Escalating Temperatures: Health Concerns on the Rise
As the heatwave tightens its grip on India, the recent surge in temperatures, particularly a record-breaking 43.5 degrees Celsius in Delhi, raises serious health alarms. The scorching conditions extend to multiple regions across the country, triggering experts to shed light on the potential health consequences.
Heatwaves Unveiled: The Spectrum of Health Effects
Amid rising temperatures, experts emphasize the critical importance of understanding the range of health issues that heatwaves can trigger. From minor discomforts like cramps and fatigue to grave threats like heat strokes, these effects warrant comprehensive attention and awareness.
Vulnerabilities and Impacts: The Insights of Experts
Dr. Dileep Mavalankar, Director of the Indian Institute of Public Health, underscores the dual nature of heatwave consequences, ranging from mild discomforts to dire outcomes. Dehydration, fatigue, and cramps are common symptoms, but at the extreme end lies heat stroke, a potential life-threatening condition.
Heat Stroke: A Hazardous Heatwave Ramification
The most serious heat-related ailment is the heat stroke, which can have catastrophic consequences. Dr. Mavalankar explains that during a heat stroke, blood temperature rises and proteins in the brain can coagulate, leading to neurological damage or even death. The risk is particularly amplified among vulnerable populations.
The Hidden Threat: Indirect Heat Stroke
Dr. Mavalankar sheds light on indirect heat strokes, where even those not directly exposed to extreme temperatures can suffer organ strain due to the heatwave’s impact on organs like the heart and lungs. This underscores the need for broader preventive measures beyond direct heat exposure.
Secondary Impacts: Sleep Disturbances and Infections
Elevated temperatures disrupt not only physical well-being but also sleep patterns and digestion. Patients have reported issues like bloated stomachs and dry mouths, impacting eating habits and sleep quality. Moreover, the profuse sweating accompanying heatwaves can lead to contagious fungal infections.
Prioritizing High-Risk Groups: Safety Measures
Dr. Harish Chafle emphasizes the need to be vigilant about high-risk individuals during heatwaves. Babies, seniors, and those with existing medical conditions like heart disease require special attention. Hydration and avoiding outdoor activities during peak heat hours are crucial precautions.
Healthy Practices to Beat the Heat
To combat the heat’s effects, Dr. Chafle suggests staying hydrated with non-sugary, non-alcoholic drinks. He emphasizes the importance of replenishing lost minerals through beverages like sports drinks.
Cooling from Within: Dietary Choices
Shweta Mahadik, Clinical Dietitian at Fortis Hospital, recommends natural cooling drinks like lemon juice and fennel seeds juice to counteract the heat. Hydration with such drinks not only quenches thirst but also supports overall health during sweltering conditions.