Surviving Extreme Heat: What It Does to Your Body

Many parts of the world are experiencing extreme heat with temperatures that can fry an egg under the sun. In some places, you don’t even need to turn on the water heater because the water coming out of the faucets is too hot that it can almost burn your skin. Climate change is all too real, and the world is finally starting to notice. But more than the discomfort of having to move around in the heat, its impact on one’s health, too, can be detrimental.

Heat emergencies come in three stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. The last one is dangerous because it can be deadly. Your organs will start to malfunction because of the extreme heat outside. Don’t ever belittle the high temperature outside. If it’s too hot, defer going outdoors and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

How to Deal With a Heat Crisis

There are two important things to remember when dealing with a heatwave or heat crisis. The first one is to know the average temperatures in your area, so you are aware of when the temperature is considered too high. And the second one is to prepare to cool your home or office right now.

Extreme heat happens when the temperature hovers 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature, when it lasts for a long period of time, and when it is accompanied by high humidity that the body can no longer tolerate. When you know what parameters you are measuring the temperature against, then it’s easy to detect when extreme heat is being expected. Of course, you have to listen to the news, too.

Another thing you need to do is to prepare your home or office for it. Cooling fans are not going to cut it. You need to tune up the AC to make sure that your cooling unit will work. You seriously don’t want to scavenge around for a repair shop or a new unit in the middle of extreme heat. Your air conditioner needs to be ready for this catastrophe.

Know Whether You Are at Risk

Who are at risk of suffering from heat cramps and heat exhaustion? Almost everyone if they don’t hydrate properly. It’s the same with heatstroke. If you don’t drink plenty of water amid a heat crisis, you are going to be susceptible to these medical conditions. But some people are most at-risk. These are those aged over 65 years old, those who have medical conditions such as diabetes, mental illness, and kidney disease, and those who take medicines that can affect the body heat. Medicines for allergies, heart illnesses, seizures, and depression affect the way the body reacts to heat.

Pregnant women and babies are also at risk, as well as those with drug problems and those who are overweight or obese. If you fall under any of these categories, you must watch out for the impact of the heat crisis on your body. You must prepare your body to adjust to the temperature.

Heat Cramps

This is the first sign of a heat emergency. When you feel muscle pain and tightness, you could be experiencing cramps. It usually happens to people who are physically active in the heat and even those who are not doing any physical activity. The elderly and small children may experience heat cramps more than adults. But if you’re drinking alcohol and dehydrated, you’re going to experience heat cramps, too.

Heat Exhaustion

You might be feeling dizzy because of the heat. That’s no ordinary dizziness. It’s a sign of heat exhaustion, so you must go indoors as soon as possible, hydrate and turn on a cooling unit. Some other symptoms of heat exhaustion are muscle cramps, mild confusion, fast heart rate, headache, irritability, fainting, sweating, extreme thirst, and vomiting. If you have pale skin amid the high temperature outdoors, that might also lead to heat exhaustion.


But how do you know it’s heatstroke? Aside from the symptoms of heat exhaustion, you will also suffer from hallucinations, dry skin, rapid and shallow breathing, irrational behavior, and weak pulse. Other signs are seizures, shallow breathing, and confusion. Immediately go to the emergency room if you or anyone in the household or office are having these symptoms. You need immediate medical attention.

High temperatures are no joke. You are not just dealing with high humidity, sweatiness, and general discomfort. You are also dealing with the possibility of a heatstroke, which continues to claim lives during extremely hot conditions. You need to be aware of the signs so you can seek medical help when needed. Plus, you also have to get your homes and office ready for the heat.

Meta title: What Extreme Heat Does to Your Body
meta desc: In a heat crisis, remember that your health may suffer the most. There are three stages to a heat emergency: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Know how to prepare your body for extreme heat.