A baby barely escapes cot death. The child is found limp or pale, sweating and/or apparently without breathing. There is no normal response to ordinary external stimuli. Stimulation and even resuscitation by a doctor or emergency team is necessary.
The brand name of products allowing perspiration to easily evaporate from the skin to ensure the body remains dry. It was originally developed for sportsmen to ensure maximum performance. CoolMax contains high-tech material made from a specially designed polyester fibre. Each fibre has four channels, each with a larger surface than an ordinary round fibre. This gives the fabric a greater "breathing capacity" compared with natural fabrics (e.g. cotton).
The easiest way to imagine this is by comparing it with the way water in a bucket evaporates. If you just leave the bucket standing there, evaporation will take much longer than if you were to pour out the water. This is because the fluid is spread over a larger surface area.
A chemical substance which transmits messages to individuals of the same species. A well-known example is that of a group of women who live closely together for a couple of months. Their menstrual cycles will tend to synchronise so that all the women menstruate at the same time.
A protein occurring in red blood cells. It gives blood its red colour and is responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Excessive sweating (in episodes or continuously), in particular at the armpits, palms or soles of the feet. The complaints usually arise from between the age of ten and twenty and tend to persist for decades.
A natural occurrence in a woman's life between the ages of 45 and 55. It marks the end of the period of fertility with diminished production of oestrogen and progesterone, the female hormones.
The most frequent complaint during the menopause is hot flushes: sudden sensations of heat, with reddening of the face, faster heart beat and sometimes sweating. Hot flushes are often followed by cold shivers. A hot flush lasts from a couple of seconds to several minutes.
In most cases hot flushes stop spontaneously after some time without any treatment. It is extremely rare for hot flushes to continue beyond the menopause.
These hot flushes are caused by fluctuating oestrogen levels which suddenly lower the "body thermostat" in our brain. The body receives the signals to get rid of heat. It causes the blood vessels just below the skin to dilate, leading to a sudden rush of heat: the hot flush.
If the phenomenon occurs at night, the woman experiences a night sweat. Strangely enough, the woman does not wake up from sweating but just before it occurs. If this happens frequently, it may lead to sleep problems.
Cessation of breathing at regular intervals during sleep, lasting at least ten seconds. This may have a number of causes. The result is a drop in the oxygen content of the blood. As a consequence, the person concerned sleeps less soundly, and the brain transmits a signal to wake up several times a night.
Everyone has moments of apnoea during their sleep. However, if these episodes occur frequently and last long, they may be a threat to our health. This is why in poor sleepers the number of apnoeas an hour are determined and if it is higher than 15, it is said to constitute sleep apnoea.
Research has shown that 2% to 4% of adults suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnoea. It is twice as frequent in women than in men. The following signs are indicative of a sleep apnoea syndrome:
- cessation of breathing during sleep, following by loud snoring and/or tossing and turning
- waking up with a start with a feeling of suffocation
- morning headache
- sleepiness during the day, causing irritability and loss of concentration
- night sweats
- dry mouth or throat ache on waking
- frequent urge to urinate during the night
An infectious disease caused by Koch's bacillus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It involves tissue damage in the body attended by complaints such as fatigue, cough and lack of appetite. The most frequent form of this disease is pulmonary tuberculosis. Sometimes organs other than the lungs are also affected, e.g. the kidneys, the bones or the brain.
When exposed to a hot environment, the body continues to regulate its temperature through perspiration. Through the evaporation of sweat, the skin is kept cool, the body releases heat to the environment and its temperature remains stable. An excessively high temperature becomes dangerous when a child cannot get rid of the heat. Its body temperature rises excessively, causing heat congestion. This is also more frequent in children and elderly people. Humans perspire most through the head. This is why it is best for a baby to wear a little hat in cold surroundings. But in hot surroundings, your child will need to be bareheaded in order to effortlessly release surplus body heat.