Heat hurts your insides too
July 12th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Heat hurts your insides too

When the heat hits, you can see it on the outside of your body with the buckets of sweat you’re pouring out, but it’s affecting you on the inside, too, doctors say.

As the temperatures soar outdoors, the temperature in your brain goes up slightly, according to Dr. Michael Bergeron, the director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance  in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This explains why people sometimes get confused when they’ve spent too much time in the heat.

When it’s hot outside, the body sends extra blood to the vital organs to keep them functioning, and to the skin, to help it cool off. This means less blood for your belly, Bergeron says.

“Digestion is less of a priority, so blood vessels to our gastrointestinal system restrict,” he says. “This is why you might not feel like eating or drinking when you’re out in the heat, or why you feel sick if you do eat.”

The solution: Eat foods that are easy to digest, like simply carbohydrates, and avoid foods high in protein or fat, which are harder to digest.

And of course, drink, drink, drink.  Water or a sports drink are best, and stay away from alcohol or caffeine, which can dehydrate you.

In severe cases the heat can make you seriously ill.

Heat illnesses can start with cramps, says University of Alabama Birmingham Chair of Emergency Medicine Dr. Janyce Sanford.   “As it progresses, the next step is heat exhaustion. They may develop a severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of severe weakness.”

The most severe heat-related illness is a heatstroke.  “When you reach this point, the severely elevated body temperature causes an altered mental state, dizziness and ultimately can lead to a loss of consciousness," Sanford says. "The muscles can start to break down, which leads to kidney failure; this makes heatstroke a life-threatening illness.”

Between 1979 and 2003, excessive heat exposure killed 8,015 Americans, according to the CDC.  That’s more people than the number who died from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, and floods combined.

soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. jackal & jester

    Well you can also wear light color clothing to reflect light. Wear a large hat provides some portable shade. Also try not to stay out too long if you can. Any others tip can be posted if I forgot anything.

    July 12, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • svann

      My old man used to tell me "Get a haircut, son"!

      July 12, 2011 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I usually switched to salads when we were in the field, the greens break down easily and don't generate heat in the stomach, unlike breaking down meat and fat.
      HYDRATE. If you're on a low/no salt diet, add some salt to your food, you're sweating it out and your body REQUIRES salt to survive.
      Minimize those sports drinks, your body is going to try to absorb that water in them, leaving those electrolytes in the stomach, making it full of a hypertonic solution, which would then draw water INTO the stomach. Keep that up, it's vomit time! Try one sports drink to at least a gallon of water.
      If you are working/playing hard in the heat, then suddenly get the chills, STOP! Get under shade and indoors, hydrate!

      July 12, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
    • Nina223

      We work outside in Arizona a lot, we dilute all of our sports drinks, and just like my mom always said, keep some trail mix in the car!! Right combination of salt and simple carbs in there works wonders! Long sleeves, light colors, and SUNSCREEN!

      July 12, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
    • Terry Colson

      Drink plenty of temperature room water,but the big key is to keep your salk levels up.Dump a little salt in the water you drink,it's acts the same way as gatorade.

      July 13, 2011 at 03:39 | Report abuse |
  2. r

    After all these years I still can't really understand the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

    July 12, 2011 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bozobub

      Heat exhaustion is just what happens BEFORE heat stroke, if the body isn't cooled down. They're phases of the same problem.

      July 12, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      Heat exhaustion is when you're sick from heat, but there's no damage to vital organs. When you're in a full heat stroke the brain and other organs are suffering damage and if you are not cooled very quickly you will die.

      July 12, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Heat exhaustion is largely an electrolyte imbalance, you've sweated out a lot of water AND salt, both of which are necessary for life.
      Heat stroke, you stop sweating, your electrolytes are low, you begin developing a significant fever, rising RAPIDLY, baking your organs and brain in the process.
      Heat exhaustion makes you feel ill, pounding headache, weak, etc.
      Heat stroke makes you act confused, drunk and disorientated, then comatose and dead.
      I've treated all phases of heat injuries, they do NOT necessarily need to go in an orderly sequence and can go from zero to heat stroke easily.
      I've also HAD a heat stroke, because I forgot to bring water on my drive to the base while I was in the Persian Gulf. The gate guard thought I was drunk, the MP's figured out I was having a heat stroke.
      End result: Mild cardiac damage that makes the new EKG's say "digitalis effect" and some PVC's.
      I was lucky, no brain damage, no kidney damage, no liver damage.

