Digestion is an important process for the body, in order to transform food into very small molecules, to nourish the human body and keep it alive. However, there are certain anomalies or sudden changes within digestion, which do not allow it to progress properly.
That is why in this article we will know what a digestion cut is , including the causes that produce it, its treatment and the preventions before it.
What is a digestion cut?
The cut of digestion or hydrocution, is that interrupted process of the digestion of food , either in physical activities or by prolonged contact with water (such as swimming without having completed digestion), something that we are warned from childhood.
What happens, putting it in an example, if a person decides to take a bath without having completed the digestion process (and that during this process there is less blood in certain organs such as the brain), they are exposed to a rapid cooling of the body , making it the regulatory system carries blood from the digestive system to the other organs such as the brain or parts of the skin.
Important: A medical study mentions the following “With less blood in the brain, loss of consciousness, drowning or vomiting can occur with the consequent risk of suffocation.” (1)
What are the causes of the digestion cut?
There are various causes of digestion interruption , many are common and others pass us by without prior notice, so it is important to be informed of each of the main causes.
1. Immersion in cold water
Immersion in quite cold waters is one of the main causes of hydrocution, it must be noted that this type of temperature can be less than 15°C , although it is a recommended method to relieve muscle pain, prolonged immersion causes dizziness , fatigue in the body or death.
2. Intense exercise
Intense or excessive exercise can be harmful , since the act entails many changes in metabolism and the digestive process . If you try to exercise without having properly completed digestion or taking light breaks, a person may suffer vomiting, extreme nausea and fainting (brief loss of consciousness due to lack of blood supply to the brain).
3. Sunbathing in high temperatures
Exposure to the sun at high temperatures causes a quite dangerous cut in digestion, in a process called peripheral vasodilation, in which a contraction is created in the blood vessels and circulation slows down, also affecting blood pressure.
4. Foods high in fat and sugar
Excessive consumption of greasy or sugary foods causes the body to fail to properly process the body’s digestion. This due to the interruption of the cells or the bloodstream in the digestive process.
Note: Foods high in sugar or fat can include teriyaki sauce, bacon, lard, and dark chocolate .
5. Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs
Excess alcohol or chemical substances such as drugs alter the central nervous system and the immune system , as well as various natural processes in the human body, such as blood circulation, digestion and even muscle mobilization.
What symptoms does the digestion cut produce?
There are various symptoms of digestion or hydrocution , it is necessary to know several of them because they are usually very rare, sometimes even difficult to identify at the moment.
1. Dizziness, nausea and paleness
Normally during a digestion cut the body can experience sudden intense dizziness , accompanied by nausea and in the worst case paleness (extremely white and pale skin), which normally occur after immersion in water.
Note: A study mentions that “Most of the time hydrocution is preceded by symptoms called “alarm signs” and that we believe should be known by all swimmers, divers and rescue professionals. Such as nausea and strong dizziness. (two)
2. Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain is another of the most common symptoms but one that we hardly associate with a cut in digestion, it occurs because the food has not been processed in the stomach , when it is interrupted it is accumulated inside it and is clogged.
3. Low blood pressure
Because there is little blood circulating during the interrupted process of digestion, blood pressure begins to drop , because circulation begins to slow down and is not properly distributed through the blood vessels.
4. Ringing in ears
Also known as tinnitus, it is a common symptom of digestion failure, where certain wheezing is heard non-stop in the inner ear, which is annoying and quite uncomfortable. This can also be caused by the anxiety and panic of the aforementioned symptoms.
5. Cardiopulmonary arrest
In the most serious cases of a digestive cut, a cardiorespiratory arrest can be caused due to a sudden and electrical change in the heart . Where it ends up stopping the individual’s breathing and heartbeat, as circulation is not adequate, it can hardly continue naturally without special help (meaning immediate medical assistance).
Important: A study mentions that “Cardiorespiratory arrest produces a sudden decrease in oxygen transport that leads to cardiac dysfunction” . (3)
How is the treatment for cut digestion?
