What is hyperthermia and how to avoid it?


This year’s summer will be harsher and the next couple of months temperatures will be above normal, as per the Indian Meteorological Department. A sudden change in the temperature can affect the body. Certain precautionary measures are important to follow to cope up with the extreme heat of the summer.

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Hyperthermia is nothing but your body is overheated. This can happen in extreme heat or high humidity or after vigorous physical activity in very hot weather.
Hyperthermia is often called heat cramp in milder form, heat exhaustion in moderate, and heatstroke in the most severe form.
Our body’s heat combined with environmental heat is called the core temperature of the body. Our body needs to regulate its temperature in hot or cold weather to maintain a core temperature of approximately 98.6° F (37° C).
Our body maintains the core temperature in hot weather, mainly by sweating. The evaporation of the sweat regulates the body temperature. However, when you do vigorous exercise in hot, humid weather, your body is less able to cool itself efficiently. As a result, you may develop heat cramps, the mildest form of hyperthermia. Signs and symptoms of heat cramps usually include sweating, fatigue, excessive thirst, and muscle cramps. Prompt treatment prevents the heat cramps from progressing to heat exhaustion.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time, particularly with prolonged periods of exercise.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Here are some common symptoms of heat exhaustion
Headache
Cool, moist skin
Profuse sweating
Fainting or Dizziness
Fatigue
Rapid pulse
Muscle cramps
Nausea
Dark urine
Low blood pressure
Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition when your body temperature reaches 104° F (40° C) or higher. Heatstroke requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, a lack of coordination, vomiting, convulsions, or unconsciousness.
If you notice signs of heat-related illness, you need to lower your body temperature and prevent yourself from heatstroke. The following steps may lower your body temperature:
-Get to a shady or air-conditioned place.
-Cool your body temperature with damp sheets and a fan.
-Take a cool shower or bath.
-Rehydrate yourself by drinking plenty of fluids.
Who Are At Risk Of Suffering From Hyperthermia?
-Individuals who work in heated environments or areas which have high exposure to heat are more prone to suffer from hyperthermia. Farmers and construction workers who spend prolonged hours in the heat need to take care to prevent being a victim of hyperthermia. Also, individuals who work in heated indoor areas, which are poorly ventilated or air-conditioned, with large ovens around should take care to prevent the risk of hyperthermia.
-Certain medications, such as diuretics, might minimize your ability to cool through perspiration, can make you experience the symptoms of hyperthermia.
-If you follow a diet that is low in sodium to regulate high blood pressure, you might suffer from hyperthermia.
-Elderly individuals and kids are also at risk of developing hyperthermia. Children who play a lot in hot outdoors and do a lot of exertion without any rest or without being well-hydrated may suffer from hyperthermia. Elderly individuals who stay in a house that lacks fans or air-conditioning may suffer from hyperthermia.
How to Avoid Hyperthermia?
At the onset of summer or hot weather, you can prevent hyperthermia by following simple measures.
1.Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
Wearing excess clothes or tight-fitting clothes won’t allow your body to cool properly. Wearing cotton clothes can help, as cotton will get damp with sweat and help your body to cool down faster.
Cover your head with a hat or scarf to avoid direct exposure to the sun.
2.Drink double of fluids
Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
Drink adequate water i.e. eight to ten glasses a day or more if you can.
Drink vegetable juices, fruit juices, lemon juice with salt and sugar, mango Panna, buttermilk, coconut water, etc. to maintain an adequate level of fluids in your body.
Monitor the color of your urine. Darker urine is a sign of dehydration. Be sure to drink enough fluids to maintain very light-colored urine. Avoid fluids containing caffeine or alcohol because both substances can make you lose more fluids.
Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals, such as salad and fruits.
3.Take it easy during the hottest time of the day
Try to schedule exercise or physical work at cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening. If you can’t avoid physical activity in the hot weather, make sure that you drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot.
4.Let your body get acclimated to the change of weather
People who are not used to hot weather are susceptible to heat-related illness. Limit your time spent working or exercising in heat until you are conditioned to it.
5.Never leave anyone in a car that is parked directly exposed to the sun or with closed windows on a very hot day.

6.Stay cool
Stay cool and let air circulate near you. Draw your curtains and use a fan or air-conditioning if possible.
Sprinkle water over your skin or clothing. Keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house, as these can cool the air.
Carry an umbrella and a water bottle with you while going out.

I hope this blog will help you to acclimate and prevent Hypothermia in the coming summer. Have a healthy summer.

 

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