What Winter Does To Your Health

 

Winter is the most awaited time of the year for a majority of the UAE residents because we experience the summer heat for most of the year. The winter months generally see an increase in the risk of infections.

The cold weather brings a number of health risks in children and adults equally. Healthcare practitioners often see a rise in the number of common cold, rhinitis, influenza, and other respiratory infections cases during the winter months.

The most commonly asked questions about winter illness is that “why do people fall sick often during the winter?” The simple reason is that when there is a cool breeze blowing outdoors, people tend to create a warmer temperature or environment indoors. When they then step outside, the outside temperatures often contrast the body temperature and may be unable to adjust to the sudden change. Hence the body undergoes changes while adjusting to the temperature, hence causing an allergic response. Here are some ways that you may be vulnerable to winter:

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Seasonal Influenza

Influenza (commonly called the flu) is a highly contagious illness that can occur in children or adults of any age. This illness is caused by the influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

There are three different types of flu viruses: influenza A, B, and C, all of which cause illness in humans. Influenza is a virus that actually has hundreds of different strains. The virus mutates frequently, but the strains are classified into one of three main categories—A, B, or C. Influenza A is the group that most commonly causes illness in humans.

All Influenza A viruses are further broken down into H and N subtypes. So, any influenza virus that is described as “H#N#” (such as H1N1) is an influenza A virus. There are 16 H subtypes and nine N subtypes, but only three combinations have actually caused highly contagious illness in humans. The three combinations that cause almost all outbreaks of the flu in humans are H1N1, H2N2 and H3N2.

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The Benefits of Topical Fluoride Application

Based on several years of research and scientific evidence, Fluoride is known to have a beneficial role to play in the prevention of bacterial decay of teeth known as dental caries. Since the 1980’s, a decline in dental caries has been attributed to the addition of premeditated concentrations of fluoride in domestic water supplies as well as its addition in mouthwashes and toothpaste. Apart from the availability of fluoride in the water supply system, direct application of the same on to the teeth is sometimes advisable.

 

What is Topical Fluoride Treatment?

Topical fluoride treatment is the direct application of fluoride onto the teeth in the form of varnishes, paste, gel or foam. It works by binding to the tooth structure at the molecular level, thereby forming a protective layer known as “fluorapatite”. This fluorapatite is more resistant to bacterial decay and reduces the risk of caries.

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The role of Vitamin D in preserving health

Vitamin D is part of a group of fat-soluble vitamins which can be obtained from a few foods, sunlight and supplements. The main role of Vitamin D is to assist in the metabolism of Calcium and Phosphorus and also in mineralization of bones. Till now, different forms of Vitamin D have been discovered, namely Vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 respectively.

Vitamin D Deficiency – Reduced dietary intake or inadequate exposure to sunlight can lead to a deficiency of Vitamin D in the human body. Some studies have defined deficiency as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of less than 20 ng per mL (50 nmol per L), and insufficiency is defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 to 30 ng per mL (50 to 75 nmol per L). In case of insufficient Vitamin D levels, 25 hydroxy- cholecalciferol was brought to the kidney and thus the kidneys cannot respond naturally and they fail to connect with blood calcium. The levels of calcium phosphate crystals begin getting low and hence form less soft tissue in the body. Less calcium from the circulation also creates the bone releasing all available calcium, for normality of blood calcium level. The bones, as a result, turn soft and bendable. Calcium in the bone activates the action of the osteoclasts and works as a synthesizer to the bone as well. But Vitamin D deficiency can cause dematerialization the bone. Some significant symptoms are bone pain & soft bones, frequent bone fractures, bone deformities or growth retardation in children.

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