Heat Exhaustion Or Heat Stroke: What Are You Suffering From? | Ojuslife
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Heat Exhaustion Or Heat Stroke: What Are You Suffering From?


Love the sunshine? But, it has its own demerits too! If you spend too much time out there in the heat, you are prone to either heat exhaustion or heat stroke

Both Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke are kinds of heat-related illnesses. Emergency physician Thomas Waters, MD at Cleveland Clinic, says that people may think that heat exhaustion and heat stroke are separate things. But, they are on the same spectrum varying from not-so-serious to serious emergency levels. 

Typically, the children and the elderlies are prone to the dangers of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. However, young adults working out in the heat or trying to adapt to a new climate, or skipping on enough fluids are at the risk too.

Today, we shall uncover some of the fine line differences among them for easier analysis of the illness in the future.

Let’s go!

Is There Any Difference Between Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion?

Sure there is! 

Before you rule out and start treating either of them, you must learn what they are and how you can differentiate them. 

Now, to put it simply, heat exhaustion occurs when your body loses an excessive amount of water and salt, from sweating. Whereas, on the other hand, heat stroke refers to a serious medical condition where your body is unable to control its internal temperature.

Let’s learn more about heat exhaustion fever or heat stroke recovery in this blog.

Signs of Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion

For all the sweat-haters, sweating is good for your body as it helps in cooling down your temperature. However, on extremely hot and humid days, sweating might not be enough. Even more so, when you ought to engage in physical work outside in the sun. 

Both heat stroke and exhaustion can cause you to raise your body temperature and show similar kinds of symptoms or signs. So, let’s differentiate and learn about symptoms shown by heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Signs of Heat StrokeSigns of Heat Exhaustion
Elevated Body Temperature, above 104°F (40°C)General Weakness
Rapid and strong pulse or heart rateMuscle Cramping
Change or loss of consciousnessHeadaches
Red, hot, dry, or moist skinDark Colored Urine
ConfusionExcessive Sweating
AgitationIncreased Heavy Sweating
SeizuresNausea or Vomiting
Slurred SpeechWeak but faster pulse rate or heart rate
Pale, cold, and clammy skin
Possible lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting

Causes of Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Health complications can only alleviate with Heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Generally, it is when the body fails to cool itself down. Sweating does not seem to help. Plus, if you overwork in hot weather or a heated environment, your body may face difficulties to perspire to keep you cool.

Usually, the cause lies in the combination of physical exertion and hot weather conditions. Yet, there are a few additional factors that can lead to exhaustion and heat stroke.

As you learnt about the heat exhaustion fever, heat stroke muscle cramps, heat exhaustion nausea, etc., it is time to learn what causes them!

Below are the major causes of heat exhaustion & heat stroke.

  • High humidity (usually over 60 percent)
  • Liver or kidney issues
  • Intense workout regime
  • Underlying health issues such as diabetes or hyperglycemia
  • Drug abuse
  • Heavy or long-term alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • A side effect of certain medications
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart-related diseases
  • Dehydration

When To See A Doctor?

If you experience any of the afore-mentioned symptoms of heatstroke, you must visit the doctor immediately to initiate your treatment. 

And, if you feel heat exhaustion, then try switching to the reverse conditions. Stay in a cool environment, take plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and change to cooler clothes. However, if the symptoms do seem to back down within an hour, you must seek medical attention. 

The doctor will be able to diagnose heart-related illnesses based on the symptoms shown. If needed, they may perform multiple tests for potential complications. 

Prevention For Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Prevention is always better than cure. Experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke or even heat stroke recovery is no joke. But, even when it’s boiling outside, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself safe and healthy. Know that both heat-related illnesses are preventable if you take the right steps. You can prevent both heat exhaustion and heatstroke with the simple steps as follows-

1. Stay Hydrated

Remember, dehydration increases the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, so make sure to drink enough fluids to retain water.

2. Cool off After Workout

Most people experience heat exhaustion fever, or heat stroke symptoms while exercising outside in hot conditions. So, make sure that you spare yourself five minutes to cool off after you exercise.

3. Chill out

In case you notice the signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion, you must go to a cool place as soon as possible. Not ideally into the air conditioning, but into the shade to cool off your temperature.

4. Be Attentive

Always stay attentive to your body and recognize the heat exhaustion or heat stroke illnesses in themselves.

5. Breathable Outfits

Wear loose, breathable, and light-colored outfits like cotton blends instead of synthetic ones. 

6. Cool Bath

Use cooler water for showers and baths to avoid your body from raising its temperature.

Recovery Tips For Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion

Worry not, heat stroke and heat exhaustion are curable and treatable. There are a few recovery methods that you can adopt- either before your doctor’s appointment or during your treatment. 

Here are a few of the recovery tips for heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Switch to cotton clothing
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Lie down with your feet raised slightly
  • Sponge the skin to keep it cool 
  • Use cold packs around the neck and armpits
  • Protect from sunburn
  • Take it easy on hotter days
  • Stay Acclimated


“If you are battling heat, then do not try to push your body”- you just cannot push through heat stroke, no matter how strong you are! The key to staying healthy is by paying attention to your body for any illness signs. 

In case, you figure having fever or heat exhaustion, then treat yourself at home with the simple methods above. And, if you continue to feel sick, and notice any subtle signs of heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately. 

Doctors know quick, easy, and convenient ways to cool down your body temperature. Also, you must monitor the complications before it brings any damage to vital organs. 

Note– Heat stroke can be deadly if left untreated.

FAQs | What People Ask About Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion?

If you started your heat stroke recovery, it takes only 2 days for the treatment to work and the symptoms to slide. However, some suggest that recovery may also take 2 months to 1 year depending upon the severity of the heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion might seem undeadly, but if proper care is not taken, it results in fatal illnesses. It includes-

severe kidney injury, liver failure, arrhythmias, delirium, muscle pain, and more.

So, remember to treat your heat exhaustion as soon as you realize it. If home remedies do not work, then seek the necessary medical attention.

You can prevent heat stroke in the following ways:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Wear breathable and loose-fitting clothes
  • Take cool water baths
  • Don’t overwork in a hot and humid environment
  • Always exercise
  • Spend enough time in a cool environment

The most common symptom of heat exhaustion is raised body temperature, i.e., fever that can rise over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Other heat exhaustion symptoms include blurred vision, lightheadedness, headache, and more.

The first signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • General Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dark Colored Urine
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Increased Heavy Sweating
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Weak but faster pulse rate or heart rate
  • Possible lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting

The best home remedies for heat stroke are:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Wear breathable and loose-fitting clothes
  • Take cool water baths
  • Don’t overwork in a hot and humid environment
  • Always exercise
  • Spend enough time in a cool environment

There are several foods you can eat during summer to prevent and even help in heat stroke recovery:

  • Green moong sprouts
  • Kokum
  • Fresh coconut water
  • Bitter Gourd
  • Bottle Gourd
  • Watermelon
  • Gulkand
  • Barley
  • Pineapple
  • Cooling spices like fresh marjoram, cilantro, lemon balm, peppermint

During summer, you must avoid the following foods that can elevate your heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cured Meats
  • Fried Foods
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Nuts
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