give you hourly weather data, including barometric pressure.  Subtracting pressure at one time from pressure at the previous time gives you change in pressure.  If you copy the data into a spreadsheet you can make a timeseries of change in pressure along with the pressure data.  You can also note when you feel terrible and when you feel great.  

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I think it's interesting that many of you report change itself triggers symptoms! I am fairly confident that I experience 'better than well' episodes when barometric pressure rises. I have noticed that when the clouds come out after a rainy day, I really snap out of the brain fog. 

 

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Low barometric pressure can cause low BP.  Also we tend to have a hard time at higher altitudes - where pressure is lower and there is also less oxygen.  So much fun having POTS - so many things that can affect us! 

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I live in the Rocky Mountains and a recent trip to Florida made me feel great, no symptoms at all. Upon returning home I was hit with every symptom and got much worse for weeks. My doc said the altitude had a lot to do with it, lot less oxygen, varying air pressure. 

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