Can your body forecast the weather? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FOX Medical Team

Can your body forecast the weather?

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ATLANTA -

Some people say when the weather changes, they can feel it in their bones, but can our bodies really forecast the weather? And why do some of us hurt and others feel fine?

About a half of migraine sufferers say storm fronts can trigger their headaches. There hasn't been a lot of research to link weather with how we feel, but for people who live with pain, weather can be a big deal.

Before they see it, they feel it.

"I've heard is so often now from people that I think it's real," said Dr. Gary Botstein.

In 35 years as a rheumatologist in DeKalb County, Dr. Botstein has written the same phrase over and over in his patients' medical records.
 
"The phrase is, 'I can tell when the storm is coming before the weather man knows,'" said Botstein.
     
Botstein thinks his arthritis patients may hurt more just before a storm hits because the drop in barometric pressure is causing the fluid in their joints to expand, triggering a pain flare up.
 
"And it doesn't matter whether this was an old injury. Or whether this was joint surgery. Or rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis," Botstein said.

But the scientific connection between weather and pain is cloudy.          

FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Ken Cook has spent decades predicting storms. And he hears the same stories from viewers, who can sense weather changes.

"It's pressure change, or it could be humidity change or temperature change," Ken said.

But as dramatic as storms can be here in Georgia, Ken says the barometric pressure shifts that come with them are actually pretty subtle.

"I've always thought that if you took an elevator ride in one of our tall buildings in Atlanta, that's a much greater change in pressure than what we would have in even a really strong weather system,'" said Ken.

Botstein says we may never know exactly why we hurt more in certain weather, but he says, "I believe it, and I respect it in those patients."
 
Botstein says he's not sure why some of us hurt a lot, while others feel no pain during weather changes. But he says, one thing life has taught his is that we're all different.

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