Beat the heat: A ready-reckoner on keeping cool
Sweating leads to excessive loss of salt and minerals, causing the body to dehydrate severely and causing problems.health and fitness Updated: May 25, 2015 16:03 IST
As the heat toll crosses 500 and temperatures are predicted to remain well over 45 degrees Celcius all week in many parts of India, be prepared for heat-related emergencies such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Sweating leads to excessive loss of salt and minerals, causing the body to dehydrate severely and causing problems.
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Heat exhaustion: Caused by excessive water loss due to extreme heat exposure.
*Symptoms: Weak, rapid pulse; low blood pressure; headache; nausea; dizziness etc
*Cure: Move to a cooler area, preferably in an air-conditioned environment and drink water
Heat stroke: The body can no longer regulate its temperature, which makes it to rise rapidly. It’s a medical emergency that can kill.
*Symptoms: High body temperature, dry skin with no sweating, rapid and strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, unconsciousness
*Cure: Rushed to the nearest hospital
Heat cramps: Occurs when intense physical exertion causes electrolyte imbalance in the body
*Symptoms: Cramps in the abdomen, calf or thigh muscles
*Cure: Drinking fluids – water, buttermilk, coconut water and lime water -- helps
How to protect yourself from summer heat:
*Avoid peak sun hours between 12pm and 3pm
*Increase fluid intake to 3-4 litres a day
* Drink cool, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages. Alcohol and caffeine tend to dehydrate
* Avoid very cold liquids as they may cause stomach cramps
* Drink water through the day even if not thirsty. If you're thirsty, it means the body is already dehydrated
* Drink a glass of water before stepping out
* When outdoors, have at least a glass of water or juice every hour
*Munch on food with high water content, such as watermelon, pineapple, cucumber etc
* Take a cold shower or bath if you feel very hot
* Wear loose clothes made of natural fibre
* Avoid strenuous activity during the day
* Use an umbrella or cover your head with a hat or a wet handkerchief when stepping out
* Apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before going out in the sun
* Use a spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher, even on cloudy days
* If you exercise, take a sip of a mixture of lemon water, sugar and salt every 15 minutes