      July 12, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      Heat exhaustion is when your core temp is starting to rise and your body is having trouble bringing it back down and the fluid level in the body is getting lower but it can be reversed. Heat stroke is when the body has pretty much lost control of regulating heat and fluid levels are at the point where major organs do not have any way to properly operate.

      July 13, 2011 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
  3. JW

    Another ridiculous headline–heat hurts your insides? Seriously? Common sense tells you this is nonsense. It is failing to take care of your body, relying on air conditioning every where you go, not getting a little exercise, etc., etc, basically being the average American. If you do that, well, yes, heat might hurt your insides, and lots of other things. Just climatize your body, as any world traveler knows, and don't get dehydrated.

    July 12, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E

      Tomorrow's headline...Cold hurts your insides

      July 12, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Really? I've treated HUNDREDS of US Army SOLDIERS, who are in prime physical condition for heat injuries. Typically, the injury was either heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
      Pity that you are so stupid that you can't accept good MEDICAL advice.
      You'll instead rely on your idiocy and either kill yourself or someone else.

      July 12, 2011 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • JW

      Well, great treater-of-military persons, I was military, never suffered any heat injuries or even came close. The guys I remember getting heat stroke weren't in that great of shape physically or mentally. But they were also pushing themselves very hard in difficult environments–not doing everyday, average American things. Just need to use common sense.

      July 12, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse |
    • NMGrrL

      JW – YES, heat hurts your insides. I am particularly susceptible to heat-related problems. I have multiple sclerosis and a one-quarter degree increase in my core body temperature is enough to rob me of my functioning in my legs; cause tremor in my hands so severe that I cannot hold a pen or pencil, or dial a telephone; and cause slurred speech that someone who doesn't know me might mistake for severe intoxication (or a stroke). That's 1/4 of a degree... I have to be careful in both summer and winter, though, because cold has a whole different set of effects. The ability to regulate body temperature is critical to survival, and exposure to heat kills thousands of people every year.

      July 12, 2011 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      It doesn't take much, and it doesn't matter too much on the physical condition! I Yes people in horrible condition or severely overweight are going to show symptoms earlier, but it effects every human, cells are cells and heat gets to them all at some point! Try climbing cell towers in the desert when its 107 out, stay up there a couple hundred feet, for 12 hours at a time, doesn't matter what perfect physical shape you are in, if your dehydrated, it will get you, and at 400 ft, its not the place to have some one disoriented or confused. It takes a split second lapse in judgement to not tie yourself off and your done. Think this is a joke?? We spend countless hours on heat-illness prevention training, and at least once a week, we have someone experience some degree of heat exhaustion or heat stroke! Its not a joking matter at all when you watch someone be air lifted away because they had heat stroke. Get your facts together before you go running your mouth off.

      July 12, 2011 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • JayChris

      JW....forgive me but this is a very important and informative article. For the layperson, the athlete and a reminder for us healthcare providers who are athletes ourselves. Please don't be so critical on important tips that might save someone's life. Possibly your own at some point.

      July 13, 2011 at 01:23 | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      JW, you're just goofy. I spent 30 years with the fire dept and I assure you heat does effect your insides. You may be a "know-it-all", but I guarantee you are no know it all...

      July 13, 2011 at 07:07 | Report abuse |
    • Pat in IL

      By ignoring the facts and thinking you are somehow immune to the reality of the situation, I hope you don't ever fall victim to the elements. If you have children, I feel very sorry for them, because you won't be warning them of the truth and teaching them real ways to take care of themselves.

      July 13, 2011 at 08:44 | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      For every great article with sound medical advice, there's always someone to scorn it. My wife and i are also great affected by heat and we are in pretty good physical condition. Instead of "acclimatize", why don't you just get some common sense

      July 13, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      JW, shut up.

