Why Am I More Likely to Catch a Cold in Cold Weather?

We all link the colder weather to catching a “cold.” But, it is really true that we’re more likely to get sick during cold weather?

The short answer is “yes” which leads to the question: “why would cold weather make us more vulnerable to catching a cold? Let me first start by sharing a bit of background about the annoying microscopic critters that cause colds.

There are many different types of viruses that cause colds but more than half of them are classified as rhinoviruses—the same class of viruses that also cause sinusitis, bronchitis and even pneumonia.

The average person gets 2 to 3 colds each year, which tend to last between 7 to 10 days on average. They spread by direct contact with other people or in tiny droplets in the air, which are inhaled by others. Rhinoviruses then attach to the cells in the nasal passageways and begin to replicate.

Research published in the medical journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews found that rhinoviruses replicate easier when the temperatures drop below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), which is the typical temperature of the human body. The nasal cavity tends to be a bit cooler, creating ideal conditions for rhinoviruses to replicate.

Earlier research in the journal Viruses found that drops in either temperature or humidity encourages the growth of rhinoviruses and their resulting infections. The scientists found that most infections occur when the temperature hits 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius.

But the colder weather is not the only reason we’re more likely to catch a cold in the winter. Our reduced exposure to sunlight tends to result in reduced amounts of vitamin D, which can also weaken the immune system and make us more vulnerable to whatever is “going around.”

Our tendency to spend more time indoors also makes us more vulnerable to coming in contact with viruses lurking in the space.

10 Tips to Maximize Your Resistance to Colds

Trying to stay warm during the winter weather can be helpful.

Having a hot bath with eucalyptus essential oil can help humidify the air we breathe while also warming us.

Supplement with vitamin D (preferably D3 unless you’re vegan, then choose the synthetic version D2 (between 800 to 2000 IU daily).

Take extra vitamin C (about 500 milligrams a few times daily, in divided doses). Choose ascorbic acid for best results

Get outside for fresh air on a regular basis, making sure you warm up when you’re back indoors.

Wipe indoor surfaces, handles, door knobs, kitchen drawers, counters, etc. with anti-viral essential oils like cinnamon, thyme, melissa or oregano, diluted as needed.

Drink lots of water, ideally in the form of warming herbal teas. Melissa, or lemon balm, is perfect so you can also reap its natural anti-viral properties while you’re hydrating your body.

Wash your hands regularly but avoid antibacterial soaps since they don’t work on viruses and actually contribute to resistant bacteria (superbugs) that cause other health problems.

Don’t share food, beverages, or dishes with people who are sick.

Try to get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system strong.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.

 

45 comments

Val P
Val Pabout an hour ago

thanks

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rachel r
Past Member 19 days ago

Thank you!

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Shae L
Shae Lee20 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Salla T
Salla T21 days ago

Ty

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Glennis W
Glennis W21 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W21 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W21 days ago

Great information Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W21 days ago

Interesting Thank you for caring and sharing

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Olivia M
Olivia M21 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Val P
Val P21 days ago

interesting

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