Here
and
Now

kuchikomi

Weariness from prolonged heat causing health problems

29 Comments

As one of its special reports titled "Machigai darake no kenko joshiki" (error-strewn common wisdom about health), Shukan Shincho (Sept 13) runs five articles that examine the phenomenon of "natsu-bate" (weariness from the prolonged heat).

The first is a warning over acute diabetes that develops through overconsumption of sweetened soft drinks -- referred to by some as the "PET bottle syndrome."

This is not to say that getting sufficient liquids is a mistake. Indeed, one of the characteristics of "natsu-bate," says Dr Tsuyoshi Kawamura, is chronic dehydration. If neglected, this may cause the pulse rate to increase and blood pressure to rise, and if prolonged, may also lead to hardening of the blood vessels.

"Capillaries in the skin account for about 1% of body mass," neurologist Shoichi Sanada tells the magazine. "When perspiration causes the amount of water in the body to decline, the capillaries dilate, resulting in insufficient blood circulation. The brain and heart demand blood, so the insufficiency might occur in other organs such as the duodenum or stomach, leading to digestive problems."

Along with water, people who imbibe soft drinks are going to absorb a lot of sugar," notes Dr Miyuki Kurachi. "A 500ml PET bottle is about 10% sugar -- the equivalent of 17 or 18 commercially sold sticks of sugar (of the type provided in coffee shops). Isotonic sports drinks contain about one-half that amount.

"This is one reason why blood sugar levels tend to show a rise around the end of summer. Even among middle- and high-school students, quite a few develop acute diabetes due to the PET bottle syndrome."

Internist Kazunori Koyama concurs. "Due to heavier consumption of soft drinks, ice cream and fruits, the number of new cases of diabetes jumps from late August through September." He advises anyone who notices weight loss, dry throat and frequent urge to urinate to seek medical advice.

Diabetes is bad news, since among other things, it leads to increases in cardiac and cerebral infarctions. Dr Zohei Kaku suggests diluting sports drinks at a 1:1 ratio with water and adding a teaspoon of table salt. He adds that gulping it down rapidly won't relieve chronic dehydration.

"Drink slowly, ingesting it at the same rate you'd imagine for an intravenous drip," he advises.

After 40 or more days of constant exposure to air conditioning, people should also be concerned about the so-called "disuse syndrome."

Think of astronauts, who during extended periods of weightlessness in space are unable to make full use of their muscles. Upon returning to Earth, they notice that unused muscles have become atrophied.

A similar phenomenon can be found among the couch potatoes who loaf around the house all summer. "Among some men in their 40s and 50s, as autumn arrives they start going out again and suffer from falling accidents," warns Dr Toshihiko Iwamoto.

The functions of the bones and joints decline. Along with increasing their physical activity, people should consume more milk and yogurt to boost their calcium and also eat eggs and other sources of vitamin D.

Dr Kotaro Yokode observes that autonomic nerve function becomes degraded through consistent exposure to air conditioning.

"Compared with half a century ago, diabetes has increased several-fold. The rate of occurrence overlaps perfectly with the increase in automobile ownership," says Yokode. "People who ride in taxis because of the hot weather and who spend their summer in front of the air conditioner need to be careful. To prevent lifestyle diseases, people should walk at least 8,000 paces per day. This will burn off body fat and sugars and blood sugar levels will decline."

"The worst thing you can do in terms of endangering good health and longevity is to laze about all day doing nothing," warns director emeritus Hideo Yamanaka of the Toranomon Hibiya Clinic -- who himself is a hale and hearty 85 years old.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
Login to comment

That is modern life for you. The amount of people with diabetes is about to explode. I can't see Japanese people returning to their traditional diets. I read an article recently where even in India, there is a diabetes boom and they aren't even as rich as Japan yet. And if you look at the so-called, "western countries" they were exactly the same a long time ago before the advent of fast food.

Anyone who is 50 or 60, can you remember how many obese people there were in your country when you were younger? Bet it was a lot less than what we see now. What is commonplace in so many countries now, will be commonplace in Japan's near future. When I first came to Japan 20 years ago, I seriously can't remember see a morbidly obese person, now I see at least a couple every day if not more.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe there's no such thing as global warming, but things here have definitely warmed up over the past 40-some years. I can remember when the JR trains didn't have air conditioning (you opened a window or stood by a fan). It was once possible to make it through the summer in Tokyo without air conditioning. (The winters were pretty cold though, and there were at least two or three major snowfalls that snarled traffic.) I'll sure be glad when this summer's over.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Recently I have been wondering about how much sugar is in those sweet drinks. 17 or 18 sugar stick's worth per 500ml is crazy. If you are a habitual drinker, you should cut back today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hot, humid weather= diabetes. Really hard to get exercise in Japanese cities during summer.