      July 13, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      Ah yes, being in good physical shape makes you immune to the reality of biochemistry and physics. Gotcha.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • ser

      why must people be reminded of how to take care of themselves in extreme heat and cold...I mean it is the same thing every year...is society that stupid that they don't know what care should be taken in these situations...come on folks...it is summer, it gets hot...it was hot last year and the year before and the year before that. You know what you need to do.....crikey
      its like at home depot or walmart...why are they sold out of shovels when a big snowstorm is forecasted...don't people have shovels from the last snowstorm..last year....seriously

      July 13, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  4. Really?

    Umm yeah you can cook your internal organs from heatstroke.............. anyone Remember Kori Stringer who died at the Viking football camp abt 9-10 years ago? The thermometer only went to 108 for measuring body temps............he literally cooked his insides from the heat. So this headline is kinda a "Here's Your Sign " moment

    July 12, 2011 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      While I was in the Persian Gulf, I forgot to bring water when going in to the base and my AC was broken in the vehicle.
      Got stuck in traffic and ended up getting to the gate, where the gate guard thought I was drunk. The MP's figured out it was a heat stroke.
      Ended up with some mild cardiac damage from it.

      July 12, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
  5. Rebecca

    You can have a heat stroke without realizing how much your body has dehydrated. That's why you need to always make sure you take water along whereever you're going and keep your body hydrated. That will also keep your inside of your body cool.

    July 12, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. joan

    this is very likely how little Caylee Anthony passed away. She was in the trunk of a car while temps hit 82 deg. Stupid f...kin so called "mother" forgot it wasn't Springtime in FL anymore. She opened the trunk the next day & panic struck! Guaranteed this is what happened. (& the child had duct tape holding the cloroform w/cotton under her little nose)

    July 12, 2011 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hawaiian

      And Joan, you know all of this just how?? Were you there? I'm not defending her Mother– just saying 1) we really & truly don't know exactly what happened, and 2) this article has nothing to do with the Caylee tragedy.

      July 13, 2011 at 04:07 | Report abuse |
  7. wendy5

    this happened to me this morning i did my work out and bam; i;ve had terrible headache allday now thought i was going to pass out;my legs and muscles fell like they cant suppport me;hope i;m better tommorrow;

    July 12, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. mobytheminnow

    Buffered Salt tablets is the number one thing you can do once you start feeling yourself get strung out. I used to dig rough-ins as a plumber and I can tell you the salt tabs and lots of water is the only way you can make it. Hat not optional.

    July 12, 2011 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mobytheminnow

      The rough-ins were in Florida, the most brutal ones on crystal white sand.

      July 12, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Roger


    July 12, 2011 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rav


    July 12, 2011 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ThomyG

    I can personaly tell you that heat does infact cook your insides. I was born with Ectodermal Dispaysia which means I do not have any sweat glands.This summer has already proven to be overly hot to a point where I have to plan my daily travel to leave/arrive in the mornings or evenings due to a sub-par AC in my car. I have a bone boiling feeling that this summer is just going to get hotter. Admitted I am an extreamly rare case, but whenI tell you the body cooks then it cooks. Stay cool my friends!

    July 12, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Poodles

    sports drinks are overrated and a lie. drop them.

    July 12, 2011 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rex Lutherin

      I agree. They're full of all sorts of chemicals and crap your body doesn't need. Good old fasioned ice-cold water does the trick!

      July 19, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
  13. JayChris

    I agree with the expert advise shared in this article. I am a critical care nurse [SICU] in Florida [at a world renown hospital] and I have seen the effects of heat-illness on people. Once on a young female triathlete who had a very unfortunate outcome. Its serious. Right now I'm training in the Florida heat for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon in late October. Maintaining hydration & sodium [electrolyte] levels are vital. This is no joke.

    July 13, 2011 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Brad

    I live in central Texas.100 degree days all summer. I work outside full-time. This is the second summer I have had to work outside most of the time. Each summer I lose around 25 pounds. I have to force myself to eat. I drink around a gallon and a half of water each day. And early in my shift, I literally have to rethink everything. I want to thank cnn for providing the symptom to my problem. For some time, I considered it was the early signs of alzheimer's. Now I can try and persuade my boss to allow some relief from the heat.

