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What should you know about heat exhaustion?

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Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures, and it often is accompanied by dehydration. There are two types of heat exhaustion:

Although heat exhaustion isn't as serious as heat stroke, it isn't something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.

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

From: Heat Exhaustion WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Familydoctor.org: "Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke. What causes heat exhaustion and heatstroke?"

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Heat Injury and Heat Exhaustion."

CDC: "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat." 

National Institute on Aging: "Hyperthermia: Too Hot for Your Health." 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency: "Are You Ready? Extreme Heat." 

News release, The Endocrine Society.

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

UpToDate.

Reviewed by William Blahd on December 04, 2016

SOURCES:

Familydoctor.org: "Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke. What causes heat exhaustion and heatstroke?"

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Heat Injury and Heat Exhaustion."

CDC: "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat." 

National Institute on Aging: "Hyperthermia: Too Hot for Your Health." 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency: "Are You Ready? Extreme Heat." 

News release, The Endocrine Society.

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

UpToDate.

Reviewed by William Blahd on December 04, 2016

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What are common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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