With heat index temps in the triple-digits, any outdoor activity runs the risk of heat exhaustion
PEORIA, Ill (HOI) -- -
Wednesday's heat index made it feel like it was in the 90's at its coolest. And with more blistering weather on the way, you need to be careful, because like the cold, the heat can make you sick.
"Your basic cooling mechanism, which is evaporation, starts to malfunction," explains Dr. Frank Dunaway, an Emergency Physician at Unity Point Health Methodist. "You start to be covered with sweat but the sweat's not evaporating so there's no loss of temperature."
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two sides of the same coin; exhaustion comes first and has symptoms similar to the common cold, with muscle aches, confusion, and headaches.
"When those symptoms are present, the process is really well underway. And it's something that we want to take really seriously," says Advanced Medical Transport Community Resource Manager Josh Bradshaw. "It's important for people to stay hydrated."
Heat stroke is when things can get dangerous. Your body heat rises high enough that it can make your built-in air conditioner, sweat, stop working, make you vomit and even impact your organs.
"If you're in heat stroke you're in a medical emergency," says Dr. Dunaway. "You need to be cooled down aggressively. And it is very dangerous."
Dr. Dunaway says water alone isn't enough. He recommends sports drinks, especially if you're working outside, to replenish your body's salt lost through sweat.