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Signs of Heat Stroke

Posted by Denise Jones on July 3, 2019 at 11:30 PM

"Four Things Extreme Heat Does to the Body"- Copied in part from TheWeatherChannel.com

1. Heat Makes You Feel Ill

Some of the first signs that your body is beginning to have trouble due to extremely hot temperatures are increased sweating and muscle cramps.



When you sweat, you are losing water, and if you do not replace the amount you are losing, an imbalance in salt can result, causing cramps.


In addition, if your sweat pores become blocked, a heat rash, or tiny red dots on your skin, can develop. Another issue that can occur is heat edema, which is when your body dilates your blood vessels in order to avoid overheating, and blood can pool in the legs, especially if the balance of salt in your body is off. The end result can be swelling in the legs, feet or hands.


Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can also result in dizziness and confusion. These conditions are also the result of the increased blood flow to dilate the blood vessels combined with loss of fluid through sweating. Fainting can even occur once enough fluid has been lost and if there is a drop in blood flow to the head as more fluid moves into your legs due to gravity.


Other potential physical impacts are nausea, diarrhea, headache and fatigue. These can result when sweating doesn't cool the body enough on its own and when someone is dehydrated.


2. Heat Exhaustion Can Set In

Heat exhaustion can set in when your body is depleted of either water or salt, due to exposure to the heat.


Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:


Dizziness or fainting


Excessive sweating

Dark-colored urine

Cool, pale or clammy skin


Nausea or vomiting

Rapid and weak pulse

Muscle cramps


If you start to exhibit these symptoms, it's very important to get out of the heat, drink nonalcoholic and decaffeinated beverages, take a cool shower and rest.


An even more serious condition is heat stroke, which can develop if heat exhaustion is not treated. The National Weather Service office in Springfield, Missouri, shared some of the differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


Know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke? It can be serious if not deadly! #mowx #kswx #sgf pic.twitter.com/2E897M2XLF


— NWS Springfield (@NWSSpringfield) June 11, 2016

3. Heat Stroke Is A Possibility

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is usually the result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. However, the elderly, children under age 4, those living in homes without air conditioners and people with chronic diseases are also at risk for developing heat stroke.


Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Body temperature above 103 degrees
  • No sweating
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle weakness or cramps

Heat stroke is an emergency that needs immediate medical treatment, as it can cause damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and other muscles. It often occurs from the progression of milder heat-related illness, but can come on suddenly as well.


4. You Could Die

On average, 130 people in the U.S. die from heat each year, according to the National Weather Service, based on data from a 30-year period. This is more than any other weather event.


(MORE: Heat Is The Deadliest Kind Of Weather)



Heat has caused the most deaths on an annual basis during the last 30 years (1986-2015). (NOAA)


Many of these deaths occur during heat waves, which is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and humid weather that can last for several days to weeks.


When temperatures become dangerous varies wildly, based on an individual’s acclimation to the climate, dress, exertion level and whether any pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, are present, said Michael N. Sawka, Ph.D., a physiologist with Georgia Tech, previously with the Department of Defense, who has studied human adaptations to extreme weather for 40 years.


“If you’re a trained athlete, and you’re working hard, you can go out and run at very high temperatures — 104, 105 [degrees Fahrenheit],” he said. “The harder you work at higher temperatures, you build up a tolerance for the body to respond.”


Sawka explained that the body cools itself in two ways; when these abilities shut down, problems begin.


First, there’s evaporation, when sweat evaporates off of the skin, cooling the body. Second, there’s convection, or a transfer of heat to the skin. During this process, the body shunts blood away from the core toward the surface of the skin for cooling.


“If you’re wearing heavy clothes, that reduces the ability for evaporation,” Sawka said. “Another factor is how hard you’re working. If you’re sitting, you’re not producing more body heat — because a byproduct of skeletal-muscle contraction is heat — so the harder you work, the greater the body heat you have to dissipate due to the environmental conditions.”


When these processes become ineffective, an individual might progress to heat exhaustion. During this phase, heavy sweating, a rapid pulse, cramps or a headache can occur. Typically, once a person seeks shade and water, he or she is fine.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offer some tips to stay safe in extreme heat:


  • Stay in air-conditioning as much as possible.
  • Slow down and reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous work or recreational activities until the coolest time of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks during work or play.
  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Avoid using the stove or oven to cook.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Check on friends and neighbors.

Those who exercise outdoors and the elderly should also take care to adapt to heat slowly and plan for safe cooling all season long.


(This entire post is located at www.TheWeatherChannel.com)  

Four Things Extreme Heat Does To Your Body

By Linda LamJune 20 2016 06:45 PM EDTweather.com



Categories: Wellness