Physiology of the effects of cold on the human body

There is no doubt that the winter cold has the most diverse effects on the human body. Lack of sunlight affects not only the mood, but also the hormones of a woman: menstruation can start with a delay and be scarce or, conversely, very abundant.

Reasons for delaying menstruation in the winter in the cold

In the period of the February cold, when the woman's body is weakened by a lack of vitamin D and other beneficial substances, the following processes can occur:

  1. The immune functions of the body are reduced.. This happens because of beriberi and affects the slowdown of metabolic processes, which, in turn, causes disruptions of the hormonal system. The whole body seems to fall asleep and it is not surprising that this leads to a delay. Especially prone to menopausal women.
  2. There are colds and infectious diseases.which negatively affect the cycle. Normal menstruation may begin a few weeks later than usual, their appearance and the nature of the course, too, is likely to change. They will become brown and thicker, the duration will increase and pain may appear.
  3. Stress occurs. In winter, the nervous system often suffers and depression occurs, which leads to disruption of the normal hormone production and temporary suspension of menstruation.
  4. Appears overweight. It also causes imbalances and failures.

Why winter monthly abundant

Sometimes chronic gynecological diseases, the exacerbation of which can occur from hypothermia, cause uterine bleeding or too heavy menses. One of these diseases is inflammation of the appendages: tubes or ovaries.

As a result of a decrease in the work of the immune system, caused by the frequent presence of frost in clothing that is inappropriate for this season, the inflammatory process in the vagina can begin, which often moves to other organs. Adnexitis is acute or chronic. The first form is characterized by:

  1. Unusual for normal menstruation secretions: they become abundant and may appear outside the cycle.
  2. Difficult urination and dull aching pains in the lower abdomen.
  3. Increased body temperature.
  4. General intoxication of the body: the appearance of dizziness, nausea and weakness.

Chronic inflammation occurs with subfebrile temperature, lower back pain and changes in the menstrual cycle.

Another reason why critical days become more abundant in winter is the diseases of the urinary system that are provoked by hypothermia, which also cause the onset of infectious diseases of the vagina or uterus.

Scanty monthly in winter

Menstruation of this type is considered to be blood discharge during menstruation with a volume of less than 45-55 ml. The reason for the impoverishment can be the following factors:

  1. Lack of vitamins. In the cold season, the body suffers from a lack of trace elements and minerals.
  2. Weight gain. Frosts contribute to the fact that a woman begins to eat more and get better. If he is already above the norm, then all this will lead to obesity and hormonal imbalance.
  3. Genital infections. In winter, often exacerbation of diseases occurs, which is characterized not only by scant menstruation, but also by burning in the vagina, purulent or bleeding outside the cycle, and changes in urine analysis.
  4. Taking antibiotics during influenza or ARVI.

A small amount of discharge, especially at the age of 40-45 years, is associated with natural physiological processes or the development of tumor pathologies. Whatever the cause of this violation, it requires an examination by a specialist.

Tips from gynecologists

In order to prevent the development of inflammatory processes, doctors recommend following a number of simple rules:

  • in winter, it is necessary to dress according to the weather and not to wear linen from synthetic fabrics, as well as mini skirts and capron tights,
  • feet should always be kept warm and dry
  • it is worth treating all inflammatory and infectious diseases in time,
  • It is important to follow the rules of personal hygiene,
  • avoid overeating, monodiet or unbalanced nutrition,
  • in case of hypothermia, it is necessary to take any drug of preventive action.

A healthy lifestyle, as well as regular visits to antenatal clinics will help maintain health and avoid infertility.

The mechanisms of the effect of cold on the body:

So, consider the physiological mechanisms of the effects of cold on the human body. In everyday life, we, as a rule, more often have to deal with the completely unfavorable effects of cold. Every year, in the autumn-winter season, thousands of people suffer from the effects of a sharp drop in temperature: it causes not only a general weakening of the body, but also, as a result, contributes to outbreaks of infectious diseases (influenza, ARVI).
We should not forget that frostbite, sudden hypothermia are not at all uncommon and far from safe consequences of exposure to cold on the body.

The question arises: why, then, can the cold have a very beneficial effect? The answer to it lies in the knowledge of physiology.

