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That Light-Headed Feeling When the Temperature is High

When the air temperature increases greatly and you experience a light-headed or dizzy feeling, you are definitely not alone. In fact, this is a warning sign that many people experience when the temperature is high and too many people ignore or don’t recognize as a warning sign.

For proper function, nerves need both sodium and potassium. Both elements are particularly important in maintaining a stable body temperature. The ratio of sodium to potassium is also quite important. All of this has a bearing on that light-headed feeling that often happens when the temperature is high.

When you sweat, even if you aren’t aware of sweating, you are losing both sodium and potassium. These are electrolytes. If your sodium or potassium is depleted or if the balance between the two elements isn’t maintained, your internal body temperature can skyrocket, leading to heatstroke, heat exhaustion, or similar issues. One of the first signs of such an imbalance or lack of sodium and potassium is light-headedness or dizziness.

Unfortunately, while many people know that they need to increase their water consumption when it is hot, too many forget or don’t know that they also need to increase the amount of sodium and potassium they take in. 

It is relatively easy to increase the amount of sodium and potassium you consume, though. Simply add a small amount of table salt (sodium chloride) and a small amount of potassium chloride, marketed as Nu-salt or sea salt, in each glass of water. It doesn’t take much; just a pinch of each. This isn’t even enough to change the flavor of the water. Alternately, you can pour a small amount of salt in your palm and touch it to your tongue, then eat a banana. Bananas are high in potassium.

This is important to know for anyone who is having to deal with high air temperatures or who is in situations when they sweat a lot.

  • Question of

    Have you ever experienced light-headedness or dizziness when the temperature of the air is high?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I often feel this way when the temperature is high
  • Question of

    Did you know that you should consume more sodium and potassium when you sweat a lot, such as on hot days?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I know it, but I often don’t do it
    • I do increase my sodium and potassium intake when it is hot


What do you think?

14 Points

Written by Rex Trulove

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    • A person also sweats too much if they have to work in high temperatures, such as outside when it is 90 F / 32 C or above (even standing outside when we have temperatures like that, I tend to sweat profusely) or when they are working someplace that is hot and humid. I got heat exhaustion from working at a fast-paced and busy restaurant as a dishwasher.

    • No, it is certainly no fun. I’ve never had heat stroke, but I’ve had heat exhaustion. My body temperature jumped from normal to 104 in about 20 minutes. I was rushed to the infirmary and the doctor on duty, a major, did only the preliminary checks (bp and so forth) then gave me a little white pill. Twenty minutes later, I felt fine and my temp was already down to 101. I thanked him for the miracle pill. He laughed and told me it was just a salt pill and that I’d suffered heat exhaustion due to working in a hot, damp environment (at the time, I was a dishwasher at a restaurant). That clued me in, in a hurry, and I started researching heat exhaustion. (At the time, we didn’t have the Internet, which wasn’t invented yet, so that meant a lot of trips to the library.)

        • No, it is certainly nothing you forget. I’d been planning on riding my little motorcycle over to visit my sister who lived about 220 miles away. I got off work, parked the bike in the front yard so I could go in and pick up the stuff I’d already packed. I remember getting off the bike, then I remember my mother waking me up, inches away from the front steps. I’d passed out. I also remember feeling extremely cold, though the temperature was warm and that every time I moved my head, everything spun like crazy.

          I’m thankful, though. If I had been partway to my sister’s house when it happened, I might not have survived.

          • Oh geeze. That really could of been bad. Bet you haven’t had that problem again, right? I know I haven’t I had been weed wacking the banks of the creek on a too hot of day.


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