Heat stroke is quite common, especially in warmer climates and seasons. And a common cause is dehydration.
We lose body water each day through sweat, urine, breathing, and stools, regardless of the climate.
Dehydration occurs when we experience abnormal depletion of body fluids and/or a lack of water intake.
In addition, according to the Merck Manual, lost body fluids contain electrolytes (electrically charged minerals) in varying concentrations.
Thus, water loss is always accompanied by electrolyte loss.
Both water and electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) are critical for proper hydration.
Heat stroke is a condition in one's body caused by overheating and requires emergency treatment. It usually occurs as a result of physical activity in high temperatures or by prolonged exposure.
Without proper treatment, a heat stroke can quickly damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic staff.
Under normal circumstances, our bodies generate internal heat and we keep ourselves cool primarily through sweating.
However, when we are physically active in the sun with high heat or humidity for intense or prolonged periods of time, our bodies’ cooling system can start to shut down.
Dehydration is a major cause of the inability of the body to produce enough sweat, and most people are chronically dehydrated.
Thus, when we are already dehydrated and then are physically active in the hot sun or heat, our risk for heat-related illness increases significantly.
When the body cannot cool itself effectively, the internal body heat rises to dangerously high levels, causing heat exhaustion.
Just a few of the symptoms include the following:
Immediate treatment is critical since it can cause permanent organ damage, or even death.
The specialists in the news reports I watched advised cooling down the person while waiting for help to arrive. A few of their suggestions for immediate help included:
Prevention is always going to be more effective than treatment. The following are steps you can take to prevent dehydration and heat stroke, especially if you are active and live in one of the warmer climates: