Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Definition

Heat exhaustion is when the body overheats when you are too active in hot temperatures. Heat stroke is a more severe illness that can be life-threatening.

Causes

Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke happen under the following conditions:
  • Very hot environment
  • Heavy activity
  • Too little fluid and salt intake

Risk Factors

Young children and older adults are at increased risk for heat exhaustion. Factors that may increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
  • Participating in a job or activity that involves long periods of outdoor activity in hot weather
  • Taking drugs that interfere with the way your body handles hot weather, including:
    • Phenothiazines
    • Anticholinergics
    • Antihistamines
    • Beta-blockers
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Amphetamines
    • Neuroleptics
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Cocaine
    • Alcohol

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
  • Temperature over 37.8°C (about 100°F)
  • Fast pulse
  • Moist skin, sweating
  • Muscle cramps and tenderness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
Symptoms of heat stroke may include:
  • Temperature over 40.5° C (about 105° F)
  • Weakness, lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion, delirium, unconsciousness (can progress to coma)
  • Seizures
  • No sweating
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Fast breathing, fast heartbeat

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests. Your heart activity may be measured. This can be done with an electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG).
ECG / EKG Wave
nucleus image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.

dot separator
previous editions

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations
January 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook