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6 Essential Strategies to Tackle Summer Sickness and Dehydration Head-On!

Dr. Rahul Verma 580 Views
Updated: 09 Apr 2024
Published: 09 Apr 2024

Introduction:

Come summers and everyone wants to head out for picnics, outdoor activities, and beach fun. However, these seasonal delights come along with a lurking threat, which is dehydration and summer sickness. Be it any health issue related to sweltering heat or not staying hydrated enough, not being extra cautious can take a toll on our bodies, apart from dampening the summer plans. So, you must be wondering how you can enjoy the summer season to the fullest without worrying about dehydration or summer sickness? Fret not, we have got you covered. With the right strategies in place, which we will cover in subsequent sections, you can not only enjoy sunshine and outdoor activities, but also keep summer sickness and dehydration at bay.

From exploring top summer health tips for tackling dehydration to recognising dehydration symptoms and treating heat-related illnesses or summer sickness (including heatstroke, dehydration, vomiting, fever, and diarrhoea), this in-depth guide is sure to prepare you well for enjoying the season as well as safeguard your health. So, without further ado, let’s proceed.

Dehydration Symptoms and Treatment:

As many of you might be aware that dehydration is usually caused when the intake of fluids is less than what is being lost, be it through sweating or urination. When your body doesn’t have enough water to carry out normal functioning, it tends to show signs of dehydration. During summers, we sweat a lot, which is why it is important to increase the intake of fluids. Majority of the time, dehydration can be treated at home by consuming more water or fluids, but some cases may require medical intervention too. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, which is why it is important to be aware about dehydration symptoms so that you can take action accordingly.

  • Mild dehydration: In case of mild dehydration, symptoms range from increased thirst, dark-coloured urine, and decrease in urine production. Mild dehydration symptoms can be treated by consuming more water, oral rehydration solutions or even electrolyte drinks. For dehydration treatment at home, patients should not be given caffeine-rich drinks, including coffee, sodas, and tea, as they can do more harm than good.
  • Moderate dehydration: When the condition progresses, the dehydration symptoms become more intense. Some of the tell-tale signs of moderate dehydration are lethargy, headache, dizziness, chills, constipation, dry mouth, loss of appetite and weakness in muscles. For moderate dehydration treatment, a medical professional might give fluids through an IV or even suggest an increase in fluid intake depending on the severity and condition. Furthermore, for treating dehydration-associated underlying conditions, like fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, your doctor may suggest OTC medications as well.
  • Severe dehydration: When acute dehydration occurs, the symptoms become even more severe. These include lack of sweat, lack of energy, dry skin, increase in heart rate, fever, unconsciousness, delirium, low BP, and rapid breathing. For treating severe dehydration symptoms, your doctor may administer fluids with salt through IV and will also keep a check on your electrolyte imbalance.

So, basically, it is important to be aware of the severity of symptoms coupled with dehydration treatment. This is because if this condition is not treated timely, it may result in complications, like low blood count, kidney problems, seizures, and brain swelling.

Top 6 Summer Health Tips:

With summers, come high temperatures, excessive sweating, dehydration, and heat-related issues, like heat stroke and hyperthermia. So, to help you take on the summer season head on, we have listed 6 most effective and simple tips to tackle summer sickness and dehydration naturally.

  • Hydration is the key: This is no unknown fact that drinking water adequately helps combat dehydration effectively. So, always keep a water bottle with you, be it inside or outside the home. And do drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty because dehydration can sneak up without any announcement!
  • Consume water-rich fruits and vegetables: In addition to drinking water, you can also increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in water content; because water alone is not sufficient to prevent dehydration as when you sweat, salt and minerals are lost from the body too. So, make sure to eat hydrating foods, like tomatoes, radishes, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce etc.
  • Say yes to healthy juices: Another important summer health tip is to drink natural fruit or vegetables juices as much as possible and avoid alcohol/sugary beverages. You can also try detox or coconut water to increase your water intake and keep dehydration at bay.
  • Smoothies and shakes are ultimate BFFs: Cool smoothies and shakes are the best bet during summers. They are tasty and help you cool down during hot, humid weather. You can also add nuts and fresh fruits to make smoothies tastier and healthier.
  • Seek protection from the sun: Simply staying hydrated is not enough to keep summer sickness at bay. Regulating your body temperature is important as well. One of the most important summer health tips is to apply sunscreen whenever going out, carry an umbrella or wear a hat, use sunglasses to protect eyes and wear loose-fitting and light-coloured clothes. Also, seek shade whenever possible and avoid outdoor activities when the sun is at its peak.
  • Know signs of dehydration: When you are aware of dehydration symptoms, you can protect yourself in a better manner. So, whenever you feel dizziness, dry skin, fatigued and/or see dark-coloured urine, drink water or electrolyte solutions and rest in a cool room. If you are outdoors, seek shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.

Conclusion:

As we have seen that dehydration can prove critical if not treated timely, it is better to make sure that it can be prevented because, as they say, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Dehydration can happen to anyone, anytime, but it is important to be extra cautious during summers as the excessive heat and increased sun exposure tend to drain bodily fluids in the form of sweat, thus causing serious health issues. This is why it is important to prioritise hydration by regularly drinking water and other fluids, in addition to consuming fruits and veggies with high water content. 

The takeaway here is that by following the top 6 summer health tips mentioned above, you can enjoy the season without worrying about dehydration symptoms or summer sickness. Just remember to up the intake of fluids, seek shade whenever possible (or carry an umbrella) and keep a close check on your health. So, fret not and make the most of the summer season and its delights by staying healthy and hydrated.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Why is hydration more important during the summer season?

    Answer:- Our bodies have a natural mechanism to cool down by producing sweat, and the summer season can augment this process. Excessive sweating may cause dehydration if you don’t replenish the lost fluids. Maintaining adequate hydration levels may keep the body cool, in addition to preventing summer sickness and dehydration symptoms.

  2. Which food items can be consumed to increase water intake?

    Answer:- Some foods are naturally rich in water, thereby supplementing your water intake. These include watermelon, strawberries, peaches, oranges, cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes.

  3. Is it ok to drink caffeine-rich drinks to keep the dehydration symptoms at bay? 

    Answer:- When it comes to caffeinated drinks, they are diuretic in nature. Like a double-edged sword, it can increase the fluid quantity in the body, but can also augment urine production. The latter might increase risk of dehydration; thus it is best to avoid such beverages if you are experiencing dehydration symptoms.

  4. How much water should I drink every day to keep myself hydrated during the summer?

    Answer:- No single formula fits everyone, but the general recommendation is to drink at least eight glasses of water daily for keeping your body hydrated and tackling dehydration head on during the summer season.

  5. Can I treat dehydration quickly?

    Answer:- Mild dehydration symptoms can be treated by drinking more water, oral rehydration solutions or even electrolyte drinks. However, if you notice moderate to severe symptoms, it is always best to consult your doctor.

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