Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke

| November 12, 2013 | Reply

heat exhaustion

It is very easy to confuse heat exhaustion with heat stroke, and although they are both unpleasant and debilitating, heat stroke is more life-threatening than heat exhaustion. However, it is important to note that heat exhaustion leads to heat stroke if it is not taken care of promptly, so you need to know the symptoms and learn how to protect yourself while hiking. Here are some of the ways that you can tell if you have heat exhaustion versus heat stroke, and prevention techniques that you can utilize

while you are hiking.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion symptoms typically manifest themselves after several days of being exposed to high temperature and not getting enough water. It can be caused by water depletion or salt depletion and can cause dizziness, viagra sans ordonnance confusion, nausea, headache, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, fainting, and noticeable fatigue. It is not life-threatening unless it is left unattended and progresses into heat stroke. To prevent heat exhaustion from developing, it is important that you take plenty of water with you while hiking so that you can replace any water that you lose through sweating.

If you start to feel the symptoms of heat exhaustion while hiking, stop and rest, drink plenty of water or a drink formulated with electrolytes, remove any tight-fitting clothing, and place a cold wet cloth on your head. If you take these preventative measures and discontinue the activity, you should be able to recover fairly quickly, but make sure to take it easy the rest of your time outdoors.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion and should be treated immediately. Heat stroke is caused by the body failing to properly regulate its own temperature. This can cause your temperature to skyrocket and can lead to many different symptoms, including: convulsions, severe diarrhea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, rapid heart rate, skin that has become hot, red and dry, and confusion.

If you or a fellow hiker begins to experience these symptoms, it is mandatory that you seek medical help immediately. You must also move the person out of direct sunlight and do anything you can to

cool them down. This includes removing any excess clothing, fanning them, spraying them with cool water that is not cold enough to shock their system, and giving them water if they are conscious.

If you learn to recognize and prevent the symptoms of heat exhaustion, your symptoms will likely never advance to heat stroke. That is why it is so important to always have plenty of water and electrolytes with you when you go hiking.

Category: Blog

About the Author ()

Michael Sproul currently lives in Utah. He grew up in St. George, Utah only moments from Zion National Park. He loves sharing his experiences and helping others enjoy Zion as much as he does. He currently writes for The Carefree Traveler and My Life Outdoors.

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