How too much heat can damage your immune system

How too much heat can damage your immune system
How too much heat can damage your immune system

Since high temperatures are expected in the triangle for several days, doctors warn against taking heat warnings seriously.

Doctors in the emergency room at WakeMed Raleigh say they are already feeling the effects of the hot start to summer.

“Every summer, when temperatures start to rise, we see more patients with heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration,” said Dr. Branson Page. “We expect this every year, but this year it has obviously hit us harder and earlier.”

Since last Friday, WakeMed has treated 15 patients for heat-related illnesses, highlighting the dangers of prolonged sun exposure.

The doctor said several days of extreme heat could cause some people to stop taking the repeated warnings as seriously over time.

“On a single day when it gets really hot, people stay indoors and drink a lot. When that becomes the norm, people let their guard down a little and I think they stop taking those precautions,” he said.

Page warns that the elderly, children and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

“You become dehydrated faster. Your body cannot recover as quickly as if you were young and healthy,” Page said.

Patients with kidney disease, especially those taking diuretics or antihypertensive medications, are also at higher risk of dehydration.

“If you’re taking medications that make you go to the bathroom more often, just make sure you’re replacing the fluid that’s coming out of your body with the fluid that’s coming out,” Page advises.

Page said that even otherwise healthy people can be affected by high temperatures without adequate hydration.

“Regular water is fine, it doesn’t have to be anything special, but you need to continue drinking water throughout the day even when you feel thirsty,” he said.

Page also recommends that people limit their caffeine consumption and avoid alcohol.

When spending time outdoors, the doctor recommends finding a spot in the shade and wearing lighter-colored clothing and a hat to reduce sunlight on your face. He adds that sunscreen can additionally help reduce the effects of heat exposure.

It is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, experience muscle cramps, begin to sweat excessively, or lack strength.

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