21 Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Itís the season for barbecues, swimming, camping and sunshine. While it is understandable that we want to be outdoors more, enjoying the beautiful summer weather, excessive amounts of heat or sun exposure can make us vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Do you know the signs and symptoms of these two serious conditions?

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is not as serious as heat stroke, but it can lead to heat stroke, so it is important to identify the signs of overheating. There are two types of heat exhaustion that result from insufficient water intake or salt depletion. Most people are aware that not drinking enough water can be a real problem during the heat of summer but few realize that they may be exacerbating the condition by drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages which act as diuretics to deplete the bodyís water supply. Fewer still realize that the bodyís natural salt needs to be replenished when too much is lost during sweating. So here are the signs of heat exhaustion:

Abdominal Cramps

Confusion

Dark-Colored Urine

Diarrhea

Dizziness

Excessive Sweating

Fainting

Fatigue

Headaches

Muscle Cramps

Nausea

Pale Skin

Rapid Heartbeat

Vomiting

Itís important to address the symptoms of heat exhaustion as quickly as possible by getting out of the heat and sun, seeking shade or air conditioned spaces, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeinated beverages or foods, taking a cool shower or bath, removing excessive clothing, avoiding outdoor or excessive exercise and applying cool cloths to the back of the neck or inside of the wrists. If you donít get relief within 15 minutes or if you lose consciousness, you should seek medical help. After a bout of heat exhaustion, it is common to feel sensitive to the heat for the following week. Keep in mind that some medications or health conditions can make you vulnerable to heat exhaustion.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

It is important to recognize that heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. It can damage organs or be fatal if it becomes too severe or is not addressed quickly enough. Heat stroke is the result of the bodyís internal temperature reaching 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the signs or symptoms include:

Confusion

Disorientation

Dizziness

Fainting

Headache

Lack of Sweating

Muscle Weakness or Cramps

Nausea

Rapid Heartbeat

Red or hot skin

Seizures

Staggering

Unconsciousness

Vomiting

If you encounter someone who seems to be experiencing heat stroke call 911 immediately. While waiting for help to arrive, attempt to reduce the personís core temperature by initiating cooling measures with a fan, air conditioning, or sponging them with cool water in the neck, inner wrist, or armpit areas. You can also apply ice packs to these areas or immerse the person in cool water (do not immerse the person if he or she has lost consciousness).

Other Preventative Measures

It can be beneficial to enjoy many cooling, water-packed fruits and vegetables during the summer months to help ward off the likelihood of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. While any raw fruits or vegetables can be helpful, some of the most cooling ones include: cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon. Celery juice contains naturally-present sodium that can also help fend off heat exhaustion.

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173 comments

W. C
W. C9 months ago

Thanks.

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William C
William C9 months ago

Thank you.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Bearaabout a year ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

thanks

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

I am glad it explained the difference between the two. I know both can be dangerous. Thanks for the information.

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

I encountered this once, in which I had nausea and headache as a result of mowing the grass at high Noon. Never did that again!! Thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

I've encountered this before, and it's nothing to play around with!! Thank you for sharing.

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Barbara Smit
Past Member 3 years ago

thanks for this

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