Have you ever had this weird feeling where you feel like you have a fever but you are perfectly fine?
Or do you feel a sensation of heat in your palms and feet?
If yes, then you might be suffering from heat stress.
Well, summers are just around the corner and we should get prepared to combat issues related to heat and temperature.
Let us understand what heat stress is?
What are its cause and risks?
And how can we reduce body heat naturally?
What is Heat Stress?
Heat stress is a negative physiological result that occurs when the body’s natural cooling mechanism fails to maintain an acceptable body core temperature.
The normal temperature of the body is 98.6°F but it may vary somewhere between 97.8°F and 99.0°F.
There are limits to how much heat the body can cope with and that’s when heat stress occurs.
Salt and water loss through sweating leads to muscle cramps and dilating blood vessels causes fainting.
Continuous heat exposure causes heat exhaustion with headaches, tiredness, vomiting, confusion and sometimes even heat stroke. 
Reasons why body temperature rise?
Our body reacts to external and internal changes. The body temperature can rise due to a rise in external temperature as well as internal temperature.
Here are some causes of high body heat.
A dehydrated body is like a dried desert.
Dehydration can decrease your body’s capacity to sweat to cool you down and support a regular body temperature. 
The fat deposition also takes place under this condition which again can increase the risk of heat stress.
- Exposure to direct sun
If you are constantly exposed to the hot and humid climate, you are obviously more likely to get heat stress. 
Direct and long exposure to the sun may lead to severe illness in summers.
- Consumption of caffein amd alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol increase your blood pressure and heart rate. 
When there is a disruption in circulation, our body heats up. So it is important to restrict your caffeine intake, especially during summers.
- Comfort vs fashion
Did you know that tight fitted clothes can mess with your health?
Regular use of tight fit and synthetic clothes does not allow moisture to leave your body hence making it difficult for the body to cool down. 
Sure, following the trend is cool but not at the stake of your health.
Who is at risk?
There are many factors that increase a person’s chance of getting heat stress.
- Excess weight
- Lack of nutrition, skipping meals and dieting
- Previous heat illness
- Age (>40)
- Suffering from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver/kidney/lung disease.
- Lack of sleep
- Alcohol consumption
- Low salt diet
- Low fluid consumption
Effects of high heat on our body
When your body is constantly under heat stress, sound sleep doesn’t come so easy. 
You may feel a rush of heatwave travelling through your body or excessive sweating at night.
To avoid sleeplessness due to heat try hydrotherapy. It is explained in the later section.
It is very obvious to get irritated when you are suffering from body heat issues and to top it up you are not even getting a sound sleep. All these things only add to irritation and anger. 
While this is not good for you and your surroundings it is important for you to keep a check on these heat issues and take the necessary steps.
- Lack of concentration
Lack of sleep and an irritated mood can result in a lack of concentration.
When your body is heated up your head heats up simultaneously. Productivity and creativity level comes to zero.
- Unpleasant symptoms
Body heat results in some symptoms that are very unpleasant to have such as
- Severe illness
If body heat is not treated on time it can result in severe illness such as heat stroke.
Heatstroke can cause coma or even death. 
So it is very important that you give attention and treat body heat as soon as you identify them.
9 ways to reduce heat stress?
1. Drink small amounts of cool water frequently
Drinking water helps reduce high body temperature and replaces the liquid you lose by sweating. 
Drinking water every 15 minutes is more effective than drinking a large amount in one sitting.
Drink cool water instead of very cold water. If it is too cold it can cause stomach cramps or headaches.
2. Extinguish with the right foods
Watermelon and musk melon is full of water. They really help in calming down your system. 
They are easily digestible foods. Consume them in the first half of your day preferable as it really cools down your body temperature and makes you feel comfortable throughout the day.
Some drinks that should be taken are
- Coconut water
- Lemon juice
- Aloe vera juice
- Pomegranate juice
The minerals and electrolytes help in rehydrating your body during heat stress.
3. Dress accordingly
Wear light coloured and loose clothes. 
Switch on to natural fabrics like cotton and linen as they are airy.
Synthetic and tight clothes trap up the moisture in your body. Now it is scientifically proven that natural fabrics like cotton, linen etc reduce the heat of your body naturally.
