Heat Exhaustion – Drink Your Fluids!

Now that summer is just around the corner, it’s time you learned some information on heat exhaustion and how you can prevent it from happening to you!
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body basically becomes too hot. If you are properly hydrated, then your body cools off by sweating. However, if you are dehydrated and exposed to high temperatures, then your body will produce more heat than it can release causing heat exhaustion. If your body temperature goes beyond 104 °F, then you may have heat stroke which will then leader to bigger issues such as heart attack or even death.
So what is the difference between just being hot, and having heat exhaustion? Here is a list of some symptoms associated with heat exhaustion;

  1. Fatigue
  2. Headache
  3. Pale, clammy skin
  4. Thirst
  5. Rapid heartbeat
  6. Dizziness, fainting
  7. Nausea, vomiting
  8. Weakness/Muscle and abdominal cramps

If you happen to be suffering from these signs/symptoms, call your physician IMMEDIATELY. From here, they will be able to diagnose your symptoms and properly treat you.
So now that you know what heat exhaustion is and the signs you are suffering from it, let’s think of ways you can help prevent it from happening to you!

  1. Stay cool. Go swimming on hot days and make sure to wear light clothes that don’t attract the sun’s heat rays.
  2. WATER. WATER. WATER. WATER. WATER. Please drink a lot of water. If you are sick of plain water, try a sport drink that has all natural juices in it but avoid sugary and salty drinks – those will only make you more dehydrated!
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol.
  4. If you work out, try to do it during a time of day when the sun isn’t so hot. This could be early morning or late afternoon. Also, be sure to pack WATER to keep you hydrated!

Please be aware that there is an increased risk of heat-related illness if you are taking certain medications such as antihistamines (benadryl or Zyrtec), decongestants (Sudafed), or stimulants (Adderall).  It is best to avoid vigorous outdoor activity while you are taking these medications. Obesity, lack of acclimatization and certain pre-existing medical conditions can also make a person more susceptible.