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Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion Causes

In hot weather, the body cools itself mainly by sweating. The evaporation of sweat regulates the body temperature. However, when one exercises strenuously or otherwise overexert in hot, humid weather, the body is less able to cool itself efficiently. As a result, the body may develop heat cramps, the mildest form of heat-related illness.

Heat Exhaustion Definition

Heat exhaustion is one of the heat-related syndromes, which vary in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

Heat Exhaustion Diagnosis

A chest radiography may be useful in excluding differential diagnosis. A CT scan is also important in excluding a differential diagnosis in patients with altered level of consciousness.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms and Signs

Signs and symptoms resemble those of shock and may include: feeling faint or dizzy; nausea; heavy sweating; rapid, weak heartbeat; low blood pressure; cool, moist pale skin; low-grade fever; heat cramps; headache; fatigue; and dark-colored urine.

Heat Exhaustion Treatment

Cooling measures that may be effective include: cool, non-alcoholic beverages, as directed by the physician; rest; cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; an air-conditioned environment; and lightweight clothing.

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