Archive for July, 2010

Heat Advisory Tips and Remedies

Especially for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the prohibitive heat could be quite harmful!  The elderly’s skin receptors are not capable of feeling the heat as much as others, hence, they have a tendency to develop heat exhaustion which could lead to heat stroke. 

Heat exhaustion is characterized by involuntary, rapid and short breathing (which is often seen by others better than experienced on our own, so heed the observations of others), change in skin color to pale, persistent perspiration after the body cools, light-headedness, mild headache, reduced sense-of-balance, diminished coordination and strength.

Moving to a cool place, hydrate (drink) room-temperature electrolyte-rich fluids (fruit juice diluted with water is best [1/3 fruit juice and 2/3 water]), and rest are remedies that should be administered immediately.  If the breath, skin color and perspiration do not return to normal within 10 minutes, professional help should be sought, namely, a hospital or physician’s care.  If one is at a pool or beach, the authorities should be well-equipped to assist.

Water alone is not as beneficial as an electrolyte-replenishment drink such as Gatorade or the formula mentioned above.  In fact, too much water can CAUSE dehydration by saturating the blood and preventing the necessary blood nutrients and sugars (electrolytes) from being absorbed.  Cold water is particularly irritating to the digestive tract, because it constricts the vessels that need to be dilated for absorption.  This inhibits the absorption of the proper nutrients at a time when their absorption is critical. 

The article I had published in LILIPOH magazine on the benefits of drinking water and another one on the benefits of electrolytes are seen as a home page icon and listed on the Health Information page at www.DrSaracino.com, respectively.  I stand ready to answer your questions.

Convertibles & Sun Roofs Irritate the Head & Neck

This is the season for drivers of cars with convertibles and sun roofs to make everyone else wish for the feeling-of-freedom they appear to have, but their cars have some disadvantages!  The deleterious effects on the head, ears and neck may be profound. 

When it is prohibitively and the vehicles have dark-colored interiors, the direct and reflected off-the-dash sunlight causes perspiration.  Conversely, the constant flow-of-air from the open top causes rapid evaporation of the perspiration which chills, pounds and dehydrates the scalp, ear canals and skin over-lying the neck.  This predisposes us to headache, earache and neck stiffness and spasm, respectively.

Sun roofs are more damaging to the drivers’ RIGHT ear and neck areas because the flow of air is greater above the console over the right ear.  Passengers in the front seat are effected on the LEFT side.  These one-sided reactions often build-up slowly then shock us with pain and stiffness when we lift objects overhead, turn the head rapidly or sleep with the head turned.

The best way to travel in an open convertible or sun roof car is to wear close-fitting garments on the head and neck and COVER the effected ear! Happy motoring.

Read more of my full-length articles on spinal and general health at the “Health Information” link at www.DrSaracino.com.


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