Palmetto Endocrinology June 2024 Newsletter

Boat & Palm Tree

Summer is coming….

June kicks off the official start of summer, often bringing extreme temperatures to the Lowcountry. The high temperatures and humidity in South Carolina can increase the risk of heat related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Anyone can fall victim to heat related illnesses, but older adults, young children, and those with chronic illness are most at risk. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but during extreme heat, this is sometimes not enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs and can be fatal. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion are cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, heavy sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, weak, rapid pulse, low blood pressure upon standing, muscle cramps, nausea, and body temperature over 100 degrees F. These symptoms can quickly progress into heat stroke with body temperature 104 degrees or higher. Symptoms include hot, red, wet or dry skin, seizures, and loss of consciousness. In the US, there are ~600 deaths due to extreme heat every year. Fortunately, heat related deaths are preventable. Follow these steps to prevent heat related illnesses this summer:

1. Stay cool. Plan your outdoor activities to avoid the most extreme heat of the day, in the morning or evening. Wear loose, breathable clothing. Avoid sunburn by wearing sunscreen. Stay indoors in air conditioning during extreme heat. If you are active outdoors, take frequent rests in the shade.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink water for best hydration. Ask your health care provider how much more water is appropriate for you during the summer months and if drinks with electrolytes are safe for you when you get extremely sweaty outside. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, both cause dehydration, increasing your risk of overheating.

3. Stay informed. Be aware of the temperature and plan your activities accordingly. Check on older and younger members of your family to be sure they are safe. If you work outdoors, have an accountability partner to ensure you are staying hydrated and rested. If you do not have access to air conditioning at home, Cooling shelters are available throughout the Lowcountry during extreme heat.

Information obtained from CDC


Recipe of the month: Rainbow Orzo Salad


For the orzo salad:

For the Lemon Herb Dressing:


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt. Cook the orzo according to the package directions, until al dente.  Make sure to stir the orzo every few minutes to prevent it from clumping.  Drain the orzo in a colander and run cold water over it until cooled.
  2. While the orzo is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, oregano and salt/pepper in a jar or bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cooked orzo, finely chopped veggies and herbs together and drizzle with the lemon herb dressing, mixing well until combined. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
  4. Cover and marinate for a few hours up to overnight before serving. Serve and enjoy!

***This healthy recipe is a perfect side dish to bring to summer picnics and gatherings***

Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny


Activity of the Month: Take a walk on the beach. Walking is not only a great form of exercise, but also a form of meditation. The sound of ocean waves is also calming, and the sea breeze will keep you cool!

Dawn Wolak, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Dawn Wolak, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Dawn Wolak joins our team as Dr. Mathews' Nurse Practitioner. She attended Clemson University where she attained her bachelor's degree in Nursing. She went on to attend the Medical University of South Carolina where she underwent rigorous medical training to obtain her master’s degree in Nursing and become certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Afterwards, she underwent additional training with Dr. Mathews to become an expert in endocrine disorders. She works closely with the Palmetto Endocrine team to provide consistent, informed care for our patients at all times.

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