3 serious signs that you could be suffering with heat stroke

Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises to such a degree that it can’t regulate itself.
Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises to such a degree that it can’t regulate itself.

The dog days of summer are good for lazing by the pool but not so good for your long runs and weekend hikes. When temperatures and humidity levels soar, you’re at an increased risk of heat exhaustion or worse: Heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a real danger in temperatures above 40 degrees, as several South Africans have already discovered. And it’s no joke. It occurs when your body temperature rises to such a degree that it can’t regulate itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, left untreated, it can damage your brain, liver, kidneys and muscles. Scary!

Read more: 6 ways to soothe that really painful sunburn

If you spot any of these signs, find shade ASAP.

1. You stop sweating

According to Dr Theunis Potgieter, head of the Emergency Clinic at Mediclinic Stellenbosch, if you suddenly stop working up a sweat in the heat, your body’s temperature regulatory system is starting to fail and it’s a major sign that heat exhaustion is on its way. Find shade and drink fluids – wine doesn’t count, sorry.

When things escalate? Your temperature will leave you feeling like you could fry and egg on your forehead. Your skin may flush red and your heart could start racing as your body tries to cool you down. That high body temp can shut down your key organs, too. 

Read more: Ever wonder why you still end up burnt – even after applying SPF?

2. Headaches and disorientation

These could be signs of heat exhaustion, which could progress to heat stroke, says Chitra Bodasing at ER24. If you feel them coming on, get out of the sun! You’ll start to feel really out out it… like really out of it. Those changes are also major indicators that you’ve moved from heat exhaustion to a life-threatening heat stroke. By this point you won’t be conversing well or thinking clearly enough to step out of the heat and get the help you need.

Read more: Everything you need to know about heat rash (and how to prevent it)

3. Nausea and vomiting

If you’re losing your lunch, things have already gone too far. Feeling queasy is one of the most common physical symptoms of heat exhaustion. But this and many other signs – like feeling fatigued and vomiting – can signal you’re on your way to having a heat stroke, too. Stop what you’re doing and seek medical assistance immediately.

The bottom line: Heat stroke is a serious threat this time of year – especially for active people who regularly push themselves while they’re out in the hot, thick air. Know the warning signs and take your workout inside when you need to. And if you spot someone who seems to be suffering from heat stroke, call a doctor, have them stop whatever activity they’re doing, and assist them in cooling off. Sit them in the shade, in front of a fan, or even spray them with a garden hose – heat stroke needs to be rapidly cooled, however you can.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za

Image credit: iStock 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1829 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 8695 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 6255 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 607 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.