August 3rd, 2010
01:26 PM ET

Is it too hot for your good health?

With triple digit temperatures expected Tuesday in 16 states, and the heat index possibly reaching 118 degrees in some areas, it’s crucial to know the signs of heat stroke.

Heat stroke – and the less deadly but still serious heat cramps and exhaustion – strike when sweating, the body’s usual method of compensating for the heat, just isn’t enough to cool the body down.

Some of the first signs you’re experiencing problems are muscle pains, spasms, nausea, headaches, or a quick pulse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature goes over 104 degrees. Someone suffering heat stroke may experience confusion, and fainting. The victim may stop sweating, and skin may become hot and dry, and breathing shallow or rapid, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In Tennessee, Health officials announced Monday afternoon that heat likely contributed to the death of Stuart Evans, a 66-year old Bartlett man who died while mowing his lawn, according to CNN affiliate WMCTV.

Infants, children, the elderly, people who are obese, and those taking certain medications are more vulnerable to the heat. Those medications include blood pressure and heart medicines such as beta blockers and diuretics, seizure medications, antihistimines, and antidepressants, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

To prevent problems with the heat, schedule vigorious outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Drink water or other fluids – but not alcohol – every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Dark-colored urine is a sign you’re dehydrated.

Sports drinks can also help, as they replenish the salt lost through sweating, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

If you begin to experience the signs of heat-related illness, get out of the heat, drink cool water and get some rest, the CDC says.

CNN Medical Producer Sabriya Rice contributed to this report.


soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Capt Slapaho

    HAhahahahah eww.

    August 3, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Greg

    I like this phrase in the last paragraph: "and rest your lets above the level of your heart"


    August 3, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brandon

      she (i believe sabriya is a girls name) meant that you should "rest your LEGS above the level of your heart" because it brings the blood circulation to your core and chest to help your heart and other vital organs operate easier in the extreme heat.

      August 3, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • Just sayin

      and people like to say that spelling doesn't count. The same one's can't understand someone else's mistakes.

      August 3, 2010 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
    • idecomp

      I guess they don't teach them to check the spelling anymore... You can see it throughout alot of their articles

      August 4, 2010 at 06:27 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      That’s because they must be using a spell check that does not check grammar. It is important to have a peer proofread it, and then a supervisor (I think they call this an editor in the media world) and then publish it. For non critical stuff like comments it's not such a big deal.

      For example: "it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm."

      This is a common example in psychology text books because the human brain has the world’s best FEC where the Error Correcting Codes are the actual complete thoughts and meaning in which context clues can be used to correct any errors in spelling or grammar. So arguments about spelling are moot in my book. It simply becomes a formality, not necessarily a matter of utilitarianism.

      August 4, 2010 at 06:44 | Report abuse |
  3. qball

    Drink plenty of water, yes, limit your time outdoors, yes, AND get out of the south, midwest, or anywhere else the heat index rises above 110 degrees because the air so moist. High temps coupled with high humidity mean the body is less able to cool itself efficiently, as sweat doesn't evaporate as quickly as it does in more arid climates. Out here in the Mojave, even 110 degrees is bearable when the relative humidity is below 20 percent...

    August 3, 2010 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ed

      yeah, but i like trees. civilization is nice, too. and no, an RV park on the side of highway 10 right next to a checker burger and a one pump gas station doesn't count. i'll suffer the humidity (even if it kills me) as long as i never have to live in the Mojave dessert.

      August 4, 2010 at 00:54 | Report abuse |
    • qball

      I forgot to mention what part of the Mojave I'm in, Ed.

      I live in Palm Desert, just outside of Palm Springs, and yes, as the city's name indicates, we have plenty of trees out here, date palms in abundance. We also have a large variety of golf courses, resorts, and all the conveniences of modern civilization and then some, as well as being surrounded on three sides by beautiful mountains. But you know the best part Ed? Besides the summer's being bearable, the winter's are unbelievably nice. You see Ed, life in the desert is pretty sweet, if you know where to go....

      August 4, 2010 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
  4. MashaSobaka

    You forgot to mention the fact that everything you touch outdoors becomes a fireball of searing pain. Close the car door with your foot, drive said car and open the front door using only your palms to spare your sensitive fingertips, don't go out to the mailbox without shoes on (though I can take it up until 105 degrees), wait until an hour after sunset to walk the dog so the poor thing's paws don't roast…yeah, a few decades in Phoenix teaches you the ins and outs of heat management.

