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Heatstroke Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Heatstroke

It is a condition triggered due to overheating of the body. Normally, overheating tends to consequent due to physical exertion or extended exposure to high temperatures. It is basically an intense form of heat injury that strikes in case the temperature of the body reaches to or higher 104F. Clearly, the condition needs emergency treatment, as leaving it untreated can lead great harm to the muscles, kidneys, heart and brain. Furthermore, delaying its treatment can also higher the chances of life-threatening complications.

What are the symptoms of heatstroke?

Its common symptoms are:

  • High temperature.
  • Altered behavior or mental state.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Flushed skin.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Headache.

What causes heatstroke?

The condition can occur due to:

  • Exposure to extreme hot environment: classic heatstroke or nonexertional heatstroke is basically a type of condition that occurs due to the exposure of extreme humid, hot weather for extended period of time, for example 2-3 days.  Individuals suffering from chronic illness and older adults are more likely to experience the type more.
  • Strenuous activity: in case heatstroke occurs due to intense form of physical activity particularly in hot environment, then the type is called exertional heatstroke.

Furthermore, in any of its type, the condition tends to lead on by:

  • Consuming alcohol.
  • Covering your body by excessive clothing.
  • Becoming dehydrated.

What are the risk factors of heatstroke?

Few factors that make you more likely to experience heatstroke are:

  • If you are very young or an older adult.
  • Physical exertion in humid, hot weather.
  • Sudden or prolonged exposure to humid, hot weather.
  • Specific medications.
  • No facility of air condition in hot weather.
  • Some heath conditions for example lung or heart disease.

What are the potential complications of heatstroke?

The condition can consequent in many complications, however few severe complications are:

  • Permanent damage to your vital organs.
  • In case adequate or prompt treatment is not provided to the person with heatstroke, the condition can turn fatal.

How is heatstroke diagnosed?

Normally, heatstroke is obvious to doctors, though certain lab tests tend to verify its diagnoses, find out some other causes of the patient’s symptoms whilst evaluate any damage lead to the organs. Such tests are:

  • Urine test.
  • Blood test.
  • Muscle function tests.
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays.

How is heatstroke treated?

The treatment of heatstroke aims to cool down the increased body temperature to a normal level in order to avoid the chances of any damage to the brain or any other organ. For the purpose, the doctor can act on the following steps:

  • Immerse the patient in cold water or use evaporation in order to lower down the body temperature.
  • Pack the patient with cooling blankets and ice.
  • Prescribe medications to control shiver.


Fortunately, the condition is preventable. Try out the following in order to avoid it during hot weather:

  • Protect yourself against extreme sunlight.
  • Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothes.
  • Drink enough water.

By : Natural Health News



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