Last week Burke Health Cardiologist, Dr. Kendall Griffith, spoke with Shellie Smitley at The True Citizen.
The topic – Heart health in this Georgia summer heat!
In June 29th’s True Citizen, an article summarizing their conversation was published.
Here’s that article:
Staying safe during extreme temperatures
While hot summer temperatures hover around and often surpass 100 degrees, Burke Health gives advice on how to stay heart-healthy.
According to research, people are actually more prone to heart attacks and strokes during the winter months said Cardiologist Dr. Kendall Griffith. However, dehydration during the hot summer months puts people more at risk.
“Blood gets thicker than usual,” Griffith said. “It causes a strain on the heart because it is trying to cool the blood so it’s pumping a lot of blood to the skin. It’s working a little faster and a little bit harder.”
People get dehydrated during hot temperatures, causing electrolytes to get imbalanced and potassium levels to drop. When this happens, people may experience a sudden, rapid heartbeat or irregularity. Lightheadedness, cramps, a headache, fainting, and clamminess are symptoms of heatstroke.
“People with heart failure have to be very careful because they are already on diuretics so they don’t notice the amount of fluid they are losing from sweating and urinating,” he said. “So, you are losing all this extra fluid, but you are not putting it back in.”
Griffith recommends that anyone with underlying heart disorders talk to their primary physician or cardiologist about adjusting diuretics during the hot months.
“You have to stay hydrated,” he said. “You must drink until your urine is clear. That way you know you are well hydrated.”
Griffith recommends eating fruit and drinking water or Gatorade when out in the heat.
The article can be found here.