Heat-related diseases are serious business. When left untreated, the symptoms of heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which is life-threatening. During the first summer months, this can be a big problem and one that can creep up on you, as signs and symptoms of heat stroke can often look like something else. With normal summer temperatures slowly rising around the world, it is even more important to understand how heat stroke occurs and how you can prevent it. ability to cool down by sweating. Extreme temperatures are of course a risk factor, but you can also get heat-related illnesses if you exercise in normal summer hot weather (especially when you are not used to it) or a very humid climate. Wearing heavy or restrictive clothing, drinking alcohol or otherwise dehydrating can also make heat stroke more likely.
Risk factors for heat stroke:
The CDC warns that people aged 65 and over, infants and young children, and those with obesity, heart disease and other chronic diseases are at greater risk of developing heat-related diseases. Taking certain medications can also make it more likely that you may get a heat stroke.
Heat stroke versus heat fatigue:
Heat fatigue and heat stroke are on a continuum, with heat stroke at the more severe end of the spectrum. Essentially, heat exhaustion begins when you begin to experience symptoms related to your body overheating. a heat stroke happens when your core body temperature reaches 1
Signs and symptoms:
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can happen faster than you expect. Symptoms and warning signs include:
- Sunburn or heat rash
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle fatigue or cramps
- Confusion or agitation
- Nausea and vomiting  to touch
- Chill or shake
Check heat index: Different from temperature, heat index is calculated by combining moisture level with temperature for a more accurate picture of how today's heat will be felt for a human body. If the heat index is above 90 degrees, be careful when spending time or being active outdoors.
Stay in the shade: Try to stay away from direct sunlight for extended periods. Bring an umbrella and be sure to take many breaks in the shade.
Hydrate: Drinking enough water is extremely important if you spend time outdoors in hot temperatures. Avoiding alcohol, which causes dehydration, is also a really good idea.
Dress appropriately: Wear light, breathable fabrics and do not forget a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin.
What should I do if you suspect heat stroke:
If you think you or someone else has a heat stroke, get out of the sun, moisturize slowly and rest. Use cold water, not ice water, on the skin or for drinking (ice water can actually worsen your condition). If you suspect heat stroke or if the symptoms of heat exhaustion do not begin to resolve immediately, call 911 or contact the emergency department immediately. Wait until your symptoms are completely gone before resuming any physical activity.
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