When summer arrives, 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 medicine may make it harder to sweat, too. Sweating also helps you cool off.
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, library, or movie theater.
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.
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. Monitoring your weight daily can help assess your fluid status. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about whether it is safe for you to drink more fluids when it's hot out.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and a
leading cause of serious, long-term disability, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA). The ASA reports that strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Find out more about stroke by taking this quiz, based on information from the AHA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).