As we head into spring, some diseases appear to occur with a pattern of seasonal variation. Diseases which are caused due to the effects of the seasons are called seasonal diseases.
Seasonal fluctuations in disease have been recognized for millennia. The spring and autumn months have a higher frequency of almost all diseases … and especially in the autumn months, where the highest frequencies are reached.
Certain chronic diseases are very seasonal — like seasonal affective disorder or cardiovascular disease or Type 1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Increases weight in winter, and decreases in summer. Tuberculosis seems to predominate in summer. The coronary disease presents two peaks in spring and autumn, but more winter mortality of stroke, and thromboembolism. Blood pressure is higher in winter than in summer. Allergies occur in stations with environmental pollen.
The vast majority of people with arthritis or chronic back pain feel more discomfort on stormy, cold or damp days, which improves as the weather warms and becomes more constant. If you have chronic skin issues like acne or rosacea, they often flare up when the seasons change. Check in with your doctor at the start of each season to adjust your skin care routine as the weather changes. Of course, all of these changes might make you consider doing a few other things for your health as well.
A family doctor can affirm seasonal variations of diseases. In addition, respiratory infections represent the most important percentage of infections. So, seasonal variability of diseases in family medicine can be attributed to the variability of respiratory infections. Flu (seasonal influenza) is a virus that can leave you feeling weak and unwell. If you have a heart condition, you have a greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from the flu than the general population. There is evidence that heart attacks happen more often during or immediately after an acute inflammatory illness, such as flu. If you have a chronic heart condition, including heart failure or congenital heart disease, you are recommended to get the flu vaccination. If you think you have the flu you should contact your doctor as soon as possible for advice.
If you have a seasonal pattern, try to get extra rest during that period and make sure that you have adequate supplies of medications on hand. Taking precautions before the onset of a disease enables us to reduce illnesses and visits to the doctor, stop missing work or school as well as prevent hospitalizations. Maintaining a proper immunization schedule, adhering to hygienic practices, consumption of healthy food and water, and making sure that our surroundings do not support the breeding of insects like mosquitoes can help prevent the onset of many seasonal diseases. Make sure that you take these simple precautions to keep yourself and your family in good health all year round.
All seasons have their own beauty, but if we are not in the best of health, it is impossible to enjoy them. Call your doctor immediately if you have the following problems:
- Symptoms that don’t improve or get worse after 3 to 4 days of illness
- You feel a little better, then you start to feel much worse — sick-to-your-stomach, vomiting, high fever, shaking chills, chest pain, or coughing with thick yellow-green mucus.
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