Heat stroke is a condition wherein the body’s normal processes are affected due to very high temperatures that the person was exposed to. This condition occurs when the body reaches a temperature of more than 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) mostly because of an external condition such as staying under the intense heat of the sun for too long.
There are many possible causes why a person experiences heat stroke. Most often, it is because the body’s natural cooling system was hampered from doing its job because of prolonged exposure to heat, dehydration, and higher susceptibility because of old age or use of certain medications.
Heat stroke can be fatal as the body’s natural processes are affected. In fact, when the body reaches a temperature of 40 °C, the enzymes change or become deactivated, causing havoc in the body as it is being run by lots of enzymes.
What Causes Heat Stroke
Knowing the causes of heat stroke is one of the most important things that you can do to prevent yourself from experiencing this ailment.
Exercising or working in hot weather or conditions without taking in adequate amounts of fluid is the primary cause of heat stroke. You could easily get heat stroke if you will not replace the fluids you have lost continually over a number of days or weeks.
Aside from cooling the body down through the production of sweat, liquids are also needed for body functions like keeping the blood pressure up. If you will not replace your bodily fluids, this could effect to the increase of temperature and the death of cells.
People known to have the following conditions are considered to be more prone to getting heat stroke:
- Chronic illnesses like heart disease
- Old age
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Use of certain medications like antihistamines and diuretics
- Parkinson’s disease
- Use of some psychoactive drugs like cocaine or alcohol
There are also some conditions that could contribute to experiencing a heat stroke. Another factor that could cause this ailment is the wearing of heavy clothing even during hot weather.
Signs And Symptoms Of Heat Stroke
It is also very important to know the signs of heat stroke. This is so anyone would know what to look for in a person who is already in the danger of developing the condition. Keep in mind that heat stroke symptoms are sometimes similar to heart attack or other illnesses. They could also come in as symptoms of heat exhaustion before they develop into heat stroke. The usual symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, fatigue, dizziness and vomiting.
There are some people, though who develop heat stroke symptoms quite suddenly, without any hint of a warning. So here are some of the common signs and symptoms of this condition to look out for:
- Extremely high body temperature
- The absence of sweating
- Flushed dry skin that could also be hot red
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Rapid pulse rate
- Strange behavior
People with heat stroke do not sweat because of a failure in the heat control system. The high temperatures of their body could lead to internal organ damage while their fluid loss could bring on a blood pressure that is dangerously low.
Treatment For Heat Stroke
- Immediately bring the patient to a cool area. Remove constrictive clothing, long pants, and long sleeve shirts.
- There is a need to cool the patient fast. Fill a tub with cold water and immediate place the patient there.
- If a tub is not available, pour cold water on the patient. Wet and cold towels and clothes can be wrapped around the patient.
- Make the patient drink water.
- Resuscitate the patient if unconscious. Seek medical help immediately.
Heat Stroke Prevention Measures
Preventing heat stroke is always better than treating it. This is because it easier to prevent heat strokes from happening than curing them and their effects in the first place.
- During summer season, never expose yourself to the afternoon or the midday sun. It is best to do your outdoor activities during evenings or during early mornings.
- Drink more water and keep your body juiced up with essential vitamins derived from juices from fresh fruits.
- Avoid alcohol consumption during summers because this can increase body temperatures.
- Use air-conditioners or coolers during summers, and moisten your body with water at least two times a day to stay cool always.
- If working under the heat of the sun could not be avoided, then make sure to use a hat or an umbrella to protect yourself.
- Never wear tight-fitting clothes during summers. It is best to wear cotton clothes that are loose instead so that your skin could breathe. These types of clothes also absorb sweat so they prevent you from feeling tired.
- Take a shower or bath using cold water whenever you can to avoid heat stroke.
- Do not indulge in vigorous exercises during summers. If you can’t help it, then doing simple exercises will have to do.
Heat Stroke Diet
- Diet is easy to come by because it is mainly comprised of fresh vegetables and fruits that are known for their high water content.
- Another main thing when it comes to heat stroke diet is to avoid salty foods. Because foods that are laden with salt could hamper the normal production of sweat, there is a big chance that these could increase the chances of getting a heat stroke. So it is best to keep your salt intake at a minimum.
- Drinking lots of water and fruit juices also help in battling dehydration, which could cause a heat stroke. If your urine is already turning dark yellow, start juicing up and watering down your body to replace the fluids lost during the sweating process.
- Buttermilk helps in cooling down your body, so drink lots of these during summertime. Choose the one that is made from fresh curds because this helps in decreasing the temperature of the body.
- Always put in a heavy dose of protein and healthy fats into your diet daily. This is because foods like meat, eggs, nuts, and olive oil could help in steadying your blood sugar, which in turn prevents the occurrence of heat strokes.