Hyperthermia and Hypothermia

Hyperthermia and hypothermia are two extreme conditions associated with heat and cold. Hypothermia is when the body drops to dangerously low levels, and hyperthermia is when the body rises to dangerously high levels. Both are the complete opposite of each other, but carry the same amount of life-threatening risk. These are examples of negative effects of heat and cold, however, heat and cold can also prove to be very beneficial in other ways.

One condition of hyperthermia is heat stress. This may then lead to heat exhaustion and a heat stroke, in which people can experience dizziness, weakness, nausea, thirst, and headaches. To combat this, drink lots of water and provide your body with electrolytes. Heat syncope may also occur. This is when blood pressure decreases and the flow of blood to the brain is dramatically reduced, therefore leading to fainting. Other conditions of hyperthermia include heat cramps, heat edema, and heat rash.

Hypothermia is when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. It occurs when body temperatures drop below 95°F. If hypothermia is not treated immediately, the heart and respiratory system become extremely susceptible to failure and eventually cause death. Shivering is the body’s initial response to cold temperatures. It is an attempt to produce heat and make the body warmer. If this method fails, more symptoms will show such as slurred speech or mumbling, slow, shallow breathing, weak pulse, clumsiness or lack of coordination, drowsiness or very low energy, confusion or memory loss, and loss of consciousness.

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