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Withstanding the heat with migraine

Community ideas: withstanding the heat with migraine

During the spring and summer (and sometimes even the fall!) months, it can get unbearably hot – not to mention that heat can also be a migraine trigger for some. So, we asked our community members for ideas on how to deal with heat and migraine. Check out the community’s responses to the question: Weather and dehydration are common migraine triggers. Do you have tips for dealing with summer heat?” and add your thoughts in the comments below!

I use specific strategies:

  • Ice packs on my neck, back, and sometimes head help to keep me cool
  • I sit in cool bath water
  • Intervals outside
  • My house is like North Pole. I also keep a fan going most of the time, especially at night
  • I wear sunglasses anytime I am outside
  • If I’ve gotten overheated, I’ll get myself into a cold shower as quickly as possible.
  • I always keep my cell phones backlight on the dimmest setting possible. I keep it cool indoors and only have lights on when truly needed. It’s amazing how much just limiting the exposure to excessive light has helped reduce my migraines intensely
  • Sometimes the sunglasses stay on inside the grocery store too!
  • Indoors thermostat is set at 65 degrees year round
  • a warm tub of water and an ice pack on my neck
  • A nice swim or putting my feet in a bucket of ice cold water with ice
  • No sugars nor salty fatty food
  • I try to keep my electrolytes up
  • I make black coffee and drink it cold during the day along with water, 1-2 litres
  • I always have my imigran on me!
  • Air conditioning and naps.
  • Beware of sun directly in the eye on the side where you get migraines. Beware of dappled sunlight.
  • Wear a hat
  • Stay in the house temp. around 69°. Then don’t come out until October.
  • Moving as least as possible and trying not to stress.
  • Keep ice packs close
  • Carry tea bags and soak them in cold water, apply to pressure points!
  • If its super hot and I’m out and about I take a rehydration sachet (the ones that come with paracetamol in them in the UK).
  • Wear sunscreen

Particular products and/or treatments work well for me:

      • I deal with the weather as best I can with Zyrtec
      • When it is forecasted for major weather changes, I begin to take high doses of ibuprofen. [Additionally] I’m on preventive and I have Botox done every 3 months
      • These help, sometimes
      • Smart Water!
      • Chia water. Coconut water is also fabulous for keeping electrolytes in check.
      • The migraine cooling patches (WellPatch and Be Koool) help. Easy to keep in purse, car, etc. Sometimes I’ll wear them on my arm under my shirt sleeve. Just the cooling effect helps
      • Have Maxalt on hand!
      • Know every time it’s going to storm. One thing that helps sometimes is to take Benadryl a bit ahead of time
      • Drinking Pedialyte helps me

I try not to go outside during intense heat:

  • I try to avoid going out if it is hot and very sunny
  • I don’t hike when it’s too sunny
  • During the hottest part of the year, I only go outdoors late in the afternoon when and if it cools off
  • Dark, cold room with my meds is the only way I can handle the barometric changes!
  • I avoid beach and lake trips
  • Avoid the direct sunlight
  • I work the midnight shift

Staying hydrated helps!

  • I make sure I drink at least 2-4 litres of water at regular intervals during the day as dehydration is one of my main migraine triggers.
  • Always have water close by
  • My problem is I’ve been told that I drink too much water!! My sodium level is low. Problem the Dr wants me to drink only 1 quart of liquid a day!!
  • Try Gatorade and/or EcoDrink for the electrolytes to try and avoid dehydration
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!
  • The straw is the secret to drinking enough water. I have a 24oz cup with a lid and straw. I carry it with me everywhere and fill it up when empty.
  • I try and make [water taste] a little better by adding lemon to mine, tastes better and lemons are good all around!

To me it’s not about the heat:

  • For me it’s more about drastic changes in the pressure system than the actual temperature.
  • For me it’s not the heat. Worst is Spring when storms move in and out sending the barometric pressure up and down like a yo-yo.

Nothing seems to help….

  • Nothing helps weather but a bed
  • Only so much you can do.

How about you? Share your experiences in dealing with migraine and heat in the comments below to let the community know what you do…


  • Headbanger
    4 years ago

    This is my albatross – the heat. I’m a runner and I cannot even think about heading out when temps rise above 73 degrees and that’s especially hard here in HOTLanta. The heat sets of a Migraine with a pain scale of 20! And a trip to the ER is inevitable. I have done lots of research and found that because I naturally have low sodium/potassium levels in my body (which is a migraine trigger) I tend to sweat more than the average girl. Water goes in and sweats right out without properly hydrating my organs. I’m super dehydrated. After much research and discussion with a friend who is a runner and a doctor I found that taking “Salt Stick” supplements helps my body absorb the water and though I still sweat a lot I’ve had much more success in running in slightly higher temps for longer durations with NO headache. It’s an absolute miracle. Now, I take these ANY TIME I’m outside in the heat, whether it be to walk the dogs, water the garden, etc. You can find these in specialty running stores and online.
    It’s one cure for one of the 5 triggers I have. Slowly but surely… good luck everyone – you’re not alone in your fight to feel good.

  • KatherineO
    4 years ago

    Cowboy a/c: I have several quick dry shirts, take a bandanna with me, soak it in water when I have to be outside. Tie the wet bandanna around my neck, especially if I have to take the dog out in the middle of the day. The wet bandanna gets the shirt wet around the neck, air cools and dries it. Works very well.

  • sarah
    4 years ago has a migraine predictor based upon the weather and barometric pressure expected for the day. Seems to only be on the computer. Haven’t found a iPhone app for it.

  • shine4him
    4 years ago

    I’ve done most of those before, but this year I took the opposite approach, and it seems to be working!

    When the heat first started, I went outside and went for a run. (Yes I wore sunscreen and drank lots of water!) Of course it triggered a migraine, but I was planning on that.

    Two days later I did it again. I tried to get some good cardio exercise going outdoors in the sun every other day when possible. For the first approx. two weeks I dealt with a lot of down time due to the migraines, but then they started improving as my body became conditioned to the heat. Basically hot cardio is a natural blood thinner, and much longer lasting.

    Not only have I spent most of the rest of this summer NOT being affected by the heat, but my overall number of migraine days have reduced as well (probably more due to the regular exercise, which is a common treatment). Now if I could just figure out a way to hold on to this heat conditioning through the winter… ‘~’

    Note: As with most exercise programs, check with your doctor before starting something new. Also, know the signs of heat exhaustion so you don’t overdo it!

  • deborahvan-der-harst
    4 years ago

    Hot humid weather s a migraine trigger for me even if I’m just walking from my car to a building. That short exposure starts the migraine symptoms with which I have become so familiar. Once home, the walk from the parking lot to my unit cements and increases the symptoms. The same thing happens in extreme cold temps. I have a remote start for my car, so that I can cool or warm the car before driving it. The A/C doesn’t cool the car enough until the car is being driven. If I have to go out for an appointment, I am in bed until the next morning. I want to move to a more temperate climate, someday. I have a special towel that stays wet and cold for hours. I need to actually use it and see if it helps. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone.

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