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4 Effects of the Weather to the Human Body

What happens to the human body when there are changes in weather conditions? Can surrounding temperature and lighting affect one's mood or energy? How can hot or cold temperatures affect the body's physiological processes? This article explores the issue and identifies 4 effects of the weather to the body. Read on and find out how the weather can affect human health.

Ever had that gloomy feeling during rainy days? Chances are, you did experience it. Indeed, the weather affects one’s overall mood and behavior. In the long run, the weather can affect human health. This gave rise to a field of science known as human meteorology.

Here are 4 effects of the weather to the human body.

1. Lack of sunlight can cause depression or sleepiness. Changing weather conditions can influence the physiologic processes of the body. Depression, for example, can occur when a person is not well exposed to sunlight especially during fall and winter months. Depression due to lack of light is called Seasonal Affective Discover or (SAD). The acronym appropriately describes the condition you may be in during those months.

Why is one depressed during those gloomy days? Scientists say this is due to the role played by melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that induces sleep [1]. Exposure to a dark environment causes the production of more melatonin, thus may cause depression or sleepiness to set in.

2. Rainy days can cause joint pains. A common complaint especially among those who had metallic replacements or support due to bone fracture is a painful feeling in the joints. This also happens to those people afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. The effect of rainy days to some people, however, is positive. The falling rain and the cool temperature can help one relax and go to sleep easily.

3. Increased vulnerability to vectors of disease. Pesky mosquitoes tend to increase during rainy days as more water for breeding becomes available. Mosquitoes can bring with them dengue virus or malaria. Science Daily [2] reported that climate change, among other factors, is one of the reasons why malaria incidence increases in many places worldwide.

4. Temperature can influence energy levels. The body becomes much more active when the temperature is hot. Hot temperature causes the blood vessels to expand, thus more blood flows through the body and the skin. This is the body’s normal reaction to cool it off by releasing heat through the skin.

During cold months, the blood vessels tend to constrict as this helps trap the heat inside the body to maintain constant body temperature. This leads to less oxygen flowing through the body which may lead to stroke or asthma due to the constriction of airways.

Armed with the knowledge discussed above on how the weather can affect the body, one can make the necessary steps to adapt successfully to changing weather conditions.

References

[1] Ransford, M., 2004. Lack of sunlight may place some at risk for seasonal affective disorder. Available at http://www.bsu.edu/news/article/0,1370,-1019-25244,00.html

[2] Science Daily, 2010. Climate Change One Factor in Malaria Spread. Available at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303162906.htm

© 2012 March 25 Patrick Regoniel

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Comments (2)

Snowy weather can cause back pain - all that dang shovelling!!!!  Joking, I know what you mean.

Nice article Patrick.

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