PHOENIX — It's not even May yet but we are already experiencing triple-digit high temperatures. It's no secret that staying hydrated helps keep you healthy when the temperatures rise.
"Remember that if you're outside and you're thirsty, you know, probably means you didn't hydrate enough and you should have kept ahead of it,” said Emergency Room physician Dr. Frank LoVecchio. "Thirst is one of your body's signals to say, 'Hey, I probably should have been drinking.'"
He is asked often how much water a person needs and it's difficult to answer because each body reacts differently. A general rule to follow is based on your weight.
If a person weighs 200 pounds, that person should aim to drink 100 ounces of water a day. You should drink an additional 12 to 15 ounces of water for every half hour you're outside in the heat.
"Try to make it a habit if you're outside," LoVecchio said. "Try to have water with you all the time."
It's also important to know the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
When it comes to heat exhaustion, the symptoms include:
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Excessive sweating
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Having a rapid, weak pulse
- Muscle cramps
Heat stroke is more serious and the symptoms include having a throbbing headache and no sweating. Your body temperature is high with red, hot and dry skin. Symptoms can also include nausea or vomiting, a rapid and strong pulse and you could lose consciousness.
When you or someone you know has symptoms of a head stroke doctors recommend calling 911 and cooling the person down until help arrives.
“It's strongly encouraged to come into the hospital despite what we're seeing all around us with COVID-19,” said LoVecchio.
Doctors suggest hydrating before you even leave home. They also recommend doing outside chores, hikes or walks in the early mornings or evenings.
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