Kumari Palany & Co

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How can exposure to excess heat or a heat wave affect our health?

Posted on: 19/Apr/2024 9:35:30 AM

The temperatures have been increasing now as it is the peak summer. The heat could be deadly as it might affect our health badly. The important piece of information is that every year there are many people who die due to extreme heat in India during the summer season. The ongoing climate crisis has resulted in extreme heat across the world. Point is that loss of excess water from the body plus overheating of the body could result in serious issues.

Various health issues we could get due to extreme heat or due to heat wave are

Rise in the blood sugar levels:

The bitter truth is that those with diabetic conditions would find it difficult to manage their blood sugar levels during the extreme heat. Especially, senior persons with chronic issues would get affected more by the heat although the heat could affect any age group.

Rise in blood pressure:

Just like how an increase in the blood sugar levels is dangerous, an increase in the blood pressure is also dangerous. During summers, water would be lost from the body at a faster rate and we must drink water regularly to keep us hydrated. Continuous exposure to heat would make the body release stress hormones like cortisol and vasopressin etc and this would increase our blood pressure.

Low sodium and potassium levels:

Exposure to excess heat or heat waves can also lead to 2 important issues like hyponatremia or low sodium and hypokalemia or low potassium. Fluid balance in the body would get regulated by the sodium balance. Low sodium could result in cellular swelling and brain edema. Normal heart rhythm and for muscle function, potassium is very important. Low potassium due to extreme heat could result in irregular heart beat plus to muscle weakness, paralysis etc.

Heart and lung health get affected:

For keeping the core temperature of the body at the normal levels, the body would have to work harder especially in the hot summer seasons. This would put a huge strain on our heart, lungs etc. In addition to this, medicines if not stored properly could lose their effectiveness due to the heat

Various ways to avoid health related health issues:

By drinking atleast 1.5 to 2 litres of water every day, by checking the blood glucose levels, by reducing alcohol consumption, by avoiding excessive intake of beverages, by reducing the excess consumption of added sugars etc.

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