Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

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Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:32 am

So I was always told by my parents to wear a jacket all the way up to the month of May because otherwise I'll catch ebola or something.

In high school I often woke up late so I didn't have time to dry my hair. So it was January -4 C and every other day I was walking outside to my campus and some of my hair had actually froze. Those years I caught fewer colds.

I also got caught in freezing rain one night (going to a restaurant) and it was a 30 minute walk back to shelter. There were 50 MPH winds also and my clothes were saturated with water as the rain wasn't expected. I got so cold I felt dizzy and it took an hour to stop shivering, but I didn't catch a cold. I'm skinny so I feel the cold more. During middle school I'd often wear nothing but a thin polo shirt, even in the winter when it was snowing. In those 4 years I only caught 2 colds.

I have a low white cell count because I'm anemic (sort of genetic) so if anyone's immune system would be suppressed by weather it should be me. I had asthma in highschool so even in the winter I'd have my bedroom windows fully open all the time to help me breathe. I didn't get any more colds.

Wikipedia said a famous painter named Maurycy Gottleib committed suicide by roaming around town at night, in July. It said because of this, he caught a cold and died. I also read in the Daily Mail a man got pneumonia after he walked in the rain for 5 minutes. Coincidences?

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:27 am

Well, I don't know. Perhaps your immune system is actually more robust than your white blood cell count would suggest.

I think "white blood cells" might actually be a little out of date as far as how science has come to understand the immune system. There are actually many different kinds of cells that play a role in the immune system.

I would recommend the following video for an updated idea of the immune system:

[youtube]zQGOcOUBi6s[/youtube]
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:28 am

I don't think there's anything to it. But cold air makes your nose run. You wipe your nose with the back of your nasty-ass hand that you just had down the pants of that street whore. I can see a problem.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:44 am

I thought so too, but then you have all the anecdotes eg. getting a cold/pneumonia after exposure to cold weather etc. coincidences?
It's a similar thing when people claim they got a cold from the flu shot, because the flu shot somehow weakened their defenses. This has yet to happen to me though and I've been having my yearly flu shots for over a decade.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by asthmatic camel » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:46 am

I have an idea that people tend to gather together in warm places where illnesses are more easily when it's cold. That may account for the commonly held belief that cold causes colds. I worked outdoors in all weathers for years and didn't notice it making me ill.
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:09 pm

I thought so too. But I did refer to Maurycy Gottleib, Wikipedia says he committed suicide by roaming around town on a July night, catching a cold which quickly killed him.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by ed » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:13 pm

SkepticalSemite wrote:Wikipedia says
Well then.
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:30 pm

Not exclusively Wikipedia in that sense but all accounts of his death I could find mention the same thing.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by ed » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:35 pm

You ever hear this one?

Know the web on your hand between thumb and forefinger? My mom told me that if that gets cut, you get lockjaw and die a horrible death.
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:44 pm

ed wrote:
SkepticalSemite wrote:Wikipedia says
Well then.
Guess it's time for me to go over there and correct it.

Not under my real name, of course.

Maybe I'll use ed's. :P
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:45 pm

ed wrote:You ever hear this one?

Know the web on your hand between thumb and forefinger? My mom told me that if that gets cut, you get lockjaw and die a horrible death.
That's not what she told me. :rimshot:







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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:56 pm

ed wrote:You ever hear this one?

Know the web on your hand between thumb and forefinger? My mom told me that if that gets cut, you get lockjaw and die a horrible death.
And eating too much sugar gives you worms. My mother still believes that one.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by ed » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:35 pm

My Mom was shocked when I somewhat recently told her that she was wrong about that.
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:42 pm

Seems the idea that going out in the cold makes you more likely to get a cold was disproved in the seventies:
In one of the experiments, subjects were kept for hours, nude at temperatures just above freezing. I doubt a July night is a fair comparison:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 0346&hl=en

How does this explain all the people reported to have gotten such illnesses right after cold exposure? Confirmation bias? Coincidences? If that is the case how did Maurycy Gottleib actually die? Every article I could find concerning his death (at the age of 23) says the same thing - that he wondered the street at night (in July..) as a form of suicide.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:40 pm

OK.

But what about having wet feet in the cold? :notsure:
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Doctor X » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:35 pm

SkepticalSemite wrote:This has yet to happen to me though and I've been having my yearly flu shots for over a decade.
Rather explains why you do not "get a cold."

I long ago learned to get the yearly shot having often been surrounded by Wandering Fomites. Before, about once a year I would inevitably get "the flu" and I would have a good week aches, pains, feeling worse than Lister Shit [Tm.--Ed.], and having sinus so clogged I had to turn them into a meth cooker just to breath.

After flu shots?

At worse, I would get one to three days of the "immune response." This usually was not connected to the vaccination. At some point, I would feel the general muscle aches, clouded sensibilities, and a few sniffles, but that would be that.

Last year, They [Tm.--Ed.] got the strain wrong. This time I got a more pronounced "flu." My muscles for three days felt like I had hyper-lifted weights--my lats were in fucking pain--my brain felt it was "a small village with a majestic view of the Neen Valley," bones grinded, and Walt started moving into my sinuses. The worse lasted 24 hours, far less than any viral flu I have ever had.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by asthmatic camel » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:11 am

But was it "flu" or a "cold"? I have not suffered from the former for over ten years since the onset of diabetes and free annual shots courtesy of the NHS. I have, however, suffered from many of the latter, kindly donated by Mrs. Camel who collects such during her daily contact with the great unwashed, a practice I avoid like the plague. Although the symptoms are somewhat similar, they are caused by completely different viruses and it has so far proved impossible to develop an effective vaccine for the common cold.
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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by Doctor X » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:19 am

Oddly enough, I tend to avoid the "cold"--from rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, and respiratory syncytial virus primarily. I suppose I could attribute the "immune reaction" from the "flu" to those, it is not as severe as "colds" I have had.

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Re: Why don't I get illnesses more when I am cold?

Post by DrMatt » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:09 pm

Recent research has shown that the immune system is sluggish in cold tissues. Our noses double as radiators for our brains, and tend to be several degrees cooler than most of our bodies--moreso in winter weather. So the researchers are not surprised that the nose is the initial infection site for certain viruses. Google it.

Some people just have a different immune response. Lucky them.
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