Happy mother, father and daughter in the park

Summer Health

During the summer months, we see quite a few patients that feel depressed, run-down, fatigued, and lethargic. These symptoms can be the result of a variety of deficiencies.

Although obvious to many, the importance of hydration is paramount in the summer. Drinking plenty of water will help keep your body balanced. Water deficiency can contribute to a variety of symptoms, like the ones previously mentioned.

Other common deficiencies that manifest themselves in the summer include lack of vitamins D and B12. If you don’t drink a lot of milk or spend much time in the sun, a vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness, fatigue and fragile bones.

Vitamin B12 is essential in the production of red blood cells so if you are B12 deficient, the red blood cells that carry oxygen to through the body, can’t do their job! Thus if you have a deficiency of vitamin B12, it can also be the cause of fatigue and the lethargic feeling you may experience in the summer.

Carrying over from springtime allergies are summer allergens that are activated by weeds and grass. Summertime allergies, or “hay-fever,” can lead to sinusitis, a miserable condition but very treatable.

If you suffer from these summertime symptoms, give Dr. Ward a call for an appointment so he can help you get feeling better. In the meantime, here is a list of 10 Summer Health Tips that you can do yourself to promote the best summer health.

10 Summer Health Tips

  • Summer Health Tip #1

    Give yourself a “berry boost!” There are many fresh fruits available in the summer. They are loaded with antioxidants, especially blueberries and blackberries. So load up!

  • Summer Health Tip #2

    Protect your eyes! When outdoors, wear sunglasses while playing and protective eyewear while working. Sunglasses, particularly those that block 99% of ultraviolet rays, are optimal. When running a weed-eater or outdoor equipment, protective glasses may just save your sight.

  • Summer Health Tip #3

    Go outside and exercise. In East Idaho, we have perfect summer weather so make a habit to get outside to walk, bike, rollerblade or long board. Summer only last’s so long so enjoy it while you can!

  • Summer Health Tip #4

    Make sure you hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you plan to exercise, hyper-hydrate before the exercises, take water breaks during exercise and, of course, after your activity. To add variety to water, add slices of fruits like melon and berries.

  • Summer Health Tip #5

    Protect your family from the sun. Avoid activities during 1:00pm to 4:00pm when the sun is the strongest. Of course, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply frequently. Put small bottles of sunscreen in vehicles, purses or in outdoor areas as a reminder to use it.

  • Summer Health Tip #6

    Review fireworks safety with your children. We always seem to see a few patients each year with injuries caused by fireworks. The following link has great information.

  • Summer Health Tip #7

    Prevent insect bites by avoiding scented soap or perfume if you are planning time in the garden or in wooded areas. Of course, use insect repellent when hiking in wooded areas or in evenings when mosquitoes are most active. Most insect bites and stings are harmless but you will need to seek immediate attention if breathing becomes difficult, there is weakness, collapse or unconsciousness, or if hives appear all over the body.

  • Summer Health Tip #8

    Take hand sanitizer with you when you go camping or picnicking. Fresh water isn’t always available to wash hands.

  • Summer Health Tip #9

    When picnicking or grilling, prevent food poisoning. Make sure food is stored in a cooler kept below 40 degrees and keep the coolers closed. There are many great tips that will help you keep your digestive system happy at this FDA website

  • Summer Health Tip #10

    Use common sense and wear a bike helmet. Head injuries can be fatal. Remind your kids to wear their helmets and you follow suit!