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Column Coldness and Coldness-related Illnesses


July 05, 2023

Lately, we have been witnessing an increase in the number of people suffering from sensitivity to cold, even during the summer months, which is the cause of various symptoms.
It is also reported that in summer, an increasing number of people feel cold in the upper body, like in the lower back and shoulders.
When these symptoms become severe, they may lead to back pain, stiff shoulders, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and other various symptoms.
Moderate exercise is a good remedy against the cold: walking for about 20 minutes, stretching, and hot yoga are effective in combating the cold, as is abdominal breathing as well as a good night’s sleep.
In this article, I will discuss the various disorders caused by cold and the countermeasures available to alleviate them.

It is my belief that the main cause of chronic cold is to be found in our daily beverages and food intake, such as for instance:
・Drinking cold beverages straight from the bottle, or in glasses filled with ice.
・Eating mostly food straight out of the refrigerator rather than warming it.
・Taking showers instead of baths.
・Lack of exercise, or prolonged stay in a cold room.
・Excessive diet.

The main causes of sensitivity to cold can be broadly divided into 3 categories:
(1) Low basal metabolism
Basal metabolism accounts for 60-70% of daily energy consumption.
If we roughly divide basal metabolism by body part, muscles account for about 38%, liver about 12%, stomach and kidneys about 8% each, spleen about 6%, heart about 4%, and other organs about 24%. Among these, it is the muscles that easily raise the metabolic rate, and since they account for a large proportion of the metabolism, it follows that less muscle mass means less heat can be generated.

(2) Autonomic nervous system imbalance
When the balance of the autonomic nervous system is disturbed, the blood flow tends to decrease and it then becomes difficult to send heat (or blood flow) throughout the body.
As mentioned in a previous article, when people repeatedly go out of air-conditioned rooms and into hot outdoors, the continued contraction and expansion of the blood vessels may cause fatigue of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn may lead to disturbances.
Overeating is another factor that may contribute to excessive cold. When we overeat, blood concentrates in the gastrointestinal tract to facilitate digestion, reducing the blood supply to the muscles and other organs that usually generate a large amount of heat.
It is best to eat moderately and avoid a full stomach.

(3) When the excreting mechanism is affected.
If you are sweating or urinating normally, this is not an issue. However, if the blood flow is insufficient and the body gets cold, the body may not sweat enough and may not discharge water sufficiently, unnecessary water may accumulate in the body (water poisoning), and the body may get cold easily. In such cases, the priority is to regulate one’s body to be able to sweat and urinate properly again. In addition, since fat has an insulating effect and cools the body, rather than reduction of the fat percentage, continuous weight loss is necessary for those with a high volume of fat.

● Countermeasures against the cold

  • Baths are recommended for improving the autonomic nervous system.
    Soaking in hot water improves blood circulation throughout the body, promoting metabolism and raising body temperature.
    Simply showering will only make the body cold, reduce blood flow, and lead to sympathetic nervous system dominance.
    Immersing fully is more beneficial for blood flow than only immersing half the body. If you do not suffer from heart problems, it is recommended to bathe up to the shoulders in lukewarm water of 38 to 40 degrees Celsius for 10 to 20 minutes to counteract the effects of cold.
  • Dieting will result in a harmonious body only if done in a systematic manner and enforced over a long period of time.
    If muscle mass declines as the result of incorrect diet, such as food deprivation without exercise or drastic dieting for a short period of time, it can lead to sensitivity to cold. Adequate weight control is important because otherwise the muscles necessary to produce body heat will not be able to work properly!
  • Physical exercises to normalize adaptation to heat and excretory functions.
    Do you avoid exercising in the summer because of the heat? Since there are many capillaries in the muscles, exercising improves blood flow and warms up the body. It is said that the number of people who do not sweat in summer is increasing, and lack of exercise, living indoors, excessive use of air conditioning, and not soaking in hot water are thought to be causes of this inability to sweat.

Let’s take care of ourselves so that we do not suffer from back pain and discomfort this summer.
In the next column, I intend to talk about the relation between “back pain and cold” .
If you have any problems related to back pain, please feel free to contact our clinic.