How to protect yourself from the heat if you have heart conditions

For most of us summer time is one of the periods that we can hardly wait as it allows us to escape from our daily routine. But, for people with heart conditions, summer is not necessarily a joyous occasion. Exposing us in the sun and high temperatures, our body activates compensatory mechanisms such as sweating, a process that is designed to regulate body temperature. Instead, for the persons with heart conditions, this mechanism is less developed.

Two other processes that our bodies encounter during the summer are dilation of blood vessels (vasodilation), and increased heart rate (heart rate intensification). They can cause a worsening in our health state, both to elderly and young people as well.

An early symptom that can occur to people with heart conditions during hot periods of summer is the state of exhaustion. In this case doctors advise not to drink coffee or other caffeine products, as caffeine may cause vasodilation, thus leading to dizziness, headaches and nausea.

Another situation that should be avoided by persons with heart conditions is overexposure to the sun. Even if in the initial period symptoms delay to develop, the consequences can be felt only after several hours through states of exhaustion, fainting, vasodilatation and in critical cases even heat-strokes.

In order to avoid the inconveniences described above, at the start of the day doctors recommend following preventive measures:

 - Avoiding sun exposure during peak hours of the day;

- Wearing hats or sun umbrellas;

- Consumption of liquids, at least 2 liters of water per day;

- Wearing loose natural fabric clothes that allows the skin to breath;

- Avoiding the consumption of coffee and caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

If you experience symptoms caused by heat such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, increased cardiac output, it is important not to be alone in this situations. Ask a friend or a relative to be with you and monitor your health, and in case of worsening seek immediately emergency medical assistance.