Heat stroke: Symptoms – Causes and Prevention 2021

Heat stroke is the result of your body becoming too hot, most commonly due to long exposure to high temperatures. The most severe heat injury, heatstroke (104 F or 40 C), can occur when your body temperature reaches 104 F. The summer months are the most common for this condition.

Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke may quickly cause permanent damage to your brains, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The more time you delay getting treatment, the worse it will get. This can lead to serious complications or even death.

1. The Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperatures.A core body temperature greater than 104 F (40 C), measured with a rectal thermostat, is the most obvious sign of heatstroke.
  • Alteration of mental status or behaviorHeatstroke can result in confusion, agitation. slurred words, irritability. seizures.
  • Variation in sweatingHot weather can cause heatstroke, which causes your skin to feel dry and hot. If you exercise strenuously, however, your skin may feel dry and slightly moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting.You may feel sick or nauseated.
  • Flushed skin.As your body temperature rises, your skin can turn red.
  • Rapid breathingYour breathing could become rapid and shallow.
  • The heart rate of a racer.Your pulse can increase as heat stress places great pressure on your heart.
  • Headache.You may feel your head throb.

3. Causes:

The following can lead to heatstroke:

  • Exposure to hot environmentsNonexertional (or classic) heatstroke occurs when the body experiences heatstroke. This type of heatstroke occurs most often after being exposed to hot, humid temperatures, particularly for long periods. It’s more common in those who are older and with chronic conditions.
  • Strenuous activity.Exertional Heatstroke is a rise in your core temperature that results from intense physical exercise in hot weather. If you aren’t used or comfortable with high temperatures, exertional heatstroke can occur.

You can bring on heatstroke in either of these types by:

  • Excessive clothingThis keeps sweat from quickly evaporating, and helps to cool your body.
  • Drinking alcoholYour body’s ability and capacity to regulate temperature can be affected.
  • Becoming dehydratedInsufficient water intake can cause fluid loss through sweating.

4. Risk factors:

You can get heatstroke at any age, but there are certain factors that increase your chance of it.

  • AgeYour central nervous systems strength is a key factor in your ability and willingness to deal with extreme heat. The central nervous system does not develop fully in the very young. Over 65s, the central nerve system starts to deteriorate. Your body is less able to deal with temperature changes. Both sexes have difficulty keeping hydrated, which can increase the risk.
  • Do not exercise in hot weatherYou can heatstroke from military training, long-distance running, and playing in high temperatures.
  • Sudden exposure of hot weatherYou could be more at risk for heat-related illness if the temperature rises suddenly, such as during a summer heat wave or travel in a warmer climate.Allow yourself to adapt to the change by limiting your activities for at minimum a week. However, you could still experience heatstroke even if your body has been exposed to higher temperatures for several weeks.
  • The absence of air conditioningWhile fans might make you feel more comfortable, air conditioning is the best way for you to cool down in hot weather.
  • Certain medicines.Some medications may affect how your body responds to heat and keeps it hydrated. Hot weather can be dangerous if you’re taking medication that causes blood vessels to constrict (vasoconstrictors), blocks adrenaline (beta blocking medications), diuretics (diuretics), or suppresses psychiatric symptoms such as antidepressants or antipsychotics).Stimulants for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and illegal stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine also make you more vulnerable to heatstroke.
  • Certain health conditions.Heatstroke risk can be increased by having certain chronic illnesses such as heart, lung, or heart disease. You might also be at higher risk if you are overweight, sedentary, or have had previous heatstrokes.

5. Complications:

Heatstroke can lead to many complications depending on how hot the body gets. Some of the more serious complications are:

  • Vital organ damage.Heatstroke can cause permanent damage to your brain or other vital organs if there is not a fast response to the lower body temperature.
  • Death.Heatstroke is a serious condition that can lead to death if it’s not treated immediately.

6. How To Prevent Heat stroke:

Heatstroke is avoidable. These are the steps to prevent heatstroke when it is hot.

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.Your body won’t cool off if you wear too much clothing or clothes that are too snug.
  • Protect against sunburn.Sunburn can impact your body’s ability to cool off. So, protect yourself outdoors with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed sunhat. Also, make sure you use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 15. You should apply sunscreen generously. If you’re sweating or swimming, reapply every two to three hours.
  • Drink lots of fluids.Staying hydrated will help to reduce body temperature and increase sweat production.
  • Extra precautions should be taken when using certain medications.Heat-related problems can be a problem if you’re taking medication that can reduce your body’s ability for heat to dissipate and stay hydrated.
  • Never leave anyone in a parking car.This is a frequent cause of heat-related children’s deaths. If your car is left out in the sun for more than 10 minutes, it can quickly heat up to 20°F (more than 11 C).You should not leave anyone in a hot car while it is warm or hot, even if they are in shade. You should lock your car when it’s parked to keep children out.
  • Take it easy during the hottest hours of the day.Avoid strenuous activity during hot weather. Instead, take fluids and relax in cool areas. It is best to exercise or do physical labor in cooler periods of the day, such early morning or late evening.
  • Get acclimated.Keep your heat on a limit until you’re used to it. People who aren’t used heat are most vulnerable to heat-related sickness. It may take several days for your body and mind to adjust to hot temperatures.
  • Take extra precautions if your risk is highYou should avoid heat if your medication or other conditions increase your risk of heat-related issues. If you experience heat symptoms, get help immediately. If you take part in an intense sporting event or engage in other hot activities, ensure there is medical attention in case of heat emergency.

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