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East Texas doctor offers safety tips for triple digit temperatures

Triple digits arrive earlier than usual in East Texas
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Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Many places in East Texas topped out Monday at the century mark, and those that didn’t got very close. High temperatures are normally in the low 90s this time of year, but are expected to be almost 10 degrees warmer at times this week.

With triple digit high temperatures in the forecast, doctors are advising folks to watch for the signs of heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“So there’s significant fatigue that can set in, you can start developing headaches, you can get nauseous, and you can even throw up,” said Mike Galbraith, DO, with UT Health East Texas.

Galbraith, who specializes in sports medicine, said those are symptoms associated with heat exhaustion, a potentially dangerous heat-related illness. He said the more serious one to watch for is heat stroke.

“And not only will you have some of the headache, the nauseousness, the dizziness and just profound fatigue. But sometimes that person can be irritable, and they can be really confused or disoriented. This potentially can be a fatal condition.”

He said the very old and the very young are most at risk, along with those who have experienced heat-related illnesses before.

“So if you think back to that family member that always gets hot outside - you know, ‘look out for Aunt Shirley.’ Yes, you really do need to be careful.”

As always, Galbraith said it’s important to stay hydrated using water and replace lost electrolytes with a sports drink or snacks. And while it may seem odd, he also recommends “warming up” to the heat.

“Most people it takes about one to two weeks to really slowly start to acclimate to really these hot triple digit temperatures. So maybe that’s starting to go on a jog for 15 minutes and then 20, 30 minutes and slowly start to increase our time outside.”

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