How Weather Affects Your Health

Weather does have an affect on your health. How? Fluctuations in its basic components causes physiological change, including atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, thunder and lightning. This health blurb illustrates some impacts of weather on health.

Notice how energized and relaxed you feel in sunny warm (not hot) days as opposed to cloudy cold ones. Lack of sunshine can have a profound affect on mood. How? Sunlight stimulates the production of certain neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin and endorphins. That’s why on a cloudy day you tend to feel more sleepy. But day after day of no sun can result in depression from low levels. Sunlight is nature provided and a freely available antidepressant. Or your health care provider can prescribe SSRIs to give a boost in mood. For those who are affected, solutions include taking a trip (or move) to a predominately sunny locale or pop a happy pill.

However, taking a pill for cloudy depression may not go far enough. Besides mood elevation, the exposure to rays of sun offer other healthy benefits, the one you’ve likely heard about is vitamin D production. Yet, research indicates getting a little sun has some sort of positive affect on a variety of health conditions, such as respiratory infection, hypertensionpsoriasis, atopic dermatitis, lupus vulgaris, tuberculosis, localized scleroderma, cardiovascular disease, pain relief, fibromyalgia, asthma and several cancers. Some of these sunny impacts may or may not be related to vitamin D. But cloudy weather is no way to treat them.

Some folks predict a weather change is coming with uncanny accuracy. How? Because their joints tell them so. A change in pressure and dampness can affect arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain levels. And an air pressure drop is not the only direction that counts, I’ve been told by some a rise increases their arthralgia.

Temperature affects the circulation of oxygen and other nutrients. When you’re hot blood vessels expand to cool your body down. When cold they contract to hold heat for staying warm. In extreme heat oxygen and nutrient delivery is good, but some experience overheating illness because their natural cooling system is insufficient. (Add high humidity to high temperatures and most will have trouble cooling off.) Extreme cold can cause an oxygen insufficiency due to pre-existing poor circulation, putting you at risk for heart attack or stroke.

Windy and dry is an allergy sufferers least favorable weather condition. Dryness allows airborne allergens (pollen, aerosol) to take flight and wind transports them up your nose. Some sensitive folks wear a disposable mask or take an anti-histamine on these days in an effort to reduce extent of sinusitis.

Certain weather changes can trigger headaches. Personally, a quick barometric pressure change can bring one on. For others, high temperature or humidity are the instigating variables for a headache.

Thunder and lightning can really get the heart pumping from an adrenaline rush. Response from an electric storm causes some to become energetic, while others just fearful.

Weather can trigger real uncomfortable affects for some. Moving (as in exercise or relocate) may be your best way out.