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Directors Column

April 2017 

April Showers Bring May Flowers. It is an environmental truth and also a metaphor that even the most unpleasant of things can bring about very enjoyable things.    In fact, the weather's impact on your body is so noteworthy that there is a whole scientific study devoted to it called human biometeorology.   When the air pressure is lower, more rainfall occurs and when the pressure is higher, less rain falls.  High and low air pressure is also known as barometric pressure.  Our bodies are filled with fluid and gasses that are affected by air pressure systems the same way that the earth is.    Some people are more sensitive than others, but still, enough people experience symptoms when the barometric pressure changes, so it's worth noting. Blood pressure: Just as its name implies, our blood moves through our bodies using a pressure system created by the heart.  This pressure is affected by the pressure in the air around us.   When the barometric pressure drops, so does your blood pressure. For some, this might mean a feeling of dizziness or even blurred vision.   Headaches:   A low barometric pressure can cause headaches or migraines by creating a pressure difference between the atmosphere and the air-filled sinuses. The problem is made worse when the sinuses are congested or blocked for any reason.   Arthritis / Joint pain:   Barometric pressure affects the viscosity of the fluid that lines joint sacs and triggers the pain responses in the nerve endings of the joint. Either way, it's what your grandma has been saying for years, that some people feel pain in their joints when a storm is approaching.  Vitamin D Deficiency: The cloud cover of a rainy day comes with the absence of sun which is our most crucial source of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host of physical ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, Alzheimer's, obesity, and of course depression.  People often think that Vitamin D in milk is a substitute, but Vitamin D is found in many foods, including fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also adds to the body's daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which forms and maintains strong bones. It is used alone or together with calcium to improve bone health and decrease

fractures. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. 

 

It is important to pay attention to your body's warning signals during all weather conditions and to recognize that conditions other than temperature can have dramatic effect on your health.   

 

As we all wait together for the bulbs to break the surface and embrace the signs of spring, we can minimize the unpleasantness that accompanies the season with some preventive attention.  Don’t ignore subtle changes in your body and take the appropriate steps for your own health and comfort, then sit back and listen to the pitterpat on the glass of the April rain. Listening to it occupies your mind yet and allows you to concentrate on its monotone sound rather than the disruptive and busy thoughts that

occupy most minds.  The result is a soothing calm that overcomes us when we listen to it. Let the sound of the rain carry your cares away.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mail: CWA Local 1180 Retiree Division
           6 Harrison St.
           New York, NY 10013
Office Location: 97 Hudson St. NY, NY 10013
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