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Health Brief

August 11, 2020

Too much heat is not safe for anyone. Hyperthermia (hy-per-THER-mee-uh) can cause several illnesses. Especially if you are older or have health problems. It is important to get relief from the heat quickly.

Heat syncope is a sudden dizziness that can happen when you are in hot weather. If you take a heart medication called a beta blocker (ends in olol) or are not used to being in the heat & humidity, you are even more likely to feel dizzy or faint.

  • Rest in a cool place and put your legs up.
  • Drink water to make the dizzy feeling go away.

Heat cramps are the painful tightening of muscles in your stomach, arms, or legs. Cramps can result from hard work or exercise. Your body temperature and pulse usually stay normal during heat cramps, however, your skin may feel moist and cool.

  • Find a way to cool your body down. (A/C, fan, cool moist compress)
  • Rest in the shade or in a cool building.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. (But not those with alcohol or caffeine.)

Heat edema is a swelling in your ankles and feet when you get hot.

  • Elevate your legs (above heart level) to help reduce swelling.

Heat exhaustion is a warning that your body can no longer keep itself cool. You might feel thirsty, dizzy, weak, uncoordinated, and nauseated. You may sweat a lot. Your body temperature may stay normal, but your skin may feel cold and clammy.

  • Rest in a cool place and get plenty of clear fluids. (But not those with alcohol or caffeine - ice/popsicles work great.)
  • Be careful - heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.
  • If you don’t feel better soon, get medical care.

Heat Stroke - A Medical Emergency! People who become dehydrated, have chronic diseases, or drink more than 1 alcoholic drink per day are at risk. Signs of heat stroke are:

  1. Fainting or becoming unconscious.
  2. A change in behavior - confusion, agitation, staggering, being grouchy, or acting strangely.
  3. Body temperature over 104°F (thermo-scan over 102˚F).
  4. Dry, flushed skin and no sweating.
  5. A strong bounding or a slow, weak pulse.

If you have ANY signs of heat stroke, you must get medical help right away.

Answers to Saturday “Threezers”: What do these 3 have in common?

  • Jack, Johnny, Jay: Hosts of The Tonight Show (Parr, Carson, Leno)
  • A compulsive gambler, A nun, A chain smoker: They have habits
  • Clothes dryer, Politicians, Racing balloons: They blow hot air
  • Honeycombs, Ears, Crayons: They have wax

Tuesday Humor: How much does a chimney cost?

What will you do, “Just for Today”?

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