Summer temperatures have crossed 45 degrees Celsius in many parts of India, leading to increasing cases of heat cramps, heat stroke, fever and gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhoea.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat related illnesses and can cause damage to the brain and other organs. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and excessive physical exertion can result in a heat stroke, a serious condition in which the body gets overheated and people collapse.
Doctors are also worried about gastro-intestinal infections and food-borne diseases because of the high temperatures. Water borne diseases like typhoid and jaundice and even diarrhoea usually go up during the summers because people tend to drink water from vendors outdoor, which may be contaminated. Rains just add to the worry as water coming to the homes may also be contaminated.
Signs you must watch out for
• Lethargy: People must go to the doctor if they have been out in the heat and feel unwell and exhausted afterwards. They must also visit a doctor if they do not feel better despite having water and salt-and-sugar-solution.
• Sweating: “Sweating is the body’s mechanism of regulating its temperature. When people sweat, water comes out of their bodies and evaporates, thus cooling them down. But, the heat might affect the regulatory mechanism and prevent sweating. This would result in heat accumulating in the body and then causing fever. If a person is not sweating, even when they are out in the heat, it is a good idea to go to a doctor,” said Dr Gupta.
• Dehydration: don’t wait to feel thirsty before drinking water. Your lips, mouth and skin should not feel dry.
• Muscle weakness and cramping are also signs of heat stroke
• Changes in the behaviour such as confusion, disorientation and staggering can also be caused by heat