Sunday, August 12, 2012

Radiation Exposure, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke in Japan

I have reported recently on the number of cases of heat stroke reported in Japan. Here are some sample headlines:

Japan Today: "16 dead, 8,670 hospitalized for heatstroke July 23-29"

I posted on the oddly high number of people hospitalized for heat stroke in Japan on July 24

22 high school students suffer heatstroke in Ishikawa


I suspect that at least some of the cases of heat stroke were actually radiation poisoning or were exacerbated by radiation exposure.

Yesterday, I suffered from heat exhaustion after spending half the day outside in our 110 degree summer temperature. My family spent the day at the lake in our boat. Most of the time we were in the wonderful lake water and were cool, but I spent enough time cleaning up the boat afterwards in the heat to make me quite sick. I have blond hair, fair skin, and blue eyes and my nordic heritage makes me very poorly suited for the Arizona sun.

I can tell you from my very unpleasant experience that extreme heat exhaustion strongly resembles the list of symptoms for radiation poisoning.

My symptoms lasted for hours (4-5 hours) and included extreme nausea, acute head ache, burning head and cold body, and weakness. I have never been so sick. I am quite weak today, but recovered.

Here are links for the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke  and  

The Mayo Clinic has a list of early symptoms for radiation sickness. They mimic pretty exactly the symptoms I experienced from heat exhaustion. Nausea and vomiting (check), headache and fever (check). The only one I didn't experience was diarrhea. 

If people suffering from the early symptoms of radiation sickness go to an emergency room in Japan doctors may very well diagnose their symptoms as heat exhaustion or stroke, when they could in fact be suffering from radiation exposure.

There is of course a way of differentiating the two syndromes. Patients suffering from this constellation of symptoms should be tested for internal and external radiation exposure when they go to the hospital in Japan.

People in Japan who are experiencing the symptoms described above should DEMAND that their doctors check them for radiation exposure if exposure may possibly have occurred.

People in Japan please consider the possibility that you have been exposed to radiation.

Fukushima Diary has headlines daily that document radiation contamination in Japan. Many of his sources are the published reports from Japan's municipalities on radiation in sewage sludge and other materials.

Here are some examples of headlines from Fukushima Diary that demonstrate contamination is widespread in Japan: 
Hokkaido newspaper “Millions of people around in Tokyo area are living in radiation controlled area

I-131 is still measured from dried sewage sludge in Chiba

(see also Bobby1's Blog: Iodine-131 on the rise again in Japan )

14 ╬╝Sv/h from the yellow substance on the roof in Kashiwa Chiba

31,000 Bq/kg from mushroom in Tochigi “190 times higher than nuclear waste standard”

Contaminated Japanese cars rejected by Russian custom office

Majia here: I am not trying to cause people to panic or be alarmed.

My point is that heat exhaustion and heat stroke may present very similarly to the early symptoms of radiation exposure.

Doctors in Japan may be unfamiliar with detecting radiation exposure and/or be pressured to avoid diagnosing people with radiation symptoms.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke would be very apt and convenient alternative diagnoses.

Please, if you are in Japan and are diagnosed with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, please demand that you be tested for external and internal exposure to radiation contamination.

Radiation exposure requires different treatment protocols than those appropriate for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.




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