Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Heat Exhaustion

Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Heat Exhaustion

Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Heat Exhaustion

Summer is full of sunscreen, fun, and plenty of sun–but when the heat becomes too much, a potentially-dangerous condition called heat exhaustion can develop. What is heat exhaustion? Our Walk-In Clinic experts have compiled all the need-to-know info!

A Closer Look

Heat exhaustion is a condition characterized by fatigue, lethargy, and weakness, all caused by dehydration. Now, that sounds simple enough–but in truth, there are actually two types of dehydration, and both must be defended against (because both can be the culprit of heat exhaustion). The first type is water dehydration; it’s caused by water levels in the body dropping too low, and it’s characterized by excessive thirst, headache, fatigue, and even unconsciousness. The second type is salt dehydration; this one is caused by a salt deficiency in the body, and can come with dizziness, nausea, trembling, and muscle cramps. The problem here is that, because heat exhaustion is related to these two types of dehydration, it can happen at any time–even if you’re not experiencing “record high temperatures.”

What You Need to Know

Here’s what our Walk-In Clinic experts want you to know about heat exhaustion!

  • Prevention. Preventing heat exhaustion starts with hydration. Always remember to have water with you wherever you go, and drink it often. Beyond that, it’s important to use sunscreen (SPF 50 or above), wear appropriate clothing, and keep an eye on your body’s signals–don’t overdo it if you’re feeling tired, thirsty, or weak.
  • Warning signs. The biggest warning signs of heat exhaustion are varied muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion cramps are most common in the thighs, calves, and back.
  • Symptoms. Although the characteristics of heat exhaustion can be varied, the most common symptoms are fainting, confusion, fast heartbeat, pale skin, discolored urine, and extreme fatigue. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, even when you’re not outside–a poorly air-conditioned room can cause heat exhaustion just as quickly as a day in the sun.
  • Get help. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into its more severe, more life-threatening brother, heat stroke. Heat stroke comes with severe nausea and seizures, and it can cause paralysis, nerve damage, and death–so always take heat exhaustion seriously.

Interested in more info on heat exhaustion? Looking for Walk-In Clinic experts? Contact us today!

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