Heatstroke is a serious disorder in which the body is unable to cool itself through perspiration and becomes overheated as a result.
Heatstroke, often known as sunstroke, usually begins as heat exhaustion or heat cramp. Heat cramps or heat exhaustion, on the other hand, if not treated or controlled in a timely manner, can lead to heat stroke.
If heatstroke is not treated or controlled quickly, it can be fatal. It could potentially cause damage to the brain or other essential organs. As a result, if you are having heatstroke, you should always seek professional medical treatment.
In hot and humid climates, heatstroke is more common. Heatstroke is caused by dehydration and excessive exercise or exertion.
Wearing bulky clothing, consuming alcohol, having cardiovascular illness, and having a malfunctioning sweat gland are all possible causes of heatstroke.
Heatstroke is characterized by a fast rise in body temperature. A headache, dizziness, weariness, decreased sweating, nausea/vomiting, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, flushed skin, and muscle cramps or weakness are some of the other symptoms of heatstroke.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
- Dress Seasonally Appropriately
When it’s too hot outside, you want to wear clothing that allows your skin to breathe while also protecting you from the sun’s rays. As a result, choose light-weight clothing in lighter colors with a loose fit to allow your body to cool down. Wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats at the same time, or simply cover yourself with a scarf or an umbrella.
- Stay out of the sun during peak hours.
The sun is at its fiercest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV rays are also at their most dangerous during this time. Avoid going out during this period to avoid being exposed. If you really must go outside during these times, make sure you have enough sunscreen and protective clothes, such as a hat. Also, try to spend as much time as possible in the shade and drink plenty of water.
- Consistently apply sunscreen
Sunscreen should be worn every day, even if the weather is gloomy or wet. This is because dangerous UV rays are constantly present, even when there is no heat, and they can be just as harmful on a rainy day as they can be on a bright day. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it liberally all over your body, paying specific care to regions that are easily overlooked, such as your ears. Reapply sunscreen every few hours, especially if you plan on spending the most of your day outside.
- Cool Your Body From the Outside
When it’s too hot outside, try taking cold showers or baths to cool down your body. Do not, however, do this as soon as you enter the house from the outside. Rest for a few minutes to allow your body to adjust to the cooler interior temps before showering. Sudden temperature changes might be just as harmful as excessive sun exposure. If you don’t have access to a shower, spritzing cool water on your skin will suffice.
- Allow Your Body to Cool Down Internally
Consumption of certain meals has been demonstrated to be useful in keeping the body cool and preventing heat stroke. Coconut water, coriander or basil leaf juices, onions, especially raw onions, and drinks made from raw mango pulp are examples of natural home cures.
- Drink plenty of water
On hot summer days, you must drink plenty of water since your body will lose water much more quickly through perspiration, which is required for cooling. Milk, in addition to water, is a good fluid to keep you hydrated. Just remember that cool liquids are preferable to really cold ones, which might cause stomach cramps. However, increased liquid consumption will not be suitable for everyone. People with heart or liver disorders, as well as epilepsy, should seek medical advice first. Those who are on a liquid-restricted diet are in the same boat.
- Consume electrolyte-dense beverages
Drinks high in electrolytes, such as buttermilk and coconut water, should be consumed in addition to water. The same may be said for sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade. Drinking electrolyte-rich beverages is a good idea since sweating causes the body to lose a lot of sodium and potassium, which has to be replaced. As a result, in addition to being hydrated, you’ll be ensuring that your mineral levels are in good shape. When your body’s electrolytes are depleted, you won’t be able to sweat, which means you won’t be able to naturally lower your body temperature.
- Pay Attention to What You Eat
A balanced diet is essential for a healthy body and helps you avoid heat fatigue and other health problems throughout the summer. To this end, pay special attention to: • Staying hydrated by eating soups, broths, and cereals. • Consuming more fruits and vegetables, particularly those with high water and vitamin C content. • Consume readily digestible meals, such as yogurt. • Eating a lot of light meals rather than a few substantial meals. • Limiting your intake of fatty, spicy, and fried foods.
- Take it easy.
In the same way that you should do less strenuous exercise in the summer, you should undertake less strenuous activities in general, which includes outdoor labor. Take shorter steps, perform easier jobs, and work slower than usual throughout the summer to avoid overworking your body and making it susceptible to heat fatigue. Apart from taking it slow, remember to take frequent pauses, preferably in the shade.
- Make Yourself a Fan
You can utilize fans to keep cool if you don’t have air conditioning. An electric fan may be useful in your home or office, but even while you’re outside, keep yourself cool by reading a magazine, wearing a hat, or utilizing a handheld fan.
- Lie down / Take a break
Allow yourself to rest while lying down throughout your breaks. This will allow your body to return to its normal temperature while also allowing your muscles to completely rest. It is recommended that you lie down with your feet slightly elevated to facilitate venous return.
- Getting Used to It
If you don’t want to be affected by the unpleasant impacts of a hot summer, you must gradually acclimate your body to the scorching sun.
How can this be accomplished? After a long day in the heat, take a break in the shade before entering an air-conditioned environment. Moving to a shade and staying there for a while after sitting in an air-conditioned room for a long period is preferable to walking out into the scorching sun. The goal of these slow transitions is to give your body time to adjust to the severe temperature swings.
