Common Winter Health Problems You Should Be Aware of
Medically Reviewed By
Dr Sohini Sengupta
Written By Kirti Saxena
on Dec 4, 2023
Last Edit Made By Kirti Saxena
on Dec 4, 2023
Winters not only bring colder temperatures but also many diseases and health issues. With drastic fluctuations in temperature, most of us fall sick during the weather transition. From hot summers to cold nights, we are exposed to many common health issues like dry skin, colds, coughs, flu, heart-related issues, joint pain, and more. Cold winter weather, breeze, low humidity, and less sunlight decrease the immunity power and put us at risk of health issues.
Common Health Issues in Winter
Falling sick when the weather changes is common, and there is no exception during winters. Winter brings the risk of health issues like respiratory infections, health issues, common colds, coughs, and flu. The common cause of falling sick quickly in winter is a weaker immune system. Common diseases and infections do not take more than a few days to recover, but if you are not getting better in a few days, then you need a health checkup. Here are some common health issues that everyone faces-
Cold weather makes people more susceptible to respiratory infections such as the flu and common cold. Dry air and close contact with infected people increase the risk of getting sick. Here are some respiratory diseases-
- Asthma attacks- Common cold, flu, and pneumonia-like symptoms may increase the risk of asthma attacks during winter. People who are allergic to dust, mites, and other allergens may trigger asthma attacks. Cold air produces histamine that the body releases during the allergic attack. If you are facing asthma symptoms, then consult with your doctor and take the Asthma Rhinitis Allergy Panel Test from Redcliffe Labs to identify and get treatment appropriately.
- Pneumonia - Other major respiratory infections are caused by inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs, which cause colds, coughs, fever, and difficulty breathing-like symptoms. People who have weak immune systems, patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart disease are at high risk of pneumonia. If you are suspected of pneumonia, then take the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG Antibodies Test to get timely treatment and manage symptoms.
- High/low BP- Cold temperatures can cause blood vessels to constrict and may increase blood pressure. A sedentary lifestyle, winter weight gain, dehydration, and lack of sunlight may impact blood pressure levels. Winter diets, including foods high in sodium and excessive sodium, may cause higher blood pressure. On the other hand, moving from a warm environment to a cold one (or vice versa) quickly can lead to orthostatic hypotension, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing. Consult with your doctor and take a blood test for high BP and a blood test for low BP from Redcliffe Labs.
- Cholesterol- Food rich in high-calorie, high-saturated, and trans fats may increase cholesterol levels. During winter, outdoor, physical activity, dehydration, excess body weight, and less sun exposure may lead to high cholesterol levels. For those who are concerned about their cholesterol levels, maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is crucial. Take a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, manage stress, and stay hydrated. Consult with your healthcare provider and take a Lipid profile test to control and monitor your lipid levels.
- Hypothermia and Frostbite- This is the condition when the body is exposed to frigid temperatures. Infants and older adults are more vulnerable to hypothermia due to their bodies' reduced ability to regulate temperature. Also, people who have diabetes, have thyroid problems, and are at risk of hypothermia during winters. Protect yourself by taking extra care, wear warm clothes and eat warm foods, and get regular health checkups to stay healthy during winters.
Kidney Health Issues
Winter weather and seasonal changes may significantly impact kidney health. Proper hydration is required for kidney functioning, and during winter, insufficient water intake increases the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Less water consumption during winters allows fewer bathroom trips and infrequent urination, and this increases the risk of kidney-related issues. If you are losing sudden weight, swollen hands or feet, blood in pee, and other unusual symptoms, then consult with your doctor and take a KFT test to monitor kidney functioning.
Thyroid Health Issues
People with hypothyroidism are sensitive to cold temperatures. Cold weather can exacerbate their symptoms like fatigue. Thyroid conditions, like autoimmune thyroid disorders like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, may be influenced by changes in the immune system. Less sunlight during winter lowers vitamin D levels and thyroid functioning, and deficiency may impact thyroid health. Get natural sunlight to fulfill vitamin D requirements, a balanced diet for proper nutrition, and a thyroid profile test to manage thyroid health during the winter months.
Blood Sugar levels
Blood sugar levels might fluctuate during winter due to low physical activity and other infections. Winter foods may soothe your taste buds; however, they do increase your blood sugar levels. Many people experience insulin sensitivity during winter. Regular monitoring helps people to understand how winter-related factors affect their blood sugar levels. Get an Hb1Ac test to monitor and manage your blood level during winter.
Other Common Health Issues During Winters
A sudden drop in temperature may cause many health issues like colds, coughs, sore throats, joint pains, and more. Here are some common health issues that affect almost everyone-
- Cold and cough- Common cold and cough can affect anyone any time of the year, but it is at its peak during winter months. Cold gives you a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, fatigue, and body aches. Stay hydrated, gargle with salted water, and take some honey for relief. Consult with your doctor if the symptoms do not go away in 3-4 days.
- Sore Throat- Another common issue during winter is throat infection, which may cause sore throat. It might be painful, itchy, and scratchy, that makes you uncomfortable. Consult with your healthcare provider if the symptoms don't get better in a few days.
- Flu- Flu is common during winter. Take care of hygiene, wear warm clothes to protect yourself from cold air, and get a flu vaccine. The flu is contagious for a week or more after you first have symptoms.
- Joint Pain- Many people complain of joint pain, stiffness in joints, swelling, or tenderness during winter. People suffer to do their daily activities. The synovial fluid present in knee joints gets thicker during winter and causes joint pain. Smoking tobacco may aggravate the joint pain symptoms. The issues may be arthritis; take the Arthritis Screening Package to confirm your symptoms. During winters, the exposure to sunlight decreases due to vitamin D deficiency, which is common. The cause of joint pain might be due to low vitamin D levels. To know the exact cause, take a Vitamin D test from nearby Redcliffe Labs.
- Itching Skin- Dry weather causes dry and itchy skin during winter. This is because we don't sweat as much during winter. Get your skin moisturized well to prevent dryness. Consult your healthcare provider and take an allergy panel test if the skin irritation persists or worsens.
Essential Health Packages for Winters
Winters is the time when everyone's immunity is at higher risk in the winters. So, it's a good time to pay attention to your health and take regular health checkups to reduce the risk of complicated health issues. Here are some special health packages for winters available at Redcliffe Labs.
- Winter Care Package
- Winter Advance Care Package
- Winter Special Care Package
- Winter Full Body Buy 1 Get One Package
- Winter Special Pro Package
The winters bring sets of health challenges, but staying active and aware of your health can save you. From the flu to dry skin, respiratory issues, and the risk of other chronic diseases, it's essential to take steps to protect your health. To stay healthy, maintain a balanced diet, stay physically active, manage stress, and take regular health checkups during winter. Your health is a year-round priority. By being mindful of these common health issues in winter and taking preventive measures, you can enjoy the season while keeping yourself and your loved ones in good health. If any health issues arise, consult with your healthcare provider and take timely and appropriate care. Stay warm, stay safe, and prioritize your well-being during the winter months.