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Signs to Watch For to Prevent a Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke
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It may feel pretty nice today around the Ark-La-Tex but the heat will return soon enough. Please read this article so you do not experience heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

I learned from experience. Several years ago I was in a planting mood so I dug a bunch of big holes and planted shrubs for most of the day. It was hot so I cooled off with a couple of beers. Big mistake. I felt pretty lousy for a few days. I was super dizzy, confused, nauseated, and had a lot of muscle cramps. For a long time after that day, whenever I got the slightest bit overheated I would feel bad.

According to WebMD.com, there are two different kinds of heat exhaustion:

  1. Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and even loss of consciousness.
  2. Salt depletion. Signs include nausea and vomiting, frequent muscle cramps, and dizziness.

You may start sweating a bunch–this is your body trying to cool itself.

You may feel cramps in your body.

You are suddenly incredibly exhausted for no reason.

WebMD lists the most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion as:

  • confusion
  • dark-colored urine (which indicates dehydration)
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • pale skin
  • profuse sweating
  • rapid heartbeat

What should you do if you experience heat exhaustion?

Get out of the heat! Find an air conditioned building or vehicle. Get in the shade if no A/C is available. Sit down and rest for a bit. If you are alone, call a friend so they know what is going on in case you pass out. If you keep pushing yourself it will only get uglier. Here is what WebMD says to do:

  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Apply other active cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If you do not feel any relief within 30 minutes, call your doctor ASAP. This can quickly turn into a heat stroke! Definitely not anything to play around with.

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