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How Summer Weather Can Threaten Your Heart

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

The risk of heat-related illnesses and cardiovascular diseases increases as the summer heatwave continues. During summer, our body temperature naturally increases when the outside temperatures rise. To maintain body temperature, our bodies send blood close to the skin, causing an increase in heart rate and dilation of blood vessels, thereby increasing the burden on the heart.

Dr. Jang Deok Hyun, head of the Cardiology Department at Bucheon Sejong Hospital, said, “Heatwaves not only lead to heat-related diseases but also have a significant impact on the heart.” and added, “If you experience symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, you should seek medical treatment immediately.”

Surprisingly, there are many instances of exposure to cold during the summer. Exposing the body to sudden cold conditions, such as from air conditioning, cold showers, or drinking cold water, after being in a hot environment for extended periods can also be harmful to the heart.

Dehydration-induced electrolyte changes in the body can also cause heart failure or arrhythmias. Even people without previous heart conditions can suddenly suffer from myocardial infarction or malignant arrhythmias during the summer, leading to sudden death.

People with hypertension and diabetes need to be cautious, particularly. As hot weather continues, our bodies strive to maintain a proper body temperature, causing fluctuations in blood pressure due to active contraction and dilation of blood vessels. This can strain the blood vessels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

If a diabetic patient is exposed to high temperatures for a long time, dehydration can lead to a concentration of blood, temporarily increasing blood sugar levels. This could worsen complications and decrease the ability to control blood sugar, leading to symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

The guidelines for maintaining heart health during the summer are much simpler than you might think. Avoid prolonged exposure to the scorching heat and stay in the shade to avoid direct sunlight outdoors. Instead of excessive workouts, do light exercises indoors, like stretching, and ensure you hydrate. To minimize the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, adjust indoor temperature adequately and take showers with lukewarm water.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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