From nosebleeds to swollen feet, seven weird ways your body reacts to hot weather

After days of warnings from Met Eireann, we have braced ourselves for temperatures to soar above the 30C mark.

But now that the heat is here, are you experiencing symptoms you weren’t expecting? When the mercury rises well above its usual level, you can discover some unusual physical effects.

We asked health experts to talk to us about some of the issues you might encounter during a heatwave and how to deal with them…

1. Nosebleeds

“It’s really common for nosebleeds to occur during a heat wave,” says Dr. Ross Perry, General Practitioner and Medical Director of Cosmedics.

“Dry air irritates and dries out the nasal lining, causing crusts in the nasal passages which can be itchy, especially at night, and then bleed when you scratch, causing further irritation and potential nosebleeds.”

They can be more common in the elderly, pregnant women and children, he warns: “If nosebleeds are becoming all too common, it’s best to seek the advice of your GP, who can rule out everything else.”

What to do if you have a nosebleed Perry advises: “Sit or stand up straight and pinch your nose just above your nostrils for about 10 minutes. Try leaning forward and breathing through your mouth. An ice pack placed on the bridge of the nose also helps.”

2. Shortness of breath

When you can’t beat the heat, you naturally sweat more and dehydration can have certain side effects.

“This can dry out the nasal passages, bronchi, and lungs and leave us breathless,” Perry explains. “Also consider that hot air contains more water vapor than cool air, resulting in less oxygen and higher humidity.”

He recommends being careful when exercising, drinking enough fluids and at least avoiding the midday heat: “More caution is required if you have breathing problems such as asthma. If the shortness of breath persists, make an appointment with your GP to rule out any underlying problems.”

3. Itchy rash

“Your skin can react to the sun, which is known as polymorphous light rash,” says Scott McDougall, co-founder and registered manager of The Independent Pharmacy, resulting in a red rash that presents as a dense cluster of tiny inflamed bumps. or a large raised spot.

“The rash typically appears 30 minutes after sun exposure and can last up to two weeks. Episodes are most likely to occur after a long period of little or no exposure to sunlight. Therefore, you should experience fewer symptoms as the summer progresses.”

It’s important not to scratch the rash to avoid scarring, McDougall advises: “To relieve itching, get out of the sun and blot the affected area with a cool, damp cloth. against antihistamines such as Piriton tablets or syrup if you are struggling with the tablet form.”

4. Stomach upset

A whole host of abdominal discomfort can be caused by hot weather.

“Stomach and gut infections can be common, and people suffering from IBS may also find that the heat wave makes symptoms worse.

“First, diarrhea could be a sign of heat exhaustion, which can be incredibly dangerous,” says Perry. “Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and if you have other symptoms of being unwell – including dizziness and confusion – you need to talk to your doctor.”

Dehydration can also cause an IBS flare-up: “If we lose electrolytes like sodium and potassium, it’s likely to have a greater impact on IBS sufferers and make symptoms worse.”

Finally, be careful about how you store and reheat high-risk foods: “Eating leftovers from the grill in hot weather can also cause stomach problems if the food has been left out for a long time or not cooked properly. “

5. Bad breath

“Halitosis is one of the little-known side effects of not drinking enough water when it’s hot outside,” explains McDougall. “When you’re dehydrated, your mouth becomes parched and can’t produce enough saliva to wash away food particles. There isn’t enough water or acid to neutralize the cells growing on your tongue.”

Also, when you drink things like soda to cool off, you’re feeding the bacteria in your mouth a lot of sugar, which can contribute to the formation of smelly plaque.

But the solution is simple, says McDougall: “The best way to avoid bad breath during a heat wave is to drink plenty of water.”

6. Fungal infections

“Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can get worse during a heat wave due to the increased heat and humidity,” says Perry, which is why it’s important to choose cotton or breathable socks and change them regularly.

“Better yet, wear sandals,” he continues. “And make sure your feet aren’t neglected when you shower or bathe — exfoliating your feet is also a great way to get rid of dead, flaky skin.” If you suffer from it, go to your local pharmacy where you will be able to find a treatment to help.”

7. Swollen hands and feet

Have you noticed that your shoes feel a little tight today?

“It’s not uncommon for fingers, toes, hands, and feet to swell in hot weather,” says Perry. It’s called “heat edema” and is caused by either internal or external exposure to heat. Generally not considered dangerous, it indicates an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes.

“You can reduce symptoms by making sure you’re hydrated and sitting in a cool place, which lowers your body temperature,” says Perry. “However, if this is becoming more common and you are not exposed to heat, then it is best to seek advice from your GP.” From nosebleeds to swollen feet, seven weird ways your body reacts to hot weather

Fry Electronics Team

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