How Changes in Barometric Pressure Affect the Human Body

How Changes in Barometric Pressure Affect the Human Body

Have you ever felt a weather change in your bones? Changes in barometric pressure really can affect people, some people more than others. Changes in blood pressure and increased joint pain can occur at the same time as barometric changes. However, other changes also usually occur at the same time as barometric changes, things such as temperature changes, precipitation, and wind speed changes. So it’s hard to pinpoint whether a person’s physical changes are due to changes in the barometric pressure or if there are other causes. However, because so many people report having symptoms that occur in connection with changes in barometric pressure, it is quite worth investigating. So what could barometric pressure affect? One of the symptoms is changes in blood pressure. Since we understand Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion, we know that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For the sake of our discussion, this means that when the barometric pressure increases, so can a person’s blood pressure. Another symptom is headaches when air pressure changes and causes a different amount of pressure to be exerted on a person’s sinuses. Barometric pressure may also change the thickness of the fluid surrounding the joints, causing joint pain. Blood can also thicken, affecting a person’s blood sugar.

Key Points:

  • 1Changes in barometric pressure that accompany storms and shifts in weather patterns do affect our bodies, and many people are more sensitive to those effects than others.
  • 2Although it’s been indicated as a possible cause for everything from changes in blood pressure to an increase in joint pain, it can be difficult to pinpoint barometric pressure changes as the definitive cause for these issues when so many other atmospheric changes — like temperature, precipitation and wind speed and direction — often accompany shifts in weather.
  • 3After comparing these diaries with the barometric pressure changes noted at the nearby weather station, they found a direct correlation between lower atmospheric pressure and the onset and duration of migraines.


Although it’s been indicated as a possible cause for everything from changes in blood pressure to an increase in joint pain, it can be difficult to pinpoint barometric pressure changes as the definitive cause for these issues when so many other atmospheric changes — like temperature, precipitation and wind speed and direction — often accompany shifts in weather.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

13 Comments

  1. Jerry Blakemore Reply

    My daughter has experienced pain since she was 3-4 years old in her chest and back areas. At first we were told this was growing pains. As time went on the severity became worse, and we have learned it occurs most severely whenever a front moves through and weather experiences a change. Her pain is constant at a 3-4 level and will go up to over 7 during these changes. I have watched a lay on my wife’s lap for several hours and just cry. She is now 22 and it still continues. We have tried Mayo Clinic, Arkansas Children’s hospital and numerous different doctors. No one has found a reason or any abnormalities in her that would cause envy of ghis. She has little to no feeling in her fingers and experiences a lot of floaters in her eyes. Can this possibly be associated with barometric pressures and is there a doctor in Northwest Arkansas that deals with this?

    1. Earl Bush

      Have you tried a chamber that can apply pressure or a vacuum to offset changes in barometric pressure? I am currently building one for myself. I work in engineering and due to 8 surgeries in 6 years on my spine and right hip I live on pain meds for 10 years.

    2. Sue Em

      Hi Jerry,

      I’m saddened to hear of your Daughter’s extensive amount of pain she’s endured over the years. I’ve never heard of this condition before.

      Although I’m (not) a healthcare professional, I’m suffering from Osteoarthritis, in most of my joints, and needed more answers/advice. So, I began Googling for additional info.

      One thing I’ve learned, is how barometric pressure can affect the human body, in negative ways. Initially, I was contemplating making a major move, from tropical Honolulu, HI, to a dryer climate – such as, Phoenix, AZ. From my Google “research,” I discovered that Honolulu, HI has ZERO (0) days of barometric changes. Therefore, I’m no longer convinced that relocating is the answer, for (my) particular health issue.

      That said, perhaps a 2-week vacation in Honolulu, HI (for You and your Family) might be an eye opener, with regards to your Daughter’s mysterious condition. Why not schedule a spur-of-the-moment getaway, to see if a relocation will benefit your Daughter ?

      I wish you well.

      Sue Em

  2. Stacky Reply

    Cant help you as I live in Australia however my 46 year old son suffers what he calls freezes which last up to about 30 seconds when there is a drop in barometric pressure of an evening or it is raining. He was tested for temporal lobe epilepsy but does not have this. He had brain surgery 3 years ago and this condition has occurred since. In your case I would get a referral to a neurologist for your daughter. I hope she can gain relief. We have tried a de-humidifier and this has helped a little.

  3. Debbie L Cook Reply

    Thank you very much…that proved to me I was correct & I’m combatting it with Allegra D & gel tab ibuprophen…..

  4. MAS Reply

    TBI here, yes these changes are common with us with brain injuries!! So far in my research I havent found any preventative or anything to help!
    My entire body shuts down (sometimes feels out of the blue because I dont know about storms & pressures) just like today in New England, I was doing ok then bam, I had to go to bed for 4-5 hours to sleep. Now my brain is borderline numb & little pain and my body is still off. If I dont go to bed I serverly hurt myself! Walking into things, dropping items etc. My family kids with me and says a bull have better grace walking then I do!

  5. Cathy Reply

    I’m originally from Indiana, but moved to Florida 18 years ago. In the last 6-7 years, I have been affected by the changes in barometric pressure. My pulse begins to race and if it gets really bad I feel like I could pass out. Usually if I go lay down for a bit, it will pass, but it may reoccur several times before the pressure moves through.

    Is there any way to stop this from happening to me?

  6. CA Craft Reply

    I am a 56 year old woman and have the exact symptoms of your daughter and have noticed them since I was in my twenties. No one seems to know what it is. I have been diagnosed with asthma (restrictive airway disease) and polyneuropathy and unfortunately it does seem to be getting worse as I age.

    However, I did find something online that might aspire hope. It was acupuncture for the external affects of wind.

    I hope this was hopeful and please let your dear daughter know that she is not alone.

  7. David H. Reply

    I have a career in an autism treatment centre, and approaching storms can lead to lots of behaviors.
    We see many on the spectrum having challenging days when the weather changes.
    Immediately following a storm there is a great sense of relief to many.
    I have heard from teachers, whom have many in their class (with ASD) have trouble focusing, and the fight or flight communication seems to begin.
    I really hope someone can come up with a solid plan to help this population with weather changes.

    1. Janice Mays

      IMine started with migraines and brain fuzz due to head pressure. i thought it was sinus headaches until a smart doctor finally told me i had migraines—finally it had a name….As I got older (50s) the weather changes caused severe joint pain about 1-4 days before it rains and I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and later asthma. Now I have noticed hormonal changes and feel I am going to cry at the drop of a hat-I can literally notice a chemical change in my brain—also my ankles are severely swelling. I have never found a doctor who even begins to know how to treat weather-related changes or truly believes it is a real disorder.

  8. Grace Helmus Reply

    I am a 60 year old survivor of a malignant tumor,stage 4, in my head into the frontal lobe of my brain. Low pressure systems give me debilitatimg pain. I was in remission 5 years. My reoccuring with surgery amd radiation again now causes fluid in joints, MORE PAIN. I will try anti-inflamitory, or live in a cave or on a pressurized aircraft to LIVE while i am alive. Love to all.

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