    And don't, for the love of God, try to save money by turning off the air conditioning. Every summer in Phoenix the papers are filled with news of people who turned off their AC units to help manage their budget and ended up dying of the heat inside their own home. If you must turn off the AC while you’re not at work or school, then go to a coffee shop, go to a fast food restaurant…the few bucks you spend on a drink for the right to sit there may save your life. Or go to a shopping mall and just wander around. At least it’s cool.

    August 3, 2010 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • g

      what a name.. did you just make it up?

      August 3, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
    • David

      I think I'm lucky living in the Pacific NW West of the Cascade Range

      August 4, 2010 at 03:38 | Report abuse |
  5. Big dickie

    That's hot

    August 3, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff

      Ok Paris...

      : )

      August 5, 2010 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
  6. Andrea S.

    Yea who is your copy editor at CNN? I have seen two typo's this week along...
    CNN get with the program....You are supposed to be a cut above the rest....
    Error Police.....

    August 3, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brandon

      Hah very true, although i guess they cant help a typo here and there, but a major typo like in this info about how to save your life in extreme heat seems a bit counter-productive lol

      August 3, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      oh no how do I get my lets above my head, if only I knew what they ment!!!

      August 3, 2010 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
    • chad

      You are so smart maybe you should work for cnn....

      August 3, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • other chad

      I hate typos too. But I hate the improper use of the apostrophe as well. There is no apostrophe in the plural form of typo (you used "typo's"). An apostrophe in the instance you use would indicate the apostrophe owns something.

      August 3, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • ed

      you misspelled the word "alone" there champ. good one, though... good one....

      August 4, 2010 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      CNN is been proving to be a news source for bottom feeders over the past few years. Nothing but sensationlist garbage written by leeches with zero journalistic integrity.

      August 4, 2010 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
  7. tcubed

    I am surely a minority, but heat drives me nuts! I am not obese, and I go to the gym 4-5 times a week.

    Throughout my entire life, heat has affected me in the worst ways. In fact, I am now divorced because my ex-wife loves warm weather, and we can't agree on a location to live. I am in Atlanta, and hate every damn second of the summer heat.

    I am moving to the state of Washington to escape heat. It makes me irritable, hostile, and downright nasty. SCREW HOT WEATHER!

    August 3, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ed

      just offhand, i am going to guess that you are probably one of those people that will never be happy. move to washington state and in four months you will be talking about how much you hate cold winters.

      August 4, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
  8. tcubed

    I just sent your message to the moderators. If what you do is not "abuse," then I don't know what it is. Eye pollutions kills.

    August 3, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. sumguy

    yea, but eventualyl due to nanotechnology, we will develop domes and biosuits so that it will be just fine...the domes will be made of transparent film so that it seems like you are nto enclosed entirely...it will seem liek you are outside, while having porous membranes that let air in just like if it wasn't there, but it has an internal temperature regualtor.

    Then we will develope technologies liek say, some sort of nano-bot, that will clean the atmospehre of co2, allowing it to naturally cool again, and there will be no real problem after that.

    Its only in the phase period. i think technologies will wean us off oil completely by 2035. But we will need a working economy in the process. It would be a mistake to go hard core on the economy on the THEORY that we have such an impact...sure, it may be overwhelming the evidence, but there are a lot of complex factors we may not be anticipating, such as self-regulating measures that may kick in...or the solar max of the sun, while the added co2 from, the natural enviromnet, far surpassing our own output. even if true, it makes sense to march on until we transition. We need some speed to jump the bridge. If we start cutting down, hruting the economy now, we will realize we are on artificial life support (huge population during 20th century is due to oil...fertilizer, increased food production) omn oil...and we will all die off...very likel;y in a very cool nuclear fireworks...So lets just accelerate, step on the gas, if by 2025, we do not see any promising renewable energy resource, then we can talk...besides, oil prices will bring this into the conciousness anyway....it will make renewables cost competetive even with no advanced in nanotech if it goes up to 150......so....just wait 15 years for the tipping point, thats when thigns can get done...Right now, you are playing with a lot of unknowns, and youri ntervention can have much more maligned unintended consequences than a heating planet andr ising sea levels..

    August 3, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ed

      so what did you have running in the background while you typed your comment? starcraft, world of warcraft, or halo? my money is on world of warcraft.

      August 4, 2010 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
    • Shirl

      I could read a book about this wiuhtot finding such real-world approaches!

