Heat exhaustion is when the body overheats when you are too active in hot temperatures. Heat stroke is a more severe illness that can be life-threatening.
Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke happen under the following conditions:
Young children and older adults are at increased risk for heat exhaustion.
Factors that may increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
Symptoms of heat stroke may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Your heart activity may be measured. This can be done with an electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG).
ECG / EKG Wave
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Treatment for heat exhaustion includes:
Treatment for heat stroke includes:
To help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
American Red Cross
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/heat-exhaustion-an-heatstroke.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Heat-related illness. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
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