    July 13, 2011 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RaznCain

    Two years after his heat stroke, my husband still suffers from numerous medical problems. The heat stroke caused adrenal hyperfunction, vasomotor instability, complications of diabetes (it was controlled with diet and exercise, he is now insulin dependent), intermittent hypertension AND hypotension (the lowest his blood pressure went was 39/27, how he lived, I have no idea), intermittent renal failure, urinary retention, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, vision changes, mental changes, not to mention others, and he is now permanently disabled. His heat stroke was at work in a 125 degree environment; he worked there 16 years, had four heat strokes, and each time was drinking plenty of water and knew what to do. He will never be able to work again. As a result, I am now not only a nurse as a career, I'm his nurse at home as well. I see heat-related complications all summer long in rural Kansas, especially during harvest and football/track season. It doesn't have to happen. Heat stroke is real and it is deadly.

    July 13, 2011 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. spaceman

    get warm enough and the blood will coagulate

    July 13, 2011 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JehseaLynn

    @RAZNCAIN my heart goes out to both you and your husband. I know he is suffering, but you suffer also the unique pain of the loving but helpless caregiver. And as a TBI victim myself, I note his heatstroke also caused him brain damage. TO WZRD1 – you provided excellent information. I hope your hesling is complete and I THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, even though I disagree with the Bush policies that took us to these wars.

    July 13, 2011 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RaznCain

      Thank you for your kind words. His healing is slow although he'll never fully recover. I do have to clear one thing though, I am not a service member, however my son-in-law Spc. Steven A. Eaton is in the Army, currently stationed in the Kandahar region of South Afghanistan. My father-in-law is a three war vet, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and I come from a very long line of military family members. Had I been able to serve, I would have, but during my physical for the Army, I learned I was pregnant with my third child! I'll check out the resource you listed as well, thank you, every little bit helps!!

      July 13, 2011 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
    • RaznCain

      Sorry about that, for some reason, my browser didn't show your whole message, although it did when I refreshed. Total idiot here, lol!

      July 13, 2011 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  18. some guy

    There is one thing I wont eat in the heat, I will be a good boy and refrain from mentioning it.

    July 13, 2011 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. vrim

    There is no safe amount of outdoor exercise when temps are in the 90's or higher. A lot of healthy, relatively young, people have dropped dead exerting in that kind of oppressive heat. Heat stroke comes on quickly and many don't pay attention to the warning signs. At the first warning, drinking a little cool water is advisable. Probably even more useful is to pour cold water directly on the head and begin to cool the brain down. No question about it, the heated up brain causes the disorientation and sick feeling that eventually leads to failure of the brain to tell the heart to beat. Then death happens.

    July 13, 2011 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rex Lutherin

      Very correct. Dowsing your head does keep it clear and cools the body temp down. Good advice, mate.

      July 19, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  20. Av

    I wonder if this is really news? didnt we all get a nose-bleed while playing in the sun when we were kids?

    July 13, 2011 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JulieK

      Um...no. But my mom was a nurse and she kept us hydrated even if we were too young to think much about that sort of thing. Educating ourselves can save our own lives and/or the lives of children or the elderly who won't think of these things themselves.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
    • ColeTrain

      No, we didn't. You may need to look into that.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
  21. Dave

    Heat can be deadly – everyone should be careful and stay hydrated, true. But the CDC is also VERY clear on the fact that COLD is far more deadly – more than a thousand people each year die from excessive exposure to cold, which is more than triple the deaths from heat...

    July 13, 2011 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Annie

    It doesn't just have to do with the outdoor termperature. I've seen it happen to people who practise Bikram Yoga.

    July 13, 2011 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dea2

    Anyone with a blood clotting disease, or potential for DVTs. heart attacks, and strokes, needs to be very careful when it's this hot. The heat makes our blood clot even faster and increases our risk for emergencies. The same goes for women on birth control pills, and those prone to migraines.

    July 13, 2011 at 06:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. harry

    Had heat exhaustion when I was a kid. Not fun. Felt horrible. Still love hot weather but I use more common sense and know my limits.

    July 13, 2011 at 06:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Britains Better Than America

    Remember When : It Was A Dream To Be American...

