Scientists confirm that the weather affects the well-being of most people. This is how the body adapts to changes in the environment. For a healthy person, discomfort from a drop in humidity, temperature or atmospheric pressure is almost imperceptible and quickly passes.
Most often, residents of large cities complain about meteorological dependence, where people move little, rarely go outside and are used to creating a comfortable temperature using air conditioners and central heating. Because of this, the natural ability to adapt is reduced and changes in the weather can affect well-being.
According to doctors, meteorological dependence is not a disease in itself, but atmospheric fluctuations increase the symptoms of existing diseases. Therefore, it is important to understand what happens to the body during a change in the weather and how to help yourself and your loved ones.
Dr. Sheldon Sheps from the Mayo Clinic, USA, explains that during a cold snap, blood vessels constrict and the heart starts to work harder to warm the body. Therefore, cold weather is primarily dangerous for hypertensive patients - people with high blood pressure, for whom the load on the cardiovascular system increases even more.
Before the approach of the cyclone, when humidity and wind increase, the body reduces the load on the walls of blood vessels. At this moment, the worst of all is hypotensive - people with low blood pressure, who develop weakness, nausea, dizziness and even fainting.
How to help. People with increased pressure in cold weather need to dress warmly, try to reduce physical activity, and replace coffee with herbal infusions. To get back to normal for hypotonic patients, you can drink a cup of strong sweet tea or coffee, lie down with a pillow under your feet. If possible, it is better to spend the day at home, giving up important affairs and meetings.
The researchers argue that headache is a built-in mechanism that warned our distant ancestors of an impending storm and forced us to seek refuge before the hurricane began. Experts suggest that the main cause of pain is a sharp change in temperature and humidity levels. Changes in air pressure cause imbalances in chemicals (such as serotonin) and dilate blood vessels, altering blood flow to the brain. The symptom response to a change in the weather is similar to other types of headache or migraine.
How to help. Avoiding this type of migraine is difficult, but the symptoms can be alleviated. Try to get more rest, drink plenty of water, and cut back on caffeinated foods (for example, drink no more than two cups of coffee a day and cut out dark chocolate). You can take a warm relaxing bath, apply a cold compress to the back of your head. Head and neck massage and breathing practices can help cope with pain.
Depression, nervousness, and insomnia can be the harbingers of cold, damp weather. The wind also affects the mood: the sea breeze relaxes, and dry dusty winds scatter attention and make us aggressive.
Scientists confirm the existence of seasonal depressions (SAD), which are caused by changing weather. In winter, some people feel sleepy and depressed because of the cold and darkness. Sometimes this leads to excess weight due to overeating and unwillingness to move. In the spring, lethargy gives way to insomnia, lack of appetite and anxiety.
How to help. Courses of B vitamins help to maintain a good mood. You can delight yourself with pleasant music, an exciting book or film, or an aromatic bath. Relaxing practices such as yoga or qigong can cheer you up.
Since your wellness depends on sunlight, try to walk more in the morning or afternoon. In the dark, special alarm-clock lamps that simulate dawn will help to cope with the depression.
Exacerbation of allergies
Allergy to the weather exists. A prime example is cold urticaria, which occurs in freezing temperatures, and solar urticaria, which occurs when exposed to sunlight. In addition, cold air and high humidity can provoke non-allergic rhinitis, which looks like a classic allergy: stuffy nose, cough, watery eyes.
How to help. Warm linen or cotton clothes can help reduce allergies to cold. However, it is better to avoid woolen items adjacent to the body, as wool irritates the skin. To warm up faster, drink a cup or two of hot tea or cocoa. Solar urticaria can be avoided by wearing wide-brimmed hats and clothing made from natural fabrics that completely cover the body, using a high SPF cream, and if possible, stay out of the sun during the height of the day. Try a hypoallergenic diet, steam or oven homemade food. Talk to your doctor about taking antihistamines.
Scientists debate whether changing weather can make arthritis symptoms worse. Some researchers deny this dependence, while others note that it is difficult to determine which weather factors provoke pain. Dr. Robert Schmerling of Harvard University School of Medicine cites examples from 2014 European studies. Schmerling notes that a direct link has not been established, but in cold and wet weather people more often complained of worsening joint pain.
How to help. Anti-inflammatory ointments, warm, especially woolen clothing will help reduce discomfort. Since the pain is associated with high humidity, it is better to choose a dry or infrared sauna instead of a hot bath.
How to reduce weather dependence
To comfortably endure the change of weather and seasons, it is important:
- consult a doctor on how to relieve symptoms and prevent weather dependence;
- eat more vegetables and fruits;
- give up fatty and heavy foods;
- monitor the daily routine and get enough sleep;
- give up alcohol;
- if possible, replace coffee and tea with herbal infusions;
- take a contrast or cool shower;
- regularly engage in physical education and relaxation practices;
- try to walk more in the morning when the oxygen level is higher in the air;
use an air conditioner less often to enable natural adaptive mechanisms to turn on.