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.