Beat the heat
Dr. Fiona Rennie, Valiant Clinic, shares her tips on how to keep your cool during the hot summer months
In a region where temperatures tend to rise during the scorching summer months, we need to ensure we take the proper precautions to protect our health. Research has shown that even at temperatures of above 35 degrees, the risk factors rise.
People living in the region are more likely to cope better with the heat than tourists. This is because the body has adapted to adjusting its temperature by sweating. However, when sweating is prevented, the body may be affected by heat-related illnesses.
Fluctuations in air temperature is one of the main factors that impact the effectiveness of sweating. Other factors include:
- humidity – the more humid the air, the less the moisture is absorbed from the body
- amount of air movement (indoors) or wind speed (outdoors)
- type of clothing
- type and length of physical activity
- Age and physical fitness
Effects of heat stroke
Extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion, where you may experience dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating, a slightly raised body temperature, heatstroke where high body temperature is accompanied by rapid heartbeat, headache, seizures and hot, dry skin or heavy sweating. While the former can be alleviated fairly easily, heatstroke can be life-threatening if left untreated. Older people, children, and pregnant women are more susceptible, as are those with chronic medical conditions.
If it the body heats up to 39-40C, fatigue sets in.
At 40-41C, heat exhaustion is likely – and above 41C, the body starts to shut down.
The body cannot even sweat at this point because blood flow to the skin stops, making it feel cold and clammy. Without immediate medical attention there can be permanent damage to vital organs and even death.
What can you do
- Avoid going out when it’s 50 degrees
- If you have to step out, avoid it 3 hours before and 3 hours after solar noon
- Always wear sunscreen that is SPF 30+
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing
- Stay in the shade where possible
- Drink plenty of water
- Get proper rest and sleep
- Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar
- Monitor yourself for symptoms of heat stroke
The human body should maintain a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, and the optimum air temperature is between 18 and 24 degrees. Any hotter and the risks rise.
Interestingly, even productivity is linked to air temperature, as studies have shown office productivity is best at temperatures between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius, and error rates increase when it goes higher or lower.
So this summer, stay hydrated and healthy.
About Valiant Clinic
Launched in 2016, Valiant Clinic is a premium, integrated, multi-specialty clinic that uses advanced, innovative technologies delivered by a western team of physicians. With a proactive and integrated approach to healthcare, Valiant Clinic aims to build and maintain a healthier population across the emirate and the region.
Located in City Walk, Dubai, Valiant Clinic is affiliated with Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services, the international subsidiary of the world-renowned Houston Methodist Hospital based in Houston, Texas, USA. The clinic marks Meraas’ entry into the healthcare field and stems from Meraas’ efforts to support the Dubai healthcare sector in fulfilling the UAE Vision 2021 and to provide unique experiences that enriches peoples’ lives.