Heat Warning: Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke

July in the Phoenix area means the temperatures and humidity are on the rise.  Monsoons will offer a bit of relief, but we all need to be aware of what our bodies are telling us about the heat.  Dehydration can quickly move into heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  Be aware of the symptoms not only for yourself, but also for children, elders and pets since they are not always able to seek relief on their own.

Signs of severe dehydration include:
  • Lower urine output
  • Darker urine
  • Dry skin.
  • Dizziness.
  • Increased heartbeat.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability.
  • Fainting.
The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Confusion.
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Heatstroke signs and symptoms include (seek medical attention immediately):

  • High body temperature. (104 F or more)
  • Altered mental state or behavior.
  • Changes to how you sweat: In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Flushed skin.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Racing heart rate.
  • Headache.

How to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  1.  Stay hydrated:  By the time you feel thirsty, you are likely already at least 2-3% dehydrated.
  2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. (Cooling foods information.)
  4. Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing.
  5. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest times of the day.
  6. Choose an appropriate sunscreen.
  7. Wear a wide brim hat.
  8. Do not leave anyone sitting in a car or unattended in the sun for any length of time.
  9. Discuss electrolyte options with our doctors.

Simple Changes.  Powerful Results.

The information provided on this site is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a health problem.

Please schedule a private consult about your health concerns.

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