If the humidity and heat is a problem that candidates have to tackle during the pre-poll campaign season, things only get worse if they have health issues.
If you are a candidate and happen to be obese, and have either diabetes or hypertension, you could be in deep trouble, medically. Since an obese person sweats a lot while walking, hypertensive candidates should be extra careful to avoid a serious medical condition or even a stroke.
“If the blood pressure of a candidate shoots up in the heat, it could result in a stroke. Also, the acute stress that candidates go through during the elections could aggravate their condition,” said Sarfaraz Baig, bariatric surgeon, Bariatric and Metabolism Initiative. If taken ill, the patient should be rushed to a doctor or a medical centre for immediate treatment.
While walking for miles, during door-to-door campaigns, is good for obese candidates, those with a cardiac condition need to be careful not to skip their medicines and to take precautions. “Many candidates lead a sedentary life and suffer from a ischemic heart condition (reduced heart
pumping). They should keep a sorbitrate pill handy. Also, they should keep themselves hydrated and make up for loss of fluids”, said Sanjeev Mukherjee, associate consultant, cardiology, Fortis Hospital.
Keeping medicines and people around who can help pays. “Knowing your own limitation helps. If you already suffer from angina (severe chest pain due to ischemia), then overdoing your walk could prove costly. Chest pain could lead to a heart attack and you should be immediately taken to a medical centre,” warned Baig.
Politicians who walk as per their fitness and medical condition are likely to sail through. A CPI(M) minister who has weathered many an election battle said that he was facing no problems campaigning for long hours in the sun. “I am a son of the soil. I have contested the elections several times and will be doing it again this year, hopefully without any problems,” said minister for land and land reforms, Abdur Razzak Mollah.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said that he was suffering from BP problems and though he is walking for around seven hours a day, he is taking care to stay hydrated and physically fit. “I walk even when I’m not in the middle of the elections. I drink ORS after regular intervals and sometimes have daab er jal. But I do make it a point to have my medicine after breakfast,” said Chattopadhyay.