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Local urgent care doctor shares signs of heat illness ahead of historic heat wave



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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — If you’re going to be out during this historic heat wave, Dr. Anne Toledo, the chief of urgent care with Northwest Permanente, said there are things you should avoid to keep yourself safe.

“I’m both the chief of urgent care and the party pooper in chief because the way you avoid it is by not doing all the fun, weekend summer things,” Toledo said.

She said you should avoid dehydrating drinks.

“Things like alcohol and caffeine are extremely dehydrating,” she said. “So maybe following up an iced coffee in the morning with a bunch of white claw? Bad idea this weekend.”

Toledo also recommends limiting your time in the sun.

“If there is somewhere with shade, plenty of hydration nearby I would minimize your exposure outside to an hour or less if you are going to go outside and just can’t resist,” Toledo said.

If you can’t resist being outside this weekend, Toledo stresses the importance of knowing the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Heat illness is a spectrum. From mild symptoms from heat cramps, feeling a little dehydrated and irritable, having a headache all the way up through getting nauseous, extremely tired,” she said. “Those are signs you’re reaching heat exhaustion, right? Where your body is saying ‘whoa! pump the breaks! You can’t keep being in heat like this, you’re very sick’.”

So, taking breaks in the shade or air conditioning and staying hydrated is going to be key this weekend.

“Make sure that you get some fluids with some salt and sugar in them ideally so maybe alternate plain water with something like a sports beverage or broth so you’re not accidentally throwing off the balance of salt and sugar in your body,” Toledo said.

If you have mild symptoms of heat illness, she suggests putting ice on your neck or taking a cold shower. If you’re unsure how serious your symptoms are, Toledo said you can always call a local hospital system to ask their advice.

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