Consider at least two important points:
• First, human skin has ten times more receptors that respond to cold than those that react to heat. It follows that the general reaction of the body to the effects of cold is expressed much more clearly than to the effects of heat,
• second moment - the effect of cold is almost always directly connected with any carrier (it can be either air or water, or ice, or frozen reagents - like nitrogen or carbon dioxide).
And from this it follows that in addition to the temperature factor itself, the mechanical component of the action is also of great importance. And do not forget that this component in addition to the purely mechanical (say, the pressure of the cooling substance) can also have a chemical nature.

This is important, but in addition to the above, other conditions can influence the perception of cold by the human body - many of them require attention when the cold is supposed to be used for therapeutic purposes. First of all, individuals have a specific reaction to the cold according to the type of allergic - that is, they do not tolerate cold, and cryotherapy in any form is contraindicated to them. Such individual intolerance can be congenital, but more often it is acquired and develops after a sharp overcooling of the whole body.

In addition, a very significant role is played by the difference between the temperature of the skin (body) surface and the temperature of the acting cooling medium. The body reacts to the cold the stronger, the more pronounced this difference. Example: cold water will cause less reaction than an ice bubble, and the effects of liquid carbon dioxide will be even stronger.

The area of ​​contact matters. The effect of cold on a large area of ​​the body causes a more intense reaction. This, by the way, explains the fact that wrapping in a wet cold sheet is one of the most effective ways to reduce the temperature during fever.

The benefits of cold for humans:

After all the above, you can determine the most basic effects of exposure to cold on the human body.
• pain relief,
• reduction of inflammatory edema,
• increased capillary blood flow,
• removal of spasm.

From a purely physiological point of view, all these effects are related to the fact that the cold, by irritating the peripheral skin receptors, affects the entire body through the nervous system. The second component is humoral: the blood cools, the amount of biologically active substances in it changes, which affects both the organs and the tissues. Under the influence of cold, a brief narrowing of the vessels occurs first, alternating with their expansion and increase in blood flow, which is manifested by reddening of the skin. With prolonged exposure to cold, nervous and humoral actions can cause adverse effects: the relaxation of vascular tone leads to a slower blood flow and insufficient blood supply to the tissues.

In this case, the skin-vascular reaction is observed not only in the place of actual cooling, but also in remote areas of the body. With the local application of cold, the vascular reaction causes a general redistribution of blood in the body. Finally, under the influence of cold, the activity of the elements of the immune system located in the skin is enhanced (in this case, the humoral component comes to the fore). Changes in tissues are accompanied by changes in the rate of biochemical processes. In our case - a general decrease in the temperature of the tissues reduces the permeability of cells and increases their protective properties. This also explains that short-term exposure to cold increases muscle tone, increases their strength and relieves fatigue. In this case, the excitability of nerve fibers increases.

However, with a longer exposure to low temperature, the reverse process begins: the nervous reaction decreases, the sensitivity of the skin receptors decreases accordingly - all this has an analgesic effect (for example, when the injury or injury site is cooled). Changes in blood flow and blood distribution in tissues under the influence of cold affect the work of all body systems, and in the case of the disease can not affect the entire course of the disease.

• with local exposure to cold on the heart area, a decrease in the heart rate is observed,
• exposure to cold on the abdominal area increases the tone of the smooth muscles of the intestine, but reduces the secretory function of the stomach and liver,
• cooling of the chest area slows breathing, but it becomes deeper.

Now that we have familiarized ourselves in general with the physiological effect of cold, it is time to indicate it, perhaps, the main role in terms of recovery, namely, as the main factor of hardening.

How does ice help with bleeding?

Applying ice to the area in which bleeding is observed is a fairly effective way to stop it. There is a cooling of the skin area, while it is produced gradually, which contributes to the subsequent blood clotting. With a sharp impact of ice on the affected area, some shock is noted, but then the situation normalizes and gradual habituation occurs. The ice cools the affected area and subsequently contributes to the complete arrest of blood.

