Common Summer Diseases

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Summer

Summer is the hottest of all the seasons. It is the season that most tropical countries are petrified of while this is also the season that the cool countries are euphoric about.

Even after the sun has set for the night, the temperature might remain warm during summers. Days grow warm, heated and extremely lengthy at this time of year, while the nights are the shortest.

Common diseases of Summer

Common diseases of Summer

Summer usually commences in March and extends till June in countries like India. A slew of diseases tags along with the rising temperature that could harm an individual besides the oppressive heat.

Heat affects the entire body, including the skin, eyes and digestive system. If precautions are not taken, the blazing heat and persistent dryness can lead to frequent summer ailments.

Some common diseases of Summer are:

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a frequent summer illness caused by extended exposure to hot temperatures. It is also known as hyperthermia owing to the high temperatures.

Heat exhaustion symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and weakness precede Heat Stroke, and it leads to organ failure, unconsciousness and death.

Heat stroke can be treated by cooling the body from the outside with the aid of ice packs, water or cold air. Internal cooling can also be achieved by flushing the stomach or rectum with cold water.

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning is one of the most prevalent summer diseases and is caused because of consuming contaminated foods.

Food poisoning is more likely during the hot summer months because the warm, humid weather creates an ideal setting for bacterial growth, which can lead to food contamination.

It is spread by bacteria, viruses, chemicals and toxins that induce stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea after entering the human body.

Disease-causing bacteria are commonly found in raw meat, contaminated water and food served in the open by roadside vendors.

Sore Eyes

An uncomfortable sensation in or around one or both eyes is known as sore eyes. The eyes can turn gritty, sore or weary.

Conjunctivitis, often known as sore eyes, is a viral infection that affects the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid. With a stinging sensation, the eyes turn red and watery.

Sore eyes can be kept at bay by,

  • Using Sunglasses
  • Refraining from touching the eyes
  • Minimising sharing eye products
  • Protecting eyes during sports

Summer Depression

Summer does not imply that everyone will have a good time in the sun.

The arrival of summer causes some people to feel ill. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, is the name for this ailment. It’s been mentioned as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with seasonal patterns in recent years.

There is no research on the cause of the Summer Depression, but the longer days, as well as rising heat and humidity, could be contributing factors.

Summer depression is characterised by a loss of appetite, weight loss, difficulty sleeping and worry.

Getting professional help, having adequate sleep, maintaining exercise patterns, protecting oneself and not overdoing diet and fitness can ease coping with Summer Depression.

Dehydration

One of the common summer illnesses is Dehydration. Dehydration is caused by hot and humid conditions for a variety of causes. During the summer, we lose a lot of water and salts through sweat without even realising it.

When the amount of water leaving the body exceeds the amount being taken in, it results in dehydration. This must be replenished for the body to function normally.

Dry mouth and tongue, extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, intolerance towards heat, dark urine and excessive thirst are signs of dehydration.

Drinking water and other fluids before being thirsty is the best approach to avoid dehydration. Thirst is a late indicator of dehydration and should not be ignored.

Abstaining from performing strenuous activity in the sun, restricting high salt and high protein diet and keeping diarrhoea and vomiting in check will prevent adverse effects of dehydration.

Headache

Headaches appear to be more common during the summer months when temperatures are higher. A heat-induced headache is produced by the way your body reacts to heat, not by the heat itself.

Mild dehydration can produce headaches at any time of year, but in the summer, hot temperatures and profuse perspiration can exacerbate the problem.

The following are examples of weather-related headache and migraine triggers:

  • Excessive humidity
  • Sun glare
  • Abrupt drops in atmospheric pressure  
  • Intense light

Limiting sun exposure and staying indoors in addition to adequate hydration can help prevent summer headaches.

Mumps

Mumps is a very contagious viral infection. When an infected individual coughs or sneezes into the air, it can spread to others. It is known to affect primarily children throughout the summer months.

The parotid gland in front of the ears is affected, resulting in significant swelling, fever and discomfort.

