Heat wave

Doctors say people with severe dehydration are susceptible to rare heat-related neurological compilations like cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

New Delhi: Even as temperatures across the country are rising, heat wave conditions are prevalent, causing scorching temperatures and unbearable heat. Health experts say heat stroke causes dehydration – a common heat-related disease that can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Doctors say excessive dehydration can also cause blood clots in the brain, even as many hospitals in Mumbai have already received about eight to 10 patients with such dangerous health conditions.

What is dehydration and what causes it?

According to John Hopkins Medicine, dehydration means loss of water in the body. This condition is also a side-effect of diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever, and most children and people over the age of 60 are susceptible to it.

Under normal conditions, we all lose body water daily through sweat, tears, breathing, urine, and stool. In a healthy person, this water is replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. But when you become sick with fever, diarrhoea, or vomiting, dehydration happens.

Dehydration is caused when the body loses water content and essential body salts, such as sodium and potassium. Symptoms of dehydration include:

The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Thirst
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Dryness on skin
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks

How does dehydration cause blood clots?

Doctors say people with severe dehydration are susceptible to rare heat-related neurological compilations like cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or venous blood clots of the major veins in the brain.

According to studies1, dehydration increases the concentration of red blood cells, which causes aggregation of red blood cells and platelets, forming clots. Doctors say even though blood clots go away before they can cause permanent brain damage, many times they can cause a stroke, leading to brain hemorrhage.

Blood carries oxygen and other important nutrients to the brain. The brain needs oxygen to survive. When veins are blocked, the pressure in the veins backs up, making it harder for blood to flow freely to brain tissue.

If a part of the brain does not receive oxygen from the blood for a certain period of time, the tissue in that part of the brain will become damaged or die.

Other possible reasons that cause or trigger conditions leading to cerebral venous sinus thrombosis include:

  • Heart disease
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Serious infections
  • Ear infection
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Immune system diseases including inflammatory bowel disease
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Accidents involving the head and neck region
  • Birth control pills in teenage girls

Ways to prevent dehydration in summer

Here are some simple ways to keep dehydration at bay:

  • Whenever you feel thirsty, drink water
  • Increase your water intake after exercise and workouts
  • Bring in extra electrolytes
  • Drink more water when you are sick
  • Eat foods with high amounts of water like fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid or limit drinks with caffeine like coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
  • Avoid or limit drinks with alcohol.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

Source link