sick from working in the heat?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeKle, May 31, 2010.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    I have noticed a few times this year when I go out all day mowing and it is hot and humid, the next day, I feel pretty bad, sick to my stomach, and headache mostly, I know all about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but I have a pretty high heat tolerence, plus the symptoms show up the following morning, not on the same day? I drink plenty of water and do take breaks. Anyone experience this? It really only happens on those long 12 hr or more days and when it is sunny and hot/humid.
  2. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,363

    It's the radiation from the sun that will give you body aches at
    the end of the day. Get yourself some good sunscreen like Bull Frog.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    humm, what are you going to do when it gets hot?
  4. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Its not body aches, its a sick stomach feeling and usually diahrea (spelling?) the following day. Its never the same day, always the next morning. So its not heat exhaustion? It was around 87 degrees with high humidity, yeah, when it soars into the 90s, it gets worse.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    When you say you are heat tolerant, I hope this doesn't mean that you think your body can
    somehow deal with it "better" than the next guy, I assume it does not mean that you somehow
    think you possess certain abilities that other folks may not have, that some kind of way your
    body is immune or would not respond to heat in the exact same way as everyone else's would.

    I assume it simply means that you've been doing this long enough that you wouldn't think
    a little amount of 90 degree weather would bother, even this could be dangerous but nowhere
    near as concerning as the first case.

    Because maybe you ain't all that, maybe karma's trying to tell you as much.
    And maybe not but I thought I'd mention it because it concerns me that someone might
    believe they can handle this stuff, although I'm not entirely innocent in thinking this way
    either which is why I recognize as much, and I think that could be a dangerous line of thinking?

    Hope I didn't knock you down too much :p
    But be careful out there.

    Because the diarrhea leads me to believe it could be something in the water.
    Maybe try filtered water, see if that helps.

    It is possible that the heat itself could be causing it, but this would almost require a visit to the doctor
    because it would be hard to diagnose, it appears if this were the case that it would be rare but not unheard of...
    Again I'm not sure, I would try some filtered water first, also make sure you are drinking at LEAST a gallon a day.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  6. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Oh, I probably drank well over a gallon yesterday, more like 3-4 gallons! I will try the filtered water and see if that helps. As far as my heat tolerence, I do not think I am any better than anyone else at working in the heat, but I did read an article that did say a person can build up their heat tolerence over time, and I have been doing this type of work for about 9 yrs now! I did notice on one yard in particular when it bothered me the most, yesterday, I felt completely drained, even was hard to walk around trimming! I even thought about quitting for the day at 3pm! but I got in the truck and sat there for about 15 minutes with the air on and managed to work the rest of the day. Like my dad always tells me, if it is this hard on me at 35, how will it be on another 10 yrs?!
  7. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 299

    Water is good and should be consumed more so than other liquids. But don't forget to replace your electrolytes. This can be done from drinking Gatorade or a similar drink. A banana is also helpful in this case. Also too much sun depletes your body of vitamin C. This info is related to where you mentioned; "I felt completely drained, even hard to walk around trimming."
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah that's cool, it does help when one works out in the heat, we do get used
    to it but that in itself presents a danger, too!

    Not trying to scare you but anyone else reading this thread as well, BE CAREFUL!

    Get so used to it, we stop thinking it can hurt us, forget what we're doing so to speak.

    Maybe try taking the work in patches of 15-20 minutes at a time,
    then take a rest, at the least catch your breath but cool off some,
    then go at it another bit of a while...
    Try not to go hour long stretches, what I'm saying, even 30-45
    minutes worth of straight trimming could be too much.

    I like to find myself a water spigot and careful how full you turn the spigot!
    Especially since it's the customer's water.
    And watch those hoses, the water gets awful hot at first.
    But use some of that water and rinse down my arms, and the face,
    sometimes I let it run through my hair but watch the shock!

    Cool off a bit, shade helps as well, same with sitting in the a/c in the truck
    (that is nice, I must admit).
    I also keep a glass or cup handy, rather than drinking straight out of the cooler I use that cup,
    the water is awful cold so at times I use it to cool off the skin direct rather than drink it all,
    of course I drink water as well but splash it on me, helps cool my body down.

    Try not to work too hard in the worst of it, usually noon to 2pm is the hottest
    but 11am might not be no joke either, same with 3p.

    Keep hydrated, stay cool, and work in short stretches.
    Monitor yourself.

    Hope that helps, see how it goes.
  9. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    At age 42 I went from a sales job to becoming a LCO in Pensacola, Florida. Our 90+ degree, 99% humidity weather really put a hurt on me for the first few weeks. I lived on Gatorade and Grape Kool Aid plus a few cans of Tab each day.

    I learned several things about working in the heat.

    Don't drink more than 1 cup of coffee in he morning.

    Always eat breakfast.
    A large of glass of fresh juice makes a good breakfast drink. Juice some carrots, apples and an orange. Take some fruit or raw vegetables to snack on between jobs.

    Hydrate yourself before before going to work. Drink all the water you can hold and ice cold water is not necessary. Anything you drink will warm to body temperature very quickly.

    Don't wait until you are very thirsty before drinking water.

    Drink water. Gatorade is ok but not in large amounts and use the powder. It can be mixed on site.

    Avoid all energy drinks all the time.

    Don't drink any carbonated beverages during the day.

    Always eat lunch. Don't eat a grease burger and fries washed down with an iced drink.

    Avoid all tobacco products.

    Wear a HAT, not a ball cap. Your ears will last longer.
    Use a good sunscreen and remember, one application does not last all day.
    Always wear a shirt. A 100% cotton tee will keep you cooler.

    If you must wear a ball cap then get some of these.

    Been there, done that, but looking at 70 has slowed me down a bit.
  10. kgcs

    kgcs LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Take this seriously. I had the same exact symptoms as you, and I ended up in the hospital. I got a full body cramp, and came close to dying. You need to drink alot of water, but thats not the main thing you can do. When you drink all that water, it dilutes your body's liquids. You need to add to it by drinking gatorade or powerade. If you start cramping bad, you need to drink pedilite. (Its the stuff they give babys after they diarrhea. Its like a strong version of gatorade, just not as good.) You also need more salt, that will help alot.

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