Beyond Heatwave: Exploring Health Benefits Of Controlled Heat Exposure

Beyond Heatwave: Exploring Health Benefits Of Controlled Heat Exposure

Beyond Heatwave: Exploring Health Benefits Of Controlled Heat Exposure

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Heatwaves unleash health crisis: hospitals expand capacity to tackle seasonal surge.

28 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

As the scorching summer heat grips several parts of northern India, hospitals are witnessing a surge in patients reporting heat-related illnesses. Stomach aches, muscle cramps, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea and other infections are sending individuals rushing to outpatient departments (OPDs) for medical assistance.

While heat-related ailments are an annual occurrence, the intensity of heatwaves is exacerbating these health issues, with newer symptoms emerging. Emergency rooms are bracing for an influx of patients collapsing due to heat stroke or dehydration, prompting hospitals to add beds in anticipation of the seasonal surge.

However, amidst the negative effects of extreme heat, there’s a lesser-known aspect: controlled exposure to high temperatures may offer certain health benefits. Research suggests that within a specific temperature range, individuals can build immunity, reduce cell damage and alleviate inflammation through heat exposure.

According to healthcare professionals, extreme temperatures trigger the production of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) and Cold Shock Proteins (CSP) in the body. These proteins play a crucial role in boosting the immune system, promoting cell regeneration and reducing stress, thus protecting against various diseases.

A doctor highlights the positive impact of shock proteins on cognitive abilities and their potential to slow the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Moreover, short, supervised exposure to extreme heat, such as in saunas or heat waves, can enhance cardiovascular function, aid in weight management, and improve metabolic health.

A Consultant in Internal Medicine at Faridabad, emphasizes the role of shock proteins as molecular chaperones, assisting in repairing damaged proteins and maintaining cellular homeostasis.