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Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment

Preventing Heat Stroke continued...

Other strategies for preventing heat stroke include:

  • Monitoring the color of your urine. Darker urine is a sign of dehydration. Be sure to drink enough fluids to maintain very light-colored urine.
  • Measuring your weight before and after physical activity. Monitoring lost water weight can help you determine how much fluid you need to drink.

Avoid fluids containing caffeine or alcohol, because both substances can make you lose more fluids and worsen heat-related illness. Also, do not take salt tablets unless your doctor has told you to do so. The easiest and safest way to replace salt and other electrolytes during heat waves is to drink sports beverages or fruit juice.

Check with your doctor before increasing liquid intake if you have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention.

If you live in an apartment or house without fans or air conditioning, try to spend at least two hours each day -- preferably during the hottest part of the day -- in an air-conditioned environment. At home, draw your curtains, shades, or blinds during the hottest part of the day, and open windows at night on two sides of your building to create cross-ventilation.

If you're a senior who either can't afford to buy or run an air conditioner, check with your local Area Agency on Aging for programs that can assist you. One such program is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on September 20, 2012

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