Heat & Headaches

When it’s this hot, we all tend to feel a little rundown.

My energy is lower…  I am moving a little slower…  I want to sleep more… and my head hurts.  Heat and headaches.  I’ve heard a lot of you complaining about how this heat is giving you headaches.

Well, experts say heat could be to blame, but scientists don’t really understand why.

New research suggests that certain weather conditions may trigger headaches.  In a large-scale study, researchers found out…  regardless of the time of year, an increase in temperature was the biggest weather-related headache trigger.  The study found that every 9 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature raised the headache risk by 7.5%.

Only thing is… scientists aren’t sure how temperature influences headaches.  The physiological connection is not well understood.

One expert says it could be a number of reasons like… leaving an air-conditioned car to walk outside on a warm day, or being physically active and sweating a lot.

There’s also no evidence that there’s more headaches in hot climates than in cold climates.  There are no more headaches in Miami than they are in Boston.

But most doctors do agree that two things should help to keep headaches away…

1.  Drink lots of water.  Dehydration is a major cause of headaches in the summer.

2.  Avoid Sun Contact, or at least direct sun contact as much as possible.  Wear a broad brimmed hat outside.  Use an umbrella at the beach to stay in the shade.

Next, know the headache… know when it means something more.

Headaches are also characteristic of heat exhaustion.  This is caused by a combination of hot temperatures, high humidity and overexertion.  Besides a pounding headache, you may experience muscle cramps, a rapid pulse, nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue and cool, clammy skin even when you’re in the sun.  If this happens, stop what you are doing.  Get in the shade and drink water or a sports drink.

Pounding headaches are also a symptom of heat stroke – the most dangerous heat-related illness.  Heat stroke happens when your body can no longer cool itself naturally.  Your body temperature can go up to 106 or even higher in just a few minutes.  Other symptoms of heat stroke include skin that is hot and dry (no sweat), a quick, strong pulse, dizziness and/or confusion, nausea and/or vomiting, and finally you could lose consciousness.  Heat stroke can cause permanent damage or even death.  Seek immediate medical attention.  Call 911.

(sources:  Livestrong, CNN, WebMD, Health Status

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