For The Health of It: The stress of overheating

Tyler Ryan and Hima Dalal discuss the dangers of heat and activities



Stress is the leading cause of weather-related death and can exacerbate underlying diseases like diabetes, psychological distress, asthma, and infectious diseases. According to WHO, global warming has caused increased the heat intensity and frequency of heat waves. If the human body overheats, the body can experience dehydration, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, loss of consciousness, confusion, skin rash, B.P. increase, permanent muscle damage, and in some cases organ damage and death.

A rise in body temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to death. Avoid prolonged time in heat, take frequent breaks or stay in shaded areas when you go to the beach, garden, sports activities, etc. Wear sunglasses, hats, coverups, and long-sleeved clothes. Keep your neck covered to maintain a
safe body temperature. Make sure to stay hydrated with water, consume drinks with tons of electrolytes, and keep cold packs and compresses on hand. Be mindful of quick water loss with sweating and alcohol consumption.

If you start sweating profusely, experience a loss of speech or confusion, increased heart rate, or experience vomiting and diarrhea, do not ignore your symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Also be mindful of children and pets who may have a tougher time monitoring their body temperature on their own. Do not expose them to heat for a prolonged period when there is said to be a higher heat index. If you suffer with muscle cramping fatigue and it lasts for longer than 36 hours, you will benefit from visiting your PT/OT.

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