Postdate: 28 May 2018
The weather can sometimes claim victims. Sometimes this is direct, by lightning strike for instance. Stuffy and hot weather can disrupt your heat regulation system to the point where your heart and your health at put at risk. According to Tsuru Expert and cardiologist D Ruud van Langeveld, there are a number of factors you should keep in mind.
1. Drink plenty of water
Of course, the most important thing is that you drink plenty of fluids. That makes sense, but that it is not always so. Dehydration is a consequence of overheating. You even lose extra moisture through accelerated breathing just lying next to the pool. This happens quickly. Less blood volume in the blood vessels leads to low blood pressure and a lack of blood flow to vital organs. In severe dehydration, the heart is unable to compensate for this.
· Make sure that you drink a glass of water every hour on extreme days.
· Always carry a small bottle of water with you. This automatically makes you drink more.
· Do you notice yourself suddenly becoming a little vague? Have a drink.
· Start the day with a cup of tea.
2. Don’t drink any diluted soft drinks or full-strength fruit juice
These decrease the absorption of fluids by the body.
3. Avoid coffee and alcohol
Both have a dehydrating effect. Under tropical conditions, they can cause the heart to go into overdrive; a very fast heart rate that is ineffective at keeping your blood pressure at the correct level.
4. Adjust your exercise pattern
Should you want to do exercise despite the heat, you should realise that dehydration can occur quickly. Research shows that this may be a reason for the sudden occurrence of an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation, in which the heart contracts too quickly and very irregularly; a most uncomfortable sensation.
Never exercise without having water with you! Drink before you start exercising or playing sport. If you have a sporting pattern, choose to do it in the morning or in the evening. Above all: take it easy.
5. Eat light meals
Eat salads and fruit. These are easily digestible and have high fluid contents.
6. Medication? Drink extra
Do you take medications for high blood pressure? Keep in mind that your blood pressure can drop more rapidly. Diuretics can lead to dehydration more rapidly. Betablockers lower the heart rate and make it more difficult for your heart to respond to early stages of dehydration.
7. Wear light clothing
And last but not least: wear light clothing and avoid direct sun during the middle of the day.
The key to coping with extreme heat is to prevent dehydration. It can cause irregular heartbeats or dysrhythmias that can increase the risk of having an infarct or stroke. Keep an eye on the colour of your urine. Light yellow or colourless urine indicates proper hydration. More can be read about this in this blog.