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Cricket Fans, Beware Of The Heat!

Last updated on: November 15, 2023 17:24 IST
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High temperatures can weaken the body's immune response, making it more susceptible to viral infections.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to stay hydrated, advises Dr Akshay Dhamne.

  • Health-related questions? Ask rediff Health Gurus HERE.

How to protect yourself from the heatwave

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mandira Bedi/Instagram

With the exciting on-going World Cup, cricket fever is at a peak in India.

But while that heat is welcome, there is another kind that is taking an insidious toll. And that is the rising temperatures across the nation.

On October 18, 2023, for example, Mumbai experienced its highest day temperature for October -- 36.4 degree Celsius.

The last time it experienced a heatwave of this magnitude was in 2015, when the temperatures hit 38.6 degrees Celsius.

Pune, which is about 150 km away from Mumbai, is also reeling under severe October heat, with average day temperatures in the city touching upto 34 degree Celsius.

The discomfort usually rises during the afternoon, especially between 11 am and 5 pm.

With the Indian Meteorological Department ruling out any passing showers, the difference of 11 degrees Celsius between the evening and the afternoon temperatures is resulting in ailments like running nose, fever and throat irritation.

How does a rise in temperature affect the body?

High temperatures can weaken the human body’s immune response, making it more susceptible to viral infections like common cold, which are primarily caused by rhinoviruses.

These viruses tend to thrive in conditions with low humidity that can occur when temperatures soar.

When the air is dry, the virus particles remain suspended longer, increasing the chances of transmission from person to person.

Rapid rises in temperature due to exposure to hotter-than-average conditions compromise the body's ability to regulate temperature and can result in a cascade of illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and hyperthermia.

Heatwave: Who needs to be more careful?

All human beings are physiologically affected in different ways by prolonged exposure to heat, which frequently exacerbates pre-existing illnesses and causes early mortality and disability.

Heatwaves often result in public health emergencies, have a significant negative influence on public health and have a domino effect on other aspects of society.

Young kids and senior citizens with comorbidities, pregnant women, manual laborers and the underprivileged are, however, more affected by this kind of heat. 

There has already been a rise in cases of viral fever, dehydration, giddiness, heat stroke and other illnesses due to the sudden fluctuations in temperature.

When such kinds of heatwaves take place, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to stay hydrated.

Apart from drinking water, these are some other ways you can increase your fluid intake and beat the heat:

  • Drink coconut water once in a day.
  • Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake. Restrict it to 0 or 1 cup a day.
  • One of the best substitutes for water is buttermilk. It is full of protein and will also quench your thirst.
  • Adding ice cubes or fruit cubes to your regular water is another way to motivate yourself to increase your fluid intake.
  • Have more of fruits and vegetables with high water content like cucumber, melons, berries, tomatoes, etc.
  • Always carry a reusable water flask with you.
  • Keep track of your fluids and add timely alarms/alerts to remind you to stay hydrated.
  • Add an electrolyte mix to your water to enhance taste and replenish the electrolytes.
  • You may add lemon, chia seeds, orange or lime to your drinking water.

Dr Akshay Dhamne is consultant (medicine) at DPU Private Super Specialty Hospital, Pimpri, Pune.

  • Health-related questions? Ask rediff Health Gurus HERE.

Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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