Spencer Platt
Spencer Platt

Heat exhaustion and dehydration can go hand in hand during the high temperatures of the summer time. If you’ve been out too long in the heat and aren’t feeling well you may be experiencing one or both of these conditions. According to the CDC, 618 deaths occur each year because of extreme natural heat situations.

Heat exhaustion has two types: water depletion and salt depletion. With water depletion you can experience excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness. With salt depletion you can experience nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and dizziness. Other symptoms to be aware of are pale skin, heavy sweating, and rapid heartbeat. Dark colored urine is important because it can be a sign of heat exhaustion as well as dehydration.

Muscle cramps are the mildest form of a heat illness and therefore may be the first sign of something worse to come if actions to cool down are not taken. According to WebMD if you can’t cool down within 15 minutes of getting out of the heat and relaxing you should seek medical attention.

With both heat exhaustion and dehydration it’s important to drink plenty of fluids.

There are several different causes of dehydration but the summer time brings on the need to drink more fluids to escape the thirsty, dry mouth condition. Many of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration are the same but one big difference is the inability to sweat when you are dehydrated.

Heat stroke is the most severe and definitely needs further medical attention. The symptoms of heat stroke include high fever (above 104 degrees F), extreme confusion, dry, hot, and red skin, rapid but shallow breathing, rapid but weak pulse, seizures, unconsciousness, and irrational behavior. Heat stroke is an emergency situation.

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