Fortunately , there are various treatments for digestion cuts , many must be learned as a special procedure, for those inopportune or unexpected situations.
1. Get out of the water or stop exercising
It is the first thing to do, because the mere contact with cold water or vigorous exercise during digestion makes the body feel weak. Being exposed to these activities for a long time will only make the situation worse.
2. Lay the person down with their legs elevated
This method is done a lot to regain strength and more importantly, the proper venous return or blood circulation of the body. When the person comes out of the water or stops exercising, they should lie down with their legs very high to proceed with blood recovery.
3. In case of unconsciousness, place it in a lateral position
If the person were to lose consciousness due to dizziness and fatigue, they should immediately be placed in a lateral position. This is a common first aid position, helping to prevent harmful choking and aspiration .
4. Cover the person to maintain body heat
It is necessary to use warm towels or sheets, to keep the person at an adequate room temperature for adequate body heat. With this measure, little by little, mobility and relief from dizziness or nausea is recovered.
5. Hydrate the person in case of vomiting or diarrhea
It is good to hydrate the person suffering from a digestive cut, especially if they have unexpected vomiting or diarrhea . Water is a necessary moisturizer for the body, in addition to quenching thirst and helping blood circulation, for the transport of oxygen to the body.
Important: A study mentions that “Hydration is of the utmost importance, since vomiting can have important complications, the most common being the metabolic one derived from the loss of water and electrolytes.” (4)
6. In the event of cardiorespiratory arrest, perform resuscitation maneuvers
It is necessary to write down this point and remember it precisely, if the person suffers a respiratory arrest or an acute heart attack, resuscitation maneuvers are required if there is no specialist present.
To highlight: These maneuvers must be carried out when checking the person’s pulse , as well as placing them on a firm surface and immediately afterwards, placing their hands on their chest and doing light compressions, to gradually recover their breath and heartbeat. It is accompanied by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
How to avoid the cut of digestion?
A digestive cut can be deadly , for this reason and to conclude, we teach you the precautions that must be taken to avoid suffering from a serious digestive cut.
1. Avoid eating abundantly before bathing
You should avoid eating heavy and excessive meals , before bathing anywhere (whether swimming pools, beaches or even a shower) as explained above, this is the first step to suffer an unnecessary digestion cut.
Note: You must wait a maximum of 2 hours for the digestion process to be carried out properly.
2. Get into the water little by little
If you want to enter the water after feeding, make sure that the water does not reach beyond your waist. As well as not being in contact with extremely cold water. You can rest your feet and sit up without problem, but don’t prolong the situation by jumping into the water.
3. Avoid bathing alone in isolated places
You should avoid bathing in places isolated from people, because you would not have help or adequate security measures (such as coast guards or nearby doctors). This may be something relative, but different scenarios should never be ruled out, especially a digestive cut.
4. Avoid intense exercise after eating
Do not exercise after having fed or consumed some type of food. You must at least wait 40 minutes to 1 hour to resume your necessary activities, otherwise the body will suffer very serious consequences, difficult to recover at first.
5. Stay hydrated
Beyond the digestive problem, you must stay hydrated to avoid various problems related to the body, this includes forced labor and even prolonged exposure to heat, water is vital and oxygenates the body in its entirety.
6. Take special care with children
Children may be more prone to suffering from a digestive cut, which can be fatal. Parents should pay special attention to their children regarding food consumption and rest before diving into swimming pools or beaches.
Important: It is a form of responsibility in which parents must be very well informed, it is a minor contribution but quite important for the health of children.
- The digestive cut or hydrocution is a process of interruption of the digestive process where the body stops nourishing itself.
- It can become fatal, suffering dizziness, nausea and consequent cardiac arrest.
- It occurs from immersion in water, exposure to heat, or strenuous exercise after or immediately after eating food.
- The treatments are simple to carry out, they must be done at the moment and resuscitation maneuvers must also be known for serious cases.
- Parents, especially with children, should be informed about the digestive cut to help prevent it, through education and information.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.