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Creating Waves of Awareness

It is summer season in India and other neighboring countries. In this weather, increasing heat and humidity are uncomfortable for most of the people, but for those with abnormal heart conditions, they can be dangerous - even deadly. Our heart and bodies are designed to maintain a steady temperature. In summers the body tries to cool itself through perspiration and dilation of the blood vessels. This results in increased heart rate and lower blood pressure that can cause problems for those with heart disease.


Dr. Harinder Singh Bedi, Head of Cardiovascular Endovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Christian Medical College & Hospital at Ludhiana (Panjab), says medicines taken by many patients with heart disease can also cause problems in extreme heat. During this weather, diuretics (water pills to reduce fluid retention in patients with heart failure and high blood pressure) may actually cause dehydration. However, patients should be warned against drinking large amounts of fluid - as recommended to the general public during heat spells - as this could add significant stress on heart and the cardiovascular system.




In fact individuals with heart disease should follow the same guidelines as healthy individuals, but with an extra helping of precaution. They should stay inside during the hottest part of the day. If the home isn't air-conditioned or air-cooled, they should try to find some place in the house that is the coolest e.g. the basement. Outdoor activities should be minimized. One should wear loose-fitting, light cotton clothing, stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Have someone around who can take care of you.









Commonest danger signs of heat stress are: Heavy sweating, Muscle cramps, Weakness, Dizziness, Headaches & Fainting. Anyone with heart problems or high blood pressure experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and cool down by taking a cold shower immediately.


The best precaution to avoid heat stress is to keep as cool as possible. Air conditioning can provide lifesaving relief from heat stress, especially if you have heart disease.

If you don't have air conditioning, spend as much time as possible in cool shopping malls, senior citizen centers, libraries, movie theaters, or in the coolest room in your home.

Narrating about his experience, Dr.Bedi says “While working in Sydney I noticed the Australian campaign of - Slip-Slop-Slap {Slip on a full sleeved loose shirt, Slop on some sunscreen (to protect from skin cancer) and slap on a hat} - this is a very sensible one and useful for heart patients too.”


Your body needs more water in hot weather don't wait until you are thirsty to have water. If you have heart disease check with your doctor for advice on how much water you should drink.

Homeopathic remedies can be of great help in conditions of heat stress and the prescription invariably depends on presenting symptoms of the suffering individual.



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Comment by Kuldip Singh on July 6, 2012 at 9:58am

Thanks Dr. Sajjad.

Comment by sajjadakram on July 6, 2012 at 4:10am

Valuable information and perfect reply.
Thanks Kuldip.

Comment by Kuldip Singh on July 3, 2012 at 11:13am

The individual’s requirement of salt in summer depends upon his water intake, perspiration and condition of heat & humidity around him. His thirst symptom is another factor to taken into consideration. Those suffering from hypertension should adjust their salt intake corresponding to their systolic & diastolic readings as well. Thanks for your comments.


Comment by Debby Bruck on July 2, 2012 at 3:32pm

Dear Dr Kuldip Singh ~ One of the questions I did not get a chance to ask during our Summer Heat and Stress show concerned the amount of SALT intake we should have besides water intake? 

Does this depend upon each individual person, how thirsty they feel, how much exertion and how much perspiration? Any other factors to consider?

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