If you have dysautonomia, you already know that your autonomic nervous system is faulty. And of all the systems controlled by our autonomic nervous system, regulating body temperature can be the "big" one during the summer. Due to poorer temperature regulation, many of us might experience major health issues this time of year - noted by excessive sweating or the inability to sweat.
Heat intolerance in particular, is a big problem throughout the summer. Fatigue is increased, as well as the possibility of dehydration. Along with those two symptoms, is the near guarantee that others will be increased and/or aggravated such as dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, tachycardia, and weakness.
While there is no cure for the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, there are certainly steps that can be taken to help fight the heat. Avoiding direct sunlight is very important, as well as staying as cool as possible. Cooling vests , neck ties and cooling towels can be bought, as well as wick-away clothing that helps to keep the body cool. I have found that a wet towel thrown in the freezer for a little bit can be very refreshing. Even better, I get a towel wet and drop a few drops of peppermint extract on it and then cool it in the freezer. I don’t leave the house without my mini spritzing fan. It has saved my life several times and was certainly worth the three-dollar investment. Ice packs are also an option. They can be used inside the collar of clothing or in the groin area if severely overheated. Although, when using ice, care needs to be taken to avoid the packs coming in direct contact with the skin. It is imperative to avoid standing while in the heat.
Finally, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. Sweating excessively can lead to a large amount of salt loss which can be life threatening. But even just a small amount of salt lost through sweating can cause symptoms to flare if not hydrated properly. Therefore, it is necessary to replenish electrolytes when out in the heat. While Gatorade and Powerade can sometimes be the quickest and easiest ways to do so, many people may be concerned by the amount of sugar and artificial dye and flavors in these sports drinks.
If you are concerned about commercial beverages, there are many homemade electrolyte drink recipes available online, as well as products that use less sugar and dye. Some of the more popular are Normalyte, Banana Bags, and my personal favorite Nuun electrolyte tablets which can be dropped into a bottle of water. Nuun tablets are also gluten free, vegan, non-GMO sourced, and soy and dairy free which makes them an excellent choice for those who have allergies as well. The product choice is yours, but be sure you don’t skip out on replenishing your electrolytes while out in the heat. Your body will thank you!
Don’t let summertime get you down and sick. Do your best to get out and enjoy the weather, but be prepared to cool down and hydrate up!
Edited by edriscoll