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Chaleurs et canicules, comment éviter les symptômes de la déshydratation cet été ?

Heat and heat waves, how to avoid the symptoms of dehydration this summer?

Strong heat and heat waves , how to maintain a good level of hydration?

In France, summer often rhymes with high temperatures or heat waves. During these climatic periods, the human body is subjected to difficult conditions. Indeed, during hot weather, we observe a rise in body temperature, but we are homeothermic, that is to say that our body temperature is constant, between 36.1°C and 37.8°C, at beyond that we speak of hyperthermia and below that of hypothermia. Therefore, this can be dangerous for the proper functioning of our body and then comes into play thermoregulation which corresponds to a set of mechanisms allowing the human body to remain within normal temperature values.

In this article, we will see how thermoregulation acts during high temperatures that can cause dehydration. Then we will see by what means it is possible to prevent this dehydration and how to maintain a good level of hydration .

How does heat affect our body?

First of all, the heat will come to increase the body temperature, as said previously, and thus the thermoregulation will intervene. It corresponds to all the mechanisms allowing the body to keep a constant temperature around 37°C ideally.

During hyperthermia, there will be vasodilatation (dilation of vessels) in the skin allowing heat loss by convection and radiation but also by sweating. Sweating or sweating is a physiological mechanism that is exacerbated when there is a need to lower body temperature.

Sweat is produced by the sweat glands and is composed of 99% water but also electrolytes (or mineral salts) such as sodium chloride or NaCl, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron or even copper. Thus, there is a significant loss of these compounds during the fight against the heat and can cause dehydration if these losses are not compensated by sufficient intake.

It is possible that this does not manage to lower the temperature sufficiently, this is where the heat stroke appears. It is manifested by hyperthermia (or fever) greater than or equal to 40°C. The symptoms are headaches (headaches), dizziness, feeling of intense heat, red skin, behavioral problems such as drowsiness or aggressiveness, fatigue, intense thirst, nausea, vomiting and can even lead to coma.

Heat, associated with dehydration, also has effects on the digestive tract by causing dysregulation on the latter and which can manifest as diarrhea and/or vomiting.

All of these effects lead to a consequent loss of water and electrolytes causing dehydration. The most vulnerable people during these episodes of high temperatures are the elderly or fragile, children, infants or athletes.

To know if you are in a state of dehydration, it is essential to know how to recognize the symptoms which are:

  • the thirst,

  • dry lips,

  • weight loss

  • abnormal fatigue or loss of strength.

In case of severe dehydration, there is a dry mouth, tongue and skin, fever, concentrated urine and in small quantities, …

If the symptoms persist or if you show signs of severe dehydration, this can have harmful consequences on the functioning of the organism, you must then call your doctor or 15.

How to prevent dehydration during episodes of high heat?

To avoid dehydration, you must first fight against the heat in order to avoid a rise in body temperature. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • stay in a cool place

  • avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

  • prevent the sun's rays from entering your home by closing windows, shutters and blinds

  • ventilate at night to cool the accommodation, except in the event of a heat wave

  • use an air conditioner, fogger and/or fan to cool down

  • use heat-producing appliances such as the oven to a minimum

  • cool off with a lukewarm or cold shower

  • prohibit all sporting activities that increase body temperature

  • wear light, loose clothing to limit perspiration

Diet also plays a role in hydration. Indeed, it is necessary to favor cold dishes as well as fruits and vegetables rich in water such as melon, cucumber, watermelon or tomato.

Finally, hydration is an element to maintain a sufficient level of hydration and prevent dehydration. It is therefore necessary to drink a lot and not wait for the feeling of thirst because it is already a sign of dehydration. It is also necessary to supplement the loss of electrolytes in addition to the loss of water to avoid deficiencies in certain minerals.

Hydratis pellets are therefore the solution to prevent dehydration and losses. They are composed of magnesium, potassium, chloride, manganese, zinc, NaCl (or salt) and thus allow a better absorption of water by the body while filling the losses in electrolytes. There is also a special senior range which comes in the form of sachets.

In conclusion , during episodes of high heat and heat waves, it is essential to maintain a good level of hydration in order to avoid dehydration. For this, it is necessary to fight against the heat in order to avoid a rise in body temperature but it is hydration which is essential to compensate for the losses of water and electrolytes.