To Your Health: Heat Stroke

Jun 26, 2019

Did you know that the term “dog days of summer” actually has nothing to do with canines? Jon Katz, author of Dog Days says it actually goes back to the Romans belief that Sirius, the brightest star in the “big dog” constellation rose with the sun to create great days of heat. However, dogs may know how to better deal with hot days than humans do...they find shade and lay down, while we just go about our busy lives.

Do you know how to tell when you are too darn hot? Johns Hopkins School of Medicine describes three levels of heat related illness.

The first is heat cramps. These consist of painful muscle spasms that occur during or after intense exercise and sweating in high heat. They can typically be relieved by moving to a cool place, consuming cool liquids and stretching the affected areas.

The next stage is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion results from a loss of water and salt in the body. People with heat exhaustion may experience nausea, dizziness and weakness. Victims should immediately move to a cool area, remove excess clothing, and consume a cool sports drink that contains salt and sugar.  If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

Heat stroke, the most severe form of heat illness, occurs when the body's heat-regulating system is overwhelmed by excessive heat. It is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention.If a person is no longer sweating, becomes confused, or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1.