The chemical activities in the human body take place always within a limited temperature range. These chemical changes do not occur with the same efficiency if there is a change in the body temperature, or if it is too high or low. Heat generated in the body is a result of constant chemical processes that are taking place within the body.
The body requires some amount of heat to maintain its normal temperature. Any heat that is not required by the body for temperature maintenance is evaporated from the body and that is the main reason why we sweat. If this process does not take place, then it leads to hyperthermia and an abnormal rise in body temperature. If the rise body temperature is left unchecked, then it will lead to death. Stopping physical exertion, drinking fluids, and avoiding excessive heat can immediately help to prevent heat-related illnesses.
The three emergencies that are brought about by excessive heat to human beings are heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat cramps which can be caused even due to a slight variation in the body temperature due to the long exposure to heat. In case of heat cramps, one can immediately take some measures to prevent anomalies. Immediately move the person to a cool place and massage the muscle that is cramping in order to help ease discomfort. Apply a warm towel to the cramped muscles for pain relief. Also if the cramps continue and develop into serious signs and symptoms, call 911.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the other typical conditions caused by excessive heat and one has to follow the same first aid procedures mentioned above.
During a heat wave, a person has to take all measures to keep cool; in a cold wave the opposite is true. When a cold wave occurs and a person is exposed to low temperatures, the body starts losing heat and this brings down the core body temperature. This is known as hypothermia and can be fatal.
If a person has been exposed to a cold wave, he or she should be wrapped in a warm blanket to prevent the body from losing heat. In addition, the person should be fed warm broth and soup. You can also get a hot bath ready or get the person to soak his or her feet in warm water.
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