8 Health Problems That Get Worse During Summer

Updated: Jul. 02, 2018

It's summertime and the livin' should be easy, but a number of health concerns can flare up or hit you harder when the weather gets warmer. If you've been noticing symptoms getting worse, talk to your doctor.

Close up of young woman blowing her nose on couch


Summer viruses are only 25 percent as common as winter ones, but they’re typically caused by a different kind of germ (called an enterovirus), which can bring on stomachaches in addition to respiratory symptoms. Vigorous exercise can make you more susceptible, so ease into workouts. These 7 tricks will help you avoid a summer cold.

perfect and beautiful woman legs on bed

Nighttime Leg Cramps

These pains are about twice as common during summer, according to a study. Motor neurons in your legs may undergo changes during the summer that make cramping more likely. Stay hydrated and talk to your doctor about your drug regimen. Certain medications, such as diuretics, exacerbate cramps.

Unhappy elderly woman with skin condition rosacea characterized by facial redness, small and superficial dilated blood vessels, no make-up
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Warmer months can worsen this skin condition, an inflammation characterized by extreme redness and rashes. Flare-ups can be more frequent and last longer. Aloe and topical probiotics can help soothe skin, says New York University physician Roshini Raj, MD, co-founder of TULA skin care. Learn how to heal 7 common summer skin problems.

Elderly female is expressing pain
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Autoimmune Diseases

Many multiple sclerosis patients find that heat makes their symptoms worse. In fact, an old test for MS was putting a patient in a hot bath. If the person developed neurological symptoms, MS could be diagnosed. For about 70 percent of people with lupus, sunlight can trigger skin rashes, fatigue, and joint pain. Cover up with lightweight pants, shirts with sleeves, a hat, and sunscreen.

man scratch the itch with hand
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In addition to the heat and humidity, summertime also means sweat, chlorine, and sunscreens. And if you’ve got sensitive skin, that could spell trouble. Figure out what your triggers are and try to avoid them. Here are 18 healthy ways to prepare your body for summer.

African american woman wearing yellow sweater at kitchen with hand on stomach because nausea, painful disease feeling unwell. Ache concept.
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Kidney stones

One University of Texas study found that as temperatures rise, so do kidney stone rates. It’s probably because people are less hydrated in the summer months: the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding this common (yet enormously painful) ailment by staying hydrated and reducing the amount of sugar and sodium in your diet.

Pretty brunette using her inhaler on a sunny day


Levels of air pollution and smog tend to skyrocket in summer, which means people with asthma tend to suffer even more. If you’re debating whether to go out on a piping-hot day, you might want to check the air quality rating first. If it’s below average, it might make sense to stay inside.

Asian women are headache severely.Lady wake up in the morning with migraine.Insomnia results in headaches when awakened.Young girl sitting on a stressed bed. In her bedroom.She was sick.Warm tone
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It might seem like your migraines occur at random, but often they arrive in reaction to certain triggers. And what’s a super common one? Heat. One emergency room study found that with every 9-degree increase in temperature, migraine cases increased. Stay hydrated to lower your risk. Learn the 50 summer health dangers you’re probably ignoring.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest