- Warning, deadly cold snap horror panic!
- Good SENSIBLE advice about your health in winter
- Question for you… do you get this painful problem in cold weather?
It’s one of the most annoying things about this time of year…
‘Britain to brace for cold snap’
‘Temperatures set to plunge!’
‘Cold snap to strike the UK’
These news headlines make it seem like some supernaturally unseasonal weather is about to bring us to our knees.
But surely a ‘cold snap’ means a brief period of extra cold weather…
…which is what you usually get in late November.
The headline really means…
‘BRITAIN BRACES ITSELF FOR REGULAR WINTER’
Which might be true, but isn’t exactly news.
The dreaded cold snap DID strike last Tuesday. And do you know what the Sampson family did?
We braced ourselves.
Oh yes indeed! Having read the horrifying headlines, we knew the worst was about to happen…
We abandoned all our plans for the day – no school or work… we barricaded ourselves indoors and stuffed towels around all the gaps in the doors… we smashed up all the wooden furniture and burned it on the fire… then we sat in a ring, holding hands singing “We shall overcome” with tears in our eyes.
We just put on hats, scarves and gloves and went outside like normal.
The weather isn’t something we can do much about, and it’s like this pretty much every year.
However, what SHOULD be news, but isn’t (until it’s too late) is that millions of pensioners and vulnerable people have no money for heating… or inadequate insulation in their homes… or are unable to care for themselves in winter.
This puts them at risk of health problems that are more common in winter, like chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.
So what should be in the papers is some practical advice on how we look after ourselves.
(Of course, common sense doesn’t sell many papers – hysteria, fear and panic work much better).
However if you – or anyone you know – are worried about getting through the winter months then AgeUK have a free pdf download that’s worth looking at, and passing on:
Talking of the cold, here’s a question for you….
Do you get this painful problem in cold weather?
A lot of people experience a worsening of their joint pain in the cold winter months.
I know this seems almost a silly question… surely everyone knows that cold weather is bad for sore joints?
Well yes and no.
While it’s certainly ‘common wisdom’ that this is the case, scientists are not entirely sure.
In 2007, researchers at Tufts University in Boston showed that for every 10-degree fall in temperature there was an incremental rise in joint pain.
However, they don’t know why.
It’s a little bit like the case of the magnetic copper bracelets I told you about a week ago. (You can read it here: It’s right to be sceptical but also open minded about this )
Sometimes real honest people FEEL the effect of something and swear by it…. long before science works out the reason. So it shouldn’t always be dismissed.
However some scientists are now wondering if the whole “cold makes joint pain worse” thing is a total myth!
A study has begun looking at the effects of weather on chronic pain. It’s called “Cloudy with a Chance of Pain” and uses a smartphone app to collect data from ordinary people around the UK.
So far, the early results have shown that people report LESS sever pain between February and April then MORE pain in June… which is the reverse of what you’d expect… and not what the scientists reported in 2007.
Saying that, it’s early days and they need more data before they can come up with a conclusion. They’re running this project until April 2017 when they will have a full year’s worth of input from the public.
Prof Dixon, a rheumatologist who is leading the project believes that the eventual answer won’t be back and white. It could be that for some people, winter is worse, while for others the summer causes problems.
This could be related to age, condition, job, mental health and other factors.
Certainly, when it comes to weather there are two obvious reasons why the cold months could worsen pain:
• When your body is cold, your muscles, tendons and ligaments can tighten, making them less flexible and stiffer.
SOLUTION? Warm, flexible clothes. Make sure you wrap up, wear gloves and layers. Also please read my blog post full of tips on relieving joint and muscle pain.
• Lack of sunlight and cold mornings can give some people seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that can heighten your sensitivity to pain.
SOLUTION? Increase the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. There are big quantities of the stuff in fish and seafood. They’re essential for a healthy brain structure, sharper concentration and a better mood at this time of year. One of the most powerful shortcuts is to take a krill oil supplement like this one.
Finally, don’t just think about remedies for pain AFTER it flares up.
Fight the source of your pain
If you want to get to the source of your joint pain, then take a look at FX-silica,
a gel with active ingredients that helps replace the minerals you can lose as you age. That’s it for today. If you have any feedback on whether the weather affects your health, do let us know!
Until next time, stay healthy (and warm)!