Low-pressure systems impact Kansans' health

This week's rain brings unusually low pressure, equivalent to that of a category two hurricane.

Such a pressure change can have a health impact, doctors say. One Kansan impacted by low pressure is Susan Shepard who sometimes deals with pain without showing much in the way of outward signs of discomfort.

"You just live with it," she says. "In Kansas, where the weather can get exciting in the springtime and sometimes in the fall, it is what it is and you just put up with it."

Shepard has fibromyalgia and arthritis and they both flare up in low pressure.

"I know what that feels like on a day-to-day basis, but when things get really bad, I know there's something cooking up barometrically and especially when the pressure falls, it's very painful," she says.

Dr. Trenton Van Eaton at McPherson hospital says several of his patients are affected by the weather.

"I do believe we change our actions and your behavior and we feel the systems coming on just like the other creatures do," he says.

Van Eaton says although there isn't anything you can do to prevent the impact of low pressure entirely, there are steps you can take to lessen the impact. This includes getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

Shepard says she keeps a journal of the weather and how she's feeling each season. That's how she can tell if something isn't right and knows when she needs to get help.