The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Do Weather Changes Make You Sick

author
Ellen Grant
• Sunday, 10 January, 2021
• 8 min read

When it's cold and raining one day, and dry and warm the next, does the changing weathermakeyou feel sick, crazy, ill, aches, or all of the above? If so, you are not crazy; it turns out that changes in weather systems can have a lot of effects on the human body and brain.

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Contents

In a survey of migraine sufferers by WebMD, a full 53 percent of them ticked weather as a major trigger. It turns out that falling barometers and sudden temperature shifts are genuine migraine triggers.

It's not the shift itself that's causing the problem here (it's the coldness itself), but it's an interesting alarm bell: a drop in daily temperature by as little as one degree Celsius corresponded with an additional 200 heart attacks. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, since the most common treatment for sleep apnea is to wear a CPAP device or mask, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure.

In fact, climate change is one of the environmental risk factors most doctors consider when assessing their patients for certain conditions. “If your filters haven’t been changed in more than six months, they are likely blowing dust, mold and mildew-ridden air on you and your family while you are at home or work,” Dr. Mode says.

People who have these conditions should be prepared to use an inhaler seasonally to avoid severe and chronic coughing episodes. “There is a physiological response to cold air that causes your airways to close down and tighten up,” Dr. Mode says.

As the weather temporarily improves, it is common for families, co-workers, and school children to gather for group activities. If one person is sick with a cold or the flu, you may see a minor “outbreak” of illness following those gatherings.

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But being extremely active on muscles and joints that have been hibernating during the cold winter months can lead to injuries. “A good rule to remember before jumping into those fun physical activities is to start low and go slow, at least initially,” Dr. Mode says.

Cases of the flu spike in winter, with February most often being the top month for infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Researchers say that's because the influenza virus remains more stable and in the air longer, and thus is more easily transmitted, in cooler temperatures and dry weather.

Closer proximity to people equal a higher likelihood of germs being spread. “The flu shot is useful for everyone in terms of reducing either the chance of getting influenza, and also, if you do get it, it should reduce the severity of it by giving some primed immunity to the virus itself,” Dr. Michelle Multi, a public health physician with Public Health Ontario, told Global News.

Along with those weather swings would be a bunch of grandmas warning that the huge change was sure to make us all sick. It turns out that there is a grain of truth in this old wives' tale, even if it's buried in bad wording.

It happens just as the weather shifts from “so cold my fake eyelashes are freezing to my real ones” to “I guess I'll wear a sundress today.” That means on Tuesday, you will probably find me nursing a hot toddy on my sofa with my good friends Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation and Paul Hollywood from The Great British Baking Show.

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Ray Cascara, a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, told The Atlantic that it's not just the change in temperature that causes a throat to be sore, but also the quality of the air in the atmosphere. Apparently my tendency to huddle in my blanket fort with my hippy cup of Cabernet during the winter might also have something to do with my yearly cold.

Alexandra Iowa, an internist at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medicine, told The Washington Post that “people are relegated to the indoors, where there tends to be dry heat and poor ventilation. Both of these have been postulated to increase disease transmission and susceptibility.” That lack of ventilation makes your home, your office, and the school a veritable Petra dish of germs and viruses, just waiting to pounce.

When a storm hits, it causes a drop in atmospheric pressure, which can lead to symptoms such as migraines. Your body learns to function in a certain pressure, and when that changes, it can wreak havoc on your system.

Cold weather means more indoor activities, and when people are cooped up inside rooms together with the windows closed, germs are more likely to spread. People don’t get as much fresh air as they do in warmer weather, and they may not be as apt to exercise in the cold.

Meanwhile, hot weather means more outdoor activities, which can cause allergies to flare. Cold weather means more indoor activities, and when people are cooped up inside rooms together with the windows closed, germs are more likely to spread.

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Oysters shellfish all bran cereals helps the body make more T-cells which fight infection Exercise lowers stress levels that make people vulnerable to viruses, and it may increase the circulation of cells needed to fight infection.

And in all temperatures, washing your hands frequently can prevent the spread of the bacteria that causes illness in the first place. Nutrition, exercise and hygiene can boost the immune system while the weather changes.

Raise your hand if a parent, grandparent or an older, wiser, caretaker of any kind has scolded you for not bundling up when temperatures drop. Across cultures and geographical boundaries, there seems to be a long-held, pervasive belief that sudden meteorological changes automatically trigger colds and plus.

A 2002 meta-analysis found that exposing your skin to chilly temperatures doesn't automatically make you more susceptible to the common cold. Their evidence was reviewed in a 2015 Journal of Infection study, and replicated again in a 2009 analysis of the Swine flu pandemic.

The research paints a pretty compelling (if not graphic) picture of how and why dry air fosters this kind of cold and flu free-for-all: When there's moisture in the air, the particles we release from our noses and mouths when we cough and sneeze stay large, but in dry air, they break into tiny pieces that can stay suspended in the environment for hours or even days, creating a super gross, virus-filled cloud for us to inhale. One easy trick to lowering your risk for illness during the colder months is to run an air humidifier; a 2013 study found that doing so for an hour could kill 30 percent of the airborne viruses in schools.

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Some people feel dizzy or start to have a headache when a cyclone or typhoon is approaching. So to gain a better understanding, I tried to research how atmospheric changes can affect our health by conducting a behavioral study on 1,000 people around me, including the behavior of pets and animals such as dog, cat, cow, goat, and chicken.

People experience many 'physiological' changes that are being continuously altered by the weather or climate. In other words, a changing weather can stress out your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections and viruses.

Simply put, a healthy and well-balanced person is seldom sensitive to a sudden weather change. If you are a healthy and strong person, you can actually endure the stress caused by weather changes and not show any signs of discomfort or sickness.

It is also effective in the prevention of colds and flu, or to quickly recover from an illness. Other than seasonal changes, your living environment, work-related stress, and diet, should not be discounted.

Using the PYRO-ENERGEN therapy machine is also recommended preventing getting seasonal influenza, and other various illnesses. About the Author:June Taken is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases.

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I wasn’t worried about catching Ebola during the 2014–16 outbreak: because I didn’t travel to West Africa and contact bodily fluids from an infected individual. Like Ebola, the genetic information of these cold viruses are encoded by RNA, and they require host cells to replicate.

Unlike Ebola, rhinoviruses are highly contagious, which is why they spread so rapidly (many people in the office catch one infection). But it turns out Granny wasn’t completely wrong: cold temperatures can make you more likely to get infected.

In a really clever paper from the Yale laboratory of Dr. Alike Kawasaki, published in Pas in 2014, the researchers showed that innate immune defenses against rhinovirus were impaired in cold temperatures (33C), and much stronger at warm “body” temperatures (37C). Since the virus replicates in the nose and upper airway, when you breathe cold air your cells may have lower ability to resist infection.

Scientist | PhD Immunology | Postdoc @ Gladstone Institutes | Innate Immunity & HIV | all opinions posted here are my own Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking.

Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you ’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox.

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