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Extreme Cold Linked to Extreme Migraines

How lucky are we?

We live in Southern California, where the sun always shines and the temperature is always warm (sometimes too warm).

(RELATED: Smartphone App Predicts How Weather Can Affect Your Health)

Our comfortable climate makes a life a tad easier for people who suffer from chronic migraines and headaches. But for those who live in extreme cold climates, or are planning on visiting soon — watch out. Studies show that arctic temperatures can literally create major headaches for people.

Migraines Triggered by the Cold

Dr. Min Zhu, a neurologist with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids says pressure changes combined with dangerously frigid conditions can trigger migraines for millions of people. The symptoms are more extreme than the average headache.

Most patients will present with throbbing, pounding headaches, nausea, vomiting, light and noise sensitivity.

Zhu says certain food choices can also lead to migraines, including skipping meals, eating too much chocolate or cheese, or overdoing it on the red wine, processed foods or meals containing a lot of MSG.

Sleep deprivation can also bring about migraines.

(RELATED: 5 Reasons Why You Need a Second Opinion For Your Headaches and Migraines)

Best Defense Against Migraines

The doctor says your best weapon against a migraine no matter the trigger: Water. Migraine sufferers should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of it a day.

If you take an over-the-counter medication, you also want to make sure you have that nearby. Sometimes, it’s important to take medication at the onset of headaches because the earlier you take medication, the better it will be.

And if you can, avoid the cold altogether and stay inside.

(RELATED: New Ear Plugs Protect Against Travel Migraines)