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You Should Never Get Heat Stroke

Every year you hear about people who pass out when they exercise and die from heat stroke, a sudden uncontrolled rise in body temperature that affects the brain so that it can't function properly. Heat stroke doesn't just happen; you get plenty of warning. First your muscles are affected, then your circulation and then your brain. As your temperature starts to rise, your muscles feel like a hot poker is pressing against them. As it rises further, the air that you breathe feels like it's coming from a furnace and no matter how rapidly and deeply you try to breathe, you won't be able to get enough air. When this happens, stop exercising. If you continue to exercise, your body temperature will rise further and affect your brain. Your head will start to hurt, you'll hear a ringing in your ears, you may feel dizzy, you may have difficulty seeing and then you will end up unconscious on the ground.

When a person passes out from heatstroke, his brain is being cooked just as the colorless part of an egg turns white when it hits the griddle. Get medical help immediately. Usually, the victim should be carried into the shade and placed on his back with his head down and his feet up. He should be cooled by any possible means. Liquid should be poured on him, and it doesn't matter whether it's from a hose, a water bottle or a cup. It could be water, soda, beer, milk or whatever you have. After he is revived, he should be watched for more than an hour as his temperature can start to rise to high levels again.


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Is it normal for my muscles to feel sore for several days after a workout?

Yes; after you’ve exercised vigorously, your muscles may feel fine, but they usually feel sore the next morning. Delayed-onset muscle soreness is caused by damage to muscle fibers. A study from the University of Zurich helps to explain why it takes days for muscles to recover from hard exercise (European Journal of Nutrition, June 2004). Muscles store sugar as glycogen in their fibers for energy, and this study shows that for the first few hours after hard exercise, muscles continue to lose glycogen. Since recovery depends on refilling muscles with stored glycogen as soon as possible after hard exercise, athletes should eat a high-carbohydrate, high protein meal as soon as possible after a hard workout and then take easy workouts for as many days as it takes for the soreness to go away. Taking another hard workout while the muscles feel sore increases risk for injures, so you should follow your hard workouts with easy days or days off until the soreness goes away.


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Dear Dr. Mirkin: I love barbecued foods, but a friend says they are dangerous. Should I stop eating them?

Eating any type of browned foods may contribute to heart attacks, strokes or nerve damage. Diabetics suffer a very high incidence of nerve, artery and kidney damage because high blood sugar levels cause sugar to attach to protein, forming advanced glycation products. The frightening news is that browning foods also forms advanced glycation products, and eating them raises blood and tissue levels and increases nerve damage.

Cooking without water causes sugars to bind to proteins, while cooking with water prevents this process. Baking, roasting and broiling cause the advanced glycation products to form, while boiling and steaming do not. This is just one more reason why you should base your meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans -- fresh, steamed or cooked with water. Make grilled and browned foods a minor part of your diet.


Recipe of the Week:
Summer is the perfect time to learn how to make
Farm-fresh produce makes salads especially good, and the variations are endless.

Recipe List


June 26th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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