Why thunderstorms cause headaches - and how to prevent them

The rumble of thunder often signals the onset of a heavy storm, but it can also herald the arrival of painful headaches for some.

So is there any truth to the notion that weather can impact your health? According to the NHS, there seems to be.

As large parts of the UK brace themselves for more storms over the next couple of days, the potential for weather-induced headaches looms. On Tuesday (May 28), the Met Office issued warnings for thunderstorms stretching from Edinburgh to Glasgow, covering vast areas across Scotland and the UK.

Similar warnings are in place for the north of Scotland on Wednesday. So, with the likelihood of headaches increasing, what measures can be taken to prevent them or at least minimise the risk?

Nick Hird, a hydration expert at ViDrate, has shared his top tips and advice for managing headaches and migraines that may be triggered by thunderstorms. Here is what you need to know.

Can weather really trigger headaches?

Iron deficiency anemia. Sad woman with dizziness sitting on floor. Unhappy girl suffers from vertigo and headache and needs medical help. Low hemoglobin. Vector illustration in flat cartoon style.
Headaches can be caused by a change in weather -Credit:Getty

According to the NHS, the answer is an emphatic yes. The NHS website cautions that those susceptible to headaches may experience heightened discomfort during periods of grey skies, high humidity, rising temperatures, and storms.

But why does the weather influence headaches?

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The NHS explains that changes in atmospheric pressure, often associated with weather shifts, can trigger chemical and electrical changes within the brain. These changes can irritate nerves, leading to headaches that can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

Nick Hird from ViDrate suggests there are ways to prevent this issue before it occurs. His key advice is: "Stay hydrated, stay ahead! " Here's what he recommends:.

Preparation is Key

"Check the Forecast and stay informed," says Nick. "By keeping an eye on the weather report, you can anticipate potential headache triggers and be proactive."

Hydration is Your Hero

"Don't Wait Until You're Thirsty," advises Nick. "Dehydration is a sneaky enemy, especially during humid weather. Sip on water consistently throughout the day, even if you don't feel parched."

Electrolytes Can Be Your Ally

thunderstorms scotland
The sunny weather didn't last long -Credit:Martin McCarthy/Getty

"Sweating is common during storms, and with it, we lose electrolytes vital for proper nerve function. Consider electrolyte-enhanced drinks to replenish these minerals and help prevent headaches," suggests Nick.

Lifestyle Choices Matter

"Keep some pain relievers like paracetamol on hand, in case a headache does strike. Furthermore, relaxation is key. Stress can exacerbate headaches so take time to unwind during storms, whether it's reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practising meditation," advises Nick.

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