(BlackDoctor.org) — Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, where the body’s temperature is abnormally high (usually 104 F or higher). Unlike other heat-related injuries, such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.
Why Does Heat Stroke Happen
The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous physical exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to get rid of that excess heat and the body temperature rises, sometimes up to 106 F (41.1 C) or higher.
Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.
Who Does Heat Stroke Affect The Most?
Those most susceptible to heart strokes include:
• The elderly (often with associated heart disease, lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to dehydration and heat strokes)
• Individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun.
What Are Heat Stroke Symptoms and Signs?
Symptoms of heat stroke can sometimes mimic those of heart disease or other conditions. Sometimes a person will experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion before progressing to a heat stroke.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Muscle Cramps/Aches
Some individuals will develop symptoms of heat stroke suddenly and rapidly without warning or heat exhaustion symptoms. Also, it’s important to note that different people can experience different heat stroke symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms include: