Search

How the Heat Can Affect Your Chronic Condition


Photo by Min An

Summertime usually comes with fun activities outside with family and friends. However, these

activities may be hindered by the scorching heat that is crippling those with chronic conditions. Having a chronic condition could make heat-related illnesses more common and result in harsher side-effects. Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash.


The CDC provides signs and symptoms of these heat-related illnesses:


Heat Stroke

- High body temperature (103°F or higher)

- Hot, red, dry, or damp skin

- Fast, strong pulse

- Headache

- Dizziness

- Nausea

- Confusion

- Losing consciousness (passing out)


Heat Exhaustion

- Heavy sweating

- Cold, pale, and clammy skin

- Fast, weak pulse

- Nausea or vomiting

- Muscle cramps

- Tiredness or weakness

- Dizziness

- Headache

- Fainting (passing out)


Heat Cramps

- Heavy sweating during intense exercise

- Muscle pain or spasms


Sun Burn

- Painful, red, and warm skin

- Blisters on the skin


Heat Rash

- Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin (usually on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases


Find more information here on what to do if you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms.


How to Prepare for the Heat and Prevent a Heat-Related Illness:

Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Medications

Certain medications can worsen the effects of heat and lead to heat-related illnesses. Ask your doctor if you are on any of these medications and if so, how you can manage them this summer.


Drink Lots of Water

Stay hydrated! Since excessive sweating is the body’s response to hot weather, you will want to drink lots of water to help regulate your body.


Check In on Your Friends & Family

Being over the age of 65 with a chronic condition can make it hard to enjoy normal summer activities when it’s hot outside. Be sure to check in with your friends and family who have chronic conditions.


Wear Sunscreen

If you know that you will be spending a lot of time outside in the sun, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly. A sun burn can make it hard for your body to cool down and increase your risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.


Advent Health has more tips here for you to stay safe during the hot weather.


Having a chronic condition does not have to ruin your summer. You can enjoy outdoor activities and feel good while doing it, if you take these appropriate precautions.


How Tria Health Can Help

Tria Health provides one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist for any of your medication related questions. In these consultations, they can review your medications with you to ensure that you are not taking any medications that your increase your risk of a health-related illness. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your questions.


Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742


Resources:

1. https://www.adventhealth.com/blog/how-manage-a-chronic-illness-summer-heat#:~:text=Chronic%20Illnesses%20and%20Heat,Multiple%20sclerosis

2. https://www.mibluesperspectives.com/2020/06/09/how-summer-weather-affects-chronic-health-conditions/

3. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html