Everyone knows the precautions they need to take during the summer – wearing loose clothes, slathering on the sunscreen, bringing out the shades, wearing a hat, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water at regular intervals.
Even if you follow these to a fault, there’s always a chance that the heat will find some way to get to you, and the possibility of sunburn or heatstroke is never completely eliminated. However, there is something seemingly benign that can prove to be dangerous on a hot day, as a Texas native learned the hard way, The Sun reported.
Adam Schaub, from Houston, Texas, had been working outside in sweltering 37-degree heat when his father noticed his skin starting to turn slightly red and asked him to take a break. He quickly downed a bottle of cold water to stay hydrated.
After a while, he headed back to his truck to turn the air conditioning on and cool off with another bottle of water, when he started to feel strange. He tried to get out of his truck, but fell face first to the ground and came to with a bruised face and found his father standing over him.
Believe it or not, the cold water was to blame. Adam explained why in a lengthy post on his Facebook page, warning people to be careful when drinking water in the heat. He explained the whole incident in the post titled “Public service announcement.”
He shared, “We were out working in 100° weather (not a good idea in itself) when my dad noticed my face was getting pretty red and suggested that I take a break. I immediately grabbed a cold bottle of water and drank it.”
It must have been pretty hot because Adam was still heated up. “After he did a little more work he suggested that I get in the truck and blast the a.c. in the truck I drank some more cold water (another bottle) and very shortly started feeling strange.”
That was when Adam began to react. “I started seeing spots, my stomach got extremely nauseous and my hands and feet started tingling. I felt like I was going to throw up so I opened the truck door and the next thing I know I’m face first in the ground and my dad’s rolling me over and wiping off my face.”
He explained the science behind it: “[Your body] thinks that the stomach is going hypothermic and so it takes the warm blood and sends it to the stomach. You can lose consciousness. He said cold water is good, but only in sips.”
Adam recommended that people try lukewarm water to quench their thirst. “Room temperature water is better if you need fast rehydration. Just figured I would share in case anyone could benefit from my mishap. Summer’s just around the corner. Stay cool. Feel free to share if you think it could help someone. I wish I had learned this a long time ago.”
Adam also added a disclaimer, in case people tried to treat themselves at home or confused this phenomenon with another more serious issue. It read, “I’m not a [doctor] so please don’t take my experience or what I was told as a reason not to talk to your own doctor. Do not take my personal experience as advice.”
He reiterated the importance of drinking water once more. “In case it wasn’t clear enough, drinking water throughout the day and staying hydrated is very important. If you mess up though, like I did, don’t make the same mistake as me.”
In a statement with The Sun, Dr. Sarah Jarvis, clinical director and GP at Patient.info, called Adam’s episode a severe case of “ice cream head.” She said, “If you drink something very cold, very quickly, the cold on the roof of your mouth stimulates the nerves around there.
“That, in turn, leads to rapid contraction, then expanding of the tiny blood vessels in your sinuses. The brain interrupts the messages from these nerves as coming from your forehead because the same nerve supplies your forehead.
“You usually get a sudden pain, but it can make you feel lightheaded. All the symptoms he’s describing sounds like the run-up to a fainting episode, which is often due to a lack of blood in the brain. Regardless of the cause, I do see people who feel unwell due to drinking cold fluids too quickly, so I certainly don’t recommend it.”
Adam got a lot of attention due to his unique experience, but he disclosed that he would like to use this platform to raise awareness for his young daughter, Holly Schaub, who suffered from a brain aneurysm in November, last year.
By helping people out with his tip, he is hoping that his daughter can get the attention she needs, as he and Holly’s mother are looking for stem cell treatments to help her regain consciousness again, but they will need support through funding if they are to even consider pursuing that line of treatment.
If you want to read more about Holly’s condition and support her, check out this feature of her in People magazine. If you would like to make a donation to support her treatment, click on this link to her Gofundme page, called Hope for Holly.