Archive | August, 2016

Dehydration

27 Aug

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When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough fluid to work properly. An average person on an average day needs about three quarts of water. But if you’re out in the hot sun, you’ll need a lot more than that. Most healthy bodies are very good at regulating water. Elderly people, young children and people with special cases – like those taking certain medications – need to be a little more careful.

Signs of dehydration in adults include:

• Being thirsty
• Urinating less often than usual
• Dark-colored urine
• Dry skin
• Feeling tired
• Dizziness and fainting

If you think you’re dehydrated, drink small amounts of water over a period of time. Taking too much all at once can overload your stomach and make you throw up. For people exercising in the heat and losing a lot of minerals in sweat, sports drinks can be helpful. Avoid any drinks that have caffeine.

Heat Illness

20 Aug

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Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn’t enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and your physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, replenishing salt and minerals, and limiting time in the heat can help.

Heat-related illnesses include:

• Heatstroke – a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness.

• Heat exhaustion – an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse.

• Heat cramps – muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise.

• Heat rash – skin irritation from excessive sweating.

Article Published by: Medline Plus: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Melanoma

12 Aug

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Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole. Most melanomas have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. It may be black, abnormal or “ugly looking.”

Thinking of “ABCDE” can help you remember what to watch for:

Asymmetry – the shape of one half does not match the other.

Border – the edges are ragged, blurred or irregular.

Color – the color is uneven and may include shades of black, brown and tan.

Diameter – there is a change in size, usually an increase.

Evolving – the mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

Surgery is the first treatment of all stages of melanoma. Other treatments include chemotherapy and radiation, biologic and targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body’s own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

Article Published in NIH: National Cancer Institute

Protect Yourself Against the Sun

5 Aug

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Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible form of radiation. They can pass through your skin and damage your skin cells. Sunburns are a sign of skin damage. Suntans aren’t healthy, either. They appear after the sun’s rays have already killed some cells and damaged others. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or at any temperature. They can also cause eye problems, wrinkles, skin spots and skin cancer.

To protect yourself:

• Stay out of the sun when it is strongest.
• Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
• Wear protective clothing.
• Wear wraparound sunglasses.
• Check your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles and spots.

Article Published by: Medline Plus