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Some psychiatric medications, plus too much water, can be deadly in summer heat

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Health officials are warning people taking medication for psychiatric problems, particularly schizophrenia, to limit their water intake in the summer heat.

Mental Health experts are advising that the thirst resulting as a side effect of commonly prescribed medications could prompt people to drink too much water and leave them at risk of contracting potentially deadly hyponatremia.

There are 2.6 million people in Thailand known to be taking medication for psychiatric issues, 60 per cent of them for schizophrenia.

Mental Health Department director general Dr Boonreung Traireungworarat is advising these people to limit their daily water intake to 1,500 to 3,000cc (1.5 – 3 litres) depending on the weather.

He said drinking more than 3,000cc (3 litres) a day over several consecutive days could lead to “water intoxication”, or hyponatremia.

The water dilutes sodium in the blood, causing an imbalance that could trigger nausea and vomiting, headaches, confusion, fatigue, restlessness and irritability, muscle weakness or cramps, seizures and even coma.

Dr Boonreung Traireungworarat, Mental Health Department director general

Boonreung is urging anyone displaying such symptoms to immediately see a doctor.

Dr Noppadol Vanichrudee, acting director of the Bangkok-based Somdet Chaopraya Institute of Psychiatry, said people need approximately 0.033 litres of water daily for every kilogram of body weight. So someone weighing 60kg should be drinking 1,980cc of water a day, about two litres.

He said the institute treated three or four psychiatric patients a month for water intoxication.

People at risk might carry a glass or bottle of water around with them, spend a long time on the toilet and shun food in favour of liquids, he said.

He advised family members or caretakers to see that their charges drink less water (possibly using a daily diary and a reward system), sip rather than guzzle water, and curb their thirst instead with small ice cubes or sugar-free chewing gum.

The Mental Health Department hotline, 1323, provides free guidance around the clock.

STORY: The Nation

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Thaiger Radio News – Tuesday

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Muay Thai for five year olds – Sport or child abuse?

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Video of two five year olds fighting in a boxing ring has sparked a lot of reaction. The young kids in the 17 kilo division (yes, there’s such a thing) are shown punching each other’s heads, with the occasional kick, as a crowd of baying adults urge them on.

Sanook reports that as one boy is repeatedly forced into a corner the referee makes no attempt to seriously intervene. He merely lets the boys continue flailing at each other in the center of the ring.

Neither child is wearing any head protection.

The video – posted by “Yuthaphoom Khunseuk Tragoonyang” – goes on for a full two minutes. You can watch the video HERE.

Sanook say opinion fell into two camps – one group were praising this as an expression of Thai culture though the national sport of Muay Thai, the other condemning it as nothing more than child abuse for the pleasure of adults that violated the rights of children.

Sanook said that doctors at Mahidol University have stated that 100,000 children under the age of 15 are competing in Muay Thai prize fights in Thailand. They point out that children of this age should not be fighting due to potential damage to the brain.

The Thaiger story about the Mahidol University report HERE.

Sanook said that moves are currently being made to seek a change in the law that allows such “sport”.

SOURCE: Sanook

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Thaiger Radio News – Monday

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