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Here's what you should know about the heat and the dangerous impact it can have on your heart

Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Registered Nurse and STEMI Coordinator Lynde Sain said the heat does not discriminate. It can take anyone out.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the sweltering temperatures continue, we want to keep you safe from heat-related injuries, especially the impacts it can have on your heart. 

Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Registered Nurse and STEMI Coordinator Lynde Sain said the number one thing to do is to listen to your body and stay hydrated.

“It doesn’t discriminate, so you can not beat it when it’s this hot. Seek medical attention if you feel there’s anything that you feel is not right within your own body,” Sain said.

She added that the issue is that the sun acts as a dehydrator that can drain your body of its electrolyte balance, water, and other substances.

RELATED: Why it's so important to stay hydrated in extreme heat

“It causes so much cause and effect on other organ systems and speaking specifically to the heart when you get let’s say low potassium…you’re at a greater chance for arrhythmia.”

Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm.

Sain said this extreme heat can also cause excessive sweating and weight loss from the body that can affect the heart.

“So when it’s the heat, and I think a catalyst is a good term to use… it exacerbates and puts the highlight on other conditions, which puts stressors on the heart too,” Sain said.

There are a few warning signs that you should be mindful of if you are out in the heat.

“If you feel anything inside your chest that isn’t your baseline, consider that a warning sign,” Sain explained. “If you stop sweating, and you’ve been sweating profusely, that’s a big warning sign too. And then the fatigue, if you get short of breath, if you start swelling.”

Sain also recommends spending shorter amounts of time outside and taking longer breaks indoors.

“Wear light-colored clothing, we’ll get it out…and hydrate, drink your water,” Sain said.


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