I have always enjoyed the sunshine and the feel of the heat of a summer day. Being out in the sunshine is one of my favorite things to do.
Being half French-Canadian, my skin browns quickly and I have never had a problem with burning or skin issues. All of my life I have always been able to endure the heat for extended periods of time.
This summer has been unique for me. It started with sunburns on my face after my daily walks. I increased my sunscreen to a very high SPF. Then I experienced several incidents with multiple symptoms of overheating after short periods time in the sun and moderate activity.
I contacted my primary care provider with my concerns. My symptoms were those that mimicked heat-related illnesses.
Heat-related illness happens when your body’s normal temperature control system is unable to maintain its internal temperature. To chill the body, our blood goes to the skin away from the major organs, which is why heat-related illnesses can be so fatal.
Symptoms of heat-related illness are significant sweating, cramping, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting, headache, nausea, vomiting, heat rash, disorientation.
All of my current testings were healthy, so, we began to go back through by medical history for the past year. During the winter I had a medication change of dosage. And it is a medicine that is sensitive to sunlight.
I asked my doctor how many people pay attention to how their prescriptions correlated with the change of seasons and affect their bodies. She said what happened to me is quite common.
My PSA and call to action for you is to take a minute to look at your prescription bottles and look at the side-effects. Many medications have the ability to cause sensitivity to sun and heat.
Today I am thankful
- What a show Mother Nature put on last night! That was quite a thunderstorm.
- A busy day today. Always an adventure.
- I am thinking of those I love today. Some days I am more lonesome than others.
With summer upon us, if you are on a medicine that is sensitive to sunshine and heat, here is what I have learned.
- Stay hydrated. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but alcoholic beverages do not count. Sip nonalcoholic beverages throughout the day. Water is always good.
- Be very sun-safe. Use a sunscreen daily and often. Also, dress accordingly in clothes that protect your skin and in a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible and avoid being outside at the hottest time of day.
- Stay Cool by doing outside activities early in the day and later in the evening. On sweltering days remain in the air-conditioning.
- Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses. If you develop any of them, lie down in a cool room with your feet above your heart. Apply clothes to your skin or cold packs to neck, armpits, and groin area. Keep a sports drink on hand and drink a half-cup every 15 minutes.
Those at risk of heat-related illness and should take extra precaution are infants and children, elderly, people overweight, those with chronic diseases or on a particular medication.
Stay healthy and safe this summer.
affectionately yours, Laura