Tracking the barometer

I’ve tried for years to figure out what’s causing my migraines, and how to stop them. I’ve been getting sporadic migraines with aura since I was 13, and about 10 years ago, I started noticing that I would get a headache (not aura) in the evening. Sometimes it was mild, sometimes severe, sometimes it would disappear for a few days and then reappear. Sleep has never come easy for me, and I started associating my headaches with tiredness, since they occurred in the evenings, and thought that if I could just sleep they would go away. They affect my whole life, I’m cranky and irriatable, and miserable to be around. I started too realize that even without the aura, they were migraines, and the effects of a single episode could last days.

I had my eyes checked and rechecked, I stopped my birth control for 2 years, then started it again, I cut out caffeine. Sometimes they occurred when it was raining, other times when it was sunny. I tried tracking them, and while there was some correlation to my monthly cycle (the 1st-4th days of my period always came with a severe headache) they also occurred chronically through rest of the month.


A few months ago I discovered my cell phone (and nearly all major cell phones) came with a barometer built in, so I downloaded an app that tracked the barometer sensor every 15 minutes. The results were difficult to relate to at first, but I started to see a pattern after 2 weeks. When the pressure is consistent, I’m headache free. When the pressure drops, I’m headache free. It isn’t until the pressure starts to RISE that I actually get a headache. However because I live in a mid-atlantic coastal town, the pressure fluctuates constantly. It was extremely noticeable when I went on vacation to an area without much precipitation or pressure fluctuations, and was headache free for 10 days straight. I could think clearly, and the brain fog was completely gone.

I started to check the pressure constantly, and any time I noticed there was a dip, I would pay attention to when the rise would start and take a sumatriptan. My headaches have dwindled to less than once a week instead of constant, and I’m seeing my overall anxiety and moodiness lessen. I still get hormone induced headaches the first few days of my period, but i know now that I have two triggers, not one.

I would definitely encourage anyone who can’t find a trigger to download a simple barometer tracking app, I use ‘Barometer+’ which is free in the android app store, and set it to record every 15 minutes.

I’m about to start a cgrp clinical trial, and hopefully I’m not in the placebo group. I’ll report back if it helps, I’d love to stop relying on sumatriptan altogether!

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