Anyone who has been through an Alaskan winter knows that the cold is a serious matter. A typical day outdoors could end in hypothermia or even frostbite without the right precautions. While urgent care will help you avoid complications, here are a few steps to take to prevent the cold from affecting you this season.
How to Prevent Hypothermia
1. Fuel Up
Your body needs more fuel than usual to keep you warm during the cold weather, so it’s important to get plenty of food and fluids when the temperatures start to drop. Pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods you eat, too. Carbohydrates are good for a quick burst of energy, but protein and fats will keep you satisfied for longer.
Although you may not feel as thirsty when it’s cold, you still lose fluids when you sweat and breathe, so drink at least half a gallon of water a day. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded while you’re out in the cold, seek urgent care.
2. Wear Several Layers of Clothing
Multiple layers of clothing will help trap heat against your body and prevent cold air and moisture from penetrating your clothes.
Begin with an inner layer that will wick cooling sweat away from your skin. The best fabrics for this include lightweight wool, polyester, and other synthetic blends. Steer clear of cotton, which holds onto moisture.
The middle layer (or middle layers, if you need more than one) should be insulating to keep your body heat in place. Choose a long-sleeved sweater made of the same synthetic materials.
The outer layer should be a water- and windproof coat to keep out the snow.
3. Learn the Early Signs of Hypothermia
The best way to prevent full-fledged hypothermia is to learn the early warning signs. It begins with the feeling of being cold and progresses to shivering. The next warning signs are known as the “umbles” and include mumbling, stumbling, bumbling, and grumbling. This indicates that the cold has started to affect your brain and body.
If you experience these symptoms, move to a heated area, put on additional clothing, eat carbohydrate-rich foods, drink fluids, or move around to warm up your body’s core.
Seek urgent care for hypothermia at Patients First Medical Clinic in Anchorage, AK, if your symptoms don’t improve. This clinic is staffed by medical professionals with more than 150 years of combined experience. They use state-of-the-art equipment to treat families and are well-versed in everything from primary care to physicals. Call (907) 333-7425 to make an appointment today or learn more about how they help online.