Stay Hydrated This Summer
It’s that time of year again for vacations and long, sunny days. But it’s also the time of year when temperatures rise and the blazing sun beats down on us. Let’s be honest, summer heat is no joke! During the summer, extremely high temperatures cause many heat-related illnesses like dehydration and heat stroke to rise. Almost 75% of adults are chronically dehydrated, and dehydration is not a good mix for high heat. This summer, make water your best friend when temperatures rise above 85º. High heat, high humidity, and physical activity are the biggest culprits for dehydration and heat stroke, but we at HealthCARE Express are here to keep you cool and in the know. Keep reading to find out if you’re a victim of dehydration and/or heat stroke and some helpful tips and tricks on how to stay hydrated.
Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough water or when you are losing water too quickly, like through sweating. Slight dehydration is often almost unnoticeable, but it can turn into mild or severe dehydration very fast, especially if you are outside in the heat. The human body is made up of roughly 60% water, and even losing 1.5% of your body’s water can cause symptoms.
You may be dehydrated if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Lightheadedness or Dizziness
- Muscle Cramps
- Lack of Tears
- Headache, Delirium, or Confusion
- Dark and/or infrequent Urination
- Elevated Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and/or Breathing
- Dry Mouth and/or Dry Cough
Heat Stroke Symptoms
Heat Stroke is the most extreme heat-related illness. It is caused by your body overheating, which is usually a result of prolonged exposure to strenuous activity in high temperatures. Heat Stroke occurs when the core temperature of your body reaches or goes beyond 104º. Heat Stroke is a very serious condition and requires emergency treatment. It can be especially dangerous when left untreated. Heat stroke can damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. If you think someone may be experiencing heat stroke, seek immediate medical help. Take immediate action to help cool the person down. Get them into shade or indoors, remove excess clothing, and use water, ice, or fans to try and relieve the heat. Heat exhaustion is another heat-related illness, but it is less severe than heat stroke. Heat exhaustion has similar symptoms to heat stroke, and can cause your body to fail to cool itself down. But, thankfully, it can also be prevented by keeping your body hydrated and cool.
Heat Stroke signs and symptoms include:
- High Body Temperature
- Altered Mental State or Behavior
- Profuse Sweating or Hot, Dry Skin
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Flushed Skin
- Rapid Breathing
- Racing Heart Rate
How To Beat the Heat
Summertime can get hot, so it is important to be mindful about your water intake and beware of symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Especially if you are working or exercising outside, water should be one of your main priorities. The best way to beat dehydration is to drink water before you are thirsty. If you plan to go outside in the heat, make sure you drink a couple of cups of water before you go outside. When working or exercising outdoors, a good rule of thumb is to drink a cup (8 oz.) of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Dehydration can sneak up on you pretty quickly, so stay on top of it by drinking your water.
When the temperature gets above 85º, make sure to use caution and follow these easy tips and tricks from HealthCARE Express:
- Hydrate before, during, and after any exercise session
- Exercise outside of peak sun times, like before 10a.m. and after 6p.m.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can affect your body’s ability to regulate heat
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
- Wear sunscreen and protect yourself against sunburn
- Drink plenty of fluids to help your body sweat and maintain a cooler temperature
HealthCARE Express Wants You to Stay Cool
This summer, keep your time in the sun fun by drinking water! By keeping all of these things in mind, you can keep you and your family safe from dehydration and heat exhaustion. Anyone and everyone is susceptible to heat illnesses, so staying cool and hydrated is the key to beat the summer heat. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of constant dehydration or heat stroke, give HealthCARE Express a call or find a location nearest to you on our website. We have locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana with healthcare professionals to assist you with your medical needs or concerns you may have. Here at HealthCARE Express we have numerous different services and are guaranteed to help you to the best of our abilities. In the Midwest, the sun is blazing during the summer, and our staff is dedicated to providing the best care for you and your family.