By: Rick Bellanti – July, 2021
One of the dangers of this heatwave we’ve been having lately is heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. The condition is most common in the summer months.
Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death. So, if you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency services number.
Heatstroke can be brought on by a few factors for example: Drinking alcohol, which can affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature, wearing excess clothing that prevents sweat from evaporating easily and cooling your body, becoming dehydrated by not drinking enough water to replenish fluids lost through sweating is a major issue. During sustained hot weather, air conditioning is the most effective way to cool down and lower humidity.
Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment. Start by getting the individual to shade or indoors, take off excess clothing and cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.
Water is so essential to good health, for every organ, cell and even the tissue in your body needs water to work properly. Staying hydrated is very important and almost all liquids help you stay hydrated, but water is by far the most healthiest of choice, being free from chemicals (as in soda) or sugars and other harmful artificial sweeteners and water is also free from calories. It’s one of the most important ingredients for your health and wellness and also the easiest to do and keep track of.
Water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight and is essential for keeping your body running at an optimal level. Water allows oxygen and essential nutrients to travel throughout your body and will help flush toxins out of vital organs while carrying nutrients to your cells. It keeps you hydrated as well as helping you sustain energy and concentration. There are plenty of studies that suggest that being dehydrated causes fatigue and loss of energy which will ultimately affect your mood and may even cause headaches.
Many times I’m asked: Can drinking water help me lose weight?
Drinking water may help you lose weight (in my opinion) as drinking water throughout the day may prevent you from eating when you are not actually hungry, as sometimes when we are getting hunger pains it’s just the body telling us we need more hydration instead. I also suggest drinking a full 8-10 oz glass of water thirty minutes before your meals to help fill you up and eat less.
Another question that I’m asked is: How much water should I drink daily? Most health sources still recommend that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eight – 8 oz glasses of water daily is sufficient. They do include other fluids you drink in that amount as well such as if you drink coffee, tea, soda, juice as all part of your water intake. Keep in mind though if you are trying to lose weight all of these have added calories as well.
When I started my journey to lose weight and get healthy it was suggested to me that if you are in a weight loss mode (as I still am) you want to drink much more water daily. Some have even suggested to me to drink half your body weight in water. (Which seemed impossible for me to do as when I started my weight loss journey, I was 415lbs so drinking 200+ ounces of water seemed impossible. Personally, I drink eight 16oz glasses throughout the day (128 ounces).
I know some readers just don’t like plain water, I never did either, but just like anything else it takes time to get used to, try dressing it up a little with a lemon or a lime wedge. Soon it becomes a habit and now when I find myself at restaurants I have no problem ordering water with lemon or a lime wedge in it.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs and has lost 160 lbs. since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here. ◊