Summer will soon be here. It’s that time of the year that brings up images of sunbathing in Florida or exploring the attractions on a European tour. And, as a physician, you have a major role in preparing your patients for summer. Though summer does not usually bring up health issues in people’s minds, you know there are things they need to be careful of. Give them some good wellness tips.
Fruits and Veggies, Nutritional Supplements and Lots and Lots of Water!
- Staying hydrated – drinking water and lots of it is doubly essential if people are keen on spending considerable time outdoors. Around four cups of water as soon as one wakes up each day and also when heading out for exercise or other activities would be ideal. Those planning to be out for long periods must carry water with them.
- Regular consumption of fresh fruits, salads and vegetable juices will help to maintain the protein content in the food. The menu needn’t be dry either – fish, chicken, cottage cheese, yoghurt; nuts, soy, etc are all rich in protein.
- Nutritional supplements can provide the additional nutrients. Antioxidants and vitamin C can offer protection from the by-products produced by the body while exercising. Vitamin B-complex enhances the production of cellular energy and also calms the nervous system.
- Green tea scores over regular tea in improving metabolism.
Sunbathing, with Aloe Vera
When summer comes most people like to sunbathe, finally free from the inhibiting and snowy cold weather. They need to protect their skin though since prolonged solar exposure could damage the skin, and they need to be reminded of that.
Aloe Vera is highly beneficial, it is a great coolant. The gel can be a great antidote for overexposure and soothing sunburns. Sunscreens can be used, but only those that do not have too many chemicals in them.
Preventing Summer Ailments
Now comes the most important part of summer, where the role of physicians directly comes into play – summer maladies. Your patients can reasonably prevent these conditions though, with the right precautions:
- People do not seriously worry about flu but it is one of the most common summer diseases. You just need to advise your patients about the things they need to avoid. The temptation to gulp down chilled soft drinks or water is great in summer, so people need to be warned against that. Vitamin C nutritional supplements should do their part in preventing cold and flu as well. Parents need to be advised too, since it’s the kids who are more prone to flu.
- Warn patients about chicken pox which is another common summer disease, particularly for people in the tropics. It’d be helpful to explain the symptoms to those who don’t know about this. It would help them to know that the virus behind this is the Varicella zoster which thrives in wet areas. Your patients must make sure there isn’t any unnecessary water accumulation in their garden and keep water tanks covered or fumigated.The disease can also spread through sneezing or coughing by an infected individual, so warn your patients to maintain safe distance from people with chicken pox. Caregivers must be particularly careful to avoid touching the fluids oozing out of the boils.
- Jaundice or Hepatitis A is another summer special that comes through contaminated water and food. Ask your patients to always consume boiled water and hygienic foods. You can also brief patients about the availability of a vaccine.
- And yes, remind patients about measles and mumps – two other contagious summer diseases that usually victimize children. Encourage them to take the MMR vaccine, since it prevents both these conditions and also rubella. Also remind them about the recent Disneyland Measles Outbreak. This is crucial since, as you’d know, there are reports of declining measles immunization in many Western countries including USA and Canada.
How You Can Do Your Part
It is important that you advise patients on these diseases and the lifestyle adjustments necessary for maintaining good health in summer. Things such as drinking lots of water and consuming fruits and vegetables may sound like no-brainers, but for the common man the awareness of the specific challenges of summer living is more or less non-existent. An email forwarded to all your patients can make them well informed and prepared for summer. Post your words of wisdom to beat the summer in your blog and the social networks so they can reach a larger section of people.
For most of your patients summer is the time to have fun, exercise, meet up with friends and family, experience nature and, most importantly, take a break. Make sure you advise them to enjoy nature and take a relaxing vacation, but with all the precautions in place so they can stay safe while having fun.