- Be Careful Where You Park Your Car
When an automobile is parked in direct sunshine on a hot day, both the exterior and the interior become extremely heated. Furthermore, oxygen levels could plummet to dangerously low levels, resulting in unconsciousness and death. So, what are the dos and don’ts when it comes to parking your automobile in extreme heat? • Find a shady spot to park. • Don’t leave elderly people, children, or pets in parked cars, and keep the air conditioner on or the windows open all the way when you’re inside. • Avoid sleeping in your parked automobile.
Close any windows that face the sun.
It is recommended that you close the sun-facing windows in your home during the day to reduce your exposure to the sun’s UV rays. When the temperature drops at night, you can open these windows. Of course, individuals who spend a lot of time during the day in sun-facing rooms with sun-facing windows are the ones who will benefit the most.
- Think about the curtains you’re going to use.
Consider pulling the shades over your windows if you can’t or don’t want to close your sun-facing windows for various reasons. Curtains and shades would not only keep the sun out of the room, but they would also keep the temperature down. This is especially true if you have infants or little children who spend the majority of their time indoors. Lighter-colored curtains should be used over darker-colored drapes because the latter will absorb heat. Metal blinds should also be avoided for the same reason.
- Be Aware of Any Medication You May Be Taking
When you take some medications, your body’s capacity to regulate temperature is harmed, and you’re more vulnerable to the harmful effects of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Cough and cold treatments, blood pressure meds, diuretics, allergy medications, benzodiazepines, and laxatives are examples of such pharmaceuticals. To be cautious, if you are taking any drugs and want to travel to a warmer area, talk to your doctor and make sure you understand any potential side effects.
- Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms
The easiest method to avoid heat exhaustion is to recognize and treat the signs and symptoms as soon as they appear. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion to be aware of: •An unexpected rise in body temperature. • A fast heart rate • Skin that is flushed, red, and hot. • You’ve got a terrible headache. • A high temperature is present. • Nausea and vomiting are common side effects. • Weakness and exhaustion • Feeling dizzy. • Perspiration has decreased. • Muscle spasms • Breathing problems.
Each symptom can be readily controlled, but if you are experiencing them for an extended length of time (more than a week), seek medical help right away.
- Do a weight check to see whether you’re dehydrated.
Dehydration is a progressive process that takes place over time. Check your weight on a daily basis to verify that you are consuming as much fluid as you are losing via sweating. This is very important to do before and after your workouts. Your weight should ideally remain constant, and you should become concerned if the value is much higher or lower.
- Keep an eye on the color of your urine.
In addition to your weight, the color of your urine may indicate whether or not you are dehydrated. A well-hydrated person’s urine should be light in hue. Dehydration could be indicated by dark-colored urine.
- Stay away from strenuous exercises
Indulging in vigorous activities throughout the summer will raise your body temperature, raising your risk of heat exhaustion. So, how should you exercise throughout the summer to be fit and healthy while still taking precautions to keep your body temperature from rising too high? • Exercise in a well-ventilated area. • Drink plenty of water both before and after your workout. • During your session, take frequent pauses. • Go for outdoor walks and jogs during the cooler hours of the day. • Avoid participating in outdoor sports during peak solar hours.
- Don’t Drink Alcohol
In hot and humid settings, you should be very cautious about your alcohol use. Because alcohol is a diuretic, when consumed in high amounts, it will not only impair your ability to gauge temperature levels effectively, but it will also promote dehydration. If you must drink throughout the summer, do it sensibly by hydrating with water in between alcoholic sips.
- Limit Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine, like alcohol, accelerates dehydration. As a result, you sweat more than usual and lose water that your body desperately needs. If you really need a pick-me-up, try chia seeds, oats, leafy greens, eggs, peppermint, and other healthy options.
- Limit Your Sugar and Soda Consumption
If you have too much sugar in your blood, your kidneys will create more urine in an effort to get rid of it. This reduces the quantity of fluid your body retains, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Remember this even if you’re drinking fruit juices to stay hydrated.
- Avoid Excessive Salt Consumption
If you consume too much salt, your body will expend too much moisture in order to digest it. This method keeps a lot of water in the stomach, leaving less fluid accessible for sweat generation. When you don’t sweat enough in hot conditions, your body temperature stays elevated, which can quickly lead to heat exhaustion.
- Don’t Smoke As Much As You Used To
Smoking causes narrowed blood vessels, making it difficult for your heart to adequately pump blood to other regions of your body. Inadequate blood circulation causes an uneven distribution of heat, which inhibits sweating.
- Stay away from bare-chested people.
When we take our shirts off and expose our bare chests, we are more susceptible to radiant heat exposure. As a result, avoid going shirtless, no matter how hot it is, and instead choose for lightweight apparel.
- Pay Close Attention to Weather Predictions
Although weather forecasts can be erroneous at times, they are usually correct when it comes to anticipating heat and humidity throughout the summer. As a result, organize your activities around weather forecasts to avoid scheduling strenuous outdoor exercise during a period when it is expected to be excessively hot.