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DNA India
07 April 2010
By Soumita Majumdar
Bangalore, India

The heat is on, and it’s going to get hotter. But the comfort of the air–conditioner alone will not help beat the heat–related blues. Doctors say it is also important to consume at least three litres of water every day.

“Less consumption of water can cause not only dehydration and sun stroke, it can also result in heat–related problems like dry skin and heat boils and even kidney and ureter stones,” Dr Rajiv Moger, consultant, general medicines, Apollo Hospital, said.

A large percentage of Bangaloreans work out of air–conditioned (AC) offices, drive AC vehicles and some even stay in AC homes. An air–conditioned atmosphere does not make them sweat or feel thirst. Hence, most people meet only half the fluid requirement of the body in hot conditions, doctors said.As a result, incidence of kidney–related problems increased by 5% to 10% during summer. Other problems like dehydration, nausea, giddiness, dry skin and heat boils were also being increasingly seen in hospitals, said doctors.

Doctors said the body required at least 2.5–3 litres of liquid to remain cool and unaffected by heat.

“During summers, weget about 50 cases of dehydration due to heat on an average every month,” Dr Somnath Mitra, consultant physician, Manipal Hospital, said. “In most cases, it is because the affected person has not had adequate water. Two litres of liquid everyday is usually fine, but during summer, especially when the temperature rises to more than 35 degree Celsius, at least three litres of water should be had,” he said.

Exposure to sun over a considerable period of time every day coupled with minimum intake of water for a few weeks could lead to pre–renal failure, Dr Aravind Jagadeesh, consultant, general medicines, BGS Global Hospital, said. “If this condition is neglected, it can lead to acute renal failure,” he said.

The fluid intake need not necessarily be in the form of plain water. “It can be consumed in any form including tea, fruit juice, soup,” Dr Moger said.

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