Hotter days put human health at risk

Around the world, excessive heat and erratic weather patterns are major stories. But did you know that people other than experts are also concerned about climate change? Docs are also concerned about it.

Many changes in the environment are caused by rising global temperatures. These include more harsh temperatures, warmer oceans, bigger storms, droughts, and a higher chance of wildfires. Water-borne infections, food contamination, and infectious diseases transmitted by animals (particularly insects like ticks and mosquitoes) can all be caused by these changes. Air pollution is caused by smoke from wildfires, which release carbon dioxide from trees. Your body might also be harmed by extreme heat.

The combined impact of these climate-related hazards may eventually alter human health. Multiple diseases can cause our body to struggle more and can also have a negative impact on our mental health.

Outside temperature affects body temperature

Humans have evolved to be able to regulate their body temperature in order to survive. The body cools itself naturally through sweating. Nevertheless, on particularly hot or muggy days, perspiring may not be sufficient. The Earth’s temperature is rising, and high temperatures make it more difficult for your body to manage itself. When your body cannot cool itself and stays excessively hot, you have hyperthermia. There are several heat-related disorders that can manifest as hyperthermia, including:

Heat-related cramping. These are cramps in the muscles, mainly in the stomach or legs, brought on by salt loss through perspiration. It’s crucial to stay hydrated if you start experiencing heat cramps, especially if the liquids contain electrolytes. Locate a cooler area as well.

Heat-related fatigue. Severe perspiration, clammy, cold skin, nausea, and vomiting are some of the symptoms.
heat-related illness. This occurs when the temperature of your body surpasses 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke poses a serious risk to life.
Who is most vulnerable to illnesses brought on by heat?

Groups most at risk because they are less able to regulate their body temperature include:

Infants and children

Pregnant people

Older adults

People who are overweight

People taking certain medications

If necessary, those with impairments or mobility problems might not be able to reach a cooler. High heat can be dangerous for anyone who work outside or exercise outdoors.

Persistent disorders, such as those affecting the heart, lungs, and brain and blood vessels, might worsen in extremely hot conditions. It may also have an impact on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes-related disorders (COPD).

It’s possible that those with lesser means cannot afford weatherproofing their homes to regulate temperature or purchase home air conditioning. The urban heat island effect also affects people who live in large cities. Roads and building walls are examples of man-made surfaces that both absorb and reemit solar heat. The temperature of the surrounding air rises as a result.

Furthermore, compared to non-Hispanic White persons, the prevalence of several factors—such as chronic illness, poorer incomes, and urban heat islands—is even higher among people of color. Apart from housing discrimination, these groups are more likely to reside in environmentally dangerous areas. Scientists estimate that Black individuals and those 65 and older will be more at risk for health problems.

What can you do to stay safe?

Stay as cool as possible! Remember to:

Consume a large amount of hydrating liquids. The ideal beverages to stay hydrated are water and sports drinks that include no salt or minerals. Steer clear of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar-filled drinks.
Plan your outdoor activities and exercise for when the weather is cooler. Focus on the early hours of the day and night.

Go inside where it’s air conditioned. This can occur in public areas, at home, or in the homes of friends and family. Libraries, movie theaters, retail centers, and community centers are a few alternatives. During emergencies, public areas may also be designated as cooling facilities by local authorities.

Get heated-weather appropriate clothing. Put on light-colored, airy clothing made of moisture-wicking materials.

Try raising your legs if you have heat edema, which is swelling in your ankles and feet brought on by heat or sunburn. Consult a medical expert if it doesn’t work out right away.


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