Saturday December 7, 2019

Heat and Dust in Summer and precautions

Coping up with summers is difficult. However, we can lessen its effect. Here is how.

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Gola at the beach. Wikimedia Commons

Dr. J.K. Bhutani

In India. the Heat and Dust of April-May, bring cheers for the farmers finalizing the wheat crops’ harvesting, thrashing and transporting.

For the urban citizens, the sizzling heat brings fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

With the temperature peaking above 40 degrees Celcius and a ‘dry-air’ with minimal humidity of 10-20 percent, the coping systems of body are under strain. The two ways we cope with heat are by perspiring and breathing. Since the air is dry and humidity is at the minimal level, one finds the immense sweat as not being visible. The insensible loss of water from breathing also increases as the temperature hots up.

Generally by evenings, the shade and the comfort of the house is enough to recover the coping power of the body-system but the things may turn bad if the temperature does not drop at night.

The body becomes overwhelmed and one may have dizziness and headache because of the relentless heat.

Heat exhaustion and Heat-stroke are more severe, often the result of fatigue of the normative sweating process, thus leading to very high temperature and in extreme cases disturbed consciousness.

How to prevent heat exhaustion?

The common sense management is plenty-of-fluids with electrolytes (natural drinks like lime-water, coconut-water, butter-milk, aampanna or jal-jeera etc are better than aerated drinks like soda or beer). The alcoholic beverages and caffeinated tea-cola-drinks may rob the body off more fluids because of the diuretic action.

Loose, cotton clothing and well-ventilated workplace and home along with air-conditioning helps a lot in warding off the heat-wave fatigue and exhaustion.

The standard ceiling fan circulates the dry air and the convection currents of air may evaporate more of your bodily fluids by increasing the loss through perspiration (one does not feel the sweat as it is drying immediately). A wet-wipe of the floor may help to some extent.

Even a cooler shall work for 15-20 days till the time HUMIDITY in the ambient air is low (20-30 percent). Coolers are less useful as they become less effective when the humidity reaches 50 percent (as may happen with the first shower) and it is also a hazard for inviting ‘malarial-dengue-larvae’ and even electric shock hazards.

Air -Conditioning is the best to beat the heat and have a cool comfortable temperature (25 degree Celsius), as it generally keeps the humidity of ambient air, around 50-55 percent, it thus may draw more water from one’s body under such dry-spells. So watch out to use a portable humidifier or keep a bucket-full water in the room and drink plenty of water to prevent dry throat, nose, skin and eyes and upper respiratory problems.

The people at workplaces or places with heavy traffics in the house should have a change of the air many times in the day to have good oxygen levels and remove or lessen infectious particles not removed by the filters of air-conditioners.

Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and freshly made day and night meals with the locally or a pooled kitchen-garden produce is a treat if one puts some effort.

You are lucky if you are protected by some huge rich foliage tree like ‘Jamun-Mango-Neem-Acacia’ tree surrounding the western wall and the roof of the bed-room.

Dr J.K. Bhutani MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self-healing powers of human organism. He practices in Karnal, Haryana. Twitter: @drjkbhutani

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Study: Teenagers, Adults More Likely to Try Drugs for First Time in Summer

The study used data collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2011 and 2017 involving about 394,415 people aged 12 and older

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In addition, 30 per cent of marijuana, 30 per cent of ecstasy --also known as MDMA or Molly and 28 per cent of cocaine use was found to begin in the summer months. Pixabay

Researchers have found that US teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in summer. “First-time users may be unfamiliar with the effects of various drugs, so it is important to first understand when people are most likely to start these behaviours,” said Joseph J. Palamar, Associate Professor at New York University.

In 2017, according to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than three million people in the US tried LSD, marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy for the first time. The study used data collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2011 and 2017 involving about 394,415 people aged 12 and older.

According to the researchers, participants were surveyed about their use of various drugs through a computer-assisted interview. New users were asked to recall the month and year when they initiated use.

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The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that over a third (34 per cent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. Pixabay

The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that over a third (34 per cent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. In addition, 30 per cent of marijuana, 30 per cent of ecstasy –also known as MDMA or Molly and 28 per cent of cocaine use was found to begin in the summer months.

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The investigators suggest that the results could be explained, in part, by people having extra recreational time during the summer, as well as the growing popularity of outdoor activities, such as music festivals, at which recreational drug use is common.

“Parents and educators who are concerned about their kids need to educate them year-round about potential risks associated with drug use, but special emphasis appears to be needed before or during summer months when rates of initiation increase,” Palamar said. (IANS)