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Surviving the Heat: Understanding Heatstroke and The Hidden Dangers

It's important to understand the potentially deadly illness known as heatstroke during these hot days in Malaysia. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that calls for immediate care; it's not just a matter of feeling unpleasant hot. Let's explore common misconceptions, risk factors, warning signals, and preventative actions to protect your safety in scorching conditions in order to increase awareness of its severity.

 

Misconception 1: Heatstroke is just a severe form of dehydration.

Heat-related disorders can be worsened by dehydration, but heatstroke is a much more serious condition. When the body's internal temperature increases to dangerously high levels, usually exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, heatstroke occurs. If not properly addressed, this rise in body temperature can be deadly and cause organ damage.

 

Misconception 2: Only athletes and outdoor workers are at risk of heatstroke.

Everyone is susceptible to heatstroke, but outdoor workers and athletes are at a higher risk because of their higher exposure to heat. A prolonged exposure to high temperatures can put you at risk, regardless of whether you're doing outside activities, spending time in the sun, or even staying home without enough conditioning. Keep in mind that anyone, regardless of age or physical condition, can have heatstroke.

 

Risk Factors for Heatstroke

High temperatures and humidity:

Heatstroke thrives in conditions that are both hot and humid. When this is paired with exercise or extended exposure, the risk rises significantly.

 

Age extremes:

Young children and the elderly are more at risk for heatstroke. Children may be less aware of the risks and unable to properly express their discomfort, while older people may have a reduced ability to regulate their body temperature.

 

Chronic illnesses:

Chronic diseases that affect the body's ability to regulate temperature, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses, can make people more prone to heatstroke.

 

Early Warning Signs of Heatstroke

Recognizing the signs of heatstroke is crucial for early intervention. Look out for the following symptoms:

 

  • High body temperature (40 degrees Celsius)

  • Throbbing headache

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing

  • Nausea and vomiting

 

Preventive Measures to Beat the Heat

 

  • Stay hydrated: Even if you don't feel thirsty, make sure to drink lots of water. The best option is water, but you can additionally replace lost minerals by consuming sports drinks or electrolyte solutions.

  • Dress appropriately: Put on light, loose-fitting clothing in bright, light-reflecting colours. Wear a hat or an umbrella to cover your head.

  • Seek shade and cool environments: Avoid going outside at the warmest times of the day. If you absolutely must be outside, take breaks in cool, shady settings.

  • Avoid exhausting activities: Avoid vigorous physical activity while the weather is at its hottest. If you must participate in outside activities, go slowly and stop frequently.

 

Chia Seed Helps to Increase Hydration

Chia seeds' special capacity to absorb water can help with hydration indirectly. Chia seeds encase themselves in a gel-like substance when they come into contact with liquid, which increases their size and volume. Due to the soluble fibre content found in chia seeds, a gel has formed.

 

Chia seeds are able to absorb water when consumed and expand in the digestive tract. This gel-like substance may be helpful in reducing the rate at which sugars and carbs are absorbed, resulting in a slow release of energy. This gel will help to hold onto water, which may aid in keeping you hydrated. Additionally, chia seeds contain electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are essential to regulating the body's normal fluid balance. Chia seeds can help you stay more hydrated in general, but it's important to remember, you still need to drink lots of water throughout the day.

 

Love Earth Organic Chia Seed 202g 

 

Written by: Alia Adrina Asri

Love Earth Nutritionist

Bachelor of Nutrition Science (Hons)