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46, 47, 49, 50! No, we are not randomly counting numbers; rather this has been the state of the temperature in many parts of the country over the past couple of weeks. Even though intermittent rains have been bringing relief, a full-fledged monsoon is yet to hit to India. Which means, this unwavering heat is going to be here for a while.
With the heat wave comes the risk of a heat stroke, dehydration, and quite a many other heat-related illnesses. That’s why we’ve got for you tips from Dr Manjusha Agarwal, consultant internal medicine at Global Hospital, Mumbai on how you can deal with this relentless heat.
But before that let’s understand what is a heatwave?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), heat waves can lead to dehydration, kidney diseases, respiratory problems, heat cramps, and heat strokes too.
Unfortunately, the elderly and pregnant women are the most affected by the heat, according to Dr Agarwal. And so she recommends that people who take diuretic medication should refrain from stepping out in the sun.
Here’s your ultimate guide to survive this heat
1. Know the symptoms of heat illness
“Before doing anything else you should know the symptoms so that you can identify whether the heatwave is affecting your health. The common symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, headache, abdominal cramps, and vomiting”, says Dr Agarwal.
2. Plan your outside visits well
“If you have some unavoidable work then plan it accordingly. I would suggest avoiding stepping out between 11 AM and 4 PM,” she explains.
3. Keep electrolyte sachets handy
If you are going out then just carrying plain old water with you isn’t going to help. Says Dr Agarwal, “Keep ORS sachets handy. You can have a separate bottle in which you can keep nimbu pani. You can also have coconut water.” Also, if you know that you need to step out then keep your water intake high right from the morning. “Drinking a lot of water right before you step out isn’t going to help,” she adds.
4. Wear light-coloured clothes
“It is very important to wear light clothes so that your body can breathe. Also, always cover your head with a scarf when you step out. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes, respectively”, she recommends. She also suggests keeping an umbrella handy to avoid direct sunlight.
5. Switch caffeine-rich drinks with buttermilk
Dr Agarwal suggests avoiding caffeine-rich beverages like tea, coffee, and carbonated sodas in the heat. “Drinking alcohol can also lead to dehydration. So skip these drinks, and trust buttermilk to parch your thirst in the summer,” she says.
6. Take breaks
If you are someone who is always on the run, then Dr Agarwal wants you to keep taking breaks to re-energize yourself.
Here there you go people, now you know what you need to do to tackle this heat.