Waterbury doctor provides tips to prevent heat-related illness as heatwave rolls across CT

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — You know the saying, “never let them see you sweat?” During a heatwave like this, doctors say it’s good to sweat because it’s the body’s defense against the heat.

And that’s a good thing for Ricardo Dozier, who we saw wiping his face off with a towel as he walked shirtless along West Main Street Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Dozier had to see his doctor Tuesday because of the intense heat.

RELATED: Statewide heat advisory in effect as heat and humidity rise

“I got a little light-headed,” he said, “I got overheated, I started sweating profusely. I went and checked with my physician. She said I’m dehydrated, ‘drink more fluids.'”

News 8 went to St. Mary’s Hospital to get information from doctors there. They say what Dozier experienced is not unusual and staying hydrated is key.

“One bottle of water will help you,” said Dr. Kent Burgwardt, Associate Director of the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital. “Two bottles an hour if you’re out exerting yourself will be better. The more you’re able to keep yourself hydrated, the more you’ll be able to tolerate the heat.”

“Water, not the energy drinks, but sports drinks like Gatorade — those types of things,” he added.

News 8 asked what you should look out for as signs that you might be in danger of suffering from a heat-related illness.

“Probably the first indication that you might be in trouble would be muscle cramping,” said Dr. Burgwardt. “You may get nauseous, you may get dizzy, headaches. These are the things you start to get concerned about if you spend too much time in the sun, in the heat.”

He says your body will tell you if things are starting to get worse or more serious.

“When it’s unable to compensate for the extra heat in the body so you stop sweating,” the doctor said. “You may become agitated, confused, and this is a really concerning point in time because now you’re developing a real medical emergency. You’re getting heatstroke.”

At the first sign that anything is wrong, seek help. If you can’t do that, find some water and shade to cool you down, and be sure not to over-exert yourself.

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