Snowbirds suffering with chronic headache or migraine conditions may be on to something by flying south to flee dark dreary cold winters. Research suggests that for sufferers of headaches and migraines, Phoenix, Yuma and other sunny cities may hold the key to killing pain.
Why sunny cities? Besides the stress relief that a sunny day presents as opposed to say, lifestyle disruptions from a snow storm, sunlight is a great source of vitamin D for the body. Research indicates that low vitamin D levels in blood serum is linked to chronic headaches and migraines frequency. According to the American Headache Society, vitamin D contains some analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help ease migraine pain. At the same time, too much of anything (even the good things) can be detrimental to one’s health, so consult a physician when determining your optimal daily dose of vitamin D.
The American Headache Society reports that in 2008, medical researchers found that among a group 54 individuals who suffer from chronic migraines, 41.8% or them had low levels of Vitamin D. In 2009, researchers from India concluded that people suffering from chronic headaches were successfully treated with vitamin D and calcium supplements.
Interestingly, AccuWeather.com reports that the sunny winter in Tahoe City, California “creates a lower risk of a sinus headache, and will help to make a headache less severe and of shorter duration”. Similarly for other cities, AccuWeather.com states that sunny days are “beneficial weather for migraines”. Phoenix and cities in the sunny northwest provide great conditions for migraine sufferers.
If you are having a particularly miserable migraine or headache winter in New England or the Midwest, you should consider adding some more Vitamin D rich foods and supplements to your daily diet. These include milk, soy products, orange juice, eggs, and fatty fish. If time and budget permit, grab some sunscreen and do like the snowbirds: fly off to sun drenched Miami or Phoenix. Migraines don’t have to ruin your winter as long as you provide your own vitamin D and sunshine!