The pools are too congested to get proper laps done and are closed today anyway. One public fitness studio near me has no air con, the other has air con but use of soap and shampoo is prohibited in the shower! The stink is disgusting. It's like the authorities are trying to discourage the public from getting exercise.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Damn, that is a lot of sugar. I probably consume about 1000ml of sports drinks each week - time to cut down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really hard to get exercise in Japanese cities during summer. The pools are too congested to get proper laps done and are closed today anyway. One public fitness studio near me has no air con

The article isn't suggesting everyone rush off to the gym or start doing laps in the pool - just don't spend all your time sedentary. Walk instead of driving or taking a taxi, get off a station early and walk if you use the underground. 8,000 is possible without making too many strenuous changes, and without spending hours on a treadmill in a gym. if you've got a dog, daily walkies will easily get you up over 8,000 paces.

I never understood people who swill down fizzy, sugary drinks in hot weather; they may feel cool going down if they're straight out of the fridge, but they do nothing to remove thirst. Iced water is the way to go.

2 ( +5 / -5 )

One also has to wonder how much over-consumption of white rice contributes. That is a lot of starch ie complex sugar..

And I don't know what is wrong with some traditional foods that would help ward off diabetes anyway. Are oats and barley and whole wheat bread so bad? About the only way I can get any oats and barley is in cereal in Japan. Or go to Costco and get some granola.

I am guilty of having about one soda per day, but I drink a lot of plain water (imported). Diabetes runs in the family, but I don't eat potatoes, rice or bread so much (starch again). And I drop the soda if I start experiencing constant dry throats, which is a sign of the onset of diabetes, as mentioned in the article.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

URA Zombie: polished white rice is definitely not good for the body, as much as many people will deny it when you point that out to them. The human body cannot properly digest it.

Anyway, some of the things in this article seem odd, if not contradictory, and while anyone can put in a little effort to get a bit more exercise (I have been especially of late), there's not a whole lot else you can do when it comes to the environment being hotter than usual. I agree that drinking soft drinks in such heat, or in general, is pretty disgusting, and I'm glad they pointed out that sports drinks contain so much sugar, but fruit? Most if not all fruit contains sugar, but it's natural fructose and I don't see how that increases the chances of diabetes. Also, pushing dairy products as a way to avoid fatigue and sickness due to prolonged heat makes me wonder who sponsored the research done here. Dairy is probably the most harmful thing you can ingest in terms of foods.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@smith

Natural, wild fruit isn't a problem, but farmers cross-breed varieties to create ridiculously high-levels of sugar in their produce. Strawberries and apples are good Japanese examples. You see idiots on TV getting all excited about how sweet this or that new breed of strawberry is. Unnatural and bad news health-wise.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One also has to wonder how much over-consumption of white rice contributes. That is a lot of starch ie complex sugar..

Why do you hate Japan? (I'm kidding.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can get any oats and barley is in cereal

Yes, oats and barley can only be cereals. They will never be meat or potatoes. You can get oat meal (plain) and hattaiko (like tsampa) in most supermarkets. Both are great to warm you up in Winter.

, but fruit?

Excess of fruits. There are people that drink 2 or 3 liters of orange/grape/apple juice per day. That makes the same sugar load and insulin peaks as soda.

Diabetes runs in the family, but I don't eat potatoes, rice or bread so much (starch again).

But you have soda, granola...

I never understood people who swill down fizzy, sugary drinks in hot weather;

In any weather, a 500 ml bottle it's disgusting, if you have normal tastebuds. Like 17 spoons of sugar in your coffee or on your yogurt.

The rate of occurrence overlaps perfectly with the increase in automobile ownership,”

There is a decrease of car ownership, no ?

Natural, wild fruit isn't a problem,

There is not any at all. So no problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I come from a country where it's summer the whole year round! natsu bate"? Summer lasts less than three months here. It's peanuts if you want to compare.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

nit pick-

joshiki- common wisdom- bad translation-

common sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since when was diabetes a disease that just appears for a while? Acute diabetes is hypoglycaemia. Too much sugar in the blood, caused by having diabetes in the first place.

Adult onset diabetes is another matter, but that's cased by chronic factors - diet and lifestyle. Drinking too much pop might give you tooth decay, but a single episode of temporary diabetes is just nonsense.

Oh. What a surprise. It's a Japanese doctor in his 80's making things up.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

You need water and salts. Sugar is generally not good for you, and in extreme situations, like these summers, will slow you down more. Unles you are like mt climbing and need a lot of quick digested energy.

Even the sports drinks are not good.

Drink water, and once in a while wet your finger and pour some salt on it and lick that to get your salts.

Cheaper, easier and healthier, but everyone keeps buying sports drinks and "natsu bate ame" (candy w/salt in it but also sugar), because they seem more "official".

Exercise and work up a sweat at least semi-regularly, and the heat will bother you less (really).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

sports drinks are just like drinking pure sugar. Yuk! Drink green tea.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

green tea, mugicha, houjicha...Japan is not short of good alternatives to sickly sweet crap.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

**“natsu-bate” ;“PET bottle syndrome”... cute names.

Let me make sense of this quakery:

"The first is a warning over acute diabetes that develops through overconsumption of sweetened soft drinks—referred to by some as the “PET bottle syndrome.”

