Adaptar la dieta a l’estiu ajuda a prevenir la deshidratació i el cop de calor en les persones grans

In order to avoid these situations, one of the essential recommendations is to drink enough. In this sense, elderly people should follow in summer a different diet from that they usually follow during the period autumn-winter. According to Dr Formiga, “it is not a matter of eating less in summer, but of following a diet that means the intake of fewer calories and greater hydration”. To achieve the balance between the quantity of liquid that goes into and out of the body it is necessary to drink between 2 and 2,5 litres of liquid gradually along the day, with more frequency in the morning and the afternoon rather than in the evening and night, in order to avoid night incontinence. When waking up at night in summer, he advises to drink. Besides, it is advisable to have light meals and avoid sunbathing, especially in the hours of more sun intensity (from 12.00 to 16.00 pm) and when the relative humidity is higher than 60%.

It is necessary to remember that the lack of thirst is deceptive, so it is advisable to drink water, herbal tea or fruit juice even when there is no feeling of thirst, and avoid drinking alcoholic drinks although they are wrongly believed to reduce thirst. “When the temperature outside is very high and the loss of body liquid is not properly replaced, a situation of dehydration appears, blood pressure falls, feelings of weakness and even cramps appear”, says Dr. Jordi Monedero, director of Primary Care at the Delta of the Llobregat area (Barcelona).

“If this situation is not corrected in time, the body’s sweating capacity will disappear and the skin will become dry and reddish, the body temperature will rise progressively even over 40ºC, the patient will get into hyperthermia and, if this process goes on, a situation of shock can be reached, in which there is failure of the different organs, convulsions and comma”. During heat waves, mortality due to heat stroke can reach over 70% of all cases.

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