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Early Signs of Heat Stroke (and how best to prevent it)

This summer has been one of the hottest ever recorded and with these extreme temperatures comes serious risks like heat exhaustion—and its more serious and advanced form—heat stroke.

A heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer regulate its internal temperature within safe limits. As a result, essential physical and mental faculties rapidly decline, and if left unchecked, a stroke can leave victims with loss of consciousness, seizures, and in particularly severe cases, death. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to both spot early signs and prevent heat strokes before they become a problem. Learning to recognize the early signs allows you to stop them in their tracks, and once you know what to be on the lookout for, you can then safely move through the remainder of summer with considerably less worry.

Whether it’s your skin or hydration level that needs some additional support and protection, at Community Pharmacy we have a wide assortment of tools that can help. Contact our team today, and we can help guide you to a product that makes sense for your situation and needs.

Early Signs of Heat Stroke

One of the more challenging aspects of preventing heat exhaustion and stroke is that it can take effect within a
few minutes or gradually over several days. Some of the most commonly associated physical signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • Increased Heart Rate (over 100 BPM)
  • Raised Body Temperature
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Less Frequent Urination (with a darker coloration)

Any one of these might not be cause for alarm in isolation. However, if you notice several of them along with any of the following mental symptoms, then it might be time to stop and take preventative measures:

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheaded
  • Increased Agitation

If you notice these symptoms, then immediately move to a shaded, cooled place to recover and hydrate. This can provide some quick relief, and for long-term protection, take some time to consider further life adjustments.

How Best to Prevent Heat Exhaustion & Stroke

Heat exhaustion is a problem best approached and solved through a multi-layered approach. From what you wear, where and when you go, and what you consume, small adjustments to your daily routine can bring about significant protection against the harmful effects of excessive heat.

When it comes to clothing, wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers the majority of your skin helps limit the amount of UV your body will intake. Studies show that colors like white, red, and yellow are better at releasing heat than black or darker colors. Even with these layers, applying sunscreen can add another level of protection.

While we all want to stay active throughout summer, the early afternoon is typically when heat levels peak. By planning your outdoor exercise or errands in the morning or just before sunset, you can avoid the most dangerous time of the day.

Keeping a high level of hydration before and after prolonged sun exposure helps our body handle the heat better as it can tap into these reserves when necessary. This can be done by regularly consuming enough water proportional to your body weight along with eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Supplements also exist specifically to provide electrolytes and other vital nutrients the body sheds via sweat while under heat duress. Contact our team today, and we’ll be happy to provide you with recommendations.

Don’t Let the Heat Spoil Your Summer Fun

While the heightened summer heat creates obstacles for outdoor activities, there’s no reason to stay completely indoors while days are long and bright. With just a few simple changes and an awareness of heat stroke signs and risks, you can protect yourself from the risks and safely enjoy the rest of summer.

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