Beware of Heat Stoke in Summer

Heat stroke is the most serious problem in summer

Heat stroke is a serious, potentially life-threatening form of heat illness, usually due to an elevated body temperature under high-intensity exercise, or engage in heavy physical labor, when the body produces or absorbs more than it can dissipate. Young children, the elderly, obese and an innate ability to perspire, are more prone to heat stroke. In addition, dehydration, alcohol consumption, cardiovascular disease, and drugs also can cause increased risk of heat stroke.

The human body usually can regulate its temperature. When the body gets too hot, it uses several strategies to cool down, including sweating. But if a person spends too much time in the heat without taking in enough fluids, the body's cooling processes can't work properly. When the body becomes dehydrated, it can no longer cool itself by sweating. When this happens, body temperature can rise high enough to make the person sick. The body temperature rises to 104 Fahrenheit or higher and you develop neurological changes, such as mental confusion or unconsciousness. At these high temperatures, body proteins and the membranes around the cells in the body, especially in the brain, begin to be destroyed or malfunction.

The first symptoms of heat illness occur as the body temperature climbs above normal, and can include headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and fatigue. These early symptoms sometimes are called heat exhaustion. When these problems occur, a patient should rest immediately, cool down with a variety of ways. If heat stroke is not very serious, then the rest may be able to alleviate. However, if no relief after an hour, then a doctor must be contacted immediately.

How to rescue a heat stroke patient

When heat stroke occurs, the first thing is to immediately cool off the patient with ice water, cold water or a fan whichever available. The patient should be first moved to a cool place, e.g., a air-conditioned room, then dial 911 or emergency calls. Cover the patient with cold wet towel or sprayed the patient with cold water. Cool the patient off with with a fan or newspapers. Give the patient some cold non-caffeine drinks.

Prevention of heat stroke

Most cases of heat stroke can be prevented. Professor Lawrence Armstrong of Connecticut State University pointed out that heat stroke is simply a medical emergency. While exercising in the sun, the body can not discharge all of the heat. The heat in your body becomes intolerable by organs, hence functional disorders will begin. The biggest problem in heat stroke is that many people do not know what is at stake.

Doing exercise must take time with slow progress. If for example you are used to indoors or in cool weather, then slowly let your body adapt to training at a high temperature, gradually increase your exercise time and intensity. If you suffer from chronic illness, conult your doctor about the exercise you are going to do. In addition, keeping cool in summer all times is also very important.

When the temperature outside is especially high, drink lots of water throughout the day. Doctor Rahul Khare in E.R. of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago recommneds sports drinks (such as Gatorade) that have sodium and potassium ions added. They are the best drinks to prevent and treat heat stroke. But ordinary water is just fine. The body's sweating and cooling capacity depends on the amount of water you take. Even if you do not feel thirsty, outdoor exercise requires drinking plenty of water. If you plan to do more than 1 hour of outdoor exercise, it is better to drink sports drinks. Avoid alcohol and caffeine containing drinks. They will accelerate the loss of water. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, preferably with a loose-weave material that lets air get to your skin.

Stay indoors in an air-conditioned area whenever you feel too warm. If outdoor is too hot or too humid, consider staying indoor to workout in the gym with air-condition. Avoid strenuous activity in the hottest part of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). If you must participate, take frequent breaks, limit the time that you wear a helmet by taking it off between activities, and avoid wearing heavy uniforms or equipment. If you begin to feel tired, dizzy or nauseated, or if you develop a headache, get out of the heat immediately. Seek out an air-conditioned building. Drink water. If possible, take a cool shower or bath or use a hose to soak yourself.

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