Do you notice how your health changes with the change of weather? If so, then it doesn’t seem to you and you are not alone. We tell you what effect the weather has on the body and how to deal with it.
If you are told that your well-being changes with the change of the weather, do not worry — you are not making up your mind. A change in the weather can really affect your body. Each season is associated with its own set of problems, from short daylight hours, high humidity or low temperature to changes in atmospheric pressure. Changes in atmospheric pressure contribute to changes in pressure in blood vessels and tissues, and this affects our well-being. Experts told how the weather affects health and how to stay in the best shape throughout the year, regardless of the season.
As a rule, weather dependence manifests itself as an aggravation of existing ailments. These can be diseases of the nervous system, headaches, atritis, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular diseases. For example, due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, migraines may occur. The drop in barometric pressure that occurs before the approach of a front or storm is one of the powerful predictors of a migraine attack. By the way, wind, sunlight and dehydration caused by high temperature and humidity also cause migraines.
It is also said that when the barometric pressure changes and affects the surface of the earth, many people acutely feel an unpleasant effect in their sinuses. Discomfort in this area can inform you about your weather dependence.
It is noted that the change of seasons is accompanied by an increase in morbidity. However, it is not entirely clear why, experts believe that rapid temperature changes weaken the immune system. It is known that cold viruses are better transmitted in cold air.
You can often hear people complaining that their bones are “aching” due to a change in the weather. And this is not fiction. A drop in atmospheric pressure can cause the shock-absorbing parts of the joints to become excessively stretched and painful, says Vinicius Dominguez, MD, rheumatologist from Daytona Beach, Florida. “Then people are also more likely to have edema,” he notes.
Cooler weather can also strain your muscles and you may feel more noticeably tired. The nervous system can also react to changes in the weather. One of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder is a decrease in mood. This condition can become permanent in conditions of lack of light in late autumn and winter. “Light is one of the most important factors affecting mood,” says Patricia Farrell, a psychologist from Tenafly, New Jersey. Some studies have shown that people with ADHD are more likely to develop seasonal affective disorder. However, this is less likely to happen in sunny regions. For those who live in less favorable places in terms of illumination, experts recommend installing as powerful lamps as possible at home and turning them on in the morning, giving the body the signals necessary for cheerfulness.
Extreme temperatures can put additional strain on the heart, which can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke in people with atherosclerosis, plaque accumulation, cholesterol, and fats on the walls of the arteries. Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, forcing the heart to work harder to keep the blood circulating. At very low or very high temperatures, you need to give up heavy physical work, especially if you do not exercise on a regular basis, warns Jennifer Haight, MD and co-director of the Columbia Women’s Cardiology Center at Columbia University Medical Center.
It should be borne in mind that the viscosity or density of blood may increase depending on weather conditions. “Diabetics will have more problems controlling their blood sugar levels during cold fronts,” she said in an interview Weather.com Jennifer Vanos, Associate Professor of Geological and Geophysical Research at the Texas Institute of Technology.
How to deal with weather dependence?
If you suffer from migraines and know that a storm is coming, take a long-acting painkiller. Avoid dehydration — eat fruits and vegetables that are more than 90 percent water, such as cucumbers and watermelons.
In case of any diseases, treat yourself with attention during a change of weather. Check with your well-being and give yourself a rest if you feel that you are overexerting yourself. Since the weather is only one of the triggers, limiting the effects of all the others can prevent or reduce an attack caused by a drop in atmospheric pressure. Caffeine, alcohol and even the dietary supplement monosodium glutamate can have a huge impact on the body, exacerbating any health problems.
So, check the weather forecast and prepare for the transition period in advance. Help your body in the following ways:
allow yourself to rest more
limit alcohol consumption
give up coffee, black and green tea
give up fast food and products with flavor enhancers
eat more vegetables (especially those containing a lot of liquid)
drink plenty of water
give up too much physical activity
allow yourself moderate workouts (some exercises reduce pain)
if you have a chronic illness (for example, you suffer from migraines), take medications as prescribed and keep a pain diary