Health Problems of High Humidity and How To Remedy Them

June 12, 2015 Updated: June 12, 2015

It’s not the heat — it’s the humidity that causes a lot of your summer discomforts. You can’t change the weather, but there are a few things you can do to stave off that out-of-sorts, stuffy, headachy feeling of a hot, humid, summer day.

Symptoms: Fatigue, Headachs, Brain Fog
Remedies: Hydrate and Replace Electrolytes



Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health, told Care2 that humidity saps energy and depletes electrolytes and vital minerals that can make you feel tired, headachy, and out of sorts. She offers these three tips to combat humidity:

1. Drink 1/2 your body weight — in pounds — in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces.

2. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in every quart of drinking water.

3. Stir 1-2 tablespoons of magnesium citrate powder into your water and sip it throughout the day. Magnesium a key electrolyte, is known as the anti-stress mineral. It affects over 700 enzyme processes in the body and is a co-factor for healthy bones, heart and brain health. It is also a bronchial dilator for asthma symptoms and is an energy mineral, being one of the key electrolytes in the ATP [adenosine triphosphate] energy-producing process in the body.

Symptoms: Stuffy Nose, Eye Irritation, Wheezing, Skin Irritation
Remedies: Get Your Home’s Humidity Level Under Control



Stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, and skin irritation can be an allergic reaction to mold, mildew, and high concentrations of bacteria and dust mites. Controlling the level of humidity in your home can help control mold growth and other biological microorganisms. Here’s how:

1. Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and be sure to use them while showering or bathing.

2. Ventilate cooking areas.

3. Make sure your air conditioner is the right size for your home. Air conditioning can help control humidity, but an oversized air conditioner can raise the relative humidity. Have your air conditioner professionally inspected and serviced. 

4. If you use a dehumidifier, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting it, or you could end up making matters worse. According to the American Lung Association, you should not dehumidify to indoor relative humidity levels below 35 percent. Doing so may cause chapped lips and skin, scratchy nose and throat, and breathing problems. If you experience respiratory problems, stop using your dehumidifier and see your doctor.

5. Purchase a hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity levels.

Symptom: Gout Flare-up
Remedy: Avoid Foods That Increase Chances of Gout Flare-up


Dietician and health writer Joe Leech (a former Care2 writer) says gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States — and heat and humidity are major risk factors for gout flare-ups. Referencing research that shows heat and humidity are associated with higher risk of a gout attack, Leech cautions those at high risk of gout to be especially mindful during the warmer months, and suggest you minimize or avoid certain things in your diet, including:

1. Alcohol, particularly beer, which is the greatest risk factor.

2. Regular meat.

3. Organ meat.

4. Soft drinks and added sugar. (Most do not realize how strong the link is between fructose and gout.)

5. Very high fructose fruits.

6. Low-dose aspirin, a popular heart disease preventative, is a huge risk factor for gout.

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