Don’t Overheat This Summer
By Dr. Gomez
Temperatures might be comfortable right now, but the North Texas summer heat is just around the corner.
At Rapid Med, we want to help you avoid heat-related illnesses this summer – whether you are working outside in the garden or spending time outdoors with your family.
Heat exhaustion can affect anyone at any age. And, regardless of how healthy you are, heat can take its toll a lot more quickly than you may realize.
So, before the 100-plus degree days arrive, take a few minutes to learn about the symptoms of heat stress, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and what steps to take to help you and others recover.
Heat stress is when your body is giving you the first warning signs that something is amiss. It may occur after spending time under the summer sun over several days and weeks or a long day at the beach or by the pool. That first symptom can come in the form of a heat cramp.
If ignored, your body sends more signals – lightheadedness, nausea, or excessive sweating. If that still doesn’t send you indoors or seeking medical attention, the symptoms progress.
If you suddenly stop sweating and your head is throbbing as your pulse races, you are now likely in need of emergency medical help.
Another factor to keep in mind is humidity.
High temperatures with high humidity – a common occurrence in our region – create the right combination to affect anyone working or playing outdoors. Strenuous activity under these conditions can lead to heat exhaustion.
For example, a 90-degree temperature may feel manageable to most people. But coupled with 70 percent humidity, it creates a heat index of 105 degrees – a level the National Weather Service classifies as when individuals should use extreme caution if they are doing strenuous activity or are outside for a prolonged period of time. On such days, the National Weather Service issues advisories which often are repeated by meteorologists on TV.
Dehydration from not drinking enough water, consuming alcohol while enjoying the warm sun (alcohol dehydrates your body) and wearing dark or unbreathable (think polyester) clothing or putting on too many clothes while outside are other contributors to heat exhaustion.
Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down. However, in certain situations, your body may not be able to cool itself effectively – particularly if you have an existing medical condition or are taking medication that advises you not to spend too much time outside.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop over time or occur suddenly.
How do you know if you are suffering from heat exhaustion?
And what should you do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms?
Read more at https://rapidmed.com/2017/05/15/dont-overheat-this-summer/