SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Doctors say hundreds of Americans die from heat related illnesses every year. And, with the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry expecting extreme temperatures soon, citizens are encouraged to stay cool.
Dr. Jeff Kenney, Emergency Medical Director at St. Joseph’s/Candler in Savannah, says heat related illnesses can be prevented, citizens just need to be aware of their body.
Failure to drink lots water and find periods of shade could cause your body to overheat.
Dr. Kenney says people will begin to experience muscle cramps and feel tired. He says if that happens, stop what you're doing and find a place inside with air conditioning. If you start to become nauseous or dizzy, you could be experiencing heat exhaustion, which is when your body loses the ability to cool off.
If you begin to turn red, stop sweating, or pass out, you’re most likely experiencing a heat stroke. A heat stroke is where your body has lost all ability to keep itself cool.
But if you struggle with diabetes, you will need to do all these things and a little more.
According to St. Jpseph’s/Candler, people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes may respond differently to heat. Damage to blood vessels and nerves can impair the ability to sweat, so the body doesn’t cool as effectively. People with diabetes can also get dehydrated more easily, and high temperatures can change how the body uses insulin, affecting blood sugar.
St. Joseph’s/Candler advises citizens remember the following tips to beat the heat:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Exercise indoors.
- Keep your feet cool and covered.
- Apply sunscreen and moisturizer liberally and often.
- Check your blood sugar more often.
- Keep your medications and supplies cool, too.
Dr. Kenney says his team is well aware of the high temperatures expected throughout the next few days, and the doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s/Candler are prepared to treat those with heat related issues.
For additonal information, click here.