HOLMBERG: The science behind those rainy day blahs

Posted at 12:03 AM, May 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-09 07:42:03-04

Have you been feeling a little off or down the past low pressure days?

Joints or old injuries aching?

As it turns out, there is some science to back up grandma’s achy joints being able to predict stormy weather. Some also believe there’s some science behind the blahs that can come with a rainy day.

Ancient Chinese and Greeks scientists believed changes in the seasons and weather affected the balance of the human body.

Modern scientists have seen it can change your body chemistry, even the acidity of your blood. It’s called biometeorology.

When a low pressure system arrives, “we have to fight harder, physically, to be on the surface of the earth when the barometer has dropped,” said Dr. Diana L. Walcutt, a Maryland psychologist during a telephone interview with CBS-6. “Our joints are going to swell. If we have an injury, for instance, or we have arthritis, the joints are going to swell up and they’re going to hurt.

Even though that swelling is so slight it can’t be measured, she and others believe your body can sense it and react to it.

“And two,’ she said, “it’s makes us tired.”

That’s why napping feels so good on a rainy day, she said.

A low pressure system may affect the production of cortisone and adrenaline by the adrenal glands.

A reduction in cortisone, which can also be also be depleted by your body by naturally managing pain from aching joints, can really give you the rainy day blahs, Dr. Walcutt said.

Dr. Walcutt says you can brighten your rainy day mood by avoiding carbohydrates and eating more protein to give you a steadier energy base.

Read an article by Dr. Walcutt here:

This is part of the field of human biometeorology. This is a link to get a feel for this branch of science: