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Why does cold weather makes us sick?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, does anybody know exactly why is it that cold weather makes us prone to respiratory diseases? I
used to think that maybe the cold slows down our metabolism and therefore our immunse system, but
this sound unlikely, since the body keeps its temperature (until hypthermia). You can be exposed to
cold weather for only a couple of minutes and you start immediately to sneeze or cough. Any theories
about this?
post #2 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

The common cold virus will not survive in normal body temperatures. So if your body has the cold
virus and you are exposed to cold weather, the virus can multiply. Breathing cold air can help the
virus to reproduce if it is there. So try to keep your nose warm.

http://web.umr.edu/~microbio/BIO221_...hinovirus.html

Ora

On 18 Dec 2003 14:04:05 -0800, zerge@hotmail.com (zerge) wrote:

>Hi, does anybody know exactly why is it that cold weather makes us prone to respiratory diseases? I
>used to think that maybe the cold slows down our metabolism and therefore our immunse system, but
>this sound unlikely, since the body keeps its temperature (until hypthermia). You can be exposed to
>cold weather for only a couple of minutes and you start immediately to sneeze or cough. Any
>theories about this?
post #3 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

It's a mix of factors. Cold viruses thrive in cold weather. Cold weather and moving from heated
environments to the outside causes drying of mucus membranes, mucus membranes are a first line
defense, this usually causes itchy nose and the tendency to "pick" the nose or rub the eyes ,
introducing more viruses and bacteria.

Drink plenty of water, humidify your home, keep your home temp 68 degrees F and WASH your hands
frequently.

JMRNBSN
post #4 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

I would also think that if you were outside a lot in the cold your body would be spending a lot of
energy keeping warm, which would probably lower you immune system's functioning by a bit.

Probably not much, though.... Just a thought.

-- Eric

Jeff wrote:

> "zerge" <zerge@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:f0a1621c.0312181404.7b9cfcf5@posting.google.com...
> > Hi, does anybody know exactly why is it that cold weather makes us prone to respiratory
> > diseases?
>
> It doesn't.
>
> However, people's repsonse to cold air is to stay closer together, in doors. It is this staying
> together, plus poor hygiene (not washing hands, touching faces) that gets people sick.
>
> > I used to think that maybe the cold slows down our metabolism and therefore our immunse system,
> > but this sound unlikely, since the body keeps its temperature (until hypthermia).
>
> You;re correct.
>
> > You can be exposed to cold weather for only a couple of
> > minutes and you start immediately to sneeze or cough.
>
> The cold air sometime irrirates the lining of the nose or other airways, causing the cough or
> sneezing or runny noses. Coughing and sneezing does not mean you are sick.
>
> > Any theories about this?
post #5 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 20:21:28 -0500, "Jeff" <kidsdoc2000@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
><taurusrc@aol.com> wrote in message news:k4a5uv47pq6n4j8c4jbn5rhpsj9qg3h052@4ax.com...
>> The common cold virus will not survive in normal body temperatures. So if
>your
>> body has the cold virus and you are exposed to cold weather, the virus can multiply. Breathing
>> cold air can help the virus to reproduce if it is
>there.
>> So try to keep your nose warm.
>
>This is utter bull****. Please note words "slightly below body temperature." Keeping your nose warm
>won't make a difference. Besides, unless you live outside, the air temp. in the nose will get into
>the right range for virus reproduction (don't forget, you breath cool air, like 22 C when you
>breath in, keeping the temperature of the nasal passages a nice comfy (for viruses) 33-35 C.

Based on past experience, when my nose gets cold I start sniffling shortly thereafter. If I warm
up my nose, the sniffling goes away and the Cold does not follow. So it may be bull**** but it
works anyhow.

It does not matter whether I am inside or outside. If my nose gets cold, I catch a cold.

>It is that people are close together that spreads viruses, not the cold. Get a clue.
>
>JEff

>> http://web.umr.edu/~microbio/BIO221_...hinovirus.html
>>
>> Ora
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 18 Dec 2003 14:04:05 -0800, zerge@hotmail.com (zerge) wrote:
>>
>> >Hi, does anybody know exactly why is it that cold weather makes us prone to respiratory
>> >diseases? I used to think that maybe the cold slows down our metabolism and therefore our
>> >immunse system, but this sound unlikely, since the body keeps its temperature (until
>> >hypthermia). You can be exposed to cold weather for only a couple of minutes and you start
>> >immediately to sneeze or cough. Any theories about this?
>
post #6 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

.... I guess my question was how can you say this has *no* effect.

Actually, I just asked an immunologist about this and he said that the reason cold weather makes
people sick is because it can cause mast cells to degranulate and this produces a lot of histamines
in some people, sometimes even severe enough to cause anaphylactic shock. This would lower the
immune system's ability to fight off pathogens, of course. He said it can also cause the mucosa to
dry out which can lead to erosion of the epithelium.

