Heat Stroke – Are You At Risk?

FI_Wave_On_DesertYou’ve been out in the sun all day and you suddenly feel lightheaded and confused, you’re having difficulty breathing and you feel sick.  Is it heat stroke?

Heat stroke occurs when the body’s mechanisms for controlling temperature fail.
Also known as sunstroke, it is a life-threatening condition and needs immediate medical attention.

Treatment usually requires rapid physical cooling of the body.

 

What causes heat stroke?

Working, exercising, or participating in other physical activities in hot conditions without drinking sufficient fluids is the main cause of heat stroke.

Heat affects everyone differently and there are many factors to consider.  Age, physical fitness levels, and underlying health issues will all contribute to how heat affects us, but one thing is certain, too much heat can have fatal consequences.

You can get heat stroke by not replacing lost fluids over days or weeks, or you can bring it on in just a few hours with strenuously activities on a hot day without sufficient liquids.

Liquids help to cool us down by allowing the body to produce sweat. However, liquids are also necessary for bodily functions, such as keeping up blood pressure. You can lose large amounts of body fluid in the form of sweat without noticing any effects, but at a certain point the body will reserve the remaining fluid for vital functions and stop sweating. The body’s core temperature then shoots up, and cells start dying.

When sweating takes place during sports, exercise, or other physical activities, it causes loss of fluids and electrolytes, causing us to dehydrate. Sweat evaporates more rapidly in dry weather, which cools the body more efficiently than in humid weather. In hot, humid weather we can become dehydrated in as little as fifteen minutes.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The main sign of heat stroke is a body temperature of 104 F (40C) or higher, but fainting may be the first sign.  Other symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Throbbing headache
  • The absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Prevention Is Key

Preventive measures include drinking plenty of cool liquids and avoiding excessive heat and humidity, especially in unventilated spaces such as parked cars that can overheat quickly.

Parked cars are deathtraps when the weather is hot!

KidsandCars.org reports that on average, 38 children in the USA die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles. And far too many pets also die trapped in a hot car because their owners are too stupid (or just ignorant) to leave them at home where it’s cool. Parked cars are deathtraps when the weather is hot!

Here are a few preventive measures to help reduce the risk of heat stroke:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • If you must be outdoors during hot weather try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level.
  • Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar – which can actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks, which can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Fans may make you feel more comfortable, but when the temperature is high, fans may not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • Drink AIM Peak Endurance

Energize and Recover with Peak Endurance

aim_peak_endurance

AIM Peak Endurance™ contains all six major electrolytes (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorous) in proper balance and is low in sugar.

Electrolytes are minerals that are necessary for conducting nerve impulses in our bodies. As we perspire, valuable electrolytes are excreted making it important to replace them on a regular basis, especially when we perspire due to intense physical activity or hot weather. Most people are familiar with the ‘popular’ sports and energy drinks however, a typical commercial sports/energy drink may contain only three electrolytes and a whooping 10 to 49 grams of sugar!

Peak Endurance is sweetened with all-natural stevia and lo han fruit extracts and contains only 1 gram of sugar per serving. Each serving of Peak Endurance also provides you with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 and supplies 11 mg of vitamin C.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an adventurous gardener, when the weather is hot and your activities increase, it’s important to keep hydrated and replenish fluids and nutrients you lose when you perspire. Good old-fashioned H2O can effectively help to maintain fluids levels, but for that extra boost and to replenish lost electrolytes and other nutrients, Peak Endurance will help revitalize you and keep you cool.

For more information about the many benefits of AIM Peak Endurance™, please visit our AIM Store Website where you can read more, download a data sheet, watch a video, and make your purchase. As with any supplement it is always recommended to read the literature thoroughly to find out if this product is right for you, and consult a health care practitioner if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

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AIM Peak Endurance™ is available in Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK.

“If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?” ~ Steven Wright

*Wave On Desert” image courtesy of stockdevil at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Author: Joanne Jackson, CHN

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