Heat Exhaustion With the lack of water in Colorado this summer, it’s expected to be a hot and dry one. A summer to be careful when dealing with the heat. And with excessive heat comes the increased risk for heat exhaustion. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, so you don’t fall victim to it. It can be prevented. Heat exhaustion is a condition where your body overheats. Symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse. It's one of three heat-related syndromes, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe. Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures and often strenuous physical activity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition. What are the Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion? Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time, especially with prolonged periods of exercise and can include:
- Heavy sweating
- Cool, moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat
- Muscle cramps
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure upon standing
At What Point Do You Call Your Doctor?If you think you're experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Stop activity
- Move to a cooler place
- Drink cool water or sports drinks
As we get outside more and the summer temperatures start rising, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of Heat Stroke. What is Heatstroke? Let’s first start by telling you what heatstroke is. Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death. What are the symptoms of heatstroke? Heatstroke symptoms include:
- High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
- Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
- Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.
- Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
- Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- Headache. Your head may throb.
- Get the person into shade or indoors.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person's head, neck, armpits and groin.