We dream about summer all year. But we seem to forget it is not a care free time. Usually associated with good weather, long sunny days, beautiful nature… summer also comes with several health concerns you will wish you had addressed earlier.
This article will tell you what to watch out for and how to prepare and recover your body from the strenuous heat waves.
Please pay special attention if you are in the risk groups - extreme heat is particularly dangerous for people over 75 years old; toddlers and babies; sufferers from long term health conditions such as diabetes; asthma; or heart disease; people with hindered and decreased mobility.
The risk groups also include people who work outside or in places with poor ventilation and those who are not used to the weather conditions – which would be you, if you are on vacation.
The article describes serious health risks and ways of possible prevention. If any of the conditions actually occurs, please seek urgent medical attention.
Heat cramps are short but strong muscle cramps or sharp pains that appear during or after major heat exposure. Muscle cramps are particularly common when you are doing sports and especially dangerous for swimmers – such severe interfering with one’s rhythm may lead to exhaustion and even drowning.
Protect your muscles!
The good news is muscle cramps are easily prevented. Load your body with sufficient amounts of magnesium and you can forget all about the intolerable muscle pain.
Blood vessel dilation will lead to lower blood flow to the brain as a result of overheating – or in other words – syncope. The result is confusion, dizziness, nausea or fainting.
Protect your head!
A major contributor to heat syncope is dehydration. Therefore, the best prevention for this unpleasant condition is some good old fashioned water. Making sure you take enough fluids and electrolytes is a good way to avoid most forms of heat illness, and it is the best cure for heat syncope. To increase the overall health of your brain, add a good gingko biloba source to the mix.
Dehydration is a primary cause of many heat related illnesses. However, it is often underestimated as the serious condition it is, just by itself. The cooling mechanisms of the body are water consuming. Whenever you have the chance, try and refill your fluid resources to avoid symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, palpitations and fainting. Take special care of yourself if you have recently suffered from diarrhea, if you exercise a lot, or if you have pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes.
Alcohol is definitely a heat-related health hazard. It is often dismissed because it is considered to be connected to one’s behavior rather than the environment. Nevertheless, you might want to consider cutting back on the glass during your vacation:
• First, we are more likely to abuse the substance when we are off work, which may lead to poor decision making and/or complication.
• Second, it contributes to dehydration, which, by itself, comes with some unpleasant symptoms, and is also a leading cause for many other heat-related illnesses.
• Third, it is a catalyst to heart disease.
Heat exhaustion is often followed by heat stroke and therefore needs to be taken seriously. The cause of the condition is losing big amounts of water and salt. If you think you might be suffering from heat exhaustion, watch yourself for the following symptoms: losing color in your face, sweating excessively, fast and weak pulse, weakness, dizziness, nausea. If you recognize you are indeed having the condition, take all measures to cool yourself and lie down. Drink water in small gulps. If the condition has not significantly improved within an hour, call a doctor. Be very careful with taking any sort of medicine on your own. Some over-the-counter medications make it worse.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related condition. It occurs when your body can no longer keep its temperature down and it reaches a dangerous level – above 40.5 ºC.
At this stage the sweating stops. Your face is red and feels hot and dry. You have a rapid pulse, difficulties breathing and may experience change in behavior – confusion, aggression, slurred speech, or even more serious symptoms such as fainting or coma. If you feel you are at risk of heat stroke, call a doctor immediately. Seek attention or company if you are alone. Again, refrain yourself from taking any medication, that is not recommended by a practitioner for the condition.
To best protect yourself against the heat, keep it chill. Make sure you are taking enough nutrients, vitamins and water. After all, its your vacation. Be careful with your body and don’t miss a good experience. Apran will always be here for you to support you and protect you.