Tag Archives: sun

What you need to know about heat stroke – Rush

Our bodies are designed to handle the heat. But high temps and overexertion can push them to the limit, leading to dangerous, potentially deadly heatstroke, according to Rush University Medical Center.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

So what, exactly, is heatstroke, and how does it happen?

The body reacts to hot conditions by sending messages to the blood vessels, telling them to dilate. This sends warm blood, fluids and salts to the skin, setting off the process of evaporation. But after prolonged heat exposure, the body sweats so much that it depletes itself of fluids and salts. 

“Problems occur when a person is in the heat for a long time or in such extremes of heat or humidity that the evaporation process fails,” says Edward Ward, MD, an emergency medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

Signs of heatstroke

 How do you know if it’s heatstroke? Look for the following symptoms:

  • A body temperature above 103 degrees
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • A rapid, strong heartbeat
  • A throbbing headache
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 
  • Confusion 
  • Unconsciousness

Getting help for heatstroke 

Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency. If you have these symptoms, you need to cool down quickly while you or someone else calls for help.

“One of the most effective ways to cool down is to spray or douse your body with water and sit by a fan to kick-start the evaporation process,” Ward says. “This will help decrease your temperature while you are waiting for medical assistance.”

An ounce of prevention

Because heatstroke is so serious, Ward strongly advises focusing on prevention. This is especially true for people age 65 and older, who are at higher risk for heat illness simply because the regulating mechanism becomes less effective with time.

Cardiovascular and neurological conditions also increase the risk for heatstroke, as do medications that interfere with the body’s ability to sweat properly, such as antipsychotics and antispasmodics.

People with these conditions or on these medications should pay special attention to the weather and the heat index — the combination of heat and humidity. If temperatures rise, drink lots of fluids and stay in a cool place.

“If you’re worried or think you’re having problems because of the heat, try to contact your primary care doctor,” Ward says. “But if it’s a real crisis, go to the emergency room. We’d much rather see you sooner than later.”


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What You Need to Know for May – National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Makes sense. We should be coming into some sunny days right now. (Unless you live in Chicago as I do where we still have March temps).

In order to get through the coming sunny days herewith a list of links of all the items I have filed on skin cancer and sunburn since the blog began in 2010. This includes my own bout with skin cancer in 2012.

Looking at your face in the mirror, things that change in size, shape or color can be skin cancer.

Remember the words my dermatologist told me, “There’s no such thing as a healthy tan.”


Myths and facts about sunburn and sunscreen

Vitamin D and Your Body – Harvard

How to protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer

Do I have skin cancer?

What did I learn after being diagnosed with skin cancer?

What happened during my skin cancer surgery?

What about exercise after surgery?

Important facts about skin cancer?

What to do about extreme heat


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Filed under cancer, healthy living, skin cancer, Uncategorized