Cold weather can trigger health problems - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Cold weather can trigger health problems

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By Katie Nilsson

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  The cold weather may be bad for your health.  We have some expert advice, so you'll be safe out there.

Doctors say the best way to prevent frostbite or hypothermia is to dress in layers.  You'll want to make sure you cover things like your fingers, toes, nose and ears.  Symptoms of frostbite include discolored skin, it may also go numb.  SwedishAmerican Health System Dr. Eric Trautmann says if it does that, you need to treat it right away. "Typically the very cold temperatures affect the small blood vessels in your appendages, our nose and fingers and toes things like that. And the blood vessels get damaged and it's basically a freezing type of thing, it's like a freeze burn."  Dr. Trautmann says if you get it; put the affected area in warm, not hot water.

Experts also recommend that you take it easy out shoveling.  Pace yourself and take a lot of breaks.  Lift with your legs, not your back.  Experts advise that if you have a history of heart problems that you avoid shoveling if you can, especially if you don't normally work out.  If you experience and chest or arm pain or numbness, stop immediately and go indoors; you may need to call 911. Overexertion can cause sore muscles, falls and heart attacks.

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