We all love the summertime – lazy warm days, outdoors late in the evening when it’s still light, and having fun in the sun with friends and family. This summer much of the country is experiencing unusually high temperatures – 67 weather stations from Washington State to New Mexico have recorded the highest temperatures ever this summer. Some cities reported a high of 118 degrees.
This kind of heat can lead to an unexpected health issue – heat exhaustion. In these conditions, or in a hot humid climate, people can become exhausted and feel ill and not recognize that it is due to the heat. Doctors often hear statement such as, ”I’ve lived here all my life, I’m used to it” or “I have air conditioning.” They think that if they don’t go outside, they’re not affected.
There are a few scenarios that can cause heat exhaustion, even though they seem as though they should be unrelated:
- Drinking only tea and coffee, but no water. Caffeine is a diuretic and can drain your body of fluids.
- Working in an air-conditioned space. An air conditioner removes water from the air to make it cooler. It will also remove moisture from anyone in the space unless you drink sufficient water.
- It is a well-documented fact that flying dehydrates the body. Airlines dictate that pilots must drink 8 oz of water for every hour they fly.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
“The onset of heat exhaustion can be subtle or dramatic,” says Dr. Brad Kristiansen, Research Director at Ulan Nutritional Systems. Here are the signs to look for:
- Pale skin.
- Flushed face, as though having just run a race.
- Dark circles under the eyes that were not there before.
- Profuse sweating even though the air is cool.
- Skin feels tacky.
- Fatigue – not feeling rested when you wake up in the morning.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Muscle cramps.
- Feeling faint.
- Feeling weepy or sad.
- Rapid heart rate – sometimes with chest discomfort.
- Dark colored urine.
If you or your family members do exhibit signs of heat exhaustion the first handling is to drink lots of room temperature water. Iced water may cause stomach cramps. Take sea salt, cell salts, and potassium with the water. Coconut water is an excellent natural method for replacing electrolytes without adding sugar.
Take a cool shower or bath. If the symptoms are severe and these actions don’t bring relief within 30 minutes, seek medical help. Unhandled heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.
Summer can be a lot of fun. Take adequate precautions to keep your family safe and healthy and enjoy the freedom of the summer months.
If you would like to get your family on the path to natural health, try Nutrition Response Testing(R)