#Placehotb! If you’re an active social media user, I’m sure you’ve seen this trending hashtag. This summer is undoubtedly one of the hottest summers that Jamaica has ever experienced. According to the MET Office, Jamaica recorded its highest temperatures which were “equivalent to just over 39.1oC or 102oF” on June 22, 2019. Not only is this heat uncomfortable; it is also dangerous, as it can seriously affect people’s health, mental wellness, and cognitive being.
Increased body temperature can cause heavy sweating, dehydration, tiredness, headache, dizziness, nausea, cramps and a quick, weak pulse. Heat causes the brain to lag, therefore we perform more slowly and more inaccurately on cognitive tests. Extreme heat may also cause a person to suffer from a heat stroke which can be a fatal medical emergency. In order to avoid the consequences of heat; it is important to stay hydrated.
Dehydration and Symptoms
Dehydration happens when your body does not have as much water as it needs. Depending on the amount of fluid missing, dehydration can range between mild, moderate and severe. When you spend time outside in hot weather, you probably start to feel thirsty in a short time. That is a normal response and one you should pay close attention to. It simply means your body needs more water to deal with the heat. Without enough water, the body is unable to function properly. It is normal to lose bodily fluids every day however, this increases during summertime.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Muscle cramps
- Confusion or irritability
- Little or no urine
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
Your body is made up of approximately 65 percent of water, most of which is located in your cells. Researchers and doctors encourage proper hydration during the summer months. Hydration is vital for optimal health, however, many people do not realize its importance, especially during hot temperatures.
Benefits of Hydration
Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. Staying hydrated doesn’t just improve your brain though. Listed below is a list of ways in which water is important to your body’s health:
- prevents dry mouth
- promotes cardiovascular health
- keeps your body cool
- helps muscles and joints work better
- keeps skin supple
- helps cleanse your body – inside and out
- improves digestion
Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in our body. It is our duty to ensure we are kept hydrated.
Information retrieved from: