Plunging temperatures can make it more difficult for the human body to combat disease. As the mercury drops, we should be aware we can become more a risk of four conditions which can be silent killers
The current Arctic blast that’s sent the temperature plummeting across the UK can have serious consequences for your health.
Perishing temperatures can bring on several deadly conditions resulting in a hospital stay, experts have warned. Ultra cold conditions can weaken the body and make it more difficult to combat disease and make it a struggle for the immune system to see-off diseases. As the temperatures drop, we should be aware we can become more a risk of four conditions which can be silent killers.
1. Blood clots
Quick temperature changes mean the body has to to work harder to keep the same temperature. Researchers say it is more likely people will have blood clots in colder months. Colder weather could make blood vessels shrink making clots more likely
Stop The Clot, says indicators of a blood clot in the leg or arm, known as deep vein thrombosis, include: pain or tenderness, swelling, skin which is warm to touch, redness or discoloration of the skin.
A blood clot in the lung can also prompt a ‘pulmonary embolism’ which is a life-threatening. Its symptoms include difficulty breathing, worsening chest pain while taking a deep breath or lying down .It can also cause coughing or coughing up blood and a faster or irregular heartbeat Anyone who notices these signs are urged to seek medical help immediately.
2. The flu
The “super cold snap” in Britain coulld increase the number of flu cases, experts have warned. Dr Conall Watson, consultant epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) insisted the UK should go “one step further this winter”. He said: “Temperatures are dropping and winter is approaching. Flu typically increases at this time of the year, so if you are eligible for an NHS flu vaccine and haven’t had it yet, please book as soon as you can.
There is a World Health Organization flu vaccine uptake among those 65 and above. But doctors have insisted we need to go further to prevent more infections. Cold temperatures can also make common illness symptoms worse and sufferers can see high temperatures spiral to more than 38C.
Asthma + Lung UK say it is dangerous time for those with the condition as perishing weather coupled with colds and flu plus chest infections can trigger life-threatening Asthma attacks. They can inflame air passages sparking breathlessness, coughing and wheezing. Experts from the organisation said: “Make sure you carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times and keep taking their regular preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed. “
They added: “Do a ‘scarfie’ – wrapping a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to help warm up the air before they breathe it in, as cold air is another asthma attack trigger. It could also be helpful to stick to indoor activities when the weather is particularly cold.” The main symptoms of asthma are: wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest and coughing’
4. Heart attacks
Cold weather can also impact heart attacks according to a study. Lund University researchers in Sweden found attacks were significantly higher in cold temperatures. They discovered it resulted in four more daily heart attacks when temperatures were beneath zero.
This is because the body responds to feeling cold by restricting blood vessels. It then decreases the warmth of the skin and increases blood flow through the arteries This causes the body to shiver and the heart rate increases to create body warmth which can impact the heart.