Heat Concerns for Ostomates
by Eileen Carter, RN/ET; via Worcester (MA) New
Summer Fluid Needs
Summertime is a time of increased physical activity and weather
extremes. We can prevent life-threatening heat related injuries, such as
the deaths from the heat wave Chicago experienced in 1995, by taking small
- Being out in the full sun.
- An unusual amount of physical exertion.
- High humidity.
- Working or standing near furnaces or ovens.
- Recent flu or high doses of water pills.
- Decreased thirst sensation leading to lowered fluid intake.
The process by which your body fights heat:
During this process, extra fluids are needed to keep your important organs
from being deprived.
- You perspire losing salt and water.
- Your body brings the circulation near the skin to release heat and cool off.
Early signs of trouble:
- Dark, odorous urine.
- Profuse sweating.
- Difficulty concentrating.
Signs of serious trouble:
- Trembling or vomiting.
- Headache or rapid breathing.
- Pale, hot and/or dry skin.
- Lack of appetite.
- Go to the shade.
- Lie down with your feet up.
- Apply cold water to your body; i.e., cover yourself with soaked towels.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Call your doctor if the symptoms are not relieved in a few minutes.
- An ileostomy requires two to four more cups of fluid each day because of high liquid output.
- Drink fluids before going out to summer activities.
- Favor water, fruit or vegetable juice, and sport drinks, over alcohol and or caffeine beverages.
- Choose cold drinks.
- Bring liquids with you and take frequent sips.
- Drink ten glasses of water each day, and even more if you have an ileostomy or urostomy.
- Stay in the shade.
- Wear loose clothing, especially loose at your neck, wrist and ankles.
- Keep your shirt on in the sun.
- Don't self-prescribe salt pills, although ileostomates should maintain adequate salt intake.