Beating the Heat: Some Tips from your Local Physician

July 30, 2015 | Health Advice | By: Naomi Wyatt

imagesWith the hot temps we have been experiencing this summer, it is important to take steps to keep you from falling victim to a heat related illness. People who are over age 65 or less than 15, have heart and lung diseases, are obese or have poor fitness, or who have to work outside are at higher risk of a heat related illness. Certain types of medications like diuretics, other blood pressure meds, or meds with anticholinergic side effects can increase the risk too. We will take a quick look at what you can do to stay cool and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heat related illness.

Here are some tips on staying cool:


1) Find air conditioning during triple digit days
2) Hydration, hydration, hydration. It is important to stay ahead of dehydration. Drink before you start to feel thirsty. If you are sweating excessively, you may need to drink a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade occasionally to replace electrolytes. If your urine is dark in color, you need to drink more non caffeinated fluids. Avoid sodas and alcohol for hydration.
3) Wear light weight and light colored clothing if you have to be outside
4) Exercise during the morning or night

Here are signs of heat related illnesses and what you should do:
1) Mild Heat Illnesses: cramps, swelling, nausea, vomiting, passing out, irritability, dizziness, headache. Temp will be less than 104 degrees, your heart rate will be faster and you will act normal and may be pale. You may have goosebumps. Take action to move to a cool place, rest, drink water and replace salt too. Cool off by removing unnecessary clothing and taking a cool bath or shower.
2) Heat Stroke: confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, passing out. Temp will be over 104 degrees, skin is hot and person will stop sweating, heart rate is faster. The person may have a seizure. Take action by notifying EMS so the person can be transferred to an Emergency Room for treatment.

Familydoctor.org is a trusted website associated with the American Academy of Family Physicians and it has patient information regarding heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Click on the following link for additional details: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/heat-exhaustion-an-heatstroke.html

 

Article By: Dr. Lynn Fisher, Lifeline Family Medicine