With high temperatures just around the corner, House Call Doctor explains how to avoid the dangers of sweltering summer heat.
The temperature for your vital organs is what is known as the core body temperature. The chemical reactions in and the physical qualities of your heart, liver, kidneys, and brain all work best around the 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets too high, a condition called hyperthermia, the vital organs also stop working well and put the person’s life in danger. To avoid this, here are three quick and dirty tips:
Tip 1: Keep hydrated
Any fluid intake will help you fight dehydration, but sports drinks that have sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes can replace what you lose from sweating. Be aggressive in this area, taking frequent breaks to drink, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. Don’t worry if it’s not cold; what really matters is that it’s wet.
Tip 2: Don’t do too much
Our bodies are all built the same; we have no he-man heat-resistant mutants out there. Everyone needs to cool off, and everyone needs fluids. If it’s really hot and humid out, don’t show your macho coolness by getting yourself sick and having to go to the ER with hyperthermia. Chicks aren’t impressed by that kind of stuff. Make sure the other people around you in the heat are careful as well.
Tip 3: Look for warning signs
Headache, nausea, and dizziness are signs that the body isn’t handling the heat well. If you or someone with you starts to feel this way, get to a cool place, stop exertion, and get lots of fluids. Since hyperthermia can confuse people, some folks won’t realize they are sick until they get really bad. Pay attention to those around you.
Water bottle photo from Shutterstock.