Saturday, June 14, 2014

Avoiding Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stoke

Avoiding Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stoke
Source:  WebMD
Taking care of yourself this summer is important, and when it heats up outside, you can actually overheat inside.  First and foremost, try to avoid situations, like exercising outside in extreme heat and humid conditions.  If you have to be out, at least learn to recognize the signs of distress, and when to seek medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are caused by initial exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion. Signs and symptoms of heat cramps usually include excess sweating, fatigue, thirst and cramps, usually in the stomach, arms or legs. This condition is common in very hot weather or with moderate to heavy physical activity. You can usually treat heat cramps by drinking water or fluids containing electrolytes (Gatorade or other sports drinks), resting and getting to a cool spot, like a shaded or air-conditioned area.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when you don't act on the signs and symptoms of heat cramps and your condition worsens. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include a headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, skin that feels cool and moist, and muscle cramps. Often with heat exhaustion, you can treat the condition yourself by following the same measures used to treat heat cramps, such as drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, getting into an air-conditioned area or taking a cool shower. If your symptoms persist, seek medical attention immediately.


Heatstroke occurs when the symptoms of heat exhaustion are ignored.  Heat stroke can be deadly.  Symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature, a lack of sweating, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, headache, confusion, unconsciousness, muscle cramps or weakening.  Recognizing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is critical.  An individual with heat stroke should not be given any fluids, should be moved to a cool location preferably with a breeze or blowing fan, and should be packed with ice compresses and/or cold cloths.  Call 911 immediately.

Take care out there, and live and play smart.

Living 365fitt,

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