4. Proper ventilation
Keep your place of work well ventilated, in hot atmosphere use fan and sit near the window. These external factors help your body from overheating. 
5. Cold foot bath/ Hydrotherapy
Take a half bucket of water, put a few ice cubes to make it cool.
Add a few drops of rose water to it.
Now, dip your feet completely submerged for about 10-15 minutes.
Do massage your feet once in a while.
A cold footbath instantly cools the body, reducing any inflammation.
The veins in our body down to our feet are connected. So it stimulates the blood flow, causes the veins to constrict and removes the toxins from the blood.
It also calms the mind. You can combine this activity with reading.
The best time to do it is before going to sleep at night.
Not only it will relieve you from the problems of body heat but will also make you sleep like a baby.
6. Rice water
Rice water has been mentioned in our ancient text as an effective way to reduce body heat  and burning sensation in the stomach.
- Take 10 grams of rice.
- Coarsely pound it to make it granular.
- Put the rice preferable in a mud pot ( if you don’t have a mud pot, use glassware).
- Now add 60 ml of water.
- Cover it for about 2 to 6 hours.
- Filter the rice and drink that water.
- Do not refrigerate it, do not put any ice, drink it as it is.
The best to have it is 30 minutes before meals. Have a maximum of two servings a day.
It is very rich in vitamin D and B complex which makes it a very effective drink to treat mouth ulcers.
It is also useful in treating
- Grey hair
- Bleeding disorders
- Urine pain
You can use any type of rice preferable unpolished.
7. Sandalwood paste
Sandals wood and Chandan with their miraculous cooling properties have been used in ancient India to heal even bruises and scars. 
You just need Chandan powder and rose water.
Make a paste and apply it to your forehead.
Having medicinal properties sandalwood calms the mind, body, nervous system and refreshes the mood.
It also greatly enhances concentration powers.
If you are suffering from pimples, rashes and itching sensation, apply this paste on the affected areas and watch your pimples getting disappeared it can be applied on the whole body too.
Chandan powder is easily available in any grocery store or you can purchase it online.
8. Shitali breath
Shithali breath or cooling breath is a yogic way to cool down your body, almost instantly. 
Follow these simple steps
Sit comfortably in any meditative pose with back straight preferably outdoors.
Keep both your hands on the knees.
Now bring your tongue all the way out, fold it on the sides like a tube.
Take a long deep inhalation through the tongue.
After inhalation, close your mouth and exhale with both nostrils.
Repeat this process 8-10 times.
Any problem related to the excess heat in the body, shithali breath is highly effective try it out.
You can actually feel the instant cooling effect.
9. Food is your medicine
Some foods increase body heat while there are some that cool down the body.
Very salty, spicy and sour foods except lemon and amla increase the body heat. So if you are battling with body heat issues, reduce the intake of chillis and spices for a while. 
On the other hand, sweet and bitter foods cool down the body. So you have a reason to eat sweets. Although avoid chemically refined sugar and use jaggery powder instead of that.
Drink a lot of water but avoid refrigerator water as it actually heats up the body.
Use mud pots to drink cool water.
Do not excessively eat nuts, always soak them overnight before eating.
Excess body heat is a discomfort for many. It causes excess sweating, excess uneasiness and irritation.
So to beat the heat follow all these points mentioned above.
Eat the right type of food, try pranayama as well, make sure your atmosphere is kept cool and nice.
If you get angry with the little things around you, you will develop more and more heat in your body.
So be happy, manage your stress and be cool.
Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of heat in the body?
The symptoms include:
1. Rapid heart rate
2. General weakness
3. Nausea, vomiting
4. Increased body temperature
5. Heavy sweating
Is heat stress dangerous?
Continuous heat exposure causes heat exhaustion with headaches, tiredness, vomiting, confusion and sometimes even heat stroke.
The general symptoms are not dangerous but heat stroke can sometimes result in a coma or even the death of a person
What can I eat to reduce body heat?
The first and foremost thing is to drink plenty of water. Eat lots of fruit which has water content in it like melons, cucumber etc. You can also drink buttermilk, coconut water and juices
What food should I avoid?
Say no to salty, spicy and sour foods except lemon and amla. So if you are battling with body heat issues, reduce the intake of chillis and spices for a while.