A short term, as well as long term analysis, revealed that the incidence of mumps was higher during the summer months and was connected positively with higher vapour pressure and mean temperature.

Ample rest, hot or cold compressions for the pain and adequate hydration are the best ways to treat mumps while vaccination is the best prevention method for mumps.

Asthma Attack

Typically, asthma symptoms are thought to be worse in the winter. Summer heat, on the other hand, might aggravate asthma symptoms in some people.

The causes are unknown, however, there are two possibilities:

  • When a person breaths hot air, the airways shrink, causing coughing and shortness of breath.
  • When the weather is hot in the summer, there are generally more pollutants and pollens in the air, which triggers the asthma attack.

Wheezing and shortness of breath are considered to be common symptoms of asthma. Using inhalers, oral antihistamines and nasal decongestant sprays can help manage summer asthma.

Chickenpox

Summer is peak chickenpox season when the extremely contagious virus causes unpleasant skin blisters in some people and can be fatal in others.

Itchy skin, scabs, redness, blisters, loss of appetite, high-grade fever and headache are frequent symptoms of chickenpox.

Mostly, treatment is focused on alleviating symptoms until the condition resolves on its own. Keeping the body cool helps in reducing the itchiness caused.

Over-the-counter creams, medications and pills are other treatment options for chickenpox apart from vaccination.

Cough and cold

Summer colds and allergies share symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose and an itchy or sore throat, but a cold typically includes fever, sweating and coughing.

If the symptoms go away after a few weeks, it is presumably a summer cold that has passed. Allergy symptoms, on the other hand, tend to last longer and are more persistent.

Cold symptoms usually start mild, get worse over time, and then go back to being mild. The body’s immune system determines the duration of the cold.

Staying hydrated, keeping the hands clean and restricting sun exposure can help prevent and treat summer cold.

Sunburn

Sunburn is produced by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiations damaging the skin cells.

Overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays can cause severe skin rashes. 

Minimising sun exposure, frequent cold showers, applying sunscreen, using pain killers and drinking more water are a few ways to relieve the irritation.

Measles

Measles, a contagious respiratory infection, is caused by a virus. High fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough and red eyes are among the first signs.

Measles symptoms include a rash, cough, runny nose, fever and little white spots in the mouth. In most cases, the rashes appear around the hairline and on the face.

There isn’t any particular treatment for measles, but the symptoms can be managed by drinking plenty of fluids and taking medications to reduce pain, fever and cold. There is also an MMR vaccine to protect against Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

Flu

Summer flu or flu as it is more generally known, is a highly contagious respiratory disease.

It’s produced by the influenza virus, which causes seasonal respiratory ailment outbreaks in most nations. Regardless of the virus’s seasonality, people are more likely to develop flu symptoms in the summer.

Fever, cough, sneezes, headache, body aches, running nose, sore throat and fatigue are frequently noticed symptoms of flu.

Enough rest is recommended for patients with flu to recover faster. Doctors, on the other hand, can prescribe antiviral drugs to help with summer flu symptoms.

Water-borne diseases

In the summer, waterborne infections are commonly present, but they are also easily prevented. 

Typical summer illnesses include diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, mosquito-borne diseases, typhoid and cholera, all of which are water-borne illnesses. 

Most of these diseases can be prevented with proper hygienic practices. Plain drinking water can be replaced with hot water to kill pathogens before consumption.

Infections

Mosquito-borne and tick-borne infections, Amebic Meningoencephalitis and summer viruses are known infections that occur in summer.

Many illnesses are transferred by other sick people via feces-oral and respiratory pathways. Hand washing and avoiding sharing food or beverages with others, particularly with the infected, can significantly lower the chances of becoming ill.

