Extreme Heat Necessitates Caution

Topeka (WIBW) - With more extreme heat in the forecast, health officials remind you how that heat can take a toll on your body.

"I think common sense is the biggest piece of advice," says Dr. Marcus Bassett, an emergency room physician at Stormon-Vail HealthCare.

Bassett says people who work indoors or spend a lot of time in air conditioning can have a tough time adjusting to the heat. He says different people will react differently, so people should know their limits.

Feeling weak, light-headed, whoozy or nauseous could be signs of heat exhaustion. Dr. Bassett says anyone with those symptoms should get into a cool environment and drink fluids.

If those symptoms are ignored, it can progress to the more serious heat stroke. Dr. Bassett says people with heat stroke are no longer able to regulate their own body temperature. Some people will actually stop sweating. The body's temperature reaches dangerous levels, which can cause coma, organ failure and death. Heat stroke requires immediate treatment in the ER.

Dr. Bassett says there is benefit to acclimating yourself to the heat. He says young people who play on summer ball teams or will be headed to football or soccer practice in August should go outside and do a little activity every day.

Other advice for beating the heat includes wearing light-colored clothing, avoiding caffienated or alcoholic beverages, and eating smaller meals.

Dr. Bassett also says to keep in mind people who might be more susceptible to heat illness, including children, the elderly and people taking certain medications or with certain chronic diseases.

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