Health Care Tips Juneau AK
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American Holistic Medical Association
Heat and exercise
There are special considerations you need to make when working out on a hot summer day. Warm temperatures can result in several dangerous conditions.
Heat cramps most often occur in individuals who have been physically exerting themselves for an extended period of time, causing them to sweat excessively. Excessive sweating results in a significant loss of body fluids and electrolytes, leading to cramping in the muscles.
What are the signs of heat cramps?
- Excessive sweating
- Pain in the muscles, usually in the legs or abdomen
It should be noted that in a hot environment, the individual might not appear to be sweating profusely because the dry air evaporates sweat very quickly.
What is the proper treatment for heat cramps?
- Rest. Stop physical exertion and rest in a cool place.
- Water – drink lots of it.
This treatment will work fine for most cases. If not, seek medical attention.
Heat exhaustion is a more serious condition than heat cramps and occurs because of prolonged exposure to heat, which is often accompanied with physical exertion. This combination leads to excessive sweating and could eventually lead to heat exhaustion.
What is the physiological explanation of heat exhaustion?
Basically, there is a good deal of fluid lost, due to sweating. In addition, in an attempt to cool the body down, blood pools in the blood vessels near the skin. This changes circulation and takes blood away from vital organs.
What are the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion?
- Cold, clammy skin (telltale sign used to distinguish from heatstroke)
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sweating
- Dizziness, blurred vision, headache or cramps
- Signs of shock: weak, rapid pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; vomiting; unconsciousness
What should I do to treat someone with heat exhaustion?
If the patient is conscious:
- Give them water to drink and have them drink as much as they can. If they vomit, seek medical attention right away.
- Have them rest in a cool, dry place.
- Place them flat on their back with their feet elevated.
- Remove excessive clothing and loosen anything that is tight around the neck or waist.
If the patient is unconscious:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
While heat exhaustion is not as serious as heat stroke, it is not to be taken lightly. Try the treatment suggested above and if that does not help, don’t delay seeking medical help!
This condition is also referred to as sunstroke and is a life-threatening condition. It is the result of prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, possibly in a poorly ventilated area. There are two classifications of heat stroke: classic heatstroke and exertional heatstroke. While anybody can develop heatstroke, it is the elderly population that is most likely to be affected.
Physiological explanation of heatstroke
In classic heatstroke, the body’s cooling mechanism shuts down and...