It should be noted the fact that one does not have to wait for an instant effect from the application of ice to the skin during bleeding. If it is strong enough, ice is unlikely to be of any help, in which case more radical means are needed to stop the bleeding, such as applying harnesses and dressings. Ice is effective only for relatively small blood loss, which is caused by abrasions and cuts, and the area of ​​skin lesion should not be too extensive. In this case, the effect of freezing, which is provided by ice, will be quite enough to achieve the desired result.

How much ice to keep when bleeding?

Before use, ice is recommended to pour into a plastic bag or a hot-water bottle prepared in advance. In any case, the container should be hermetically sealed, and then placed directly on the affected area of ​​the body surface. Between the container and the body should be placed a pad in the form of a gauze bandage or a towel or some kind of fabric. Most often, it is not very pleasant and convenient to hold a bag or a hot-water bottle with ice directly on the affected area of ​​the body, so it can be recommended to tie it with a towel or some kind of dressing.

In most cases, it is not necessary to have a heating pad with ice on the body for longer than half an hour, since in this case the situation is fraught with the victim getting a cold burn. This will only aggravate the problem.

Immediately before applying a cold dressing to the body, the area of ​​application should be smeared with cream. Also suitable vegetable oil. Around the bleeding wound is required to miss the cream more thoroughly, while doing so that the wound does not get ointment.

You should first put the bag with people for five minutes, and then see what color the area of ​​application applied. If redness appears, it means that it is dangerous to tie a heating pad if there is no redness, therefore, it can be tied.

By tying the package you can hold it for at least ten minutes. However, more than half an hour also should not keep the package on the skin. As mentioned above, in this case, the skin may cause a burn.

Ice with uterine bleeding

When uterine bleeding should not be applied ice without the permission of a doctor. At the beginning of such bleeding, if it occurs at home, you should first call an ambulance. Before her arrival, a woman should be placed in bed in such a way that her legs are located above the level of her body. Applying a rolled blanket or roller for this purpose, it is possible to keep the patient's mind, even if significant blood loss is observed.

In that case, if the use of people will be justified by the situation, it should be put on the stomach, after placing ice in a heating pad or simply wrapping it in a standard cloth. In this case, ice should be kept on the body for no more than a quarter of an hour, after which a five-minute break should be taken. Then repeat the procedure. In this way, vasoconstriction can be achieved, which in turn will help to stop the bleeding.

Ice for bleeding hemorrhoids

In this situation, you can prepare compresses with ice, or you can simply wrap the ice in a cloth or gauze. They should not be kept for a long time, it is recommended to take them off every couple of minutes, after which, after equal periods of time, apply them again. If there is a recurrence of bleeding, the procedure should be repeated several times a month, after, again, equal periods of time.

With internal bleeding from hemorrhoids, you can prepare candles from the ice in the form of candles and use them. However, this procedure requires a certain tempering. Candles while it is recommended to keep no more than thirty seconds, and then remove from the anus.

However, when bleeding hemorrhoids much more efficient to wash the diseased areas with cold water. It is best to do this immediately after the act of defecation, or taking a shower. Subsequently, it will help to conduct high-quality prevention of hemorrhoids.

First reaction to cold

For the human body, the fastest way to get warm is muscle work. Negative temperature causes the muscles to contract quickly, without producing a movement: that is, trembling. Skin vessels are narrowed to reduce blood flow to the surface and retain heat in the central and vital parts of the body and to increase the flow of warm blood to the internal organs. Precisely because the human body has to “sacrifice” something, our limbs are so much afraid of the cold. By the way, the largest human organ. his skin! It is she who is the first frontier on the path of cold, not allowing it to penetrate to the tissues and vital organs - this is why the skin that is deprived of its own blood supply and warmed only by the vascular plexus of the dermis starts to freeze.

In fact, the skin's reaction to cold is very correct - if we imagine that, on the contrary, the skin vessels will expand, in turn heating up the epidermis, the result will be the freezing of the entire human body. By the way, this is why it is not recommended to drink a lot of alcohol in the cold. Drunk people actually freeze more quickly due to dilated skin vessels. Therefore, when the temperature of the air decreases, the skin vessels begin to narrow and expand at regular intervals - narrow to reduce heat loss from the surface of the skin, and expand to prevent freezing of the epidermis.

