It is finally summertime! After a long winter of being cooped up indoors, it’s great to finally be able to go to the park, the beach, or even just a nice little walk around your neighborhood. As temperatures around the country are rising though, it’s important to be mindful of the risk of heat-related illness, especially if you have kidney disease or another health condition.
Hyperthermia is a illness that happens when your body becomes overheated. Mild cases can cause muscle cramps or swelling in the feet, whereas a more serve form, heat exhaustion, means that your body can no longer keep itself cool. This can cause you to become dizzy or nauseous, or even feel weak and uncoordinated. The most severe form of hyperthermia is heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Fainting, having trouble walking, feeling confused, and feeling very hot but unable to sweat are all signs of heat stroke and mean that you need medical help right away.
You can keep yourself and your family safe while having fun this summer with a few easy tips:
- Make sure you are drinking lots of water if you are outside in the heat.
- If you are in the heat and start to feel sick, find a cool place to rest and drink fluids.
- Take breaks in the shade if you outside doing yard work or any sort of physical activity. If possible, go into an air-conditioned room to cool down.
- Try to do outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening when it is coolest.
- If you exercise outside, take it slow so your body can adjust to the rising temperatures.
You can find more information on hyperthermia and additional sun safety resources in the NIH’s June 2021 newsletter: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/06/beat-heat.