    But Now : ....Its A Dream To Leave America

    My oh my were we Famous...Why did u guys ruin it?....First Bush then Obama ...Even Hilery Clinton takes part in ruining it *Sigh*

    July 13, 2011 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bezerkur

    i imagine its happening more to the fat slobs shoving french fries and buster bars in their mouths. the chaffing and butt crack cheese alone prolly make it even worse.

    July 13, 2011 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. jerrycc

    To this day I can't believe our HS football coaches made us practice 2 a day football practices in late July and Aug. and would not let us have any fluids during each 2 hr hell. We must have been tough back then as only a dozen ofr so would pass out each yr.

    July 13, 2011 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. davidmij

    My wife does Bikram Yoga. It's pretty much 90 minutes of regular Yoga in a room that is 110 degrees and over 50% humidity. If you read up about Choudra (sp?) Bikram he seems to be quite the swindler in his business dealings. I personally believe his motive is money, money, money. Anyway, I can't see how doing yoga in these conditions (just because that's what the environment in India is) can be healthy.

    July 13, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Guinness

    I find summer a good time to get my weight down. Exercise in moderation burns calories and I don't end up craving a large pizza afterwards.

    July 13, 2011 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. sheWillSpeak

    That timeframe doesn't count Hurricane Katrina or any other natural disaster that's happened since 2003

    July 13, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bachmanntwit

    FACT: Michele Bachmann's husband is gay.

    July 13, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rex Lutherin

      Lol! Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh! What makes it even more funny is that it's completely unrelated to this article. Thank-you again.

      July 19, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
  32. Victor

    What I like most about this artilce – which makes a lot of good points – is the point about the relationship between the food we eat and the heat/blood flow regulation our body produces digesting it. Be smart about what you eat and get some basic education about how the body works. As a general rule the more processed and/or higher up the food chain food is (i.e., animal protein) the harder time the body will have digesting it and the more uncomfortable the body will become. Stay away from the middle aisles in the supermarket and stay with very basic fruits, veggies and simple proteins and you'll be fine. Good luck!

    July 13, 2011 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Carol

    Caffeine does not dehydrate you. This is an old myth science has since proved wrong.

    July 13, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rex Lutherin

      And you believe everything the Mayo clinic tells you? For years the braniacs of this planet have been telling us one minute something is bad for us then later on telling us they were wrong. Listen to your own body and you'll live to be as ignorant as I.

      July 19, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
  34. maryacrenshaw

    Healty or not athletic or not everyone needs to stay out of excessive heat an drink plenty of water

    July 13, 2011 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. marilyn

    When I'm outside for about 30min+ or out walking for 1hr I get a very bad headache and start feeling dizz'e. So I take a 2 motrin and I sit down 4 about 1hr and than I start feeling better. Now do u call that a heat stroke?

    July 13, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThatJen

      No, thats called out of shape, over weight, lazy person syndrom

      July 13, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • Virginia

      It could be that you are sensitive to the heat, if you just get headaches. It also could be the beginning of heat exhaustion, which has headache, and cold, clammy skin. This is the time to drink water and cool down, get inside (or into the shade if you cannot go indoors) and remain sedentary until you recover.

      If you are exercising during the heat, either do so in the early morning just after sun up, or in the evening (if possible, after dark).

      Be alert for hot, dry skin and feeling as if you are getting a sunburn, even though you haven't been in direct sun or you have sunshade on. This is heat stroke, and is when you potentially start to damage your body.

      We carry gatorade packets on all the fire trucks in the department, and only use half of the recommended powder to a bottle of water. When that is finished, we give another bottle or two to our firefighters, many of whom are young and in good shape. However, the heat here can be very damaging to the body, as the article says. (We are in NM.)

      Good luck staying cool this summer.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
  36. marilyn

    Ok I understand what u r sayin but I ben going thru this 4 about 11yrs. And I can't enjoy no summer cause my head always hurt or I get a pounding feeling in my head. Now is it good 2 take motrin everyday that I come outside or should I just stay in door's?

    July 13, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • so tex

      ya'll are hilarious...hahaha, we have these temps 3 months straight every year, and ya'll have them one week and start collapsing..try drinking water!!! cmon people, you are AMERICANS!

