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Keeping Your Cool

Enough water each day could keep heat stroke away

(HealthDayNews) -- It's normal to take a cold drink on a hot day. But health experts say you should fill your body with fluids all day -- even if you're not thirsty.

That's because hyperthermia, a catchall name for heat-related illnesses that range from dizziness to heat stroke, can be life threatening. Hyperthermia killed about 700 people in the Chicago area during a heat wave in July, 1995.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating and cramps. Left untreated, they can lead to heat stroke, which occurs when your body's thermostat shuts down. When your body can't sweat any longer, your temperature can reach 106 degrees F. If this happens, your life is in danger.

So when it's really blistering out there, drink one-and-a-half to two quarts of fluids a day, even if you don't plan to set foot outdoors. Water and fruit juices are perfect, and even soft drinks are acceptable. But avoid beverages with caffeine or alcohol --they sap moisture from the body.

Consumer News