Preventing and Managing Summer Diseases

  • Strenuous exertion can be avoided while travelling or participating in outdoor activities. Seek out some shade and take a break.
  • Light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes can be preferred since they absorb less heat and loose clothes may prevent sweating. Materials like cotton can be used as they are light and the material is an absorbent.
  • Sunburns from the sun can be treated with cold packs and pain medicines for relief.
  • When handling food, hands must be washed thoroughly and normal hygienic guidelines must be followed.
  • Uncooked food, street food and eating outside can be avoided. Watermelon, sugarcane, cucumber and mangoes are examples of fresh fruits and vegetables to consume as an alternative to junk foods.
  • Windows can be kept closed during hot hours of the day, such as the afternoon, to prevent heat from being trapped inside.
  • Hands must be cleaned promptly to avoid irritated eyes and the transmission of infection and eyes can be lubricated with clean water to relieve soreness.
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination protects against infectious diseases. It is recommended for children to get vaccinated at the earliest to prevent getting infected.
  • Mosquito repellents can be used and staying away from mosquito breeding areas will prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

Summer Health Tips

It is crucial to use extra caution while temperatures are fluctuating and it is critical to take adequate measures to stay healthy to prevent the rigorous effects of summer.

Sun Protection

The summer sun can be severe, resulting in a variety of dermatological problems. Sunscreen is a must while stepping out of the house to keep the skin healthy and prevent sunburns.

Medically advised sunscreen with high SPF should be used. Depending on the skin type, sunscreen can be chosen ranging from SPF 15 to SPF 50 or more.

Doctor consultation is mandatory when there is irritation, inflammation or any skin-related pain as a result of sun exposure.

Drink plenty of water

The body must be kept hydrated by drinking plenty of water and increasing the intake of fluids like buttermilk, coconut water and lemon water.

Throughout the day, at least 10-12 glasses of water should be taken.

Drinks with a lot of sugar should be avoided because they can absorb more fluid in the body. Consumption of chilled beverages can be reduced to avoid stomach discomfort.

Stay cool

Staying cool is a necessity during summer, especially someone suffering from heat exhaustion should take a break, find a cool area to rest and drink plenty of water. When people are exercising, they should always have a water bottle with them.

The following can assist in staying cool and thereby lowering the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:

  • Putting on light garments
  • Using air conditioning
  • Preventing direct sunlight exposure
  • Avoiding large meals
  • Drinking plenty of water

Protect against bugs and insects

Allergies and infections can result from bites and stings.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following advice for avoiding insect stings:

  • Windows and doors must be kept closed.
  • Garbage should be thrown out as often as possible.
  • Wearing closed-toed shoes is advisable.
  • Excessive fragrance should be avoided.
  • Wearing dark hues or floral motifs that may attract wasps is not a good idea.

When a human is bitten by an insect, the stinger should be removed and the area washed with soap and water to prevent irritation, swelling and pain.

An ice pack, cold cloth or medication may help to alleviate any discomfort caused by an insect bite. Itching and swelling may be reduced by taking an antihistamine like Benadryl.

Heat and fire

When people are otherwise enjoying summer activities outdoors, both heat and fire might be risk considerations.

The following safety precautions can be implemented.

  • Barbecues should be kept away from anything that could catch fire.
  • Before turning on the gas, inspect the grill for leaks, dents or cracks and light the match.
  • Staying at least 500 feet away from fireworks displays for summer holidays.
  • If the car radiator overheats, remove the cap once the engine has completely cooled.
  • Have fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and blankets on hand at home as a precaution.

Non-alcoholic summer drinks

Surviving the warm summer days is a task and it required the grace of numerous tumblers of lemon water in the past.

Today, we are provided with a wide range of inventive food and drink alternatives that are both hydrated and entertaining to eat.

Fruit juices and milkshakes form a major part of the non-alcoholic summer drinks. Juices of watermelon, lemon, cucumber, pomegranate, mosambi and drinks like iced tea and cold coffee are great options for summer drinks.

Additional sugar can be avoided and natural fructose in the fruits can be relished to avoid excess water absorption in the body.

Summer natural health drinks and its benefits

The rising temperature can make a person feel exhausted and dehydrated. While water can help to stay hydrated, switching to nutritious drinks will help a person get the nutrients required to battle the heat!

This list of savoury and refreshing summer drink combinations can help during summer!

