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Abraham Tekola MD: Common Winter Ailments
Winter is a time of the year filled with joy and excitement over the approaching holidays.
SAD: With shorter days, many individuals begin suffering from a mental health condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. With symptoms marked by significant depression, individuals suffering from SAD will generally not exhibit symptoms of depression during warmer seasons. The Seasonal Affective Depression is often believed to be attributed to shortened days, colder temperatures leading to lack of outdoor activities and holiday stress. For individuals suffering from SAD, seeking out opportunities to relieve symptoms is a daily struggle.
Difficulty breathing: In the winter season, the air molecules become thinner and more restricted. As a result, individuals suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD, may find it increasingly
difficult to breath during extreme cold temperatures. To negate this effect, when venturing into the outdoors, layering the face and chest in warm clothing and scarving will provide for a method for warming the air molecules before entering into the body thereby improving respiration.
Colds and Flu: Contrary to popular belief, cold and flu symptoms are not a direct result of falling temperatures. Instead, many individuals begin to suffer from bacterial or viral induced cold and flu symptoms resulting from a compromised immune system. In the winter, when temperatures begin to fall, the body naturally begins to work in overdrive to regulate the normal body temperature. As a result, individuals who frequent extremely cold temperatures will often diminish their own immune system as the body works to regulate normal body temperatures When the body is put into such extreme conditions, the immune system is compromised thus leading to a greater incidence of cold and flu conditions. Again, to offset this over exertion by the body, layering in a variety of warm clothes will aide the body in regulating body temperature without undue stress.
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