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The body is very effective in maintaining and regulating the correct temperature in extreme conditions of heat and cold. We can go skiing in freezing cold conditions or lay on hot sunny beaches and the body copes fine. We control our temperature by various means. We remove or add clothing, move in the shade, swim to cool down, or go inside and sit by a heater to warm up. These are conscious actions and choices we make, our bodies also have an automatic thermostat which maintains our temperature by adjusting circulation and heartbeat as well as controlling our environment. Our bodies shiver to warm up and perspire to help us cool down.

Problems can occur when this thermostat does not function correctly due to extremes in temperature. When the body heats up, we get heat exhaustion. With this, the patient will become very hot and sweaty and increase respiration and distress. Heat exhaustion can be controlled by moving the patient into a cooler environment and giving them sips of water and keeping them calm. Heatstroke is a much more serious condition. This is where the body's thermostat fails due to extreme temperature. With heat stroke, do not give the patient anything to drink.

With heat stroke, the patient's most obvious sign is they no longer sweat and their skin is dry. This is because the body reduces blood flow to the non-vital organs, I.e., the skin, and this prevents perspiration. Treatment includes cooling the person down using cold, wet towels or a hose until the emergency services arrive. You must keep monitoring the patient at all times, watching their respiration and the state of consciousness. One important factor with any heat-related problem is dehydration, so whenever you are exposed to higher temperatures, ensure you drink plenty of water to make sure your body is hydrated well enough to control its own temperature effectively. Consider using electrolyte powders mixed with water or pre-made drinks to maintain hydration, especially if exercising in the heat.