By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We’re in the midst of the dog days of summer, and while it’s supposed to be all fun in the sun, it isn’t always beach days and barbecues.

The season affects your health in more ways than you might think, and I’m not just talking about heat exhaustion and sunburn.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” is all about the health issues that are specific to summer.

  1. Growing Vessels – Excessive heat can cause blood vessels to get bigger, which can be a problem for people with diabetes. When insulin is injected, doctors say it can be absorbed faster and put people at a risk for low blood sugar. It’s important to cool off first and insulin must be kept below 86 degrees.
  2. Seasonal Affective Disorder – Summertime sadness isn’t just a song, it’s also a true blue health issue. Seasonal affective disorder in the summer may be triggered by too much sun, which causes an overdose of Vitamin D. Summer SAD sufferers may experience a loss of appetite, anxiety and poor body image. Summer insomnia can lead to irritability and moodiness.
  3. Moody Babies – Speaking of moodiness, babies born in summer are more prone to mood swings that babies born in cooler months, according to the European College of NeuroPsychoPharmacology. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but think neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin may be influenced by the season you’re born.
  4. Increased ER Deaths – The Annals of Internal Medicine says July is actually the most dangerous time to go to the hospital, especially a teaching hospital where new doctors are trained. July is the month the seasoned residents leave and new students arrive. In fact, death rates increase at least 8 percent in hospitals each July.

Do you see a change in your physical or mental health in the summer months?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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