Helpful Tips To Avoid Heat Exhaustion This Summer

Helpful Tips To Avoid Heat Exhaustion This Summer

Heat stroke is a condition that occurs when the body overheats, typically as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. During the summer, it is very common to experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion. If you experience a heat stroke, it is very important to seek emergency treatment as it can be a life-threatening situation. When you don’t treat heat stroke immediately, you can damage muscles, heart, kidneys, and the brain. 

The scary part about heat stroke is that you don’t always know that you are in danger of it until it’s too late. What happens is that you end up in a state of confusion or deliriousness because nerve damage takes place. If you want to keep yourself out of harm’s way this summer, you have to take steps to ensure that you are hydrated and cool. There are things you can do and things you can avoid to reduce the risk of heat-related illness. 

Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion

Heat stroke happens when the body’s ability to regulate core temperature fails, so you overheat as a result. It is the most serious phase of heat-related illness. Heat exhaustion, on the other hand, is the phase just before you experience heat stroke. You start to feel the signs of heat illness, including muscle weakness and fatigue. How does the body get to these stages, though? Well, the body regulates core temperature to maintain a constant of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, even in the hottest and coldest climates. When the mechanisms that regulate core temperature break down, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur. If you want to prevent this from happening and avoid heat exhaustion this summer, make sure to keep the following tips in mind. 

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Avoid heat-related illness by limiting your exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day. The sun tends to be at its hottest during midday, so make sure to find shade or remain inside during those times. If you are outside, take additional measures to protect the skin by applying sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

Drink Water

When you are in the sun, it is natural to sweat because that is the body’s way of regulating core temperature. The body loses water and other minerals via sweat, though, meaning that you need to replenish that water by drinking lots of it. If you enjoy electrolyte powders, you can incorporate them into your hydration efforts as well; just don’t go for sugary electrolyte beverages. Always keep a full water bottle handy if you venture outside during the summer, and make sure to refill throughout the day. Additionally, consume more liquids if you do any sort of physical activity outside

Eat Hydrating Foods

In addition to drinking a lot of water, enhance your hydration efforts by eating water-rich foods. Various fruits and vegetables have high water content and contain electrolytes that can replenish the ones you lose via sweat. When you are able to maintain your fluid balance in the body, you can help keep blood pressure stable and aid with nerve signaling. Some great hydrating fruits and vegetables include carrots, watermelon, berries, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, grapefruits, kiwis, pineapples, oranges, broccoli, honeydew, cantaloupe, and grapes. 

Check Your Medications

Believe it or not, certain medications increase your risk of heat stroke. They either interfere with your salt and water balance or affect how the body reacts to heat. Medications that increase the risk of heat exhaustion include antibiotics, laxatives, diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure or cholesterol meds, and antipsychotics. If you take any of those medications, talk to your doctor about an increased risk of heat stroke. 

Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, And Sugary Drinks

When you go through the effort to drink a lot of water during hot weather, the last thing you want to do is sabotage your hydration. When you focus on sugary, sweetened drinks, or beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine, you work to dehydrate the body. All of these drinks increase the need to urinate, which depletes your water and electrolyte supply. Additionally, consuming too much alcohol or sugary drinks can increase inflammation, which worsens symptoms of heat exhaustion.

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