How the Cold Can Affect Your Health

woman breathe with warm air on her frozen handsToo much of a good thing can do more harm than good. Weather is no exception. The effects of extreme heat are well-documented. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the more alarming risks that can come from being exposed to extreme heat for too long.

Cold can also affect your health even when you’re wrapped up and protected against frostbite. The effects of the cold can surprise you and your physician. Imagine getting a checkup with your rheumatologist at Batavia, IL or someone’s parent visiting an endodontist in Littleton, CO, only to discover a serious condition caused by the cold.

The heart, teeth and gums, and joints are only some of your body parts that can be affected by too much cold.

Cardiovascular Health

People with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases learn early on to avoid extreme heat. The same patients are also cautioned against wandering about in the extreme cold. Accidental hypothermia and angina pectoris or chest pain is possible in cold conditions. Strong winds, snow, and freezing temperatures can sap important body heat from your body and cause problems with your heart.

Teeth and Gums

Cold temperatures may have a negative effect on your teeth and gums. Teeth can expand and contract according to the weather. Adjustments can create little cracks in your teeth that could prove to be uncomfortable, especially to people with amalgam fillings.

Exposed dentin or teeth with enamel stripped from it can cause pain when exposed to cold air or hot food. Enamel protects the teeth from cavities and other agitators. Without it, your teeth and the nerves inside them are vulnerable to damage.

 young male feeling cold and shivering

Joint Pain

A couple of studies linked changes in barometric pressure and humidity to increased pain and stiffness among arthritis sufferers. Though the changes were little, the pain and stiffness were significant enough to warrant a report to physicians. The link between joint pain and barometric pressure and humidity are not clear though some doctors theorize that the changes may expand body tissue. Expanded body tissue can pressure nerves within joints, which may trigger pain.

Protecting Your Health

Cardiologists, orthodontists, and rheumatologists will all recommend treatments and precautions to combat the effects of cold weather on your health. People with pre-existing heart conditions will be well-served by hot meals and drinks to keep their internal temperature up. Warm environments and clothing will also protect people with sensitive hearts from having their symptoms flare up in the cold.

Heat-sensitive people also need to monitor their body temperature and overall wellness. Looking after their well-being also means avoiding alcoholic beverages right after or before activities in the snow. The warming effect of alcohol may cause patients to overestimate their body’s internal warmth.

Persons with gum or teeth disease need to identify if they require treatment from dentists or endodontists. Endodontists are dentists who developed specialities regarding teeth interiors. Extreme pain management, difficult-to-diagnose conditions, and inner teeth diseases fall under their purview.

Most of the recommendations for heart patients apply to people with joint pain. Rheumatologists are most likely to recommend exercise and a balanced diet to flex joints and ease the pressure off these points through weight loss. Physiotherapy and joint support equipment will also be on top of your rheumatologist’s recommendation list. Be prepared when winter comes and you may prevent further complications in addition to making the most out of the season.