What is the danger of hypothermia for the body?
What is hypothermia?
Lowering body temperature below the level necessary for the natural functioning of organs and maintaining metabolism is called hypothermia. In the people, such a condition is better known as hypothermia.
The body temperature of a healthy person is 36.6 ° C. Slight deviations from 36.0 ° C to 36.9 ° C are possible. The mechanism of thermoregulation is responsible for supporting such indicators. It is he who resists the cold acting on the body. As soon as the body temperature begins to drop, the thermoregulatory mechanism immediately activates the metabolism. This leads to an increase in heat generation and a decrease in its return.
But if the cold acts on the body for a long time, then its own resources are exhausted. Body temperature begins to decline. The physiological norm, after which the processes occurring in the body are disrupted, is an indicator of 34.0 ° C. If the temperature drops below this value, hypothermia develops.
When the temperature drops below a critical indicator, the metabolism slows down, blood circulation worsens, and the life support of internal organs decreases.
Reasons for hypothermia
It is believed that hypothermia can occur only in winter, in severe frosts. This is not true. You can become a victim of hypothermia even at + 10 ° C, if you walk in wet clothes for a long time.
Not a seasoned body in the hole should not swim
Most often, the following causes lead to hypothermia of the body:
low air temperature;
light clothing, refusal to wear hats, gloves;
wrong shoes (too tight, on a very thin sole or rubber);
long stillness on the street;
wet clothing that has been in contact with the body for a long time;
swimming in cold water.
Significantly increases the risk of hypothermia while intoxicated. In this state, the vessels are dilated. Blood flowing from the heart cools quickly. It is able to cool the heart, and then the rest of the internal organs.
The risk of hypothermia increases with the following conditions and diseases:
deficiency of vitamins, minerals in the body;
severe shock, depression, stress;
chronic inflammatory, infectious diseases that deplete the body;
heart diseases that cause blood clotting and make it difficult to pump (heart failure);
cirrhosis of the liver;
Addison’s disease (this is adrenal insufficiency);
suffered traumatic brain injury, accompanied by loss of consciousness;
hypothyroidism (a thyroid disease in which the thermoregulation mechanism may be impaired);
acute blood loss, in which the body does not have time to work out a compensatory response.
People with disabilities are more susceptible to disease.
The risk group for the development of hypothermia includes small children, the elderly, and immobilized patients.
Diseases associated with hypothermia
Against the background of hypothermia, a variety of pathologies can develop, ranging from a common cold and ending with severe frostbite with subsequent amputation. Prolonged exposure to cold can be fatal. Moreover, death can occur not only from hypothermia, but also from improper warming of a person.
In case of hypothermia of the legs, the following pathologies can occur:
pyelonephritis (an inflammatory process in the kidneys);
frostbite of the limbs;
cystitis (inflammation of the bladder);
adnexitis in women (inflammation in the reproductive system).
With hypothermia of the lower back, such diseases can develop:
inflammatory processes in the kidneys;
prostatitis in men;
reproductive system diseases.
If the head freezes, then there is a risk of encountering the following pathologies:
aggravation of hypertension;
inflammation of the facial, trigeminal nerve;
From hypothermia ear inflammation develops
Hypothermia of the whole organism can lead to the development of:
diseases of the central nervous system;
pathologies of the respiratory system.
The danger of chronic hypothermia
Some people experience regular hypothermia. As a rule, this is due to the characteristics of the profession. For example, there is a high risk of hypothermia in professional divers, rescuers, and divers.
Such people often complain about the following consequences of constant hypothermia:
decrease in mental activity;
development of apathy.
To protect themselves from possible hypothermia, doctors recommend observing preventive rules:
Choose clothes and shoes according to the weather. In cold weather, you must definitely wear gloves, a hat.
Do not smoke or drink alcohol in the cold. This leads to circulatory disorders.