      July 13, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • Virginia

      Stay indoors during the hot part of the days. Do gardening just when the sun is coming up, walk in the cool of the evening (or even after darkness). You might want to think about joining an indoor pool for exercise during the summer. Check you local high schools; some of them with pools have them open to the public for a small fee before school hours, and that would be a very healthy form of exercise and indoors as well.

      Good luck.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:03 | Report abuse |
  37. Keith

    I almost had a heat stroke at 21 and it wasn't a lack of water. I was running late for work and didn't have time to eat a decent breakfast and no matter how much water or Gatorade you drink there is no way your body can compensate for that. Everything went black and I stumbled to my knees. I put my head on the ground and used my hands to block the sun. I could hear people yelling but couldn't answer, luckily my vision came back and they helped me to the shade. It didn't hurt at all but have never been so scared

    July 13, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. ThatJen

    If people would get off their a** and not be so used to ac, you'd feel better in the heat. 100 isnt anything, unless youre retarded.

    July 13, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rex Lutherin

      Or, unless you're elderly. Not everyone is in shape like yourself (if that's even true). C'mon, be fair. Although I gotta say, us North Americans are a bunch of fat, sluggish, spoiled, and stupid lot. 'Cept for me, I'm slim, but still ignorant for the most part.

      July 19, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Virginia

      Please don't be ignorant. I am a firefighter, live in NM where the heat is 100 most every day now, and I live with no air conditioner or swamp cooler. As a result, when I am at home during the day I have to be more careful to not overdo, as it is often over 90 inside the house.

      Were I on heart medication, on blood thinners, or have other medical conditions, no matter what physical shape I am in, this weather would be potentially deadly. Every year we loose people to the heat, most of whom are either elderly or very young, but some are adults with no prior medical history of heat related problems or causative conditions.

      Just because you are able to weather the summer all right does not mean everyone can, or should.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • PaytonB

      Some people do not "get used to the heat." I'm so sick of hearing that from people.
      I live in a desert/arid grassland that is in the 90s and 100s every summer. I've lived here all my life and spent most of my younger years outside in the heat. It never mattered how much time I spent out there and how little I spent in the AC, I still got sick from the heat, and that's with constant hydration and electrolyte replacement.
      When I played sports, I'd have to have one jug of water to drink and one jug to pour over my head because I couldn't cool down enough not to get sick.

      Some people just can NOT handle the heat.

      July 1, 2013 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  39. bernie

    How can u die from a hurricane. They give you plenty of time to evacuate.

    July 13, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. ruchbuch12

    There are many solutions for this issue too. Wear hats and sunglasses for shade and protection. Drink plenty of water. Stay out of excessive heat. Wear light colors. Wear sunscreen/ sunblock. Sports drinks are just a lie, they're fake! Try not to stay outside too long either. CNN making an article on this isn't essential. I can certainly tell that you've ran out of stories to tell. America can just put their big girl panties on and doesn't need advice from CNN or anyone.

    July 16, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rex Lutherin

    Sports drinks are the worst thing you can drink! They usually contain caffiene, which dehydrates you. Some even contain salt, causing you to drink even more. Which CNN "Expert" came up with the advice to drink sports drinks? Stick to good old fashioned water, and drink it ice-cold. Don't ever let anyone ever tell you cold water is bad for you, it actually helps to cool your inner body temperature.

    July 19, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PaytonB

      You lose salt when you sweat, and heat related illnesses can be caused in part by salt depletion. You DO want to make sure you replace the electrolytes you lose through sweat, and that includes salt. That's why it's in sports drinks to begin with. A little bit of salt in water will not make you thirstier.
      Also, I'm not sure what sports drinks you're drinking, but I've never come across any that had caffeine in them. Maybe you're thinking energy drinks.

      July 1, 2013 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
  42. lana

    Growing up in central florida without ac, we always drank lots of lemonade, sweet tea, and water. Wear light, loose clothes (not tight yoga pants or skinny jeans) with long sleeves and a hat and shades. Start early and be inside as much as possible between 10 and 4 and avoid heavy complicated foods. Stick to salads,fresh fruits, and cold plates. This also worked while in the persian gulf.

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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.