Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke

As we hit the Dog Days of Summer, it is so important to keep yourself current with ways to stay safe in the heat. Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and even Heat Stroke can happen quite easily when the temps soar, or when being active during summer months outdoors. Arm yourself with ways to protect yourself, and what the warning signs are, to make sure your “Fun in the Sun” remains just that.

Effects of Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke!

Effects of Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke!

One way to avoid these heat related maladies is to stay hydrated! The body’s weight is approximately 60% water, and when you become dehydrated, your body is not able to perform vital functions. The old “8 cups of water a day” recommendation is actually found to not be enough, especially if you are in intense heat or doing intense exercise. If you partake in intense exercise, particularly outdoors in the heat, also add sports drunks to your water intake to avoid sodium depletion. Aside from staying hydrated, avoid the hottest time of the middle of the day, wear appropriate clothing, try to stay in the shade, and use all proper sun protection precautions (see our blog on Sun Safety, too!).

If you think you may be experiencing or witnessing a heat related medical situation, look for these symptoms:

Dehydration:

– Dark colored urine, or no urination at all.

– Listlessness, Dizziness,  Irritability, Confusion

-Sunken Eyes

-Dry, shriveled skin

-Rapid heartbeat and breathing

Heat Exhaustion:

-Fatigue, Nausea, Headache

-Excessive Thirst

-Slowed heartbeat

-Dizziness, Fainting, Agitation, Weakness

-Muscle Aches and Cramps

-Profuse sweating and cold/clammy skin

Heat Stroke:

-Nausea, Vomiting, Headaches

-Dizziness, Fatigue, Confusion, and even Loss of Consciousness

-Flushed, Hot, Dry skin (Decreased or no sweating /urination)

-Convulsion

-Rapid heartbeat

-Heightened body temp (104 F to 106 F)

-Blood in Urine or Stool

If you witness any of these symptoms, seek medical attention! The effects can be fatal. You do not necessarily have to experience Heat Exhaustion before you reach Heat Stroke, and this can happen suddenly. If you are a member of VIP Medical Services, feel free to call Dr. Holt with your symptoms, and he will be happy to advise your next course of action. If you are looking for a new Primary Care Provider, consider making VIP Medical Services your healthcare home! 417-485-4847

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