Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion

In hot weather, when your body is overexerted, it may struggle to cool down effectively and maintain a normal temperature. Certain Vital Urgent Care centers are equipped to provide IV fluids when necessary, which help replenish the essential liquids and electrolytes (sodium) that your body needs to function properly.

The average body temperature is around 98.6°F. During intense exercise or overexertion in hot and humid conditions, your body's ability to cool down may be compromised. Dehydration, alcohol consumption, and excessive clothing can also hinder the body's natural cooling process.

Recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion is crucial. In the first stage, known as heat cramps, symptoms include heavy sweating, fatigue, thirst, and muscle cramps. In the second stage, called heavy exhaustion, symptoms include heavy sweating, dizziness, low blood pressure, nausea, low fever, headache, and dark urine.

Several risk factors contribute to heat exhaustion. Age plays a role, as young children and adults over 65 may struggle to adapt to temperature changes as quickly as others. Certain medications, such as diuretics, sedatives, heart and blood pressure medications, and psychiatric drugs, can increase the risk of heat exhaustion. Additionally, individuals with underlying health conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, obesity or being underweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness, sickle cell trait, alcoholism, or sunburn are also more susceptible.

If heat cramps progress to heat exhaustion, there are several steps you can take to alleviate symptoms. Rest in a cooler environment, drink cool fluids, apply cool water to the skin, and elevate your legs above heart level. If signs or symptoms do not improve rapidly, it is important to seek medical attention at Vital Urgent Care. Our medical team can provide appropriate treatment for heat exhaustion and help your body cool down effectively. IV fluids are available at our center to replenish important electrolytes lost through excessive sweating.

Heatstroke is a severe condition that can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated. Heatstroke is characterized by a body temperature of 103°F or higher and requires immediate medical attention as it can cause permanent damage to the brain and other organs. If you suspect heatstroke, call 911 without delay.

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