Coping with Dysautonomia and Weather Changes

Dysautonomia symptoms are known to flair up with changes in weather and climate.  As our Autonomic Nervous System controls our body temperature, sudden changes in climate can trigger a worsening in symptoms.  In this blog we are going to tackle coping methods for different aspects of weather including heat and barometric pressure changes.

First things first, heat.  Heat poses a huge issue for people with Dysautonomia especially in the summer months.  Heat dilates blood vessels, so with people who have orthostatic intolerance it lowers their blood pressure even more and increases pooling.

In Virginia, its a sweltering 95 degrees plus and extremely humid all summer long.  I gave up my hopes of being tan a long time ago, and pretty much avoid going outside.  This is not the best strategy as sunlight provides our body’s with Vitamin D, and last summer when I avoided going outside nearly 100% my blood work showed a Vitamin D deficiency.  Being outside for thirty minutes once-a-day in the morning is all it takes to keep your Vitamin D levels up, and even helps you fall asleep at night.

Now if you must spend a lot of time outside and have difficulties, drink a lot.  Drinking lots of water helps increase blood volume and reduces the drop in blood pressure and pooling caused by heat.  Another strategy would be to spend time in the pool, not only does water keep our body’s cool but water helps reduce the affects of gravity on our blood pressure.  In addition, companies manufacture cooling vests which a lot of people have success with in extremely hot environments.

S0me people with Dysautonomia believe their symptoms worsen with barometric pressure changes that come along with storms.  This is a much more difficult situation to deal with as you can’t actually completely avoid pressure changes, unlike heat.  There are some tips out there regarding barometric pressure headaches though.  These include taking your headache medication when you know a storm is coming to prevent symptoms and exercising which increases endorphins which can lessen the affects of headaches.  Other techniques include walking by a water source and getting some fresh air.

Have any tips for dealing with weather changes?  Post away!

-Tyler

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