by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
The summer heat can sneak up on you and not only zap your energy, while you are outdoors, but it can cause dehydration, sunburn and actual exhaustion! Children under four, people over 65, and those who are obese, already ill, or taking medications can especially be affected very easily. prolonged exposure to heat and insufficient body fluid can result in heat exhaustion. Its symptoms can include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness headache and nausea or vomiting.
Heat stroke is a more severe form of heat exhaustion and must be treated by emergency procedures! Here is the difference. Unlike the symptoms above for heat exhaustion, heat stokes symptoms include: throbbing headache, body temperature above 103 degrees, no sweating, red, hot dry skin, nausea and or vomiting, rapid, strong pulse or actual lose of consciousness. These are SEVERE signs and needs emergency help at an ER. Keep the body as cool as possible (think ice), until you are treated. Unsure if it is one or the other? Get to an emergency room, period.
Here are the best remedies for heat exhaustion:
1. Carry water with you and sip it throughout the day. Dehydration can set in and we don’t even realize it until we begin to feel thirsty!
2. Pace yourself when working outdoors, exercising or just having fun. Those who participate in regular exercise over time, allowing their bodies to adjust to hot conditions, may better tolerate exercise on hot days.
3. Replace salts and minerals with electolytes such as Gatoraide or other power drinks that have potassium. Avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar. Dehydration can stress the heart and impair the kidneys’ ability to maintain the correct level of fluids and balance of electrolyte. Electrolytes are charged elements like potassium, sodium, phosporous and chloride essential for the normal function of every cell in the body.
4. Wear lightweight clothing the lighter the colored clothing (white,being ideal) the more sunlight is reflected away from you. Darker colors absorb the light and heat.
5. Seek air conditioning, cool breezes under the shade and/or take cool showers in order to bring down your body temperature.
6. Sunburn can happen very easily if you are not careful. Dilute one part Tea Tree Oil with ten parts of olive oil or coconut oil and spread freely over the affected areas. This is soothing and pain-relieving and to reduce blistering and peeling. People have also applied tea tree oil full strength to sunburn.
7. Use common sense: Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and use a buddy system if necessary to keep watch on those at high risk.
8. If you feel dizzy and/or stop sweating, quit all activity and get out of the sun fast. Drink cool, not cold water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it. The vinegar helps to replace electrolytes and minerals like sports drinks do.
9. In ancient Egypt, China and the Far East, watermelon juice and its seeds were traditionally offered to thirsty travelers, and they are still important today in times of drought or water pollution. This flavorful fruit is one of the best remedies for dehydration and summer heat symptoms, which include thirst without desire to drink, band-like headache, nausea, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature, sticky sweat, surging pulse, and red tongue with thick white or yellow coating. Watermelon cools and cleanses the system, clearing summer heat and acts as a natural diuretic.
10. Take a cool bath: Run a cool bath and relax in the water for 15-20 minutes. Try to submerge as much of your body as possible.