Embracing the Heat: Unlocking Health Benefits of Heat Therapy

Embracing the Heat: Unlocking Health Benefits of Heat Therapy

Embracing the Heat: Unlocking Health Benefits of Heat Therapy

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Hospitals Brace for Heatwave Fallout: Surge in Patients Spurs Capacity Expansion

As soaring temperatures grip various regions of northern India, hospitals grapple with a surge in patients seeking relief from heat-related illnesses. Cases of stomach discomfort, muscle cramps, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and infections are flooding outpatient departments (OPDs) as individuals seek medical attention amid the sweltering heat.

While the annual onslaught of heat-related ailments is not new, the severity of heatwaves is amplifying these health concerns, with new symptoms emerging. Emergency departments are preparing for an influx of patients succumbing to heat stroke or dehydration, prompting hospitals to increase bed capacity in anticipation of the seasonal onslaught.

However, amidst the negative repercussions of extreme heat, there’s a lesser-known aspect: controlled exposure to high temperatures may confer certain health advantages. Studies indicate that within a specific temperature range, individuals can bolster immunity, mitigate cell damage, and alleviate inflammation through heat exposure.

According to medical experts like Dr. Mohsin Wali, Senior Consultant at the Department of Internal Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, extreme temperatures trigger the production of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) and Cold Shock Proteins (CSP) in the body. These proteins play a pivotal role in enhancing the immune system, fostering cell regeneration, and mitigating stress, thereby safeguarding against various ailments.

Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Chairman at the Institute of Mental Health, Moolchand Hospital, underscores the positive influence of shock proteins on cognitive function and their potential to retard the progression of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Moreover, brief, supervised exposure to extreme heat, such as in saunas or during heatwaves, can bolster cardiovascular health, aid in weight management, and enhance metabolic well-being.

Dr. Anurag Aggarwal, Consultant in Internal Medicine at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, highlights the role of shock proteins as molecular chaperones, facilitating the repair of damaged proteins and upkeep of cellular equilibrium.