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As warmer weather approaches be aware of heat exhaustion

As warmer weather approaches be aware of heat exhaustion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than seven thousand heat-related deaths between 1999 and 2009.

Most heat-related deaths or severe injuries are preventable if heat exhaustion is caught early because your body produces warning signs when it’s overheating. Here are some things you need to know about heat exhaustion:

  • According to WebMD, there are two types of heat exhaustion.
    • One is from water depletion - Signs include excessive thirst weakness, head headache, and unconsciousness
    • The other is from salt depletion - which can result in nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be damaging to your brain and vital organs
  • Heat exhaustion can be prevented by wearing sunscreen

Treatment for heat exhaustion can include: the application of cooling methods such as fans and ice towels, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and removing tight clothing.

According to Mayo Clinic, certain factors increase sensitivity to heat such as age and weight. Children younger than four, and adults older than 65 have a higher risk of heat exhaustion. In addition, obesity can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.

As warmer weather approaches, it’s important to listen to your body’s warning signs. Although heat exhaustion is a minor side effect of overheating, it can lead to more severe effects that can damage your body long term. Make sure you’re getting plenty of water and staying cool this summer!

Dr. Robert C. GrumetDr. Robert C. Grumet, MD is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and hip conditions. Dr. Grumet's office is in Orange and in his free time, Dr. Grumet enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and following both collegiate and professional athletics.