      October 9, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • pmrvuwwoboj

      3eqFlI wrvjmudeqrps

      October 10, 2011 at 05:02 | Report abuse |
  10. sumguy

    things may get worse as far as climate, but to assume we need to go off gas is a mistake. its like taking off your oxygen mask in the emergency room because the room is on fire due to a oxygen gas leak...no, you need to keep it on so you don't breath in the fumes, you need to think logically, then think of a transition so that you can survive, then take off your mask and put on a new one......

    you don't take it off, panic, and then breath in the fumes...all you need is a heat wave.....NO ELECTRICITY AND NO FOOD..

    thats a lot worse than just a heat wave.

    August 3, 2010 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. healthy

    um......drink water, don't stay out in the sun too long, lose some weight, exercise, be happy and alive 🙂

    August 3, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Linda

    I have lived in Texas all my life and the heat started to get to me terribly. Irritable, hostile, exhausted. I would start to get dizzy and feel my heart pounding. It turns out I have developed a heart condition that is aggravated by heat stress. At least now I know I'm not crazy.
    Everyone please keep water out for all the animals. And shade for the pets if you can't bring them in. Pray for everyone that is out in it.

    August 3, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. sumguy

    ok, let me put it this way...'nano bots' may be too of a fancy term for 2010 residents, just like 'the internet' in 1990 would have seemed...so think of it this way...just like we are using bad disperants in the gulf on the oil spill we will eventually find an 'air dispersant' no nano bots...just a molecular formation that naturally 'sponges out' carbon in the atmosphere...and fast airplanes of the future can 'disperse it' in the upper atmosphere...sponging up the carbon and letting it fall to the ground to crystalize..and then combining with say another chemical in the dispersant so the carbon is not re-released.....nitrogen for example.

    So its very very possible. You can clean up the atmosphere....even geo-engineering projects which I think might be a little dangerous at this point, with silver, can solve the problem. Sure, there is much accumulation, but you can have dispersants have an aggreagate effect. Think of 'a branching off' effect in the upper atmosphere. A small amount of dispersant creates these 'webs'...which 'branch off' like a trees branches in the upper atmosphere...these are 'heavy' crystals that sucked out the carbon...then they 'draw the whole' co2 'cloud' in the upper atmosphere down....by increasing the amount sponged out exponentially..its like a growth or multiplier factor...a small amount of dispersant, has a disproportionate effect.

    So its very possible. Just think outside the box. Clam down, breath in with that mask....and let someone design a sunscreen type of thing that cools your skin...or a bathing suit that does the same thing...there are solutions. We will persevere and we will get out of it just fine

    August 3, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. sumguy

    some of the midplains may be a desert this time next century, but we will move, we will adapt, and we will survive.

    whether you can survive this or next year's possible heat wave (due mostly to the sun, mind you, not our co2, the sun is reaching its solar max right now)....is another matter entirely...or those air conditioning bills ;).

    August 3, 2010 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Unafy


    August 3, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ed

      right.... the earth is only 13000 years old....

      August 4, 2010 at 01:25 | Report abuse |
  16. ed

    since it sounds like you are dedicated to dying prematurely anyway, maybe you should just go for a nice long jog at mid day and speed up the process.

    August 4, 2010 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. edgarX

    Burn baby burn !!

    August 4, 2010 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MT

    In Japan, about 20,000 people were taken to the hospital and nearly 100 died of heat stroke for these 2 months. Some of them stayed in. (not out) Japan is not a tropical country...

    August 4, 2010 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Huh???

    Must be a slow day in the CNN newsroom. I'm stationed in Saudi Arabia where it regularly hits in the 120s. Get in A/C, drink water, etc...seriously??? We need CNN to tell us this???

    August 4, 2010 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Yep! I was nearly 5 years in Qatar. I treated heat injuries dozens of times over the years. I was well acclimatized, to put it mildly.
      Last August, I went to work in the morning in a car with broken A/C AND forgot to bring water.
      That one mistake resulted in my arrival at the base well into a heat stroke that caused heart damage.

      August 4, 2010 at 07:29 | Report abuse |
  20. Wzrd1

    Oh yeah? I'll join ya wearing a thong. MY hairy butt in a thong won't scare, it'll turn observers into stone.
    Seriously though, I've treated several heat stroke victims and dozens of other heat injuries only to NOT pay attention to what I was doing one time and end up with cardiac damage caused by my own heat stroke.
    The root cause? Stupidity. I went to work in August in the persian gulf with a broken air conditioner AND forgot to bring water. Got stuck in traffic and got to the base well into the beginning of a heat stroke.

