US weather latest: What happens to your body in -35C cold

Wrap up warm this winter

What happens to your body in freezing temperatures?

With temperatures dropping to record lows in America, find out what can happen to your body when it has to endure freezing temperatures.

The big freeze has hit America, with many states that aren’t used to the cold having to deal with very harsh, chilling weather.

CTV News reported that some areas of Canada were colder than Mars, Antarctica and the Mount Everest Base Camp, with overnight temperatures reaching incredible lows of -40C in some locations.

In comparison, the daily high on Mars recently reached -23C.

The Mount Everest Base Camp, which is situated around 5,000 metres above sea level in Nepal, lately recorded a daily high of -33C.

However, it seems the cold is now spreading from Canada to parts of America that are less accustomed to the freezing temperatures.

The citizens of Des Moines, which is the capital city of Iowa situated in the Midwestern United States, had to deal with extremely cold temperatures of -29C on New Year’s Day and a wind chill of -35C.

So, what happens to your body when faced with unfathomable temperatures as low as -35C?

When your body’s core temperature drops below approximately 35C, you’ll potentially be at risk of experiencing hypothermia.

“The heart and liver produce much of the body’s heat, in coordination with the brain’s temperature centre, the hypothalamus,” Dr Joe Alton, author of The Survival Medicine Handbook, told Medical Daily.

“As core body temperature cools, these organs produce less heat.”

Your body’s first reaction to the cold will be to start shivering. Shivering is a reflex that is used to raise your body’s temperature by speedily contracting and expanding the muscles, Live Science explains.

Your body may also undergo a process called vasoconstriction, as Medical Daily elucidates.

“Our body also initiates something called vasoconstriction, a tightening of blood vessels in the extremities, to redirect blood to the deeper, more important tissues.

“This helps the body reduce the amount of heat lost to the outside environment.”

The first symptoms of hypothermia can include slurred speech, confusion, dizziness and a rapid heart rate.

However, some may even experience a form of amnesia and consequently loss of consciousness.

People who are experiencing frostbite may notice that their skin has turned red or white and feel a sense of prickling or numbness.

In order to prevent yourself suffering from frostbite and hypothermia, you need to make sure that you’re wrapped up warm in plenty of layers if you have to venture outside for any reason.

Consuming lots of food and fluids will also help your body maintain a sufficient core temperature.

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