Sattu Sherbet

Sattu has a wonderful cooling effect on the body during the excessively hot summer months when temperatures can become unbearable. It’s not only energising, but also filling.

Generally made with roasted bengal grams that have been sieved and processed into fine flour. The flour is also used to prepare Sattu Sherbet.

Ingredients:

  • Chana Sattu – 2 tbsp  
  • Roasted Cumin powder – ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Mint leaves – 2 tsp (chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves
  • Chilled water

Method of Preparation:

  • In a jug, the ingredients are mixed and stirred well.
  • They are poured into cups and topped with ice cubes.
  • More mint leaves can be added as a garnish.

Benefits:

Sattu Sherbet is a delicious summer cooler that is high in nutrients, fibre and protein. It is also a good source of energy, helps in digestion, has a low glycemic index and is loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Aam Panna

Aam Panna is a typical summer drink that is widely regarded as one of the greatest! It will aid in keeping the body cool. It’s a pleasant beverage that’s also good for the skin.

Ingredients:

  • Raw mango pulp – 4 tbsp  
  • Roasted cumin seeds powder – 1 spoon
  • Black Salt – ¼ spoon
  • Jaggery for taste
  • Water and Ice cubes

Method of Preparation:

  • Raw mangoes are boiled until they soften.
  • The skin is removed and the pulp is taken with a spoon once it has cooled.
  • In a mixer, all of the ingredients are combined and blended thoroughly.
  • 2 cups of water is added.
  • The  panna is poured over the ice cubes in the glass.
  • Mint and coriander leaves can be used as a garnish.

Benefits:

Aam panna is rich in vitamin C, improves digestion, boosts immunity and protects against sunstroke.

Shikanji

Shikanji, also known as Shikanjbeen, is one of India’s most popular summer drinks. A refreshing summer drink that’s high in vitamin C. All of the spices in Shikanji add flavour and help with Vitamin C absorption.

Ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Roasted Cumin Seeds Powder – 1 spoon
  • Black pepper powder – ¼ spoon
  • Salt – ¼ spoon  
  • Mint leaves
  • Jaggery/Sugar to taste
  • Chilled water

Method of Preparation:

  • All the ingredients are blended, topped with ice cubes and garnished with mint leaves to get Shikanji.

Benefits:

Shikanji has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent sunstroke. It acts as an antioxidant and is a natural coolant. Shikanji also intercepts the loss of electrolytes while sweating.

Kokum sherbet

Garcinia Indica is the scientific name for Kokum. It’s a deliciously refreshing, revitalizing and hydrating beverage.

Ingredients:

  • Roasted ground cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Kokum – 2 cups
  • Black Salt – ½ teaspoon 
  • Jaggery – as required

Method of Preparation:

  • Dried Kokam is soaked in hot water until soft, about 15 minutes.
  • They are blended until smooth, then the puree is sifted to remove any seeds or hard objects.
  • 3 spoons of this puree is added to a glass filled with cold water.
  • Finally, cumin seed powder, black salt and jaggery are added and mixed.
  • Kokum sherbet is served with mint leaves and ice cubes.

Benefits:

Kokam acts as a natural coolant, removes pitta dosha as per Ayurveda, has good vitamin C and antioxidant properties, aids in digestion and helps in relieving skin rashes.

Jaljeera Water

Jaljeera is a delicious and cooling drink that is perfect for hot summer days. Jaljeera is a popular appetiser since it helps with digestion.

The name Jaljeera is derived from the words ‘Jal’ (water) and ‘Jeera’ (cumin).

Ingredients:

  • Cumin – 3 tablespoon
  • Black pepper – 5
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Salt – as required
  • Mint – 20 g
  • Lemon – 1
  • Ginger – 1 teaspoon (finely chopped)
  • Green chilli – 2

Method of Preparation:

  • The cumin seeds and black pepper are roasted until they turn brown and provide an aroma and are left to cool.
  • The roasted spice is placed in a blender jar and powdered.
  • A fine paste is made with mint leaves, ginger and green chilli, along with a little water.
  • 1 litre of cold water is poured into a jar or a big mixing bowl and mixed well.  
  • Now, the lemon juice, salt, asafoetida and black salt are added and mixed well.
  • The mixture is strained, placed in the refrigerator and served chill.

