Heat Exhaustion: Know Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
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Heat Exhaustion: Know Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Posted On : 07 March 2021, 6 Months Ago. Health-wellness
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With the onset of summer, the soaring temperatures and blazing sun can take a toll on your health. One common concern is that of heatstroke, also known as sunstroke. Heatstroke occurs when your body overheats, due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures during the day, or overexerting oneself under the sun. It is a form of heat injury that can become serious if your body temperature rises to 40 C. If left untreated, the damage caused by heatstroke can affect your brain, kidneys, muscles and heart, which could lead to grave health complications or even prove to be lethal. It is important to familiarize yourself with heatstroke symptoms, causes and treatment in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. Read on to stay healthy this summer.

 

Heatstroke Symptoms

 

The following are heatstroke symptoms and signs that you should keep an eye out for:

 

1. One of the main signs of heatstroke is a body temperature of 40 degrees celsius (104 F) or higher and can be taken with a rectal thermometer.

 

2. Heatstroke due to heat/high temperatures can make your skin feel dry and hot. Comparatively, in the case of heatstroke due to physical exertion, your skin may be slightly moist or dry. Additionally, your skin may become flushed and red as your body temperature rises.

 

3. Signs of altered behaviour or mental states such as slurred speech, agitation, irritability, confusion, seizures, delirium, etc. can all be involved in heatstroke.

 

4. Racing heart rate and slow breathing may be another symptom, as the body is trying to cool itself down to combat the heat stress.

 

5. A throbbing headache may be a symptom.

 

6. Nausea and vomiting may also be a sign of heatstroke.

 

Heatstroke Causes

 

The main causes of heatstroke would be:

 

1. Strenuous physical activity or overexertion: Overexerting yourself in hot weather can drastically increase core body temperature, and the likelihood of heat stroke is higher especially if the individual is unaccustomed to high temperatures.

 

2. Exposure to high temperatures or hot environments: Prolonged exposure to extremely hot weather can lead to a significant rise to core body temperature, thus leading to heatstroke and is especially likely to happen in people with chronic illnesses or older adults.

 

3. Getting dehydrated, wearing extra and restrictive clothing and drinking alcohol are a few other factors that increase the chances of heat exhaustion.

 

4. Risk factors: Some risk factors that may predispose you to heat stroke include old age (over 65), exertion in hot environments, sudden exposure to high temperatures, certain medications and health conditions, lack of air conditioning or cooling systems.

 

Heatstroke Prevention

 

Prevention is always better than cure and for a predictable condition like heatstroke there are clear steps that can be taken to avoid it:

 

1. Using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more, as well as hats and scarves can protect you from the sun.

 

2. Wearing loose-fitting airy and lightweight clothes is advisable, especially in light colours.

 

3. Be sure to drink lots of water, hydrating fluids are crucial.

 

4. Try to avoid overexertion, and remain in the shade. For example, you can exercise indoors to avoid heat exhaustion. Moreover, do not suddenly expose yourself to high temperatures; allow your body to get acclimatized.

 

5. Be careful with medications and check whether you may be at increased risk for heatstroke due to any health conditions.

 

Treatment of Heatstroke

 

Seek medical treatment immediately if you notice heat exhaustion in yourself or anyone around you. The diagnosis may involve taking your temperature with a rectal thermometer, blood, urine or muscle tests, as well as x-rays or other imaging techniques to identify damage.

If you suspect that someone is experiencing heatstroke, it is essential to immediately call for medical help, and get the person indoors or into the shade. Next, remove excess clothing or loosen it and try to cool the person down by spraying them with cool water, or using ice packs at their groin area, neck, back and armpits, wet sponges, fans, wet towels and so on. It is of utmost importance to rehydrate the individual with cool fluids.

 

Conclusion:

 

It is important to gather the necessary information about the symptoms, causes and heat stroke treatment in order to stay healthy in summer. Additionally, protective measures like health insurance can help you ensure that your finances don’t take a hit in cases of such medical emergencies.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250#:~:text=Heat%20exhaustion%20is%20a%20condition,heatstroke%20being%20the%20most%20severe.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion

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