Why does the sun always give me a headache? After a bout of rainy & cloudy weather for the past week, yesterday was finally a sunny & warm day. So my wife & I thought we would take advantage of it!
We managed to sit outside and enjoy the weather for about 1 1/2 hours (the time was about 4:30-6 pm). As they say, it is best to avoid the most intense UV light (between 10:00 am-2:00pm). It felt so good to get out. Of course, I did get a little bit prickly a couple of times (the shirt I was wearing had a navy blue collar that was really attracting the sunlight’s heat), but other than that, it wasn’t too bad. There was a slight cool breeze that helped me stay just below my itchy threshold. That reminds me, beware of the color and thickness of your clothing on sunny days if you are trying to prevent attacks, as dark clothing really makes the sun’s rays heat you up fast.
The Sun Gave Me a Headache
One thing I noticed though, when I haven’t been out in a while, and I go outside in the bright light (as opposed to sitting inside in my dark cave all day lol), the sunlight gives me a headache.
I have noticed this on several occasions. I am not sure why this is? Perhaps it is because my eyes have to adjust to a much brighter light spectrum? Or maybe my body is just in shock (lol) from the actual sunlight hitting my skin and producing nutrients. Or maybe there is a hormonal thing going on, and it causes a headache as a side effect. I have no clue. The strange thing is that my wife seems to never get headaches from being outside. As a side question, I wonder if this is an increased problem in people with solar urticaria?
I did take off my sunglasses for a while to try to allow my eyes to get the fully spectrum of light outside. This is because I have read a few articles that suggest the eyes can actually help produce vitamin D, and also stimulate several glands in the brain (such as the pineal gland). So I try to let them get at least a few minutes of natural light before I slip on my sunglasses.
Anyways, I am so excited that warm weather is almost here to stay! The forecast is showing highs in the 60’s for a while with several sunny days, and it is only going to get warmer. There will be few more cold periods before summer is fully here, but I am not worried. As a matter of fact, Spring will officially be here in about 3 days…WooHoo.
I just can’t wait to see if consistent sun exposure for a period of time, combined with sweating naturally outside will fix Cholinergic Urticaria for a while. I suppose that for most of us, we will have our answer within the next 3 months or so.
I have also been looking up quite a bit of information on sunlight, sun exposure, and how it affects humans and animals. I must say, it is quite fascinating. I never knew how much the sunlight actually does for us. I will make a post soon sharing some of the interesting things I have discovered.
Needless to say, I used to have the idea that the sun was bad. On the contrary it seems that it is very healthy (but ONLY in moderate doses). It is clear that too much sun exposure is very dangerous and unhealthy. At the same time, no sun exposure at all is also quite unhealthy. I think everyone should have a balance (based on their own skin tone, etc.) and get their proper amount of sun exposure when they can.
I also plan on putting together an article within the next week or so just reminding everyone about the dangers of sun exposure before anyone goes out to soak in rays.
Update on My Cholinergic Urticaria (Heat Hives)
Overall, my hives haven’t been terrible lately. As I said above, I got a little prickly yesterday when I was outside, but I avoided a full-blown attack. I also went shopping at Wal-Mart yesterday with my wife, and it was really warm in there for some reason. A few times I had the feeling like I might start getting prickly and an attack was coming on, but it never happened.
I did wake up last night and I was hot, and I felt a few prickly/itchy sensations. I quickly took off my shirt, and laid back down. I was REALLY still, and the hives never went into a full blown attack. I was happy because sometimes those mid-night attacks are the worst!
So that pretty much sums it up. No full blown attacks in a while now, and I do of course get prickly and itchy, and I do all I can to avoid the full reaction.
UPDATE: 1/21/13 This is an old archived post, and I have made more recent posts regarding my new diet and how I was able to finally get my hives under control. Read more about it on my cholinergic urticaria diet page. What I essentially did was keep a journal and do several allergy elimination diets.