Benefits:

Jaljeera is a low-calorie drink that improves digestion, prevents gas formation, relieves the feeling of nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and giddiness. Cumin in jaljeera is a good source of iron, which helps anaemic patients.

Lassi

Lassi is a cool and refreshing drink that is enjoyed by a large number of people in India.

Ingredients:

  • Curd
  • Sugar
  • Cardamom

Method of Preparation:

Lassi is made by churning curd with sugar and thickening it to a cream consistency before adding other flavours. Whether it’s mango, rose syrup or kesar, lassi is delicious in nearly any flavour. Lassi comes in a variety of flavours, from salty to sweet and it’s finest served with dry fruits and rose petals.

Benefits:

Lassi improves digestion, prevents bloating, improves bone health, boosts the immune system and are good sources of probiotics.

Watermelon

Watermelons are considered the “summer’s blessing”. A huge, chilled wedge of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) on a hot day is the best gift one can offer themselves.

Watermelon is packed with vitamins and nutrients that flush out toxins and keep a person hydrated.

Watermelon can be consumed fresh or in the form of juice.

Vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C are abundant in every bite, as are the minerals calcium, magnesium and high amounts of potassium.

It also contains a lot of amino acids, antioxidants and phytonutrients like lycopene. Fully ripe watermelons contain a lot of lycopene, a phytonutrient that is good for the heart, skin and bones.

Sugarcane Juice

Summers appear to be slamming down on us, bringing with them ailments like heatstroke and dehydration. However, there is one summer drink that can help beat the heat and other illnesses in a flash – Sugarcane juice.

Ingredients:

  • Sugarcane – Medium-sized
  • Water – as required
  • Ice cubes

Method of Preparation:

  • Washed and peeled sugarcane is cut into small pieces.
  • Water is added and mixed well.
  • The mixture is strained well before adding ice cubes.
  • Natural sugar in sugarcane can be relished instead of adding table sugar.

Benefits:

Sugarcane juice is an energy booster, an antioxidant, helps fight cancer, beats dehydration, helps keep liver and kidney healthy and is a good food for diabetes.

Mango shake

Mango shake is a refreshing and delectable fruit drink that helps to cool the body down during the hot and humid summer months. It’s a quick and easy blend that’s smooth and frothy.

Ingredients:

  • Mango – 1
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – a pinch

Method of Preparation:

  • All the ingredients are added to a blender and mixed well.
  • It is then poured into a glass and served.

Benefits:

Mango shake has many important nutrients like vitamin A, iron, protein, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber.

Conclusion

Summer is a hot season where days are long and nights are short. The high temperature results in various diseases like heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration, food poisoning, headache, asthma, depression and infections.

Using sun protection, staying cool, hydrating oneself, protecting against insects and bugs and overcoming the heat with summer drinks can prevent adverse effects of summer.

FAQ’s

1.How can we stay healthy in summer? 

Eating small, frequent and light meals, drinking plenty of water, avoiding too much caffeine and staying indoors can help an individual stay healthy.

2. How can we overcome the summer season? 

Taking necessary precautions is the only way to overcome the summer season. Using sunscreen, wearing light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water can help beat the harsh effects of summer.

3. Which drink is good for health in summer? 

Best summer drinks are fruit juices and milkshakes as they have additional nutrients in them. Water, lassi, aam panna, sattu sherbet and kokum sherbet are few drinks that are good for health.

4.What measures are to be taken during the summer season? 

Staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, wearing comfortable clothes and eating regularly are a few measures to take during the summer season.

5. What is a summer hazard? 

Summer hazards are diseases caused during summer as a result of the scorching sun. These include heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps, sunburn, dehydration, fatigue and food poisoning.

6.How can you stay healthy during the summer season? 

Avoiding heavy meals, concentrating on eating fruits and vegetables, consuming adequate water and restricting caffeine intake are a few ways to stay healthy during summer.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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