How Illinois’ Extreme Heat Does Damage to Your Body
Another week of temperatures in the 90s is coming to Illinois. Here's what can happen to your body when it gets really hot.
The National Weather Service is forecasting another VERY hot week ahead. The forecasted high every day is in the mid-90s and it's possible we may see the thermometer hit 100 degrees during the last full week of July.
No matter your age, or current health condition, oppressive heat and our beloved humidity can really mess with our bodies, inside and out.
How Illinois' Extreme Heat Does Damage to Your Body
When our body is exposed to excessive heat, we sweat and lose fluids, which can lead to dehydration. PLUS, this can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a decrease in blood pressure.
Heat rash is a pretty common skin condition and it's caused by increased sweating and blocked sweat ducts.
I get these often and I get them in my calves and they're awful. When your body gets too hot, it begins to sweat in order to cool itself off. However, when the sweat evaporates, it also removes electrolytes and other minerals from the body. That leads to inflammation of the muscles, resulting in cramps.
Increased heart rate
Our body responds to extreme heat by increasing our heart rate to improve the circulation of blood and regulate our body’s temperature.
When it gets really hot it's harder to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Extreme heat and high humidity may result in asthma flare-ups.
Dehydration reduces blood volume, which means that less blood reaches the brain.
The body’s natural circadian rhythm is affected by temperature changes, so when it gets too hot, that rhythm is disrupted.
Put on some sunscreen
When we're out in this heat for a long period of time our sweat glands become overactive, leading to increased fluid retention in certain areas of the body. This can cause swelling in those areas, typically the legs, feet, and ankles.
Excessive heat can cause multi-organ failure in the body by affecting vital organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and intestines.
Heatstroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when our body can't regulate its temperature.