How to Handle The Heat and Avoid Heat Exhaustion

If you’ve never lived in a hot environment, it may be surprising that besides avoiding sunburn, it’s also even more important to avoid heat exhaustion. In hot, humid climates, it’s fairly common for people to become exhausted due to heat and not recognize it. Many people calk it up to “I’ve lived here all my life, I’m used to it.”, “I drink lots of water”, “I have air conditioning and don’t get overheated.” along with various other reasons.

The truth is that just like applying sunblock while you’re out in the sun protects the skin from sunburn, drinking the right amount, and the right type of liquids is essential to avoid heat exhaustion.

Negative Effects of Heat that Cause Heat Exhaustion

  • Working or playing outside, even though drinking water
  • When drinking water doesn’t satisfy thirst
  • Drinking coffee, tea or other caffeine products as caffeine products are a diuretic
  • Many people have the idea that since these are water-based products drinking more water is not necessary
  • Working in air conditioning, as the way A/C works is to remove moisture from the air to make it feel cooler.
    • However, A/C will remove moisture from those living in it and not drinking enough water. Working in A/C and doing a lot of talking, as when we talk naturally lose moisture. This is especially true for salespeople or lecturers.
  • Flying. The airline industry has a directive that pilots and flight attendants need to drink 8 ounces of water every 1 hour in the air to avoid heat exhaustion as it is well documented that flying dehydrates people.
  • Heat exhaustion can be a very subtle thing in its onset or very dramatic as it progresses toward more dramatic heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion Warning Signs and Symptoms

  • Pale skin
  • Flushed face, like having run a race
  • Dark circles under eyes that weren’t there before
  • Profuse sweating, even when air is cool
  • Tacky feeling skin
  • Fatigue to the point of getting up in the morning but not feeling rested
  • Headaches
  • Nausea- flu-like symptoms
  • Abdominal cramping, vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • Dizziness
  • Mental exhaustion-confusion
  • Mis-emotion- weepy/grief
  • Rapid heart rate- occasionally with mild chest discomfort
  • Sinus congestion
  • Dark-colored urine- urine normally is very pale yellow or clear.

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion Symptoms and Avoid Heat Exhaustion Altogether

  • As soon as possible, make a drink consisting of the following ingredients:
    • Sea Salt (natural that has all 108 trace minerals)
    • Cell Salts (Calcium, magnesium, Sulfur, Phosphorus)
    • Potassium
    • Drink room temp water frequently if these symptoms are present along with the salts/potassium. (This will minimize any stomach cramping that cold water may trigger when these symptoms are present, and salt is used.)
  • In the absence of sea salt and potassium tablet a person can make use of what they have on hand:
    • 1/4 Tablespoon of regular table salt
    • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Mix these ingredients in 4-6 ounces of warm water
  • Follow this with 6-8 ounces of more warm water

Avoid Heat Exhaustion Before it Turns into Heat Stroke!

Heat exhaustion is one of those things where everything feels normal in your body until it isn’t. Heat exhaustion symptoms can come on suddenly, and if left untreated, can turn into life-threatening heatstroke.

Heat Stroke is characterized by:

  • An internal body temperature of 104 degrees F or higher
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Flushed Skin
  • Racing Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Altered mental state or behavior (confusion, agitation, slurred speech, seizures, and coma)

This high internal body temperature brought on by heatstroke causes brain damage and can shut down your body’s natural temperature-regulating mechanism due to the lack of water and essential minerals.

If you feel that you or someone you know may be experiencing Heat Stroke, do not hesitate to dial 911 and contact emergency medical services right away.

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