Heat kills more people in the U.S. than any other extreme weather combined- including tornados, hurricanes, lightning, floods, and earthquakes. More than 300 Texans died from heat in 2023

The way heat kills is as horrific as any other weather-related death, too. It can cause extreme damage to your body, and even "melt" your insides, through a condition known as Rhabdomyolysis.


What Is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is a rare muscle injury that causes your muscles to break down and disintegrate- releasing toxins into your body.

This can happen during a heat stroke. In essence, when your muscles "melt" into your body, your kidneys cannot handle the overload of toxins and you go into renal failure. If you don't die, you'll likely be on dialysis for the rest of your life.

Additionally, heatstroke can, "liquefy the cell membrane and damage the cellular structure and organelles," of the organs of your body. Your gut lining can literally disintegrate.

Obviously, this does extreme damage to your internal organs and releases more toxins into your bloodstream. Heat can also damage your brain and your heart.

Symptoms of Heatstroke

According to the Mayo Clinic, you may be experiencing heatstroke if you have been exposed to high temperatures and have any of the following symptoms:

High body temperature 

Altered mental state or behavior

Alteration in sweating

Nausea and vomiting

Flushed skin

Rapid breathing

Racing heart rate.


Risk Factors for Heatstroke

Of course, high temperatures can cause heat stroke. So can strenuous exercise or a combination therein. Dehydration, alcohol consumption, and wearing excess clothing (that doesn't allow you to sweat properly) can increase the risk of heatstroke.

Your age, medications you are on and certain health conditions can also increase your risk of heatstroke.

Take the Texas heat seriously. Stay hydrated, rest, replace electrolytes, take breaks out of the heat, and never try to "push through" if you experience any symptoms of heatstroke.

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