The Effects Of A Cold Home On The Body

When living in a house without sufficient heat, there is more at stake than just frozen water pipes.  However, there are times when the heating bill is so large that we do not have the funds to pay for it.  Even with that considered, not having sufficient heat in your home can lead to severe health problems, if not death, if left untreated.

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When many hear the term hypothermia, a skier caught in an avalanche or a skater falling through the ice on a lake is what jumps to mind.  Many do not know that hypothermia is not limited to the outdoors—it can happen inside your home when your body temperature drops too low.

Hypothermia, by definition, is when your body is exposed to rather cold temperatures and cannot create heat as quickly as it loses it.  Your body will then use up any energy it has stored, and your temperature will drop to a dangerous level.

Image: eMediHealth


As defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you can suffer from frostbite when your body becomes exposed to cold temperatures and parts of your body are freezing.  The areas usually affected by frostbite are the toes, fingers, face, or ears.  If left untreated, frostbite will often lead to permanent damage if not amputation.

The clinical signs of frostbite include numbness, hard feeling skin, redness, paleness, and pain.  In many cases, those who suffer from frostbite do not know that they do because the affected area is numb.

If you suspect that you are suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, seek immediate aid calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room.  While waiting for help to arrive, put on extra layers of clothing and place yourself in the warmest spot possible.