The complexity of our body’s temperature-regulating mechanisms is impressive. The whole system works in tandem to keep the body’s core at a healthy level. But the system can be overwhelmed in extreme heat. And the effects can be deadly.
We mainly cool ourselves through sweat. It evaporates off the skin, and pulls away heat and moisture. But in hot weather, the humidity can be high enough that the water won’t evaporate quickly – and you can become dehydrated. This also makes it harder for the body to cool itself down, and it can trigger a medical condition called exercise-related heat exhaustion.
The medulla oblongata – the part of the brain that controls many vital functions, including heartbeat and breathing – senses when it’s too hot. It starts by dilating blood vessels and increasing the heart rate, to bring blood closer to the surface of the skin and help release excess heat. But this strains the heart, and the flow of blood is disrupted. This can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness and a rapid drop in blood pressure, which can lead to fainting or even shock.
In the most serious cases, your body’s core temperature rises to dangerously high levels. At that point, the lungs stop working and the nervous system stops functioning. It’s called heat stroke, and it can kill you if not treated immediately with rest, a cool environment and fluids. If you’re considering Air con Gloucester, contact Ace Comfort Cooling, a provider of Air con Gloucester
If you’re outside in the heat and you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous or confused, it could be signs of heat exhaustion, or even more severe heatstroke. It’s usually not a big deal, and can be fixed with rest in a cool place and some liquids. But if you continue to feel worse, or you start having seizures or losing control of your motor skills, you should seek emergency medical care right away.
Excessive sweating can also lead to heat cramps, which can happen in any muscle that’s used hard when it’s hot and humid. It’s most common in athletes, and in military recruits going through basic training. It’s also one of the most common symptoms seen in people with chronic health conditions, such as mental illness or poor circulation. It can also occur in patients taking certain medications, such as those for depression or schizophrenia. Symptoms of heat cramps include painful spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs, and a red rash that looks like a cluster of pimples or blisters.