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February 4, 2010

Best treatment for hypothermia

Filed under: Medical Conditions — Tags: — Doctor @ 7:33 am

Prevention is the best treatment for hypothermia. By planning ahead, you are better prepared to fight it. 

  • Food is fuel. Your body is a complex machine that needs the right combination of nutrients to keep it strong. Eating hot, nutritious food all winter will keep the cold at bay.
  • Check your medications. Many prescription and non-prescription drugs can impair judgment, making it difficult to realize just how cold you really are. Of particular concern are sedatives, hypnotics, tranquilizers, and antihistamines.
  • Sweet dreams. If you are tired, your resistance to practically everything is lower, so get plenty of rest.
  • Don’t smoke. You may feel warmer when you smoke a cigarette, but as with alcohol, it’s not real warmth. Smoking actually narrows your blood vessels so that less blood circulates through your body.
  • Dress for the weather. It is just common sense to keep your feet and hands warm during the win­ter, but do you ever think about your head? You can lose about 20 percent of your body’s heat through your head because of all the blood flow­ing through your neck and brain. So always wear a hat, scarf, or earmuffs to keep your head warm. Make sure they’re made of wool, acrylic, or the new “outdoor” materials. And remember to layer your clothing, even when you’re indoors.
  • No singin’ In the rain. A wet chill can be more dangerous than dry cold, so always have a water­proof jacket available if you’re going to be outside. Take special care if you participate in outdoor winter activities around water.
  • Set the thermostat. Winter is not the time to skimp on your heating. You should keep your house at a temperature of at least 65°.
  • Stay active. Indoors or out, you should keep mov­ing. Avoid sitting too long at that park bench, and break up TV time with a few light chores or an errand. In this way, you can generate your own source of heat.

 Hypothermia comes, just like the fog, on little cat feet, and, more often than not, will leave you unaware that your physical and mental abilities are shutting down. Practice good preventive wintertime habits and you won’t get caught in the cold.

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