Heat stroke is a very serious condition that can cause severe dehydration and blackouts. This condition is caused when the body’s temperature rises too high, usually due to excessive heat. The body will lose vital fluids and minerals, usually through excessive sweating. Heat stroke can also be a serious side effect of extreme vomiting, fever or diarrhea.
The symptoms of heat stroke are wide ranging. They include headaches, fatigue and dizziness to begin with. Other symptoms are muscle cramps, high body heat, rapid breathing and a rapid pulse. The heat stroke sufferer may also become severely disorientated and suffer from seizures. One very serious sign is a loss of consciousness.
In addition to excessive heat, there may be some underlying reasons as to why a person is suffering from heat stroke. One of the main causes of heat stroke is dehydration; drinking alcohol while sunbathing can cause heat stroke. Alcohol dehydrates the body, and mixed with the heat, it is not a good combination.
Overweight people are also thought to be more susceptible to the symptoms of heat stroke. Overweight people tend to sweat more in excessive heat. This quickly dehydrates the body and can bring about heat stroke. People who suffer from undiagnosed overactive thyroid glands may also be more prone to this condition.
Heat exhaustion can also lead to the symptoms of heat stroke. When you have received a nasty sunburn or have been under some kind of physical exertion, heat stroke can occur. The earliest symptoms may not be noticeable because the condition can occur gradually as your temperature rises.
Although heat stroke can happen to anyone, some people need to take greater care than others. Older people, babies and young children are more susceptible. People who are physically active and people such as manual workers who work outside also have a higher risk of heat stroke.
If your temperature reaches over 103.1°F (39.5°C) and you are showing some of the symptoms of heat stroke, you may require medical attention. If your body temperature reaches 105.8°F (41°C), then this is seen as critical and you will need emergency medical treatment immediately. If you are suffering from milder symptoms, there are a few things you can do.
Move to a cooler area immediately and drink water. Do not take any medicine, and if possible, shower with cool water. Try to increase ventilation or cover your body with damp clothes in order to cool down. If the symptoms become more serious, a medical professional should be called immediately.