MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It is been the talk all across the country - the heat. Dozens of states have been impacted by heat waves. Unfortunately for the Mid-South, it is not letting up any time soon.
While we find ways to cool down, staying hydrated is important for our bodies.
We know it is coming, but we’re never fully prepared mentally.
“The key is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” said Dr. Dale Criner, Methodist Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director.
As temperatures go up, your water in the body goes down.
“If you're out and you're working hard in this kind of heat, you're going to lose a lot more fluids a lot quicker. So you're going to be more prone to dehydration,” said Dr. Criner.
Some are impacted more, such as our older population, those on certain medications, and small children.
“They don't have the ability to know when to remove themselves from the heat, nor do they have the capability from their body standpoint to protect themselves,” said Dr. Criner.
What exactly happens to our bodies to make us dehydrated?
“As you sweat, you start to lose those electrolytes and your salt level within your body actually kind of goes up the more that you get dehydrated because you're losing water, right,” said Dr. Criner. “It's important whenever you're out in the heat like this to be drinking really a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.”
While many may still have day-to-day activities that require being out in the heat, it’s important to take these weather conditions seriously.
“It's important that people know that this is really no joke. You know, this is really serious. This is deadly. So, you can't take it for granted. You absolutely have to stay hydrated. You have to take breaks. Avoid the heat when possible,” said Dr. Criner.
He said some symptoms to look out for are sweating, fatigue, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, lightheaded, and altered mental state or confusion.