Does your job make you spend long hours outdoors? Do you feel dehydrated and suffer from a throbbing sensation in your head? If you can relate to the above situations it is time to know more about a heat stroke. So please go ahead and read this post.
What Is A Heat Stroke?
The most common problem in the summer months that can turn serious if left untreated is sunstroke. Did you know, sunstroke can lead to organ failure, as it can damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles?
If your body temperature rises to 104 F (40C) or higher, then you are likely to suffer from a heat stroke. Dr. Christine Bennett, Chair, Medical Advisory Panel, Bupa Australia says:
“When summer temperatures start to rise, it’s important to know how to prevent heat stroke. Look out for those who are vulnerable to heat stress or heat stroke, such as the elderly, the very young and the sick, because it’s more difficult for them to maintain a normal body temperature.”
More the delay in starting the treatment, more dangerous can be the consequences. Immediate action is needed to cool the overheated person.
Heat Stroke Vs Heat Exhaustion:
What is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion? We find out.
- Heat exhaustion is your body’s response when there is a loss of water or essential salts. Whereas, heat stroke is the most severe form of heat stress which can lead to dramatic changes in your cells eventually causing death.
- A heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, can occur suddenly and unannounced, without showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion.
- When heat exhaustion is not addressed, it can lead to a heat stroke.
According to Dr. Simran Saini, Nutritionist, “Heat exhaustion is a temporary phase where your body is overloaded with heat, but a heat stroke is a more serious condition. It is caused due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, which may overheat your body and raise its temperature more than the normal body temperature, which is 37 degree Celsius. If your body temperature rises above 40 degree Celsius it can even damage your vital organs.”
What Causes A Heat Stroke?
A lot has to do with our lifestyle habits especially during summers. A prolonged exposure to the sun or an excessive exertion in the heat combined with a low water intake can trigger a heat stroke during the scorching season.
Excessive sweating can lead to a fluid and electrolyte imbalance in the body and chronic dehydration. Consuming more alcohol or caffeinated drinks can further aggravate the condition and lead to a heat stroke.
What about the symptoms? Read below.
Symptoms Of Heat Stroke:
Following are the warning signs of heat stroke that you need to watch out for:
- A body temperature of 104 F (40C) or higher
- A headache
- Muscle cramps
- Change(s) in mental state or behavior. It can be in the form of confusion, irritability, seizures, and even coma.
- Sweating heavily, and a changed pattern in sweating. Expect moist skin with goose bumps even in the heat.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Redness of skin (as your body temperature increases)
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate. Your pulse rate will also be significantly higher.
Says Peter Sananman, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn Medicine, “Generally with heat exhaustion, a patient is sweating a lot, whereas, with heat stroke, they’ve stopped sweating and are actually dry.“
Home Remedies For A Heat Stroke:
Why pop any pills when there are reliable home remedies to help you manage the condition.
Here are ways to help you beat the heat and feel better.
1. Onion Juice:
Apply onion juice behind the ears and on your chest. It will help bring down your body temperature.
You can also eat raw onions in the form of salads or chutneys. This too helps cool your system down.
2. Tamarind Drink:
Imli is rich in vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. Soak some tamarind in boiled water. Strain the imli water, put a pinch of sugar in it and drink it. This recipe lowers the body temperature and also acts as a mild laxative. It is a tangy way to treat stomach disorders.
3. Aam Panna:
This is the best and natural go-to summer drink which doubles up as a health tonic. Made with raw mangoes and spices, it cools your body. Ideally drink aam panna twice or thrice a day. As it is loaded with pepper, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and kala namak, aam panna gets you ample energy and electrolytes.
It is a great source of antioxidants (which bring down the internal inflammation that may be caused due to a heat stroke), plus the fruit keeps your body well-hydrated. Soak some plums in water until they get soft. Mash them in water and strain it. Then consume it to combat a heat stroke.
5. Buttermilk And Coconut Water:
Up your fluid intake as the mercury soars to avoid suffering from a heat stroke. You can tantalize your taste buds with some yummy buttermilk or gulp down a glass of refreshing coconut water to stay hydrated.
6. Coriander-And-Mint-Leaves Juice:
Take the juice of dhaniya and pudina and add a pinch of sugar to it. You get a cool home remedy to reduce the body heat. Coriander juice is also good for reducing menopausal heat and flushes.
7. Tulsi Seeds And Fennel Seeds:
Consuming Tulsi seeds soaked in rose water cools down your system instantly. Fennel seeds also work like a coolant. Soak fennel seeds in water and leave it overnight. Strain the water next morning and drink it. This will guard you against the heat and keep your body cool.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar:
In your fruit juice, add a few drops of ACV. Alternatively, you can add ACV to a mix of plain water and honey. When you lose minerals like potassium and magnesium through sweating, you can replenish them by taking an ACV concoction.
9. Aloe Vera Juice:
Being rich in minerals and vitamins, the juice of aloe vera stimulates the defensive mechanisms of the body – whether it is to combat a heat stroke or prickly heat.
10. Sandalwood Paste:
Mix sandalwood powder with a few drops of water and apply this paste on your chest and forehead. Its cooling properties will help bring down the temperature of your body. The other option is to massage a little sandalwood oil on your forehead. The oil application will help soothe the irritated skin.
In case your condition worsens due to a heat stroke, wet your hair and forehead with cool, icy water. This will allow the heat to escape. Also, please seek immediate medical attention.
Simple Tips To Prevent A Heat Stroke:
Here are some basic tips that will help you keep the threat of a heat stroke at bay:
- Avoid going out in the sun during peak hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, sporting sunglasses, and donning cotton clothes are some of the musts you should follow.
- Do not expose your body to sudden changes of temperature – which inevitably happens when you come from the scorching heat outdoors and enter an air-conditioned environment. Rest a bit in the shade before entering an artificially all-cool zone.
- Remove excess clothing and avoid wearing polyester garments.
- Never leave anyone inside a parked car (even if the car is in shade). This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children.
Disclaimer: All material published in this health article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist before following our suggestions or making any changes to your diet.
What Is The First Aid Treatment For Heat Stroke?
Body cooling is the topmost thing that needs to be done in the case of a heat stroke. And there are multiple ways of doing so. Dip yourself in cold water, put a special cooling blanket around yourself, or apply ice packs to your neck, back, groin, and armpits to lower your temperature.
What Are The Foods To Avoid To Prevent A Heat Stroke?
Avoid tea and coffee as much as you can. Caffeine is not your best friend, but your enemy all the way as it makes you more prone to suffer from a heat stroke.
What Is The Recovery Time For A Heat Stroke?
Initial recovery may take 1-2 days in a hospital, whereas complete recovery may vary from 2 months to a year. So the recovery time is variable.
Hope you found this blog on heat strokes informative and useful. Do give this post a thumbs up. Also, go ahead and share your tips to treat a heat stroke with other health watchers here.