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Extreme heat affects mood

Contributes to feelings of tiredness, frustration and irritability, says UCI Health expert

July 08, 2024

IN THE NEWS: If you feel out of sorts when the temperature creeps past 90 degrees, a survey has confirmed that you’re not alone.

yahoo news logo purple background white lettersThe Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 62% of people said that extreme heat affected their mood. Most said it made them tired or frustrated, while others reported that it made them feel angry, anxious, confused or sad.

UCI Health family medicine physician Dr. Jose Mayorga spoke to Yahoo News about why extreme temperatures affect us so much.

“When you're indoors, your body is in a certain state of balance. But the minute you expose yourself to an extreme, such as heat, your body tries to put you into a comfortable state, physically and mentally.”

When we’re tired, he says, our physical discomfort gives us a lower threshold for annoyances, leading to frustration and irritability.

Mayorga is an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the UCI School of Medicine. He has been repeatedly named a physician of excellence by the Orange County Medical Association. His clinical interests include children's health, women and maternal health and preventive care.

Fluent in Spanish, Mayorga sees patients at the UCI Health Family Health Center ― Anaheim and UCI Health Family Health Center ― Santa Ana.

Mayorga has dedicated his career to providing high-quality care to the medically underserved. He has been an advocate in empowering care teams to function at their highest level of expertise, which resulted in numerous successes in improved care for the most vulnerable in Orange County.

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