Tag Archives: dehydration

Must-Know Facts About Hypothermia

Whether you are not used to spending time in the cold or you’re a long-time cold warrior, you can still be affected by deadly hypothermia if temperatures drop too low and you spend time outside unprotected. Let’s take a look some key facts about hypothermia so you’ll know just how to avoid this winter danger:

  1. The process of hypothermia begins when the body cannot produce more heat than it loses (usually when the body’s temperature drops below 95’F).
  2. Hypothermia isn’t only a freezing weather danger – it can happen in temperatures as high as 50’F!
  3. Hypothermia often results from a culmination of cold temperatures, wind and wet weather or clothing.
  4. Alcohol can speed up the process of hypothermia as it tricks the body into feeling warm inside. In actuality, alcohol dilates the blood vessels causing the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  5. Dehydration can also contribute to hypothermia as the body is weaker and will become cold quicker while warming up slower.
  6. When body temperature drops too low, it systematically starts shutting down processes (and organs) in an attempt to conserve energy.
  7. Hypothermia is so dangerous because the victim will progressively become more confused, sleepy and immobile and may not even realize what is happening to them until it is too late to act on it.
  8. Symptoms of mild hypothermia include: shivering and confusion. Symptoms may then progress to slow shallow breathing, extreme drowsiness, bluish lips or skin, weak or irregular pulse and eventually bouts of unconsciousness.
  9. If you suspect someone is succumbing to hypothermia DO call for medical help and try to get them to a warm location asap. Lay them down horizontally and replace any wet clothing with dry clothing. Cover the person in blankets, towels or whatever material you can find. Try to get them to drink (non-alcoholic) hot liquids and consume high-energy foods if possible.
  10. If you suspect someone has hypothermia DO NOT: massage their limbs or put them in a hot bath as the blood vessels may dilate too quickly and cause blood pressure to drop fatally low.

Tips to Avoid Hypothermia

  • Dress warmly if you are spending any time outside in cold weather.
  • Always wear a warm hat (as much of your body’s heat escapes through your head).
  • Wear layers (with a wool innermost layer to trap heat but not sweat).
  • Carry a knapsack equipped with: extra clothing such as mittens, under garments and an extra jacket or sweatshirt (in case you get wet or cold), instant hand and foot warmers (you can by them for less than a dollar per pair) and high-energy foods like protein bars.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or caffeine or nicotine when in the cold.
  • Make sure you pack first aid materials in case of a potential emergency.
  • Bring a cell phone so you won’t be stranded for long.

So, there you have it – a hypothermia prevention guide! Thanks for visiting DocChat, be sure to drop back soon for more useful tips.

Summer Exercise Tips and Cautions

Most everyone wants to flock from the gym to the great outdoors for their exercise regimens during the summertime, and who could blame them? Few wish to be stuck inside doing reps when sunlit sidewalks are calling, however, summertime can be a dangerous (even downright deadly) time for exercisers who fail to take the necessary precautions. Some of those precautions are as follows:

Don’t Try To Compete With The Heat

You may be the most athletic person around, but you’re still no match for the sun at its fiercest. It is highly advised to take your exercise back indoors during peak sun hours. Avoid prolonged exposure or any serious outdoor athletic activity between 10am-3pm if possible. The early evenings are wonderful times to hit the asphalt, you’ll have a bit more of a breeze and will avoid the punishing sun. It can be very dangerous to exert yourself during extreme heat, for even the most conditioned body. The body doesn’t get a chance to cool off properly, as your sweat can’t evaporate as easily in the hot sun which can lead to your system overheating.

Heatstroke Signs And Symptoms

You’re seriously tempting fate if you exercise in very hot weather – an elevated body temperature plus the heat can equal heatstroke, which can even be fatal. Over 600 Americans die annually from heatstroke, don’t let your drive to exercise run you into trouble. If you are exercising in the heat and feel these symptoms, seek medical treatment ASAP:

  • Weakness, dizziness or faintness
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Accelerated heartrate
  • Unexplained and sudden headache
  • Vomiting or an upset stomach
  • Breathing trouble
  • Absence of perspiration when you should be soaked

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

We all know it is important to hydrate while exercising, but it is doubly important to keep hydrated while exercising in the sun. The heat causes even more perspiration so it is essential to replenish those fluids to keep from dehydration. Some symptoms of dehydration to watch for include: dry mouth, thirstiness, fatigue, headache, aches and pain, dry skin or irritability. If extreme cases of dehydration are left unchecked they can be fatal, leading to acute kidney failure.

Be Tight With Electrolytes

As important as it is to stock up on water while exercising in the summer heat, it is equally as important to replenish your electrolytes if you are exercising for prolonged periods of time in the heat. You can travel with some Gatorade or a similar electrolyte-rich drink, or you can purchase runner’s electrolyte packets. Failing to keep your electrolytes balanced during long, intense summer workouts can lead to a potentially deadly condition called hyponatremia which causes seizures, nausea and severe muscle cramps.

Well that concludes our How To Exercise Safely In the Summer Part 1, but check back for part 2 next which will cover air quality and other helpful tips! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Can Low Blood Pressure Also be Troublesome?

blood pressure 2

Today, almost every other person in your social circle complains about high blood pressure and its terrifying effects as it can cause a stroke and several other heart diseases.

Though it is not as severe as high blood pressure, low blood pressure is still alarming. Another name for low blood pressure is hypotension. While low blood pressure varies individual to individual, doctors generally consider a blood pressure reading lower than 90/60mmHg as low blood pressure.

Here are some of the problems that low blood pressure can cause:

Restricts the Amount of Blood Flowing into the Brain

Mostly, this is a result of flawed and incorrect signals from the brain. People with neurally mediated hypotension i.e. flawed brain signals, have nerves signaling to the brain that there is high blood pressure which consequently results into low amounts of blood flowing to the brain.

If dropped too low, blood pressure can prevent blood from flowing to the brain and many other vital organs of your body. As a result it can cause blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, along with fainting spells.

Cause of Severe Dehydration

Though naturally, low blood pressure is not worrisome, it can still be troublesome. This is because low blood pressure is usually caused by excessive dehydration. Low blood pressure, along with some other symptoms like fever, vomiting etc. causes your body to lose excessive amounts of water which can be a serious cause of concern.

Underlying Diseases or Nervous Systems Disorder

An abnormally low blood pressure indicates the existence of some underlying conditions or damage to the nervous system. You might be suffering from a heart condition or have nervous systems disorders like Parkinson’s disease which triggers low blood pressure. So, it is important to establish your low blood pressure level and if it is extremely low, you need to get yourself examined in case you are suffering from any underlying diseases.

Causes Your Body to Go into Shock

Since low blood pressure means that your brain, kidney and many other vital organs are not receiving the adequate amount of blood, it can cause severe problems like strokes, heart attacks and kidney failures. Heart attack can be caused when the heart is unable to supply enough blood to the various organs in the body, resulting in your body to go into cardiogenic shock.

The most severe problem low blood pressure is likely to cause is shock. This sudden and severe drop in the amount of blood pumping to vital organs means that tissues are not receiving enough oxygen which can cause death within a short amount of time.

If you suffer from low blood pressure, it is important that you speak to an expert. There is no need to worry as help is right here. Get in touch with us today and see what you should do to feel better and healthier.