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Health Watch: Extreme Heat Affects the Heart

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The summer heat can cause more problems than just trying tostay cool.

Doctors say it actually takes a toll on your heart.

Cardiologist David Frid at the Cleveland Clinic says yourheart actually works harder when your body is trying to cool down.

He says if you get dehydrated.. It affects your heart andblood pressure.

And when you begin to overheat your heart rate may increase.

"Your body needs to get rid of excess heat," he says. "Theway it does that is by dilating peripherally. So, your blood vessels openperipherally in the outside and you sweat. And to be able to get the blood aroundthere your heart works harder and the demands are much greater during the hotweather."

Dr. Frid says taking the right precautions may decrease therisk of exhausting yourself in the heat.

"You don't want to be out in the hot weather withouttaking into consideration things like: dehydration, how much time you'respending out in the sun, how high your body temperature is getting," hesays.

If you begin to feel fatigued or your heart rate is going upin the heat... Seek shade or air conditioning, drink water or sports drinks...And to work to get your core body temperature down.