10 Topics for exams
9. Feeling under the weather A long time ago when people lived mostly out-of-doors, they were close to nature. They noticed that plants, mammals, insects and birds sensed the coming of any weather change sooner than people did. So when ancient people saw animals seeking shelter, they did, too. Nowadays people have much more problems and interferes of weather conditions. Some people are very sensitive to humidity. People who have arthritis are, in a sense, “living hydrometers”. High humidity causes the fluids in their tissues and joints to increase, making movement difficult and painful. That is why many older people say, “it’s going to rain. I can feel it in my bones”. They actually can. Few people in northern countries enjoy the long, dark nights and cold temperatures of winter. According to scientists, wintery conditions may be making some people ill. They suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the winter blues. Sufferers become depressed as the days become shorter but recover rapidly in spring. The symptoms can be very serious and may be mistaken for signs of mental illness. They include sleeping more than usual but never feeling rested, melancholy, listlessness, weight gain and lack of energy among others. The further you live from the equator, the more likely you are to be affected by SAD. It is believed that up to 20% of the population of northern countries suffers from SAD and that 5% are chronic cases. But even if you don’t have full-blown SAD, you may still experience a few symptoms, such as increased fatigue and a “down” mood, from the lack of light. So, if you have any of those symptoms it’s better for you to see your doctor, to keep your home and workplace as bright as possible, light treatment with special bulbs, given under your doctor’s direction, can alleviate and even prevent symptoms It takes a little sleuthing, but once you’ve fingered the source of your blues, and applied the appropriate fix, who knows? You may actually start to enjoy winter for a change!