By, Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director Jiva Ayurveda
The coming of summers gives rise to various infections and diseases that are dangerous for health and even life threatening. Sun stroke is one of such medical condition that is common these days.
Sun Stroke or Heat Stroke, known as “Loo” in Hindi, is a severe medical condition, a medical emergency, when the body's temperature rises extremely high as a result of excessive heat exposure. The body loses its ability to bring down the temperature resulting in overheating of the body system. Sunstroke can be preceded by heat exhaustion, when excess loss of fluids and salt in sweat results in noticeable weakness. Heat exhaustion becomes sunstroke when your body can no longer maintain a normal body temperature. It may be accompanied by heat cramps: sudden painful muscle spasms in the arms or legs, and sometimes the abdomen.
There are three levels of heat emergencies - heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with heat stroke being the most severe and life-threatening.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke:
Sunstroke (heatstroke) is an acute, life-threatening condition in which the body's heat-regulating system fails, due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, excessive production of heat or commonly a combination of the two. Here are some tell-tale signs and symptoms of sun stroke:
- Throbbing headache
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
- Red, hot, and dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
Fatigue, headache and dizziness, decreased perspiration or no sweat, fast pulse rate, difficulty in breathing, confusion and loss of consciousness are some other symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Dry skin is also common due to dehydration.
Causes of Stroke:
The main cause of heat stroke is high atmospheric temperature leading to dehydration. Due to excess sweating during the summer season, there is a loss of water from the body which may lead to heat exhaustion. If this condition is not checked, it leads to heat stroke which is a more severe condition. Other common causes of heat stroke are drinking alcohol, wearing excessive clothing, sweat gland dysfunction and some cardiovascular disease.
Ayurveda helpful for stroke:
As per Ayurveda stroke is also known as pakshghat. Ayurvedic texts generally attribute such condition to a block in the movement ofvatadosha. In Ayurveda, heat exhaustion is known as aanshughatajwara and heat stroke is known as aanshughatasannipata. Both these diseases are mostly seen in tropical regions. Heat stroke generally occurs when the temperature of the body rises above normal temperature. These diseases are generally seen during the summer season when the temperature rises.
- A juice made of green mango pulp and ripe tamarind should be given to the patient. Mango and tamarind are considered to be very good and effective for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Also, green coconut water is a very good medication in such a condition. This can be taken as much as possible without any harm during summer.
- Roasted raw mango is also an effective remedy for the treatment of heat stroke.
- In such cases, patient should get rid of tight clothes and excess clothing. The patient’s body must be wrapped in a sheet soaked in ice water if the temperature rises.
- Plenty of water and liquid foods like juices, glucose water and electrolytes should be taken regularly.
- Onions are good in guardingagainst heat strokes. Extract the juice of onion and apply behind your ears. Roast an onion in open pan and add some sugar and cumin seeds to onion. Consume this mixture to prevent from excessive heat. Onions taken in any form will guard you against heat stroke.
- Plums are also a good remedy for excessive heat. Soak some plums in cold water, mash them in the soaked water. The mixture should be drained and the water must be consumed.
- Coriander juice or coriander in any form should be taken in summers. Also chutney prepared from coriander and mint leaves is very effective in keeping the body cool.
- Juice of basil leaves also acts as a natural sunscreen and guards the skin from excessive heat.
- Butter milk is also considered as one of the best remedy to reduce the increasing heat in the body.
Diet and other regimen
- Ensure that water is taken at frequent intervals during summer. A little salt may be added to maintain the balance of salts in the body. Apart from plain water, other cooling liquids such as aampanna and shikanjishould be taken during summers.
- Eat a light and easily digestible diet is also important. Avoid fried and junk foods. Not to mention, one should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun in summer. Doing Shitli Pranayama is very effective in keeping the body cool in summer. Eat fruits and salads such as melons, cucumber, kakri and other to maintain coolness in the body.