Vasoconstriction (contraction, narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels in response to stimulation of the vasomotor center of the medulla oblongata, from which the vessels receive a signal about the need to reduce the muscle walls of arteries, resulting in increased blood pressure) requires a lot of effort for the heart rate to increase. Digestion accelerates the absorption of carbohydrates, proteins and fats needed to create heat. The cold - which may seem surprising - turns out to be a good incentive for burning calories. Our whole metabolism in the cold increases and becomes more active. The blood from the cold becomes less saturated with oxygen, it increases the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When a person has to live in the cold, you can talk about blood coagulation.

The figure marked:

  1. Musculature and reaction to cold. Muscles quickly contract for heat. We shiver from the cold
  2. Heart and reaction to cold. Сердце потребляет больше энергии: увеличивается частота сердечных сокращений, поднимается артериальное давление, кровь становится более густой.
  3. Дыхательная система и реакция на холод. Слизистая оболочка верхних дыхательных путей замерзает, что, как правило, тормозит механизмы для борьбы с инфекциями.
  4. Органы пищеварения и реакция на холод. Oxidation of glucose, proteins and fats is activated, the body burns calories to produce heat.
  5. Skin reaction to cold. leather. Skin vessels constrict to reduce blood flow to the surface and retain heat in vital parts of the body.
  6. 6. How hair reacts to cold. Hair is lifted to create an insulating layer of air around the skin, especially in women.

Naked, people will not survive at temperatures below 15 degrees

Staying in the cold causes the same effect as serious athletic activity. The human body is poorly resistant to low temperatures. Naked, we can not survive at temperatures below 15 degrees. This allows us to live in a temperate or cold climate, but these are only essentially behavioral factors associated with social habits (housing, clothing).

If a person's body temperature drops below 37 degrees, a condition called hypothermia occurs and the body is no longer able to properly perform its vital functions. Another risk of cold weather is frostbite. At a temperature of -28 degrees Celsius and cold wind, exposed skin completely freezes for 10 to 30 minutes! Information for those who go not in the worst frost without mittens ..

In winter, excess mortality from cold is mainly associated with the exacerbation of existing diseases, such as heart problems, stroke, and respiratory infections. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are especially vulnerable when it comes to the cold. Although, for a healthy person who knows what protection from cold, warmed by all the rules, there is no risk to go outside even in the coldest time.

Natalia Andrushko

Psychologist, Ecophacilitator, Supervisor Mediator. Specialist from the website

anything can affect. more hypothermia. I had cycle violations twice when I had a cold and when there was a sharp change in climate. The cycle dragged on for 45 days

I have never affected anything on the cycle, I consider it strange, the cycle is always 28-30 days.

Frost has nothing to do with it, the fat and hot process is to blame. Pregnant!

Frost has nothing to do with it, the fat and hot process is to blame. Pregnant!

you read badly? tests are negative.

The author, I don’t want to upset you, but if you have inflammation of the appendages you have scanty periods, you need to see a gynecologist soon

Related topics

women can someone also had? I speak immediately to the doctor until I have the opportunity to go, just ask for advice, 29.11 were after. monthly normal say so, 29.12 should have gone next month. but I didn’t come terribly ill, I thought that the pregnancy was sexual intercourse but it was interrupted. There is no digital expensive pregnancy, there are no secretions either, and who faced this? could on mo affect the fact that on the eve of the month. 28.12 very cold feet? may have got a clue?

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How does the cold on the body

For many people, cold is associated with frost, discomfort, and hypothermia. But it can also have a therapeutic effect on the human body, the main thing is to apply it correctly.

It is known that cold receptors are located on the human body much more than thermal ones. Therefore, even with a minimal impact of it, the body will respond with a significant response to such changes. It is this physiological feature that is used when applying compresses to different parts of the body, especially with good blood supply: on the forehead, on the stomach, etc.

The effect of low temperature directly depends on the carrier: it’s one thing to dip into the hole, and another to put cold on the stomach during menstruation. In addition, the mechanical effect of the object on the body is often important. So, for example, an ice pack, in addition to the cooling effect, exerts pressure on the part of the body where it is applied.

