The facts about extreme heat and body temperature

There’s a good reason you feel happier when it’s sunny outside. UV rays from the sun help your body to produce vitamin D. This is a vital vitamin that strengthens bones, muscles and your body’s immune system.  Sunshine also stimulates pineal gland in the brain. This gland produces a positive chemical known as tryptamine which helps to lift your mood.

The sun can be dangerous too. Too much exposure causes sun burn, especially for people with sensitive skin. It can lead to blistering, eye damage and age the skin, if you spend too much time soaking up the rays. Plus there’s a genuine threat from heat stroke in hot conditions, where there’s an uncontrolled rise in body temperature.

Air conditioning helps to prevent this, stay out of the sun and remain in cooler conditions to prevent the body from overheating due to an excessive rise in temperature.

Heat stroke affects numerous people each year, here we explore the causes, typical symptoms and what to do if you or somebody you are with starts to experience problems.

Heat Stroke Causes

What causes heat stroke? One of the main contributing factors is an excess of heat, where the body is subjected to too much sun or prolonged periods in a high temperature without being given the chance to cool down.  Extreme temperatures cause the body to sweat, when this happens over a prolonged period of time the body becomes dehydrated, it fails to produce water, sweating reduces, and the ability to cool down stops, which leads to heat stroke.

Not drinking enough water also contributes to the condition. You need to stay hydrated during warm weather and drink plenty of fluids to give your body the chance to rehydrate. If you feel hot, keep the water levels topped up, this will help you sweat and prevent the body from overheating.

Heat Stroke Symptoms            

There are a variety of symptoms that can be used to indicate signs if heat stroke. They include:

  • A significant rise in body temperature
  • Rapid heartbeat compared to normal
  • Rise or drop in blood pressure
  • Hot skin that is dry to the touch
  • Painful headache
  • Slightly confused state
  • Unconsciousness

If the person suffers a combination of these symptoms there’s a good chance their body temperature is way above normal and you should help them straight away.

Treating Heat Stroke

Spot the symptoms of heat stroke and it’s best to act fast to prevent the condition from escalating further.  Move the person out of direct heat to begin, find them a cool and shaded place to recover if you can, an air conditioned setting is ideal.

Next try to speed up the cooling process by covering the person in a damp sheet. You might want to spray them with cool water, this help their core temperature drop a little.  If you have a fan handy turn it on, and use air conditioning where possible to temperature control the room.

As a final precaution seek medical assistance and stay with the person until they start to feel a little better.

Too much sun and over-exposure to heat can be harmful to your body.  Pay attention, watch out for symptoms of heat stroke and be prepared to take remedial action if you suspect there’s a danger.