What is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms may include profuse sweating and rapid pulse as a result of elevated body temperature. It is one of three heat-related syndromes and is characterized by the mildest degree of heat cramps and the most severe degree of heatstroke. Heat stroke is common, especially in high temperatures.
Heat exhaustion is usually associated with dehydration; as the human body maintains its internal temperature by increasing sweating, resulting in a shortage of body fluids and salts. Which is indicated by the color of dark urine, as the body stops losing fluids in the urine to keep as much fluid in the body. The urine will be concentrated with a dark color and a strong odor.
The most affected people are the elderly, patients with diabetes, renal failure and diarrhea, and its symptoms are: fainting and convulsions as a result of high body temperature due to exposure to intense sunlight or high temperature. And its treatment is to follow the breathing of the affected person and not to give him any liquid by mouth to prevent it from reaching the lungs because he is usually unconscious, and should be transferred to the nearest center to treat heat stroke.
Sunburn on the skin
It occurs as a result of exposure of the skin to direct sunlight for a long time, then begins with redness, followed by the appearance of watery bubbles accompanied by intense pain, and its treatment is the transfer of the injured person to a shady place, apply an ointment for burns and do not open the bubbles.
What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
This type of problem involves excessively high body temperature and loss of water and salts. If we pay attention, it is easy to see if someone is having problems with overheating. Here are the symptoms:
- Cool, clammy skin with goose bumps when exposed to heat.
- Intense sweating
- Fatigue and exhaustion.
- Headache, dizziness and nausea.
- Weakness and rapid pulse.
- Low blood pressure when standing.
- Muscle spasms.
Heat exhaustion extends beyond exposure to sun and heat, and affects a person even when he or she is already in a hot environment. Therefore, the ideal option is to avoid the onset of these types of problems.
Causes of heat exhaustion
The human body can begin to cope with the surrounding high temperatures and humidity by maintaining a constant internal body temperature within the normal value, increasing the production and secretion of sweat from the body. Where the body’s sweat production needs a large amount of body fluids and some of the salts it contains, and it also needs a suitable environmental climate to allow evaporation of the secreted sweat. In addition to hot weather and strenuous physical activity, other causes of heat exhaustion include:
- Dehydration, which reduces the body’s ability to sweat and maintain a normal temperature.
- Drinking alcohol, which can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- Overdressing, especially clothing that does not allow sweat to evaporate easily.
Tips to avoid heat exhaustion
Prevention is always the best option and when it comes to overheating, some simple measures are easy to follow. These are the precautions that ensure proper hydration of people and limit the effects that heat can cause.
- Limit exposure to the sun.
- Do not perform intense physical exercise in the central hours of the day, especially in the sun.
- Keep the air conditioning in the house to avoid the accumulation of heat in the house itself.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably in light colors, which return more solar radiation than dark colors.
- Maintain adequate hydration throughout the day. This, during the summer, means drinking more than during the rest of the year. It is advisable not to wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
- Avoid alcohol because it dries out the tissues.
- Avoid foods high in salt and replace them with foods that have a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Products such as melon and watermelon contain a lot of water and help us stay hydrated and combat heat stress.
- Pay special attention to the most vulnerable people, such as those with poor mobility, pregnant women, the elderly and children.