Heat exhaustion is not as severe as heat stroke, but still should be taken seriously if you begin to experience symptoms of this medical condition. Heat exhaustion can occur in people that have been exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time or even over the course of several days or weeks. There are two distinct types of heat exhaustion which can be the result of becoming dehydrated or losing too much salt from sweating.
Depending on what type of heat exhaustion a person may be experiencing there are different symptoms and it is possible that a person may only have some of the symptoms and not all of them. If you are experiencing heat exhaustion as a result of becoming dehydrated, a person could feel thirsty, or have weakness, a throbbing headache, or even faint. If it is the other type where too much salt has been lost, symptoms could include muscle cramps, dizziness, vomiting and nausea.
There are other signs and possible symptoms of heat exhaustion that may be experienced. These include increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure, excessive sweating, feeling tired or fatigued, problems concentrating and confusion, as well as urine that is very dark in color, chest pains and shortness of breath.
The most common risk factor for heat exhaustion is being exposed to high temperature out doors for an extended period of time. The time spent outside can be over several hours or even weeks depending on the amount of time spent out in the heat. Extremely high humidity and high heat indexes can increase the likelihood of heat exhaustion.
When there is more humidity in the air, even though the body is sweating, the sweat does not evaporate and cool the body down. Wearing clothing that is dark in color or several layers can also cause the body to overheat because dark clothing absorbs heat and wearing multiple layers traps heat close to the skin and does not allow it to cool properly.
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