Health + Wellness

Tips To Survive This Heat Wave

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Get ready for hotter days over the next four months as well as the impending arrival of haze.

With the El Nino weather phenomenon to blame, one can expect the average daily temperatures to rise at least 1 deg C higher than the usual average of 27.2 to 27.7 deg C for the next few months. And coupled with a possible scarcity of rainfall in an already dry spell in Southeast Asia, it’s imperative that one stays hydrated during this tough period.

Also, for those who have an existing heart condition, are older than 45 or are overweight, you should take extra precautions. As the human body is about 75 percent water, it is necessary to replenish what is lost every day, especially when one is perspiring buckets. As blood is nearly 80% water, the lack of it causes blood to thicken, which in turn forces the heart to work harder and thus causes one to run the risk of a heart attack. Thus it is vital that one stays hydrated.

To maintain a healthy fluid balance, here are some suggestions:

1. Keep a water bottle near you always to encourage you to drink water wherever and whenever.

2. Eat fruits and vegetables daily to stay hydrated as well as receive a regular dose of fibre and vitamin C to maintain optimal health.

3. Have a glass of water before each meal.

4. After each trip to the restroom, drink a glass of water to replenish your fluids.

5. Set reminders on your phone, watch, or e-mail to drink every hour.

6. Add a slice of lemon to add flavour to your water to encourage you to drink more. Another plus side is that it doesn’t add additional calories.

7. Avoid energy drinks if possible, unless you are exercising. Energy drinks contain large amounts of suagr and stimulants that can be counterproductive in maintaining fluid balance. In fact they might even be detrimental as brands with caffeine and/or the amino acid taurine significantly raises blood pressure and heart rate.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

If you’re hydrated, your urine will appear to be pale yellow and almost clear, If your urine is darker in colour like tea or apple juice, it means you are dehydrated. Another sign is the manifestation of allergies,  when one is dehydrated, histamine levels can increase and the immune system can become imbalanced.  Digestive problems such as acid reflux and constipation, are also some lesser known signs of dehydration.

Heat Related Health Problems

During this period of extreme temperatures, one can be susceptible to three different heat-related medical conditions.

Heat cramps – These are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs and is often an early sign that the body is having trouble with heat. It is best to drink an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as an isotonic drink or fruit juice along with large amounts of water.

Heat exhaustion – A more severe condition than heat cramps. Signs include flushed skin, headache and exhaustion. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible to cool down, and again one should  drink an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as an isotonic drink or fruit juice along with large amounts of water. The application of a cool and wet cloth to the skin as well as the fanning and/or spraying the person with water should also be done.

Heat stroke – This is a life-threatening condition that develops when the body is being overwhelmed by heat and begins to cease functioning. Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, changes in consciousness, rapid and weak pulse, vomiting and seizures. Do not wait and call for an ambulance immediately. While waiting for proper medical assistance, immerse the person in cold water if possible; if not, douse or spray the person with cold water or cover the person with bags of ice.

 

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