How heat affects your health and medication

August 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
As the temperatures go up, so does the risk to your health and to vital medications.

Even on a hot summer day people in the Valley don't shy away from exercise, but they definitely feel the effects of the blazing heat.

"In the morning it's easier to beat the heat. It's way more comfortable," said Adam Conover of Fresno about running outdoors. "If I'm going to be out here, I don't want to feel like I am going to die."

"When it's this hot, I can definitely tell that my body kinda feels like it's working in overtime," said Ashley Crawfurd of Fresno.

Fresno Allergist Dr. Bill Ebbeling says the intense heat has an effect on your health.

"When it's hot you need to be cool because our body will gey into serious problems when it gets too hot," said Dr. Bill Ebbeling.

Dr. Ebbeling says if you are in an environment where it is more than 104 degrees you are at increased risk heat shock and heat stroke. He says if you stop sweating it could be a symptom of something more serious.

"If we stop sweating because we are getting dehydrated, we are going into heat stroke very quickly because that is one of the methods the body is losing heat and if it's that hot that it's not doing that anymore, then we're in real trouble," Dr. Ebbeling said.

However, it's not just your body you need to pay attention to. The heat can reduce the effectiveness of your medication.

"We worry about our diabetic patients. Because the heat can cause some changes in the medications that diabetics take, mostly insulin, because it needs to be kept cold," said Michael Winton of Winton's Pharmacy.

Pharmacist Michael Winton says heat sensitive drugs like insulin need to be refrigerated. Most medication should be stored at about 77 to 80 degrees, but experts say you need to look at the bottle's labels. Winton says another pill that is sensitive to the heat, can be gel-capped pills.

Winton also urges people to keep an eye on prescriptions that come in the mail and make sure their medicine doesn't get too hot, whether it's in or out of the house.

"Definitely don't keep it in the car or definitely don't use it if it was left in the car. Cars' temperatures can exceed 130, 140 degrees in the summertime and medications will break down," Winton said.


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