Simi Pharmacy

Winter storm in Southern California … WHA-A-T ? !!!

Like everybody else, SIMI PHARMACY heard the weather forecast.

“A strong cold front will move over southwest California through Wednesday morning with very windy conditions and rapidly falling rain.  Cold, showery weather will persist until an unusual winter storm brings periods of heavy rain and heavy mountain snow to the region Friday through Saturday night.”

Even places like Conejo, Simi and San Fernando Valleys could see snowfall ! Can’t believe it ?  Well, just poke your nose out the door.

We’re feeling it now but in a couple weeks our weather story is going to be retold in the form of statistics:

  • More accidents
  • More heart attacks and strokes
  • More colds
  • More flu
  • More sinus, bronchitis, asthma and arthritis flare-ups

Let’s go point by point:

This is Southern California – beautiful blue skies all the time.  There is absolutely no necessity for SoCal people to learn how to drive in # ϟ !! █ █ █ !! weather.  Obvious safety suggestion: If you don’t really have to drive, STAY HOME.

But you need your prescription refilled ?

No problemo … Call us up.  If your prescription is already in our records and you only need more of the same, we’ll do a repeat.  If it’s a new prescription, or a changed prescription, send us a scan. We will confirm and put it together for you.  SIMI PHARMACY DELIVERS !

Next, what does a dramatic fall in temperature mean for your health?

Lower temperatures trigger the body’s sympathetic nervous system which in turn constricts the blood vessels.  Narrower blood vessels mean the heart has to work harder to to pump blood around your body.  In other words, blood pressure rises.  Cold weather also brings a higher chance of developing blood clots and pushes up cholesterol.  American Heart Association findings show that heart attacks and strokes are more common during cold weather.

Then there’s the problem with the old schnozzola.  Your nose is packed with blood vessels: they tighten up in cold weather and expand when it gets hot.  Cold weather is no picnic, but what’s worse is a period of rapid temperature fluctuation – hot-cold, hot-cold.  People with sinus trouble can expect some rotten headaches when the weather is like this.  Some migraine sufferers also report that yo-yo weather brings on headaches.

Cold weather is bad news for bronchitis or asthma.  The lungs of people with these conditions are somewhat inflamed all the time and super-inflamed when there’s a flare-up. A flare-up means that the airways narrow and breathing becomes difficult.  Breathing in cold air can trigger muscles in the lung to spasm even as they are trying to keep the airways open.  The lining of the airways react and – bingo! – coughing, wheezing and gasping for air.

Colds are caused by viruses and not low temperatures as such.  But it is true that viruses like cold weather.  It keeps them stable, they last longer which means you are more likely to be exposed to them. 

The medical jury is still out on the question of whether it is actually cold weather that makes the ache and stiffness of arthritic joints worse.  Many arthritis sufferers swear that it does.  Recently, the Arthritis Foundation voiced  a strong suspicion that change in barometric pressure (weight of the air) is the culprit in increased joint pain.  It’s for sure that just sitting around leads to stiff joints. 


Dress warmly.  Wear multiple layers instead of one thick layer.

Stay hydrated. Drink warm liquids, eat a lot of fruit.  A chilly day is the perfect time to make ginger tea – which is simply a bit of minced ginger boiled in a pot of water with sugar (or sweetener) to taste.  Or, if you‘re really in the mood for a warmer-up, “cutting chai” will set you right.  [Here’s a link for the recipe – ]

Cold weather is also a good time for anything made with tahini (sesame seed paste).  Or, nip in to an Indian grocery store and pick up a little box of til gajak (candy made from sesame seed). Sweet!  And warming!

Keep your immune system in top condition.  You need plenty of Vitamins D, C, B12 and zinc.

Get your flu shot. (Actually, flu can strike in any weather.)

If you have asthma or bronchitis avoid breathing in cold air.  Stay inside (provided the indoor air is free of allergens) and if you have to go out, then wear a mask or a scarf over the nose.  If it feels like your lungs are about to act up, puff on a a short-acting albuterol inhaler.

Sinus sufferers, hunch over your vaporizers.  Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water – it’s magic!  Alternatively, get under a good hot shower and dress warmly when you get out.

If you have arthritis, keep your joints from getting stiff by moving around at frequent intervals.

SIMI PHARMACY always looks on the bright side:  California needs the rain and the sun will be back soon.   We can’t change the weather but we can take care of ourselves.    

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