Summer heat and health

  • 2010-07-21

Abnormal heat has set in these days in the Baltic Sea region, where such hot weather is the last thing you would expect. The temperature in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania may rise up to +31 during the day. And it is despite the fact that atmospheric fronts brought rains with varying intensity here.
This kind of temperature is about 4 degrees higher than the average daily temperature of those days for the Baltic countries.

Warning! Air conditioning!
During such hot times one can catch serious colds, right up to angina and pneumonia. These problems are more common among office workers and car owners. The reason is air conditioning.
First of all, because of the temperature differences and the draft your neck and back are in danger. Second, air-conditioners may be filled with bacteria, particularly Legionella, that causes ARD. We should not forget that under the scorching sun lungs are working at maximum capacity. Water and volatile breakdown products intensively evaporate through them. That’s why they “break” more often. As a result, apart from pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchial asthma can develop.

Develop a summer menu
Dangerous bacteria await their victims not only in the air, but also in food. Food poisoning is another frequent diagnosis in the heat.
Meat, dairy products, fish, pastries - all of these products can be carriers of dangerous bacteria. It takes only an hour in the sun for food to get spoilt. So make sure to keep it in a cold place, to wash it well, to boil and fry it, and do not visit unknown and unpresentable cafes. It is desirable to revise your usual diet in general and turn to light food, water and juices. Food should not be too fat and too hot, and, of course, should not be too spicy.
During the heat it is better to forget about strong alcoholic drinks. Other beverages including beer are not recommended as well.

Protect your heart
People with cardiovascular diseases have the most difficulties because of heat. This weather is a severe threat for them, because the load on the heart increases significantly, and it can happen that the heart is not able to cope. The vessels really literally go crazy from the heat. They just do not know what to do: at one moment they narrow, at another - widen. As a result, the depletion of blood supply of some parts of the heart and brain may occur, and it can disrupt their work. And this is already life threatening. It is much more dangerous than to catch pneumonia. Therefore, all those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases and from disturbance of circulation of blood in brain, should be extremely careful during hot days.

In the period of maximum solar activity the load on the excretory system and its organs (kidneys, skin, and lungs) increases dramatically. Therefore, there are no fewer sores in the hot summer than in the cold winter.

It is the first one to suffer in the summer. The pores of the skin, sweat and sebaceous glands work much harder. Much more water exudes through them than usually. And along with it - ammonia, nitrogen compounds of degradation products. For pathogens (streptococci, staphylococci, colon bacillus and other microbes) it is a favorite treat. So they multiply on sweaty skin by leaps and bounds. Because of that it is quite often that boils, acne and other ailments pop up in the summer.
To prevent the appearance of pustules on the body, it is desirable to take a bath with herbal infusions-antiseptics: chamomile, celandine and bur-marigold. You should take a cool shower (or at least sponge down) as many times per day, as your heart’s content. And, of course, you should spend more time in the shade, and less time in the sun.

Do not drink a lot in the heat. All these liters can hit us really hard on the kidneys. They just cannot remove all the water in time. This is especially dangerous for people with kidney diseases, with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. They can have increased blood volume and increased hypervolemia (i.e., flooding of the body). This means that an exacerbation can occur. Therefore, when it is very hot it is better not to drink more, but try to keep the usual water exchange.
In order to ensure that your body does not require too much fluid, you should not allow it to evaporate along with sweat. Salt holds water in the body very well. It is not for no reason that in the hot industrial factories workers drink salty water, which helps to rid the excretory system of the stress. With the help of salt you can kill two birds with one stone: reduce perspiration and regulate water exchange.

And the last tip. It is addressed to young mothers. You should undress your children, especially infants. Do not keep them in oilskin carriages when you take them for a walk. Remember: during the heat small children suffer the most, because the heat exchange system of their organism is not yet established. Every time, when the temperature soars up to heaven, children’s hospitals are filled with kids with heat strokes. These are the consequences of inappropriate behavior of their mothers.