-- Eric

Eric Wilk wrote:

> I would also think that if you were outside a lot in the cold your body would be spending a lot of
> energy keeping warm, which would probably lower you immune system's functioning by a bit.
>
> Probably not much, though.... Just a thought.
>
> -- Eric
>
> Jeff wrote:
>
> > "zerge" <zerge@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:f0a1621c.0312181404.7b9cfcf5@posting.google.com...
> > > Hi, does anybody know exactly why is it that cold weather makes us prone to respiratory
> > > diseases?
> >
> > It doesn't.
> >
> > However, people's repsonse to cold air is to stay closer together, in doors. It is this staying
> > together, plus poor hygiene (not washing hands, touching faces) that gets people sick.
> >
> > > I used to think that maybe the cold slows down our metabolism and therefore our immunse
> > > system, but this sound unlikely, since the body keeps its temperature (until hypthermia).
> >
> > You;re correct.
> >
> > > You can be exposed to cold weather for only a couple of
> > > minutes and you start immediately to sneeze or cough.
> >
> > The cold air sometime irrirates the lining of the nose or other airways, causing the cough or
> > sneezing or runny noses. Coughing and sneezing does not mean you are sick.
> >
> > > Any theories about this?
post #7 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 23:21:03 -0500, "Jeff" <kidsdoc2000@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
><taurusrc@aol.com> wrote in message news:q1k7uvch5p5n5mdh626ob4mt9eijibhon4@4ax.com...
>> On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 20:21:28 -0500, "Jeff" <kidsdoc2000@hotmail.com>
>wrote:
>>
>> >
>> ><taurusrc@aol.com> wrote in message news:k4a5uv47pq6n4j8c4jbn5rhpsj9qg3h052@4ax.com...
>> >> The common cold virus will not survive in normal body temperatures. So
>if
>> >your
>> >> body has the cold virus and you are exposed to cold weather, the virus
>can
>> >> multiply. Breathing cold air can help the virus to reproduce if it is
>> >there.
>> >> So try to keep your nose warm.
>> >
>> >This is utter bull****. Please note words "slightly below body
>temperature."
>> >Keeping your nose warm won't make a difference. Besides, unless you live outside, the air temp.
>> >in the nose will get into the right range for
>virus
>> >reproduction (don't forget, you breath cool air, like 22 C when you
>breath
>> >in, keeping the temperature of the nasal passages a nice comfy (for
>viruses)
>> >33-35 C.
>>
>> Based on past experience, when my nose gets cold I start sniffling shortly thereafter. If I warm
>> up my nose, the sniffling goes away and the Cold
>does
>> not follow. So it may be bull**** but it works anyhow.
>
>A runny nose is not a cold. The nose runs in response to cold because it makes more mucus when we
>go out in the cold. It has nothing to do with a cold (viral infection).
>
>> It does not matter whether I am inside or outside. If my nose gets cold,
>I
>> catch a cold.
>
>No, you don't catch a cold. A runny nose is not a cold.
>
>Now, I know what you are going to say: you really catch a cold. Most likely what you remember is
>when you have a cold, you recall how you were outside a while ago, and your nose started to run.
>What you probably don't remember is all the times you were outside and did not get a cold
>afterwards. So you selectively remember the events you (falsely) associate with catching the cold.
>
>Jeff

I have gone out in the cold weather and not gotten a cold, nor has my nose gotten cold. But even
when the weather is not cold, when my nose gets cold, I get a cold. You can call it a runny nose
only but when I get a runny nose I call it a cold. Doctors sometimes call it a virus but they don't
check to see whether it is a virus. If I warm up my nose, chances are the cold will go away. I don't
get tests to see whether I have a virus. Who does?

Ora
post #8 of 8

Re: Why does cold weather makes us sick?

On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 22:25:50 -0500, "Jeff" <kidsdoc2000@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
><taurusrc@aol.com> wrote in message news:6pjfuvkr1ta14simjgiiqjqoqda9pm9t1h@4ax.com...
>> On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 23:21:03 -0500, "Jeff" <kidsdoc2000@hotmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>(...) \
>>
>> I have gone out in the cold weather and not gotten a cold, nor has my nose gotten cold. But even
>> when the weather is not cold, when my nose gets
>cold, I
>> get a cold.
>
>No, you get a runny nose. A cold is a viral infection. Runny nose is one of the symptoms. But a
>runny nose is not a cold.
>
>> You can call it a runny nose only but when I get a runny nose I call it a cold.
>
>You could call it a car. But it is not. It is a runny nose. By calling it a cold, you confuse
>all of us.
>
>> Doctors sometimes call it a virus but they don't check to see whether it is a virus.
>
>That's because there is no good test for a cold and even if you could diagnose a cold, all you can
>do is treat the sysmptoms.
>
>> If I warm up my nose, chances are the cold will go away.
>
>Which means it is not a cold.
>
>> I don't get tests to see whether I have a virus. Who does?
>
>Researchers. But what you describe is a runny nose, not a cold.
>
>Jeff
>
>> Ora

Then if the doctor tells one that they have a virus, they should go to a researcher??? to find out
which virus they have. Sounds like if a doctor can't help you they call it a virus and that is the
end of their responsibility.

If there is no test for a cold and doctors do not identify viruses, why do they accept our money to
tell us they can't help us. Do they ever do a test to find out whether it is a bacterial infection
or do they just slough it off by calling it a virus?

Ora
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