Health officials warn about heart health during hot weather

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Summer is a busy time for first responders and hospitals across the Valley, and people with heart conditions are especially vulnerable.

However, the triple-digit temperatures can be dangerous for even the healthiest people.

“Those high temperatures over 100 degrees — it is very difficult on the heart,” explained Dr. Vivian Torio. “The heart is responsible for cooling the body down, and so it works much harder when the temperatures are over 100 degrees.”

Heat-related emergencies increase, and even those with no pre-existing conditions can be impacted.

dr Torio, with Kaiser Permanente, said you can reduce the risk.

“All preventable — you just got to make sure you are hydrated,” she said.

dr Torio sees several patients come in and they’re simply dehydrated. She recommends drinking 64 ounces, or 8 glasses, of water a day.

If you are drinking caffeine or alcohol, exercising or eating a lot of sodium, that amount has to increase.

“So 64 ounces is standard and it’s minimum, but most of us need more than that,” Dr. Torio said.

According to health officials, adults and kids are more prone to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

However, if you have to work outside in the heat, choose your clothes wisely.

“Rash guards with the SPF is great. Make sure you’re wearing a hat. You don’t want a bunch of layers. You’re going to overheat,” Dr. Torio said.

If you or someone you’re with is beginning to struggle in the heat, get in the shade and take layers of clothes off. If there are signs of dizziness or nausea, you should seek medical care.

By taking these precautions, health officials said you’ll avoid a trip to the ambulance or to the emergency room.

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