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Biometeorology 07 - 11 - 2002

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Biometeorology Hi Everyone, I came across an article by Mike Benton that I thought you might find interesting, it is titled "The weather in your health" here goes: " It was many years ago. I was a small boy visiting my great-uncle on his farm in the backcountry. On a warm and sunny day in early November, he told me, "Better pick all those fall tomatoes. Probably be snow on them tomorrow" The next morning I woke up and saw snow all over the autumn garden. My uncle met me at breakfast. "Itís my wrist," he told me. "Better than any weather vane. Always acts up before a snow or a rain" How many times have you heard people say that they knew a storm was coming by the way their bones felt? How about hearing people complain that they feel "under the weather?" How about yourself? Do you drag around when itís cloudy and feel great when the sun shines? No doubt about it. Weather affects all of us in some way or another. Many people seem more strongly bothered by the weather than other people. Some blame the weather for the aches and pains, or their own poor health in general. But what role does weather play in how good or healthy we feel? Is the weather responsible for the many symptoms that people feel, or is it something else? How weather influences living things is what the science of biometeorology is all about. These "weatherman-biologists" say that while changes in the weather affect everybody, one out of three people is extremely sensitive to these changes and that they may express one or more of over forty different symptoms associated with changing weather. For instance, pain in the joints or other parts of the body that precede a change in weather have been known since the times of ancient Greece. Rheumatism sufferers are the most affected - sometimes up to two days ahead of the changes in the weather. Many people with fractures, dislocations, burns, and even chafed areas or corns have a sort of weather barometer "in their bones". Other symptoms that accompany weather changes in sensitive people are migraine headaches, back pain, upset stomach, irritability, loss of appetite, severe depression, feeling of uneasiness, etc.. Some people blame all their ills on the weather. However, it is important to remember that the weather itself does not produce weather-sensitive people. The sensitivity people experience with changes in the weather is a function of their own physiological make-up. " a healthy, robust, and well-balanced person is rarely sensitive to changes in the weather" says Michel Ganquelin, a weather researcher. Generally speaking, people who are overly sensitive to the weather tend to suffer from chronic diseases, and they react with pain to barometric changes. A strong and healthy person can endure stress on several levels and not exhibit any signs of illness or discomfort. Weather is probably the most basic stress that all humans experience. It changes almost every day, and with these changes come new situations and stresses that we must adjust to. A cold front coming through means more than just a drop in temperature. It also means complex changes in the barometric pressure, wind direction, humidity, and even pollutants and radioactive fallout may be carried in. All of these changes affect our bodies, our endocrine systems, our nervous systems, and our cardiovascular systems. The biometeorologist, Dr De Rudder of Paris, says that the " death rate often increases while fronts are passing. " For people in good health, fronts may only cause temporarily feelings of discomfort. But for these persons whose system is weakened, or who has undergone surgery or has high blood pressure, these feelings of discomfort can become something much more critical. Heart attacks often accompany weather front passages, and in general any disease, which is aggravated by stress, increases in intensity when a front goes by. While a healthy person does not react as severely to the passing of a front as does a "weather-sensitive" person, all people experience many physiological changes that are being constantly modified by the climate and weather. It is time to end todayís newsletter. Next week we will see how the weather produce changes in the body Until next week then, The Crazy Nut team. P.S. If you have missed any of the previous articles and would like to read them, please visit our archives at

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