Impact on the body depends on many circumstances. Interesting Facts:

  • The greater the difference between a cold environment or object and the human body, the more pronounced the reaction to exposure. In other words, with heavy and painful periods it makes no sense to apply a small compress, where the material is moistened with tap water. It is much more efficient to get an ice bubble from the freezer. If this is difficult to find, you can use the available tools - meat, etc.
  • The area of ​​the contact surfaces is also important: the larger the bubble or piece of chilled pork, the more effective the pain will be relieved and the bleeding will decrease.

When not to use

But cold should be treated with caution, there are cases of an allergic reaction to it. To a greater extent, this concerns exposure to air or low temperature water, but with sensitization and a compress can cause an unpleasant complication. Cold allergy is congenital and acquired - after prolonged adverse effects of low temperatures.

Impact on various structures

Cold has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic effects. But at the same time, as a result of exposure to low temperature, the capillary blood flow of the internal organs improves.

On the nervous system and enzyme activity

Influencing cold receptors even locally, a large number of nerve endings are irritated. This leads to the "activation" of the whole organism.

Also, when a cold is applied, a normal physical phenomenon occurs - heat exchange between the object and the human body. As a result, blood lowers its temperature. And it is known that most enzymes and biologically active substances work only under certain conditions - optimally 36 - 37 degrees.

Cold on the stomach and cessation of menstruation

Active cold affects the blood vessels. Thus, an initially attached ice pack will cause a narrowing of the superficial arteries and veins. In this case, the blood rushes to the internal organs, primarily to the heart, the brain.

In the future, the spasm of the skin vessels is replaced by their expansion - there is a change in its staining from a pale color to a bright red, and itching often occurs in this place. If the effects overdose, you can cause impaired blood flow in this area. That is why in gynecological practice is used attachment of the bladder with ice for 20 - 30 minutes several times with intervals of 5 - 10.

Of course, to completely stop the bleeding and heavy periods are unlikely to succeed, but to significantly reduce the intensity and provide prophylaxis for progression - yes.

We recommend reading the article on how to stop menstruation. From it you will learn about the use of traditional medicine methods and special preparations, the effectiveness of the diet, as well as the use of other means.

On cell structure

When exposed to low temperatures in the skin and adjacent internal organs, immune reactions are enhanced. The rate of flow of all biochemical processes in tissues also changes, cells become less permeable and insensitive to certain substances. It is this property that reduces pain during algomenorrhea.

So, to summarize, you can identify the basic principles of the effects of cold on the body:

  • Initially contributes to the narrowing of the surface and the expansion of deep-lying vessels. With prolonged exposure - the opposite.
  • Reduces the blood supply of organs. This leads to a decrease in edema and partial or complete cessation of pain.
  • Analgesic exposure site. There is a "freezing" of nerve endings, the transfer of impulses and the speed of many biochemical reactions are slowed down, and the sensitivity of cells is also lost for a while.
  • All of the above leads to a decrease in inflammatory processes. For example, if lower abdominal pain is caused by excessive production of prostaglandins, then a bubble with people is one of the effective remedies in this case.

Will it help with pain

Many people know that if you apply cold on the stomach during menstruation, it will reduce the amount of discharge and relieve to some extent the pain.

It is caused by many factors, both reflex nature, and a decrease in the activity of enzymes, a slowdown in metabolism, and some others.

In order to get a result, you need to know some of the nuances. These include:

  • You should apply the coldest item available, ideally a bubble with ice.
  • The greater the area of ​​contact, the more effective the procedure.
  • Applying is not worth more than 20 - 30 minutes. Then you need to take a break for 5 - 7, if necessary - repeat the procedure. So you can avoid excessive exposure and hypothermia.
  • Any material, such as a towel, should be placed between the skin and the ice pack. Otherwise, you can get a mild frostbite.

Can there be a delay

By itself, the delay of menstruation due to cold does not happen. Most likely, such violations of the cycle are caused by hormonal disorders, stress, feelings, etc. After all, when a girl uses cold to reduce bleeding or to relieve pain, this already indicates some kind of pathology in her body. That is why often after such violations can be functional delays.

Cold is an interesting and quite effective way to influence the body. In obstetric and gynecological practice, both physical properties and the systemic response of the body to its effects are used. You can use cold at home to stop any kind of bleeding, including uterine bleeding, to relieve swelling and reduce inflammation.