Influence and temperature changes

In this season it is easy to suddenly switch from hot to cold and vice versa.

In this season it is easy to suddenly switch from hot to cold and vice versa. Sudden changes in temperature, on the other hand, should be carefully avoided to prevent seasonal illnesses.

The viruses implicated in these syndromes are different. Apart from those of the canonical seasonal flu – the real flu – there are all the parainfluenza, adenovirus, coronavirus, etc. Generally a little less aggressive.

But so it is, the malaise is the same. If we then add the inconveniences of readaptation to the cold season and to the daily life of work, family and so on, even the most trivial cold symptoms can become really annoying.

If the thermometer dives

Viruses and bacteria have a fluctuating climate on their side. Temperature changes, in fact, pave the way for germs by making the body’s first-line defenses less efficient.

The respiratory tract, precisely because they are continuously exposed to the numerous microorganisms present in the air, have a valid protection system capable of blocking and removing intruders before they can do damage.

The lining tissue of the trachea and bronchi consists of cells with cilia-like offshoots that constantly make oscillatory movements (hair cells) and cells that secrete a viscous substance (mucipar cells).

The mucus produced by the latter forms on the surface a thin sticky layer that serves to trap foreign particles (dust, germs) that penetrate with the inspired air, and the eyelash movement of the other cells pushes it outside.

This prevents inhaled foreign substances from reaching the lungs. This function of the respiratory mucosa is called mucociliary “clearance”.

The classic “cold snap”, to which you can be exposed in the passage of season due to natural temperature variations or in the middle of winter due to the excessive temperature difference between indoor and outdoor environments, has the effect of compromising the functioning of the cells of the respiratory mucosa, thus facilitating the life of microbes.

An untimely sore throat is not, however, the only trouble that a sharp drop in temperature. It can bring with it joint pain, muscle contractures (such as stiff neck), abdominal crampsheadaches, neuralgia, and even temporary paralysis of the facial nerve (which blocks the muscles of the face from the affected side). Especially when exposure to cold is sudden and intense.

And if it experiences a surge

On the other hand, keeping the heating at a thousand is just as bad. Weakness, dizziness, dizziness, muscle cramps can be the consequences. They depend on the body’s inability to quickly adapt its internal temperature when the external temperature is very high.

The thermoregulation mechanisms that our body has available – the dilation of superficial blood vessels and sweating – normally allow to compensate for the thermal variations of the environment and to disperse excess heat through the skin. But in some conditions they may not be enough to keep up with a sudden rise in temperature.

And, moreover, if the air is not properly humidified, a state of dehydration is added that can induce another series of disorders if you do not drink enough, weakening the body.

Especially in subjects in whom the mechanisms of thermoregulation are less efficient, such as the elderly and young children – who, moreover, are more easily undergoing dehydration – and for subjects with chronic diseases (especially respiratory and cardiovascular).

Strategies to protect yourself

In view of the peaks of temperatures (high summer and low winter) and humidity occurred in the last decade, since 2004 the Ministry of Health prepares every year a specific program to prevent health risks related to summer heat waves, but there is still no same for the great cold.

In the impossibility of influencing weather events, we can still try to protect ourselves from the adverse effects of exuberance and sudden changes in temperature. Let’s see how.

What to do What to avoid
Choose clothing that allows you to be sheltered from the cold When you are outdoors or in unheated rooms, but that allows you to “lighten” when staying in heated rooms Abrupt transfers between environments with very different temperatures
Adapt, as far as possible, the level of physical activity to climatic conditions
Adopt a nutritious and varied diet
Take liquids (water, fruit juices) and possibly salts minerals at least sufficient to compensate for the losses due too dry caused by heating

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *