The requirement of water increases by 500 ml in adults in this weather due to excessive sweating
With most parts of India experiencing high temperatures and heat wave, people must be aware of season related disorders and take preventive action. Three most common heat-related problems that occur due to prolonged exposure to heat include cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. Excessive sweating paves way for the natural loss of fluids and electrolytes as urine and saliva, which can lead to dehydration and acute imbalance of electrolytes.
Dehydration can occur anywhere and anytime due to excessive sun exposure, physical activity, fasting, extreme diets, certain medications, and illness and infections. The common symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, headaches, dark yellow urine, dry mouth and irritability. It is therefore important to drink adequate quantities of water to keep oneself hydrated in this weather.
“In summer, the requirement of water increases by 500 ml in adults due to excessive sweating. This is also the season of typhoid, jaundice and diarrhea. Some reasons for this include not consuming adequate quantity of water and poor food, water and hand hygiene. Bottle gourd (Ghia), ridged gourd (Tori), Indian round gourd or apple gourd (Tinda), pumpkin (kaddu) are all summer vegetables that grow on creepers. They all have high water content and have some diuretic action. They follow certain laws of nature. Nature always produces vegetables and fruits known to prevent diseases of that season. For example, coconuts grow in coastal areas as they provide immunity from humidity disorders. Mangoes grow in summer as unripe mango can prevent heat disorders”, said Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President
He said that in the absence of sweating, dry armpit, non-passage of urine for 8 hours or presence of high- grade fever in summer are all ‘red flags’ and medical attention should be sought immediately. Heat cramps are muscle spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen that result from loss of large amount of salt and water through exercise. The treatment is replacing fluid and salt orally.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Your environment decides the amount of water you should drink. Individuals in warmer climates should drink more water to compensate for liquid lost through perspiration. Individuals who live at high altitudes may also need to drink more water, as the lack of oxygen in the air prompts more rapid breathing and a greater loss of moisture during respiration. By rule of thumb, you should drink more water during the summer months, as the heat and extra time spent outside can result in greater liquid loss.”
Some summer tips from HCFI
• For food hygiene, remember the formula ‘heat it, boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it’.
• Any food or liquid, if heated before use, cannot cause infection. Any liquid or water, if boiled before use, cannot cause infection.
• Any fruit, which can be peeled by hands, for example, banana and orange cannot cause infection.
• Do not use ice prepared from unsterilized water.
• Do not consume cut fruits and vegetables that have been left open. Do not drink sugarcane juice sold on the roadsides. Avoid drinking water in unwashed glass on the roadside.
• Do not eat food that has been leftover for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
• Do not eat cucumbers, carrots, watermelon etc. that is sold on the roadsides as chaat unless hygienic.