    August 4, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Liz

    When life gives you lemons.... You are hilarious! 🙂

    August 4, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. knublegs

    Tcubed- Learn to take a joke! non0vyerbeezwax was just being funny. Way too many high strung people who get offended WAY too easily these days. RELAX.

    August 4, 2010 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. BuzzMann

    Easy to say stay out of the heat an stay indoors.Try telling that to your boss if you work construction.

    August 4, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sacdaddy

    If your urine is any color yellow at all, then you're already dehydrated. You should drink an oz. of water a day for every lb of body weight.. yes that's a lot but it suppresses appetite and generally makes you feel better. I'm 225lbs and believe me it's a pain in the ass to drink a gallon of water a day, but it's worth it.

    August 4, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sacdaddy

      *oz for every 2lbs of body weight

      August 4, 2010 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
    • itstoohot

      Dude! You're going to drown yourself!

      August 4, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Wow, then it just occurred to me that I've been dehydrated pretty much my whole life...

      August 5, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
  25. sacdaddy

    mmmmm, sexy sexy

    August 4, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 1Houligan

    The older I get the harder it is go deal with the heat. Also, breathing seems to be harder and allergies... don't even go there!

    August 4, 2010 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jack

    Glad I live in Michigan in terms of summers (sorry, but I'd MUCH rather deal with a bit of winter vs. scalding summer any day...you just dress up a bit and enjoy it)....too bad the economy stinks so bad, and that we've been getting so many violent storms as of late.

    August 4, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. DudeMan

    I live in Memphis, where the heat index was 119 yesterday and the humidity is always high, and I run in it every afternoon after work. It is hard and grueling but ultimately I find that the harder you push the more the body responds and the stronger it becomes. The funny thing is, running in this is nothing compared to 3-a-days in August in full pads(which I don't even think is allowed anymore). It's no wonder why our species is becoming so weak physically and in turn mentally as well.

    August 4, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. non0vyerbeezwax

    I love to show my buttery dimply rolls to the world! I be gettin so many looks, they must like what they see!

    August 4, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Elder Depot

    No doubt it is hot this summer. Heat Stroke and Dehydration are serious problems for everyone during this hot season, but as mentioned in the article Seniors are especially at risk. Here are some tips on how to help them stay cool.

    1. Seniors should eat light meals with water saturated foods in the summer. Over 20% of body fluid comes from food, so serve foods like Watermelon, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Berries, and Soups.
    2. Seniors should drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydrate and heat stroke this summer. Water is best but fruit juices and iced teas are also good.
    3. Perspiration is one of the best ways for the body to cool off. Forget deodorant and towels, let sweat air dry as nature intended and it will carry body heat away with it.
    4. Letting the body air dry after a shower or swim will carry off body heat in the same way as perspiration. Misting the arms lightly in water and letting them air dry will also do the same.
    5. Did you ever wonder why they like it spicy down in New Orleans? Hot spicy foods promote sweating which is, as listed above, one of the best ways to cool off.
    6. Seniors should dress for the heat by wearing light-colored loose-fitting clothing. This will protect from the sun while allowing sweat to air dry. Include a light wide-brimmed hat for added shade.
    7. Even in an air conditioned house fans circulate air and help to keep the room feeling cooler. Consider putting a bucket of ice cubes in front of box fan for an added kick of coolness.
    8. It’s easy to forget how many heat sources fill out modern lives. To keep cool, turn off the computer, monitor, lights, and use the microwave instead of the oven. If possible, switch incandescent light bulbs out for cooler and more energy efficient compact florescent bulbs.
    9. Mint tricks our nerves into feeling cooler. Help a Senior to feel less overheated with a nice mint skin lotion massage or a cool glass of mint ice tea.

    Keep in mind that It is possible for individuals with serious heart, liver, or kidney problems to over-hydrate. If an elderly loved one has serious health problems ask their Doctor how much fluid they should drink each day.

    August 5, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Harry Duncan

      We have western facing windows, so we suffer from glare and heat during the summer. We found that installing window tint on these windows helped with both problems. Take a look at SnapTint window tint kits, we found their pricing affordable and quick to install.

      August 7, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  31. Led Spots 

    incandescent light generates high amounts of heat and it not energy efficient,~'

    October 19, 2010 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Don Parga

    incandescent lights uses too much electricity compared to compact fluorescent lamps.+" minerals

    June 17, 2012 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Cleo Vanalst


    June 22, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.