What Heat Does to the Human Body

Euthermia; that is, the ideal body temperature, sits ideally between 36.5 and 37.5°C with a literal difference being made by just a single degree. The human body is far more sensitive to heat than we realise, and as such, has an array of complicated biological mechanisms to ensure that it remains in the ideal range of euthermia.

That is the reason why discomfort from heat can be so unbearable this time of year, and it is also the reason why there are fans in South African houses, no matter which part of the country you look in.

But what actually happens to our bodies whenever the temperature rises? Spoiler, it’s nothing particularly good.

The Body as a Walking Chemical Reaction

A great number of the processes responsible for your bodily functions take place in your body as chemical reactions. All of them occur best between the range of 36.5 and 37.5°C.

However, as your body conducts these processes to convert nutrients into energy, it essentially only uses around a quarter of its resources to produce energy for movement and functionality, the remaining three quarters are simply turned into heat.

This heat needs to be removed from your body so that it can maintain an ideal temperature, and so blood moves closer towards the body-surface so that it can be cooled.

When the Temperature Rises

When external temperatures rise, it can make things difficult for your body since it slows the transfer of heat from your body, to the air. In such cases, your body responds by raising your heart-rate and expanding blood vessels, to get more blood to the outer layer of skin.

When even this proves ineffective, your body will draw moisture from your blood in order to create sweat. This is carried to pores in the skin, via the bloodstream, which cools the body as it evaporates.

The Dangers of Heat Stroke

As sweat is produced, your body begins to lose a percentage of its mass in moisture. Studies have revealed that by the time a person feels thirsty in such a condition, they have already lost 2% of their body weight in water.

By the time a body reaches the 8% threshold, it is at a huge risk of being impaired by heat stroke. By the time this very serious condition sets in, the brain has effectively been starved of oxygen and the body has lost its ability to cool itself; and would require immediate medical attention.

Get a Fan from AF Fans

If ever there was a good reason to stay cool this summer, this is it. Contact AF Fans today to find out more about our products, or visit our website for details.