Heat stroke is one of three forms of a condition of elevated body temperature. While heat cramps and heat exhaustion are milder forms and generally less intense, heat stroke should be taken care of promptly by a medical professional.
We all know that as we move around, the body expends energy to get our frame from one place to another. The end product of all this effort by your body’s systems is heat.
Normally, the body dispels this heat through your skin or via your perspiration. However, when the temperature hits the big numbers, the humidity is high and you’ve just mowed the lawn in six directions and trimmed the edges by hand to within an inch of their life, your body’s ability to dissipate the heat is seriously impeded and your body temperature rises to heights you never want it to see. Couple all this with the fact that you didn’t stop for ice tea when you should have and now you’ve added dehydration to the mix. This prevents your body from perspiring efficiently and allows your internal temperature to rise even further. The end result is heat stroke.
What To Do If The Sun Gets You
Stop what you are doing and move into the shade immediately if you feel any of the following symptoms:
- muscle cramps
- muscle aches, and
Check your body temperature. A slightly elevated temperature just means you’ve been working hard. Anything over 102F, or 38.8C should be considered as elevated and, if coupled with any of the following, you should seek medical assistance right away:
- the absence of perspiration with hot red or flushed dry skin
- rapid pulse
- difficulty breathing
- strange behavior
Loosen or remove clothing, as modestly as possible, and apply cool to tepid (between cool and warm) water to the skin.
Get in front of a fan, if you can, to help lower your temperature through evaporation and perspiration.
Place ice packs under armpits and groin area. This cools the blood as it moves through these areas helping to release excess heat.
Monitor your body temperature with a thermometer and continue the cooling efforts until your temperature reaches 100-101F or anything below 38.3C.
Make sure you monitor those fast-moving kiddies and little ones who aren’t moving around yet. Babies and children can be susceptible to overheating as well.
BEAT THE HEAT AT IT’S OWN GAME
There are a few simple precautions you can take to prevent heat stroke.
Avoid strenuous activities during the heat of the day. Try and do your heavy outdoor tasks later when the heat of the day is waning.
Fluids are so important to keep you hydrated. Take your water bottle with you, and drink from it, as often as possible. There are some really efficient, yet fun and funky looking water bottles out there now and Nutter’s carries a wide variety for you to choose from. They’re so different from the typical sports water bottle that people might actually stop you and ask where you got yours!
Avoid caffeine in all its forms and keep any alcoholic drinks to the absolute minimum.
Take frequent breaks in the shade and get yourself one of those big, bright, wide-brimmed sun hats. Wearing loose-fitting clothing (unless you’re working around machinery) in light colors as they will help keep you cool.
Short of hiring your neighborhood kids to do the yard work, following this simple advice should keep you cool, movin’ and groovin’ throughout the summer.
Carol Roy is a Natural Health Practitioner who received her diploma from the Alternative Medicine College of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. With 12 years experience in her area of expertise, natural health and wellness, Carol has also trained to become a fully qualified Reiki Master, Quantum Touch Practitioner, and Reflexologist.
The suggestions by Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods and the contents of this article
are recommendations only and not a substitute for any medical advice or a
replacement for any prescriptions. Seek medical advice for any health concerns.
Consult your health care provider before using any recommendations herein.