Thursday 18 July 2013

real life: heat and chronic illnesses.

Hey guys, isn't it lovely to be having a real summer? Well, yes and no.. Yes when you're sitting under a tree in a little breeze, dipping your toes in the river and eating an ice cream, or up to your neck in the salty sea. Not so much when you're stuck in a sweaty city and have to stay indoors to work, or whatever.

Oh yeah, and when you're hypothyroid and can't control your body temperature particularly well.

After the MET Office declared a Level 3 heatwave warning for most of England this morning, I decided I couldn't be in the furnace that is my attic room, I had no energy to get dressed (let alone leave the house) my brain felt like it was about to explode, and I couldn't think straight to do anything useful.

I just about mustered the strength to wander down to the lounge, where it's probably about 2ºC cooler, pour numerous pints of water, and scribble this blog post down... after reading this blog post about temperature & hypothyroid and a 5 minute nap of course.

Paignton seafront and harbour
• Oh my goodness, to be in the sea right now.... •

I'd not come across the Natural Thyroid blog before, but I found it funny, useful and most importantly REAL. I am a bit naughty and don't read up about my illness much because it's more often than not very boring and full of medical jargon. This cuts through all that, and gives you experiences and advice on a personal level.

Whether you suffer from an illness of not, these crazy high temperatures can be hard to deal with. So here are a few tips:

• So obvious, but a lot of people do forget - stay hydrated -
Always carry a bottle of water (keeping a couple in the fridge or freezer is my favourite!) and avoid caffeine and alcohol and these dehyrate you. I'm going without tea in the morning at the moment, which is bloody awful.

• Keep your energy levels up with cold, balanced meals -
The thought of cooking or eating a hot meal in this weather makes me feel sick. Eat raw, or cook your meals in advance (early morning or late at night when it's cooler!) and stick them in the fridge for later. Am I the only one who enjoys most meals cold as well as hot? Cold lasagne is one of the best things in the world.
Another fun thing to make to cool you down - fun, fruity ice lollies

• Find cooler areas to be -
If you're outside, sit in the shade. If you're inside, work out the coolest place and sit there (if you can!) Failing that, stick your feet in a bowl of cold water, sit in front of a fan etc.

• I've started taking a damp flannel to bed with me. Not in a sexual way. I get even hotter when I sleep, so I need something to cool me down a bit when I wake up in the night. A damp sheet over you at night, or taking a damp flannel out with you in a freezer bag could also be good ideas. 

• Finally, don't over do it -
If you're feeling awful from the heat, just stop doing whatever you're doing until you feel better.  It's so ok to do that.

If you're dealing with the heat perfectly fine (you lucky things) then please keep your eyes peeled for those around you who may not be coping so well. The very young, the very old and those with chronic illnesses are always high risk.

Stay cool!

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  1. This weather is mad, but it's amazing! Even though we've had so many washed out summers and I really don't want to complain, it's starting to get a little too warm.

    Somehow I've managed to cycle 12 miles a day through central London for work - I have no idea how! Other than being so poor I can't afford public transport :(

    Just hoping it stays for my trip back to Devon in August!

  2. So sorry you're suffering in the heat! I really hope you start to feel better and enjoy the Summer.
    Unfortunately, I'm the opposite. I sit in a freezing cold air conditioned office all day, today I have a fleece on. Going from that to the heat of the outdoors can't be good for me!
    Take care x

  3. This is just what I needed to read right now, actually! My own chronic illness is not letting me enjoy my summer holiday one bit today, and I'm getting very grumpy about it, haha. I can't do much if it's over 30 degrees, more than to sit inside next to a fan and about 100 bottles of water. So it's nice that another blogger shares very similar frustrations. It is especially frustrating when people don't realise how difficult things are for you some days, when you look young and healthy on the outside! Thank you for sharing :)

    x Annika

  4. Love your advice, especially about the shade, I'm so pale I am forced to stay in the shade alllllll the time haha! But I think it is nicer anyway... The only downside is the lack of tan... Great postxx

  5. I have a chronic illness and I'm in Spain at the moment where it is obviously incredibly hot! I used to live here before I got ill and coming back I can really see the difference on how my body copes. God knows how I managed to stay outside all day long, going on hikes and exercising in the sun! It's a bit annoying that it only takes half an hour outside before I'm sweating an embarrassing amount but after so long spent bedbound I'm obviously grateful for anything! Great tips :)
    x Hayley-Eszti

  6. I know how you feel, Lyzi - I'm hyperthyroid, so my body's thermostat is broken and I'm prone to overheating when the weather isn't even hot! Really struggling at the moment, too. Kind of glad I'm on holiday from work at the moment, but also annoyed because I've not got much done!

    I've just started putting bottles of water in the freezer and then placing them in front of the fan. If you've got space in the freezer, put a few in there, so you can have them on rotation.

    Good luck with the heat!

  7. My biggest problem in this heat is the lethargy...i just feel like i could drop off at any moment! xo


  8. This is a really informative post. I feel very similar in terms of having no energy or appetite so your tips really help.

    Thank you xx

  9. Great tips!


  10. Cold lasagna is the best!
    Haha hope you're not suffering too much in the heat
    Emma x

  11. your tips are great, it's weird that i've never thought of looking up tips to help with my chronic illness. it's "winter" here in australia now, but i remember summer being particularly awful. i hardly got out of bed and christmas was spent lying on a couch, unable to eat. at least it's more manageable now that the temperatures are a little lower!

  12. I have really been suffering with my asthma in this hot weather, so thank you for sharing such great tips. Stay cool & healthy yourself :)

    Lyndsay xx | Fizzy Peaches ♡

  13. I'm lucky I work from home so don't to get through boiling commute etc. I took my iPad to park at the beginning and worked from there for a while whilst getting a tan, but eventually it became unbearable. It's nice to have finally summer in UK but it can totally be too much.
    Adela x


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