Summer seems like the perfect opportunity to go hiking and do a wide variety of outdoor activities. However, many overlook that high temperatures and the sun can lead to serious health problems, such as heat stroke.
This condition has been underestimated for many years, although it is related to the main medical complications of this time of year. The most worrisome is that some continue to ignore their symptoms and preventive measures to reduce their impact.
Why is heat stroke so dangerous? How to recognize it? To resolve these questions, we share in detail what it means, its risk factors and the habits that all must take into account to avoid its effects.
Why does heat stroke occur?
A heat stroke is a medical emergency that occurs due to an increase in body temperature above 40ºC. This situation causes alterations in the central nervous system and failures in the processes that help regulate the body’s heat.
It should not be confused with cases of insolation since it can develop even in the absence of the sun when the humidity of the environment is high. Therefore, some may suffer from the simple fact of being subjected to hot environments with poor ventilation.
In these situations, the body loses fluids and salts essential for its optimal functioning. In addition, it keeps the temperature degrees higher than normal, since the increased humidity slows the evaporation of sweat.
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The main risk factor for heat stroke is prolonged exposure to hot and humid climates, such as that of a coast or beach. However, there are other causes that raise the chances of suffering from its effects.
- Low water consumption or dehydration.
- Physical efforts or practice of sports activities in the central hours of the day.
- Sudden heat waves.
- Work or physical exercise in poorly ventilated environments.
- Consumption of some medications.
- Elevated metabolic rate
What are the symptoms of a heat stroke?
The symptoms of heat stroke can vary depending on the level of severity with which it occurs. In any case, it is essential to know the warning signs, since it is essential to react in a timely manner to avoid more serious situations.
At a first level, a heat stroke can cause:
- Redness and increased skin temperature
- Excess dry skin and lips
- A feeling of intense thirst
- Excessive sweating
- Shock sensation
- Temperature equal to or greater than 40ºC
When the problem goes to the second level of severity, other symptoms arise such as:
- A weakening of muscles and cramping
- Dizziness, feeling of vertigo and headaches
- Uncommon urination and changes in urine
- An absence of sweating (anhidrosis)
- Pulse acceleration
- Loss of appetite and stomach pain
Finally, when the situation becomes more alarming and dangerous, the person may suffer:
- Extreme exhaustion
- Nausea and vomiting
- State of disorientation
- Loss of consciousness or seizures
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Death (if the treatment is delayed)
How to act in a case of heat stroke?
The main measure to cope with heat stroke is to avoid the hot environment. This means that, before any warning signal, you should look for shade or a cool place. On the other hand, it is convenient to loosen tight clothing and consume moisturizing drinks.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages, beers or sugary drinks, as these contribute to dehydration. The liquids, as far as possible, should contain mineral salts that help maintain a balance of the body’s electrolytes. Other measures include:
- Moisten the skin with a damp towel
- Check vital signs and breathing
- Go to emergencies as soon as possible
- Wear clothing that protects the body from the sun
Heat stroke is one of the biggest dangers of summer and can affect people of any age. Therefore, it is essential to recognize any warning signal and minimize risk factors. In the same way, it is essential to guarantee the hydration of the organism and to avoid activities of high demand.
We also recommend you to read this article: http://magazinemi.com/heart-attack-and-stroke-due-to-diabetes/