Ah, Springtime! Flowers blooming, birds chirping, trees sprouting leaves, and massive amounts of wind. Here in Albuquerque I am writing this to the delightful howl of 40mph winds blowing all of those chirping birds out of the sky. With the season change comes allergy season, flu season, and an ever present fear of the wind or that last random freeze that laughs at all the new flowers.
I get asked fairly often if the weather makes you sick. The answer is no, weather is weather, and there have been countless studies saying that cold weather does not indeed give you a cold, and changes in weather do not make your fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Why then is there a sickness called a cold? Why not call it the snots? Why are there entire categories of Chinese Medicine pathologies named after weather like heat and cold and dampness and wind? Why do we all intuitively know that when the weather changes we are at risk for an allergy attack or flu epidemic?
You may know someone, or are someone, who knows that weather changes affect their health. It might be something as simple as a knee that hurts when a storm is on the way, to being crippled by headaches every spring.
The body and nature are not two independent things. We live in a world that affects us. In autumn when it gets chilly out our lungs must change to adapt to the colder air entering them. When that cold front comes in, riding on that blast of air is a massive dose of microbes that thrive in that weather, everything from fungal spores to bacteria. Our immune systems are then assaulted by this new life every time a storm rolls through or a big weather shift happens, or seasonal change, and it can stimulate an immune response. Does cold weather make you sick? The answer is still no, but all the life riding on that cold weather can make you sick. The surface circulation decrease can impact your body’s ability to send leukocytes to areas where pathogens are trying to settle in. That cold wind on the back of your neck can impact how your lymph re-enters your blood stream, reducing the availability of your immune system.
Start to notice how weather and season affect you. I’ll bet you already know what affects you. You might cringe every March, preparing for what is about to come, or hibernate for the winter because the cold makes pain worse.
What weather has the most effect on you? Comment! I’m really interested.