Health Watch - Starting Summer: Heat Illness

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the traditional start of the summer season with Memorial Day weekend. Previously, we talked about how it’s dangerous to get out in the heat when you spend most of your time in the air-conditioned indoors. What could happen if you do get too hot?

If you get overheated and dehydrated, you could develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Dr. Robert Dimeff, a sports medicine expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says signs that you’re overheating include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, headache, muscle twitching or weakness. Things are getting more serious if you get severe muscle cramps, loss of balance, confusion, disorientation, trouble breathing or fainting. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop your activities, get into the shade and drink fluids. You may need to cool yourself with water or cold towels. If symptoms persist, get medical help immediately.      

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May 2011


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