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Does Summer Heat Trigger Autoimmune Diseases?

The hot summer weather might worsen symptoms of various autoimmune diseases. Here's how you can prevent your symptoms from worsening.

Does Summer Heat Trigger Autoimmune Diseases?

Summer heat might worsen inflammation and other skin-related autoimmune disease symptoms

What are autoimmune diseases?

Autoimmune diseases refer to when the body mistakenly attacks itself. This happens when the body considers a function or activity in the body as a threat. Autoimmune diseases range in various categories and types.

Can heat trigger autoimmune diseases?

These autoimmune diseases may be triggered by various factors. One of the most common triggers is the weather. The change in weather may trigger various autoimmune diseases and may even flare up the pre-existing symptoms. Summer and the heat, in particular, may worsen pre-existing autoimmune diseases and their symptoms.

Some of the autoimmune diseases that may be triggered by the hot weather are:

  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism

How to avoid triggering autoimmune diseases in summer?

Avoid physical activities outdoors

One of the main causes that trigger autoimmune diseases is the scorching heat. Over this, an increase in the body temperature might cause an inflammatory response in the body. You are advised to workout indoors or in gyms. You can also opt for swimming as that might help contain the body's temperature and is a great exercise.

Avoid outdoors

As discussed above the hot weather has adverse effects on the pre-existing autoimmune diseases and might even trigger them. Although staying outdoors does not increase your body temperature like working out would, it may still cause discomfort. Skin-related autoimmune diseases may be triggered by hot weather exposure.

Wear airy & breathable clothes

One of the v best ways to reduce inflammation and other autoimmune disease symptoms is by maintaining a good body temperature. In addition to this, in case of skin-related autoimmune diseases, wearing clothes that might be gentle on the skin can help avoid inflammation.

Check for pollen counts

Pollen allergies may be one of the other causes of autoimmune diseases. Pollen may be heightened during the summer weather. The combination of these two elements may worsen your symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

Stay in cool temperatures

This goes without saying as we discussed, the hot weather directly worsens autoimmune disease symptoms and may even trigger some. Staying in cool temperatures would help you keep inflammation and other symptoms at bay.

Stay hydrated

One of the other common triggers for various autoimmune diseases is the lack of hydration in the body. Drinking adequate water may help stay hydrated. However, staying under the sun or in this hot weather can make you dehydrated even if you are consuming enough water. An average being is required to consume 2.7 to 3.7 litres of water daily.

Avoid alcohol & caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine are the two main reasons you may be getting dehydrated. Dehydration might worsen pre-existing skin-related symptoms. Drinking multiple servings of alcohol and caffeine regularly can leave your body dehydrated even if you are consuming enough water.

Shower whenever needed

Doctors have suggested that showering may help with any inflammation or irritation in the skin that may be caused by skin-related autoimmune diseases. These symptoms may be tightened due to the hot weather.

In conclusion, staying away from extreme heat may be helpful in reducing autoimmune disease symptoms. As discussed previously, the hot weather may worsen pre-existing symptoms so it is beneficial to incorporate medication that may help in this weather.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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