When the dog days of summer arrive, it’s important to protect not only against sunburn, but heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Overexposure to the sun and excessive heat causes loss of fluids leading to dehydration, low electrolytes and an increase in body temperature. This is caused not only by high atmospheric temperatures but by over-exposure to the sun, or performing manual work during high temperatures and high humidity. Certain illnesses can make an individual more prone to heat exhaustion as well as drinking alcohol. Young children and the elderly are most at risk, but anyone can suffer, so caution is advised.
Heat cramps: Excessive loss of fluids from sweating on very hot days can cause heat cramps due to a deficiency in electrolytes. The individual is not dehydrated. Drinking a cool drink with added electrolytes or green coconut juice will speed recovery.
Heat exhaustion: Loss of fluids and electrolytes can also produce a condition where there is nausea, dizziness, weakness, cramps, headache and fainting. In the instance of heat exhaustion, the person will be dehydrated. Replacing bodily fluids and having the person lay down in a cool room helps with recovery.
Heat stroke: When the body is unable to control its temperature after lengthy exposure to heat and the sun, sometimes a fatal condition known as heat stroke occurs. An early sign is the lack of sweating. The body temperature may rise to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and there will also be dehydration and a loss of electrolytes. Seizures, severe headache, confusion and rapid breathing are also evident. This is an emergency situation and generally calls for immediate medical attention.
Homeopathic treatment for the various stages of heat and sun exposure are often helpful in stabilizing an individual and overcoming mild overheating. If an individual is suffering from heat stroke, treat with the appropriate remedy en route to your healthcare practitioner or hospital.
Belladona: Agonizing, sudden, shooting headache with throbbing making the individual scream in pain. Bright red face, dilated pupils, glassy-eyed, fixed stare with no expression, no thirst but has a dry mouth.
Bryonia: Severe headache made worse by the slightest motion. The individual is extremely thirsty for large amounts of cold water.
Aconite: Faint and dizzy with headache after prolonged, direct exposure to the sun. Individual may say he feels like he is dying, be anxious and restless.
Carbo Veg: Collapse from excess heat with clamminess of the skin and stomach complaints. The individual wants to be fanned and needs to feel moving air.
Glonoinum: First remedy for sun stroke. Agonizing congestive headache after exposure to sun and heat. Hot face and cold extremities, irritability and confusion. Pounding pain, compare to Belladona.
Gelsemium: Drowsiness, headache in back of head, no thirst, weakness, comatose and useful for sun stroke.
Lachesis: Excellent for treating headaches from sun exposure especially if they are worse on the left side. Individual feels worse after waking from sleep, feels faint and dizzy.
Natrum Carb: Debilitated as a result of heat exposure. Is chronically affected by heat and sun stroke. Headache is worse from the slightest mental effort.
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