The digestion cut-off does not exist, this is what actually happens


ABC Family



With the arrival of summer and bathing in beaches and swimming pools, some people suffer episodes of hydrocution, discomfort or even fainting that is produced by sudden contact in very cold water. It is what is popularly known as a digestion cut.

Term clarified by Dr. Jesús Recio, head of the Vithas Valencia 9 de Octubre internal medicine unit, “the reality is that the term digestion cut-off is a very common expression, however, it is an inappropriate term, since it is not it is not at all a failure of the digestive process. The digestion cut does not exist as such, it is called hydrocution syncope since when the body comes into contact with cold water, changes in blood pressure and heart rate occur, which can cause paleness, chills, cloudy vision, dizziness, vomiting, ringing in the ears, loss of consciousness (syncope) or a cardiac arrest ‘.

When entering the water, the organism decreases heart rate and vasoconstriction occurs peripheral to ensure that the brain has a preferential supply of blood and, therefore, oxygen. The colder the water and the higher the body temperature, the more pronounced this reflex will be, producing a thermodifferential shock.

How to prevent it?

Sudden changes in body temperature are dangerous and can cause serious problems for our health. Including death. Dr. Recio presents a series of essential guidelines to avoid hydrocution episodes such as «avoid plunging abruptly into cold water or not entering the water after prolonged exposure to the sunl. For this, it is convenient to progressively wet the body before submerging, since, if you notice any dizziness or discomfort, you can get out of the water as soon as possible and do not forget that in the pool you should go through the shower before getting into the water to acclimatize the body”.

“In addition, bathing in water that is too cold should be avoided, especially if it is below 27ºC and of course not doing intense physical exercise before bathing in very cold water,” says the specialist who adds that “by common sense, avoid enter the water with digestion in progress because, although it is not always the reason for the shock, it can sometimes influence especially if the meals have been copious or alcoholic beverages have been ingested». The ideal thing to do at this time of year is to hydrate with water, eat lightly and wear fresh and breathable fabrics to go to the beach or the pool.

Do not forget the importance of education for the little ones. “It is key,” adds the professional, “that children have training on safety measures in the water and resuscitation, and of course always watch them in the water and teach them responsible behaviors.”

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