Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Summer Health Concerns

Summer HeatSUMMER EVOKES memories of chilled lemonades, lush watermelon wedges, juicy mangoes and languid summer holidays. It’s the time when we come out of our cocoon, go for a leisurely walk or take a dip in the pool, plan our mid-year summer break and head to known or unknown destinations to recharge our batteries. However, summer also brings in a lot of health concerns. Most of it is easily avoidable with a bit of planning and preparation. Archana Darshan runs you through 4 top avoidable health conditions during summer time.

1. Water-borne diseases
In the hot and humid months of summer, instances of water-borne infections, like typhoid, gastroenteritis and jaundice soar. All these infections stem from the intake of contaminated food or water, explains Dr. Anil Arora, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Ganga Ram Hospital. Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach lining and it usually affects seniors and children who have lowered immunity. Typhoid travels through the faecal contamination of water and hepatitis, a broad term for the inflammation of the liver happens through the food and water route.
In nutshell, you need to screen the water before you drink. Boiled water is the safest to consume. Similarly, you got to be wary of the street food and chuski. Beware of the ice, if you don’t know the source of water. Eat simple, home cooked, fresh meals.

2. Heat Related Emergencies
As the mercury begins to soar, you got to be extremely careful of heat related health conditions: heat exhaustion, heat cramps, headaches and heat stroke. Sweat is the internal cooling mechanism of the body. However, this may not work when you are exposed to the high temperature for longer periods of time. You don’t necessarily need to be outdoors to suffer from heat related emergencies. Profuse perspiration due to heat can result in loss of salt. It can manifest in cramp like condition, excruciating headache or extreme fatigue. Under such conditions, take rest, drink lots of fluids, preferably with a pinch of rock salt to restore the electrolyte balance. The patient should be given cold water and not ice-cold water.
Avoid going out in the sun between 11 am to 3 pm when the rays of the sun are the harshest. If you must go, drink lots of liquids with vitamin C in it to keep heat related emergencies at bay. Carry an umbrella when you go out in the sun or wear wide brimmed hats.

What grandma suggests
Aam panna is a useful antidote against heat stroke. Pressure cook raw, whole mangoes and sift the pulp from skin and seed. Mix ample amounts of sugar, rock salt, ice and water and sip it before you go and after you’re back from the sunny excursion. Onions are cooling foods and help release body heat. Include it in salads. Squash tamarind pulp and drink it several times a day with sugar in it. Plums, coriander juice, buttermilk, gooseberries are helpful in keeping summer heat at bay.

3. Skin concerns
Summer has its share of skin concerns like sun-tan, sun burn and prickly heat. The culprits are the sun and the sweat. Spending time outdoors without applying sunscreen may cause sun tan or sun burn. While fair-skinned Westerners crave for bewitching golden tan, so-much-so that they seek help of tanning beds, we Indians will go to any length to protect and preserve our fair skin tone. Sun tan is a process by which the skin colour darkens as a protective response to the UV rays of the sun. But, if you don’t heed to the call of your skin, sun tan will graduate to sun burn which is an uncomfortable skin condition. Its equivalent to first degree skin burn and the affected skin part turns red and may peel off also later. However, sun burn shows terrific response to TLC. Wash your face with cold water or use cucumber slices over the tanned skin. Sun tan takes time to go away. Sweating enables the body cool down, but when tiny sweat glands get blocked by profuse sweating and accumulated dead cells, it causes prickly heat. It usually occurs in areas such as back, waist area, between the folds of the skin and there is an intense urge to itch. However, itching is not recommended. Shower twice a day and keep the affected skin clean to avoid prickly rash. Spray prickly heat powder or dab calamine lotion on it. As the new skin develops underneath, prickly heat will heal on its own.

4. Bug Bites
In this season there is a noticeable increase in insect bites, which can cause rash, boils and mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. As a norm, mosquito bites is no more than an itchy discomfort. Use ice pack or calamine lotion to control itchiness. At times the innocuous sting can be deceiving too and it can cause health conditions like dengue and malaria. Exercise precaution by wearing full-sleeved clothes. Keep the windows and doors shut during dawn and dusk. Apply mosquito repellent cream on exposed body parts and put mosquito nets before you sleep. Keep the surroundings clean and do not allow water to accumulate. By-the-way, dengue mosquito breeds in clean water.

Bee sting usually imbeds a stinger in the affected area. Use a firm object like credit card to sweep across the site and pull out the stinger. Don’t squeeze or pinch the skin to remove the stinger. This will cause additional venom to be released into the bite. Later, clean the affected area well with soap and water before applying ice or hydrocortisone cream. Benadryl in oral form helps control swelling and redness and an ibuprofen will help control the pain. Spider bites should be cleaned with soap and water. Use warm compresses several times a day and apply a topical antibiotic ointment, if needed. If you have a tick or spider bite, note the date on your calendar and contact your physician if you develop a rash or flu-like illness during the next few weeks.

5. Swim Whims
No activity will refresh you as much as swimming. The cool pool is not only inviting but moving your arms and limbs also provides ample activity to your legs and hands, tones your butt, upper arms and chest. Before you take a dip, you should wear a cap to shield your hair, because chlorinated water can wreak damage on your precious tresses. Remember to shower after you are done with swimming. Dry your ears after you swam because all that splashing in the pool can also cause swimmer’s ear, inflammation of the ear canal or outer ear. Avoid self medication and consult an ENT specialist when your ears hurt.

Summer is all about minimalism in makeup, clothes and food. Stick to it and you will breeze through it.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInFlattr the authorShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on TumblrBuffer this pageDigg thisShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

Category: Summer
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
© 2014 Guardian Lifecare Private Limited.
Our Other Websites : – Corporate  |  Healthcare Products  |  Blog

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD