Does barometric pressure affect your mood?
Docs may say nada, but most of us know that weather impacts our mental health
Barometric pressure may not directly affect your mood but
it can certainly affect the way your body feels, which can put you in a lousy
mood. If you are suffering from aches, pains, headaches, swelling and stiffness,
this puts a damper on your otherwise charming personality, and you - as well as those around you - may be left wondering, "does barometric pressure affect mood?"
However, do not completely discard the possibility that weather conditions, including drops and rises in barometric air pressure, affect our mood. Some doctors and scientists dispute this, whereas others firmly believe that weather conditions definitely correlate to how a person is feeling mentally, as well as physically.
Research has demonstrated a correlation between low moods, including ennui and depression, to low humidity as well as lack of exposure to the sun. The higher the barometric pressure and the more exposure to the sun, the better the mood. Yet a subsequent study of how barometric pressure affects mood showed that impact of weather on mood was negligible.
Most of us will maintain, despite what doctors and researchers claim, that the weather does affect our mood as well as our physical health, which may be the direct result of temperature fluctuations and changes in the air pressure.
Barometric pressure is the weight of the air that is
around us. The joints and other parts of our body are filled with fluid and
this fluid responds to barometric pressure alterations. When the weather is
about to change, barometric pressure precedes the change and this is when a
person may start feeling the effects because his joints and body tissue are
expanding to accommodate the barometric pressure change. The expansion of the
joints and tissues prompts our nerves to send out pain signals and the result
is that you start suffering from aches and pains, which can definitely put you
in a bad mood.
Barometric pressure affects mood because it can worsen tissue and joint pain. If a joint is already inflamed due to a previous trauma or because of arthritis, the joint is going to respond to the pressure alteration and you are going to hurt like the dickens. Barometric pressure change can result in a migraine headache. Our bodies contain pressure sensitive systems and their job is to maintain blood volume normalcy. So, yes, in this respect, barometric pressure can definitely affect your mood.
These systems discharge hormones and these hormones have an impact on our kidneys, determining how much fluid we maintain in our body or how much we release. There are baro-receptors on the ends of our nerves and these receptors can tell when the atmospheric pressure changes. The baro-receptors are particularly aware of when the weather goes from dry to moist and the barometric pressure is low.
When the barometric pressure changes, the oxygen level in our body changes because of the pressure that is exerted on the body. When the pressure outside drops, our blood vessels contract and this can cause a headache or migraine. The change in the vessels determines the amount of oxygen we are getting and how much blood is traveling to our brain. Barometric pressure affects mood by affecting the amount of oxygen in our blood.
Those individuals who suffer from migraines, who are referred to as migraineurs, note that they are most likely to be afflicted with a headache when the barometric pressure drops or when it is hot and humid outside.
those days when the barometric pressure is at an even keel and not too low or
too high, you may find that you are feeling better in general. If wet weather
is on its way, the barometric pressure will drop and that is when you may get
headachey and feel achy and stiff in general. Those with arthritis may
experience an uncomfortable pressure in their joints as well as pain on days
when the barometric pressure is low, if there is an approaching storm.
Kids Earth NASA
Johns Hopkins Health Alerts