First of all, there is no such thing as ACUTE diabetes. There is Diabetes Type I or II. Acute does not fit the medical diagnosis. What he should be referring to is called Acute Hyperglycemia. And, over consumption of sweetened drinks does not lead to diabetes, albeit it can be a contributing factor (as well as genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and many other factors). Example: 2 people love drinking many sweetened drinks each day.... will both get diabetes? NO! One might, neither might, both might... it depends on many other factors.

2.

"..one of the characteristics of “natsu-bate,” says Dr Tsuyoshi Kawamura, is chronic dehydration. If neglected, this may cause the pulse rate to increase and blood pressure to rise, and if prolonged, may also lead to hardening of the blood vessels"

Secondly, It is ridiculous for this doctor to refer to high pulse rate as a separate condition from high blood pressure. Both must and are always tied to each other. You have high pulse rate... it means you have a high blood pressure. You have a high blood pressure.... your pulse rate will be high. Basic A&P.

3.

"Capillaries in the skin ..." Just not even going to remark on this nonsense.

4.

"He advises anyone who notices weight loss, dry throat and frequent urge to urinate to seek medical advice." These symptoms are not "pet bottle syndrome" but actually Diabetes Mellitus (DM)!!

The most common symptoms of DM are those of hyperglycemia: an osmotic diuresis caused by glycosuria leading to urinary frequency, polyuria, and polydipsia that may progress to orthostatic hypotension and dehydration. Severe dehydration causes weakness, fatigue, and mental status changes. Symptoms may come and go as plasma glucose levels fluctuate. Hyperglycemia can also cause weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and blurred vision.

5.

"Dr Zohei Kaku suggests diluting sports drinks at a 1:1 ratio with water and adding a teaspoon of table salt"

Dr. Yamanaka seems to be stuck in some time-warp. Medical experts no longer view the drinking of salt with water as a smart way to treat dehydration, and especially not at an average IV drip rate of 120gtts/min (how is that even possible?!). By consuming additional salts, the human body is not able to absorb more water, it will actually cause more water to be "carried out" of the body and lead to dehydration.

6.

"After 40 or more days of constant exposure to air conditioning, people should also be concerned about the so-called “disuse syndrome”

Disuse Syndrome has nothing to do with AC usage. It is actually a medical term used in nursing homes! This condition derives from complete inactivity, as in patients who are not ambulatory, not from enjoying a lazy weekend with the AC on. How ridiculous!

7.

"The functions of the bones and joints decline. Along with increasing their physical activity, people should consume more milk and yogurt to boost their calcium and also eat eggs and other sources of vitamin D"

WRONG! 100% ill-advised and contrary to any real medical advice. I am shocked. Any medical expert knows: Dairy products (especially cow's milk and the milk protein β casein) have been linked to be a cause for Type I DM in infants/children.

8.

"To prevent lifestyle diseases, people should walk at least 8,000 paces per day"

I am not sure where he got this medical data, But it is good sound advice... and probably the only advice that makes any medical sense in this story.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It could be that this doctor cannot tell the difference between diabetes and acute hyperglycaemia, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the translator who couldn't tell the difference.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Readers, we re-checked the translation and there was no error.

Weird,

What's with all the thumbs dn for me and others saying don't drink sports drinks? Is it sales reps??

Seriously, water, or other non-sugar liquid, and salts are very necessary in the heat and humidity. Especially during exertion, but even if sedentary.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

It's a Japanese doctor in his 80's making things up.

This happens a lot in Japan. For example, read about the gargling hoax, that gargling prevents colds, flu, etc. Even though it makes no biological or medical sense and trials have proved it to be a waste of time, Japan's medical doctors and health ministry continue to recommend it!

Japan may be the world's only developed country where the medical authorities actually support and advocate quackery.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I hope beer doesn't contain too much sugar...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No/Little sugar in beer (real beer at least...I don't know what might be in some of the pseudo-beers), but plenty of carbohydrates, unfortunate if you're worried about hyperglycemia.

Beer acts as a diuretic, too, which isn't ideal if you're worried about dehydration.

Green tea's caffeine (around 25mg per 8oz) is a diuretic too, though, not ideal for summer hydration. Mugicha/barley tea is good, but beer, regardless of health effect, is more fun.

Try supplementing the beer with plenty of water. It works for me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry, alcohol is sugar. Beer, wine, whiskey.

And I believe it is "hypoglycemia".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And I believe it is "hypoglycemia".

It's hypo or hyper, depending on whether you are referring to low or high blood sugar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Keep refrig stocked with big containers of peppermint tea, tea of all kinds, and drink lots of good water, not sugar drinks. How hard is that to grasp?

Yes, Sugar Trolls are thumbing down all good advise here. Their game is too tedious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the way back to the gym. Just realized that I prepared by eating half a nashi/apple (fruit, baby!), some NZ vanilla ice cream with a stick of Starbucks coffee mixed in, and drank a big cup of cold tea from the fridge. Not tired, not using a/c, and having a great summer! That is the way to do it... :-D

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am in the midst of devising a way to turn the axis of the Earth in such a way that the temperature in Kanto will never reach more than 27 degrees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites