With warmer weather approaching, we cannot wait to leave the cold behind us and embrace the higher temperatures. It's nice to not be chilled to the bone, but extreme heat can take a toll on your health. Heat related illnesses are 100% preventable, yet many people still experience these health issues, due to not being properly educated on the causes and symptoms associated.
No matter what the temperature is outside, your body stays working hard to maintain a temperature of 98.6 degrees. That's why, when it's hot out your body sweats more in order to keep it cool. Some of the most common heat related health issues are: heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke. So, what's the difference between these 3 common issues?
Heat exhaustion is when you've lost enough fluids and salt, that the body starts to lose its ability to cope. This happens when your body temperature rises too high. Some common heat exhaustion symptoms include: fatigue, nausea, headache, excessive thirst, weakness or dizziness, drenched sweats with cold and clammy skin, and a slowed heartbeat.
If you're dehydrated, that means your body doesn't have enough fluids and electrolytes to properly function. If you are exercising or outside in warmer weather, you should be drinking more water than usual to help prevent becoming dehydrated. You may be dehydrated if you experience any of the following symptoms: being thirsty, going to the bathroom less often than usual, have darker colored urine, feeling tired, or feeling dizzy.
Heat strokes are very serious, and if you or someone you know is experiencing signs of one, you should call 911 immediately. Heat strokes occur when your body reaches too high of a temperature, and can no longer handle the extreme heat. Some common heat stroke symptoms include: nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, rapid heart rate, profound sweating or no sweating, shortness of breath, decreased urination, blood in urine or stool, and a body temperature of 104-106 degrees. Heat stroke can occur very suddenly, without any heat exhaustion symptoms.
How to prevent heat related illnesses:
The best way is to make sure you are drinking enough water and that your body stays at its proper temperature. One way to keep your body cool is to use cooling accessories, like our favorites pictured below.
Facts about the heat & your health:
- According to the National Weather Service, up to 175 Americans actually die from extreme heat in a typical year.
- Infants & small children are at a higher risk for heat related illnesses. So are senior citizens, due to not being able to regulate their body temperature to the same degree as someone who is younger.
- Asthma, emphysema, and other lung disease conditions can be exacerbated by heat.