Sunstroke or heatstroke takes place when the functioning of the body fails in controlling temperature. This is a serious condition which can be fatal; hence immediate medical attention is required.
Causes of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is caused by dehydration in the body during the hot dry summer months. Liquids help to cool the body and allow the production of sweat. There are times when a large amount of fluid from the body is lost by sweat. At a certain point the there is no sweating and the temperature of the body goes up and the cells in the body start drying up. Hence the main cause of heat stroke is working in hot weather without drinking water for long. Heat stroke is often the result of neglected heat related diseases like heat cramps, fainting and heat exhaustion, but sometimes it can occur with no previous signs.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The pinpoint symptom of heat stroke is the rising of the body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Other common symptoms include throbbing headache, nausea, seizures,and muscle cramps, red hot and dry skin followed by loss of consciousness.
Remedy for Heat Stroke
A suspect of heat stroke must be immediately shifted to the hospital. Any delay in medical attention can be dangerous. First aid for heat stroke must be immediately given by moving the person in a cool, shady or air conditioned place and loosen all the clothing. Wet the skin and fan over the body to bring down the temperature. Apply ice cubes under the armpits, back, neck and groin or give the person a cool tub bath to bring down the temperature. If the person is conscious give some cold liquids. Watch for signs of breathing problem Give mouth to mouth respiration if required.
Tips to prevent heat stroke
- Outdoor activities should be avoided during the hottest time of the day in summer.
- One must wear loose fitting and light coloured clothes in summer.
- It is better to relax in a cool place during the hot afternoons of summer.
- Coffee and alcohol should not be taken in this season as they create dryness in the body.
- People already suffering from certain problems are more prone to heat stroke. These conditions include obesity, alcoholism, old age, diabetics, heart patients;persons addicted to drugs or are under some medication.
Diet to Prevent Heat Stroke
- It is commonly believed that an onion a day keeps heat stroke away. Keeping a peeled white onion in the pocket can also help in fighting excessive heat. Applying a paste on the forehead of a person with heat stroke will be helpful.
- One must eat sufficient quantity of fruits and vegetables, especially the ones that contain lot of water like water melon, cucumber, raw mangoes, musk melon and litchis.
- Food items containing high quantity of salt should be avoided. Consumption of fermented and fried foods should be limited during the summer season.
- Yoghurt and buttermilk is a good food item to keep the body cool.
- Proteins in the diet help in keeping the blood sugar levels steady and in preventing heat strokes. These include pulses, nuts and olive oil.