General Health Topics

Outdoor recreational activities have become increasingly popular. Being outside is fun and it promotes health and well-being for many participants. A few simple precautions will help you avoid possible undesired effects from being outdoors.  

Dehydration involves the loss of water from the body. Loss of fluids occurs through perspiration, respiration, urination, vomiting, and diarrhea which can lead to an abnormal balance of electrolytes in the body. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include general malaise, feeling dizzy or faint, nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. (Medscape, 2018)  

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids when participating in outdoor activities. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions about fluid intake on hot days, when ill, or when exercising. People with severe dehydration require emergent medical management. (Medscape, 2018) 

For more information on hydration visit: Mayo Clinic Dehydration

Heat Illness
Heat illness occurs when the body is exposed to elevated temperatures. Heat illness occurs on a continuum ranging from mild heat cramps to heat stroke, coma, and death. (Medscape, 2018)

Heat cramps include muscle spasms and pain in the abdomen, arms, or legs. Heat exhaustion symptoms include cool moist skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, thirst, irritability, and a fast heartbeat.  Heatstroke can cause confusion, fainting, seizures, excessive or red, hot, dry skin, and a very high body temperature.  Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency and those affected require emergency medical management. Talk with your medical provider to learn to recognize and treat any ill effects of heat-related illness. (Medscape, 2018)