Taking care of yourself in the heat

File photo

We're often told to monitor ourselves in the heat if it gets too hot outside.

But what actually happens to the body when it overheats?

"Things which are very important for the functionality of the body, they really become ineffective if the inside temperature of the body is too high," said Dr. Hossein Behniaye, Doctor of Family Medicine at Hannibal Regional Medical Group."

When the body can't do its job, then it can't sweat to cool off and will start to shut down.

The warning signs?

"Fast heart rate, fast breathing. They start to have blurred vision. Some patients have nausea and vomiting," Behniaye said.

Heat exhaustion.

When ignored, a person is at risk for heat stroke. At that point, they'll need medical attention.

So when you're out in the heat, make sure you stay in the shade and drink enough water. Experts recommend "eight and eight"-- eight glasses of 8 oz. of water. Depending on your health, this may vary from person to person.

Also pay special attention to children and the elderly. They're at a higher risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

When in doubt? Consult your doctor.

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