For Your Heart, Watch The Summertime Heat
With our Southern summers, you may wonder how to stay cool as temperatures rise. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can be a concern for people with heart trouble—especially heart failure. That’s because your heart may have difficulty pumping blood to your skin, where heat is released. Your medication may make it harder to sweat, too. Sweating also helps you cool off.
Seek out the cool
The best way to cool off is to get to an air-conditioned environment. If your home is not air-conditioned, head to the mall, senior center, library, or movie theater. Ask your local area agency on aging if there’s a program that gives window air conditioners to seniors who qualify. If you can’t afford to run your air conditioner, ask your local area agency on aging or senior center if they know of programs that can help you with cooling bills.
Try these tips, too:
- Plan activities for early morning or late evening.
- Shower, bathe, or sponge yourself off with cool water.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothes.
- Create a cross breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of the room or house
- Cover windows when they’re in direct sunlight. Keep curtains, shades or blinds drawn during the hottest part of the day.
If you’ve been sweating, your body probably needs more fluid. But some people with heart problems need to limit their fluid intake, and some are taking diuretics, which help the body to release excess fluid in the urine. So be sure to check with your health care provider about whether it is safe for you to drink more fluids when it's hot out.
How GMC Can Help
From diagnosing heart disease to treating cardiovascular conditions such as cardiomyopathy, blocked arteries or arrhythmia, Gwinnett Medical Center has provided expert care for cardiovascular diseases in our community for more than 20 years. Learn more at gmcheart.com. Or read more about heart health at our Health (e) Library.