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Heat Illness

Also called: Heat exhaustion, Sunstroke

Summary

Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn't enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, replenishing salt and minerals, and limiting time in the heat can help.

Heat-related illnesses include

  • Heatstroke - a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion - an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
  • Heat cramps - muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
  • Heat rash - skin irritation from excessive sweating

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

  • (Department of Homeland Security) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in

Symptoms

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Red Cross) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

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Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Heart Association)

Specifics

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
  • (Healthy Roads Media) - PDF Also in
  • (Logical Images)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • Video (Healthy Roads Media) Also in
  • Video (American College of Emergency Physicians)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

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  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Logical Images)
  • (National Athletic Trainers' Association) - PDF Also in

Seniors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in

Patient Handouts

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