Internal and external changes, like intense physical activity, hot weather, certain medications, and fever, affect the human body's temperature. The average body temperature is around 98.6 °F (37 °C), but it's common to have a higher body temperature on a sweltering day or after intense physical activity. However, once the thermometer shows a temperature above 100.4 °F (38 °C), it could indicate a fever.
In most cases, reducing body heat is vital for our health. In this article, we outline seven ways to reduce body heat.
If possible, always seek shelter or protection from the sun or heat. Overexposure can increase body heat and lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke or sunstroke. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable when overexposed to the sun or heat.
If you've spent a lot of time out in the sun, watch out for the following symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke: dizziness, headaches, reduced concentration, vomiting, muscle pain, seizures, and liver failure.
Drink cool liquids
One of the best ways to reduce body heat is by drinking cool liquids, like iced tea or cold water. If you have no choice but to be out in the sun, always carry a bottle of cold water with you. This also helps you avoid dehydration, which can increase body heat.
Stay in a cool room
Staying in a cool place, such as an air-conditioned room, allows the body to cool down. In a cold room, the body releases heat through convection, a process that occurs when colder air surrounds the body.
Soak in cool water
Jumping in a cold pool or directly applying cold water to your skin can reduce body heat. The body releases heat through conduction—the process of transferring heat into cool water nearby.
The body releases heat when it moves. For prosthesis users, walking or moving with a prosthetic limb requires more energy, which means that the body needs to release more heat. So, limit movement as much as possible.
Wear lighter clothing
Retail companies often release summer clothing in breathable fabrics, like cotton and linen. Natural materials allow heat to escape from the body more efficiently, unlike synthetic fabrics, like nylon. Prosthesis users will surely benefit from wearing lighter fabrics, especially when the weather is hot.
People who are going through menopause and perimenopause experience hot flashes and night sweats. However, it's possible to manage these conditions by taking evening primrose oil and black cohosh. A study in 2018 found that both supplements effectively reduced the recurrence or severity of hot flashes. If you're going through menopause or perimenopause, we encourage you to ask your doctor about these supplements.
On the flip side, some medications can raise a person's body temperature. Anticholinergics and diuretics can impair the body's ability to sweat, making it impossible to release heat. Beta-blockers, inhaled anesthetics, succinylcholine, and neuroleptic drugs also reduce the body's ability to release excess heat.
Meanwhile, some medications and recreational drugs incite the body to produce excess heat by increasing the metabolic rate. These include amphetamines, excessive thyroid hormones, cocaine, and methamphetamines.If you have to take medications that cause your body temperature to rise, take extra precautions. Ensure to drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day, and regulate the temperature in your room.