Heatstroke – Causes and Symptoms of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a serious life threatening condition, in which the body temperatures are abnormally elevated. The temperature of the body reaches 104 F or higher. The condition can be brought up by strenuous physical activity or by high environmental temperatures. It is the advance form of other two hyperthermic conditions, namely heat cramps and heat exhaustion. An immediate medical attention is to be received to prevent further brain failure, damage or death. Elderly citizens, infants and children are more prone to this condition.

Causes of Heatstroke
Heatstroke is the advance stage of other two serious heat related conditions. If these conditions are not taken care and treated properly, it causes heatstroke.

  • Heat cramps – This condition is common in hot weathers and caused by exposure to extreme temperatures or high physical activity. It is characterized by fatigue, sweating and muscle cramps in legs, arms and stomach. It can be treated by taking rest in a cool shaded area and drinking fluids that contain electrolytes.
  • Heat exhaustion – If a person is continually exposed to hot weather, excess amounts of fluids and salts are lost from the body, leading to heat exhaustion. The condition becomes even worser if heat cramps are not treated.

The factors that cause heatstroke are:

  • Use of sweat inhibiting medications
  • Excess physical activity or exercise
  • Birth defect with absence of sweat glands
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Obesity
  • High humidity
  • Pre-existing illness with fever
  • Non-acclimitization to high temperatures
  • Older age
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic illnesses like heart disease

Symptoms of Heatstroke
The common signs and symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • Rise in body temperatures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Strange behavior and confusion
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Hot, dry and red skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid pulse
  • Coma
  • Seizure
  • Agitation

When to seek a medical professional help
If you experience symptoms of heat cramps and heat exhaustion, try to cool down your body temperatures by drinking more fluids. Thus try to maintain normal levels of salt and water in the body. If the condition still progresses and you experience heatstroke symptoms, consult a medical professional immediately.

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