Feeling Under the Weather? Blame the Weather, Sort Of

Doctors say body's ability to adjust to weather changes can cause problems

North Texas has gone from sun to wind to rain to ice in the last few weeks, with highs ranging from 34 degrees to 84 degrees. But is it enough to make you sick?

Doctors say the body's ability to adjust to the change in the weather causes problems, not the weather itself.

"Little kids have a difficult time adjusting to these variations in weather patterns," said Dr. Anita Kurian, of the Tarrant County Health Department. "The true mechanism of how it affects (them) is not really well understood."

But many people say they believe sudden changes in the weather -- such as Monday's cold, wet weather just two days after near-record breaking temperatures -- can make them feel under the weather. "I think it makes my allergies worse," Stephanie Aichele, of Keller, said. "I do think you get more sick when there's a big change in the weather."

A sudden chest cold sent Andrea Lillard, of Fort Worth, to her local pharmacy on Monday for relief. She was "wheezing and coughing and spitting up; all-around nasty, nasty stuff."

"It's the change in the weather," Lillard said.

Ken Dorsey, of Fort Worth, agreed.

"I know I've had pneumonia for three years in a row now, and I think it has a lot to do with the weather and weather changes," he said.

The cold weather alone is enough to make many people feel under the weather, Kurian said.

"The upper respiratory passages and nasal area always gets dehydrated during the cold weather, so it makes you more susceptible to be infected by these viruses and bacteria that cause infection," she said.

The Tarrant County Health Department advises people to wash their hands frequently, get plenty of rest and eat healthy food.

People also still have time to get a flu shot. Flu season normally peaks in January and February.

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