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6 Surprising Ways the Weather Can Predict Your Health

There's more to it than just wearing sunscreen or not. Sometimes normal weather can cause serious health risks.

iStock/Borut Trdina

On cold days, watch for…

Heart attack
One 2013 Swiss study found a significant increase in heart attack risk in winter and a decrease in summer. This is because systolic blood pressure levels tend to be around 3.5 mm Hg lower in the summer. Dr. Pedro Marques-Vidal, an author of the study, recommends keeping a more careful eye on your heart health in the winter. Learn more about why heart attack risk is higher in the winter and how to combat it.

Psoriasis flares
Cold, dry air sucks moisture out of the skin, which makes it more vulnerable to the disease’s trademark red, scaly patches. A good, greasy, penetrating moisturizer can help. Here are some winter skincare tips straight from dermatologists.

iStock/Pamela Moore

On rainy days, watch for…

As atmospheric pressure drops, tissues near joints expand and put pressure on nerves. (However, some studies that tracked symptoms with weather didn’t find a strong link.) Use these simple life hacks to make arthritis less painful.


When lightning strikes, watch for…

A study found that these headaches were 28 percent more likely to occur when lightning struck, perhaps due to electromagnetic changes. Here are some more reasons you might have a migraine.


On hot days, watch for…

Dehydration from sweltering temps can cause uric acid, a trigger of gout pain, to accumulate. Here are some signs of gout you might ignore.

Multiple sclerosis
Steamy weather and even slight rises in core body temperature—caused by a fever or taking a hot bath—can exacerbate symptoms. Hot weather can also have a negative effect on diabetes complications.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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