Heat exhaustion can happen quickly in the heat of Texas

An Austin cardiologist shares his tips for staying healthy during the summer heat.

AUSTIN, Texas – In addition to dealing with coronavirus issues, we are also now dealing with the summer heat.

Dr Vivek Goswami, MD, of Austin Heart Hospital told us about ways to stay healthy as the heat rises.

Your body manages heat in two main ways:

  1. By transfer and perspiration. Your body transfers heat to the surrounding air because it is lower than body temperature.
  2. Through perspiration. Evaporation of sweat is what cools the body.

“As you can imagine, as the heat increases, the surrounding air makes this transfer of body heat less efficient. If the humidity is really high, it prevents us from evaporating this sweat from our skin, and it prevents us from lowering our body temperature, ”said Dr Goswami.

Thanks to these two mechanisms, it often leads to an increase in heart rate.

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How long does it take to suffer from heat exhaustion?

In Texas, heat exhaustion can occur within 10 minutes of going out, especially if you don’t take steps to protect yourself before going out.

“Our bodies are not supposed to behave well in extremely hot or cold weather and, if you have underlying heart problems, that can make it even more stressful,” he said.

  • Profuse sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast and weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

“If you know you’re going to be outside and potentially exposed to heat for an extended period of time, prepare ahead,” the doctor said. “Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to stay hydrated. Pre-hydrate is important. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can work like diuretics can increase dehydration.

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If people are taking diuretics for high blood pressure, you should be careful with extreme heat situations.

“As a cardiologist, I rarely ask people to limit their exercise, but I think people should avoid exercising in the heat of the day, choose the evening hours,” he said. . “We’re used to this in central Texas, but we should always have respect for it, especially if there is underlying heart disease.

Dr Goswami said many people think shade or fans can help, even if you’re outside for a short time.

“If you’re dehydrated, it’s often like trying to cool off with a hairdryer. that won’t help. It’s obviously not very effective, ”he said.

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