NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Is the heat making you miserable? If so, you’re not alone.
North Texas is in the 58th day of triple-digit temperatures and Max Nelson, with Texas Health Presbyterian Plano, says the prolonged heat wave can have a negative affect on people.
“It impacts all kind of organisms, including the brain,” explained Nelson. “Impulse control is going to be lowered and it increases use of alcohol for people, which obviously decreases their inhibitions.”
Some people say the heat “drains” the energy out of them and to an extent that’s true. “If we’re not properly hydrated you certainly will feel lethargic, not the mention that appetite is suppressed by heat,” said Nelson.
According to Nelson, during cold weather at least people can bundle up, but when it’s hot all you can do is sweat. That clamminess can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, which in turn can make people crankier and increase the likelihood they’ll make bad decisions.
Experts say our bodies not only have to work harder to cool off in the heat but we need to consume more calories to keep the body properly fueled. Nelson says often those extra calories aren’t coming from the right places. “We don’t consume, typically, enough of the right kinds of calories and fruits and vegetables”.
The stress of heat and dehydration can be a health threat for healthy people and will worsen just about any underlying medical condition.