Heat and Humidity
The Texas heat is in full effect. We have already had a few days where the temperature topped 100 degrees. We have also had some good rain storms, which have raised the humidity. During the summers, you may notice that there are some days that are so humid that you never quite dry off after your shower. It is important to understand the danger of such humid days.
Human bodies cool off by increasing blood circulation, by sweating, and by panting. The heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. This is why your skin may look flushed when you are hot. The body's blood is circulated closer to the skin's surface, and excess heat radiates into the cooler atmosphere. At the same time, water is pushed through the skin as perspiration. The skin handles about 90 percent of the body's heat dissipating function.
Sweat has to evaporate in order to remove heat from the body. High relative humidity prevents or slows evaporation. When we get hot in a humid climate, we sweat, but the sweat does not evaporate fast enough to cool us. The body assumes that we need to sweat more, so we do. This can lead to rapid dehydration. We also lose important electrolytes with our sweat. These need to be replaced as much as the water does. When exercising in the heat, make sure you are properly hydrating and replacing lost electrolytes. There are specialized electrolyte drinks available in stores, or you can make your own with water, lemons or limes, and different salts (magnesium, potassium, sodium).
If you feel exhausted when you are out in the heat, find shade and a breeze to cool off for a bit. Cool water can help regulate your body temperature. Drink it, bath in it, or pour it on your head and neck (where we lose much of our heat).
DID YOU KNOW...
Pain Pills and Heart Attack
Short-term use of NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen (Aleve), is associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
My patients have all heard me talk about how important it is to find the cause of your pain and inflammation so that we can help your body heal properly. One of my goals is to avoid the need for NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medication. While they can be effective at reducing the symptoms of inflammation, they do not usually fix the problem that was causing the inflammation. Without addressing the root cause of your symptoms, the symptoms often return once the medication wears off.
In a study published in The British Medical Journal in April 2017, the conclusion of the study states that
“All NSAIDs, including naproxen, were found to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction.”
Another interesting detail is that it is not even long-term use that is associated with the risk.
“Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses.”
While it is not clear whether the NSAIDs are actually causing the heart attacks, it is definitely in our best interest to resolve the complaints we have as naturally as possible so that we don't feel the need for pain meds. If we need relief from the inflammation while we are still in the healing process, There are many natural foods and nutrients that are highly effective at reducing inflammation. If you have questions about these options, be sure to ask at your next appointment.
More information: Risk of acute myocardial infarction with NSAIDs in real world use: bayesian meta-analysis of individual patient data, BMJ (2017).
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Back-to-School Backpack Safety
It is that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school with backpacks full of books, supplies, and lunch. The following video from the American Chiropractic Association has some good tips to keep the backpack from causing injury to the kids' growing bodies: