What are the precautions you can take to avoid suffering from dehydration or getting a heatstroke in the upcoming summer months?
Excessive heat and rising temperature can drastically affect the health of people especially elder people, children, and pregnant ladies. Dr. Priti Gupta, Consultant Fertility & IVF, First Step IVF Clinic says that “The already elevated basal temperature combined with the heat wave may cause issues like heat rashes, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even birth defects in the babies of an expectant mother.”
To counteract issues related to excessive heat, it is important to follow these measures-
Clothing is one of the most important factors that allows air circulation in the body, in addition, to save you from the issues of heat rashes. Wear breathable fabrics that absorb sweat. This will also help you avoid rashes.
Plenty of WATER:
It is a universal fact and the golden rule to include water intake in your summer diet. Pregnant women are susceptible to dehydration as their bodies demand more water and hence, make sure that you include ample amount of fluids in your diet.
A healthy diet rich in all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients ensure all the essential ingredients in the body. An improper diet and inadequate food strengthens your body from within and increases immunity.
Avoid Sun Exposure:
Try to avoid going out in the sun in the peak hours. Cover your head, use a sunscreen and wear shades to protect your eyes, skin, and body from the heat wave.
Get inside on the first sign of heat Exhaustion:
If you feel dizziness, weakness or fatigue, get inside immediately and drink water or an electrolyte solution that will offer you essential nutrients.
Any diet plans or elements that you should consume that can help?
Diet is very important in summers to keep you cool. Eating fresh veggies, water rich fruits like melons, cucumber, apples, oranges are great to beat the summer heat! Pregnant women and expecting mothers should follow a diet chart to satisfy their appetite and intake foods that are cool, have high water content and plenty of nutrients.
What are the ailments that one can suffer from in the heat?
Heat Exhaustion is a major concern among people in summers. Muscle cramps, nausea, fatigue are the general symptoms of heat exhaustion. The problem is more prominent in pregnant women because of their already high body temperature, and increased body weight and surface area of the belly which is prone to sunburn and may also harm the baby. Dehydration, loss of essential fluids due to excessive sweating, heat rashes are some other issues that may arise in summer. Physiologic edema, i.e. swelling in the legs, hands is another issue that may arise in pregnant women during summers.
Any diseases that act up due to the heat?
Apart from heat rashes, and heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps and heat syncope (Fainting) are some common issue that may arise in people frequently during summers. Dr. Priti Gupta says “Physiologic edema or swelling in the hands & feet are quite common during summers among pregnant women. Wear comfortable shoes and remove all your rings that seem to be tight. Also, keep your legs elevated.”
Can ignoring the heat stroke be fatal?
Yes. Heat stroke can be fatal. The condition is characterized by body’s inability to control temperature. The patient may have a fever above 104 F and the chances of survival are low. Other symptoms include bizarre behavior, combativeness, rapid pulse, dry, flushed skin, and no sweating. If the situation goes out of control, the person may go to coma.
Heat stroke during pregnancy may put the women & baby at higher risk. Heat stroke may result in neural tube defects in the babies and may even result in miscarriage & maternal death.
What is heat exhaustion and how can it be prevented?
A feeling of dizziness along with shortness of breath, nausea, profuse sweating and cold skin are certain signs of heat exhaustion. Elderly, people suffering from high blood pressure, young children and pregnant ladies are prone to heat exhaustion. This can be avoided by following these rules-
Avoid the sun:
This will decrease your chances of getting exposed to the heat wave. Hence, issues like sunburn, tanning and skin problems can be avoided.
Drink plenty of fluids:
Water intake is a must. You can also consume fluids rich in electrolytes that provide essential nutrients to the body.
Wear clothes made up of breathable fabric:
Loose clothes allow air circulation and prevent rashes due to sweating.
Maintain a cool environment:
Pregnant ladies, who already have heat intolerance should stick inside the home when the sun is high. Sit in a cozy, comfortable room that has a nice temperature which is soothing to the body.
How many patients do you get who are suffering some ailment due to the heat during the summer?
Many of my patients mention excessive sweating and heat exhaustion during the summers. Swelling in the legs and heat rashes are some other issues that have been reported by many patients at the clinic.
It's also important to stay fit, so what form of exercise would you recommend for working men and women in the city in the summer?
First of all, the time of exercise is important during summers. Exercise early morning or late evening to avoid the sun. Do not engage in heavy exercises and go for Yoga, meditation, and Walking. Cycling is another option to keep yourself fit in the summer season. Great diet and sufficient water intake will take you through the summer months easily.