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    Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- Symptoms

    What Are the Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses?

    Heat cramp symptoms can include:

    • Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet
    • Hard, tense muscles

    Heat exhaustion symptoms can include:

    Recommended Related to First Aid

    Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- the Basics

    Prolonged or intense exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke (also known as sun stroke). As your body works to cool itself under extreme or prolonged heat, blood rushes to the surface of your skin. As a result, less blood reaches your brain, muscles, and other organs. This can interfere with both your physical strength and your mental capacity, leading, in some cases, to serious danger. By reducing excessive exposure to...

    Read the Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- the Basics article > >

    Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention.

    Heat stroke symptoms can include:

    Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, GET MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:

    • Confusion, anxiety, or loss of consciousness
    • Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
    • Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 degrees to 106 degrees F
    • Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion) or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke)
    • Convulsions
    • Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids and salts

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2015

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