This condition is called heat exhaustion or hyperthermia. Although it’s not exactly life-threatening, it can lead to a serious illness called heat stroke. Heat exhaustion stems from becoming exposed to high temperatures or undergoing strenuous exercise. The body fluids aren’t properly replaced, causing the body to become too heated up. People with high blood pressure, outdoorsy individuals and elderly people are prone to this problem.
Heat exhaustion may not sound bad, but when it hits you, you’ll be surprised at how terrible it can be. Here are some methods to avoid this condition and keep your body cool and healthy all the time.
Are You In Heat?
It’s normal for the body to heat up, but how do you know when it’s become dangerous? Here are several signs of heat exhaustion.
- Heavy sweating
- Pale and clammy skin
- Muscle cramps
- Dizziness and fainting
- Rapid heartbeat
If your temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and you experience a seizure or coma, then you have already had heat stroke. This might lead to heart attack or death. To prevent this, it’s best to get rid of heat exhaustion from the start.
The most obvious way to get rid of heat exhaustion is to counter the hot temperature. If you or someone you’re with experiences this dilemma, try to find a way to cool the body. Move away from the hot area and into an air-conditioned or well-ventilated room, or at least under some shade.
Drink a cold beverage to get fluids back into your system, then apply a cold compress to the whole body. If you feel your condition getting worse, remove any tight-fitting clothing you’re wearing. Your temperature will go back to normal in a few moments and soon, your heat exhaustion will go away.
Your body doesn’t only lose fluids when you’re experiencing heat exhaustion. You also lose nutrients. To get your body back in shape, replenish the nutrients in your system by eating healthy food and taking supplements. You need minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, which you can get from sea vegetables, seeds, bananas, dark, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and blackstrap molasses. When you feel your body succumbing to heat, consume these food products. Fluids with plenty of electrolytes, found in sports drinks, also help.
You may think all healthy food and nutrients are good for curing hyperthermia, but that’s not the case. You should stay away from too much protein because it warms the body by increasing metabolic heat. This is not the time to eat that large chunk of steak, because your condition will only get worse.
Try Herbal Remedies
Many people opt for natural remedies when curing health dilemmas like diabetes, arthritis and digestive problems, but do you know there are also natural ways to treat heat exhaustion? Although there are still no studies that prove herbs can directly treat heat exhaustion, there are some that can cure fever or lower body temperature, like:
- Willow bark – It works great for fever and heat exhaustion, although it’s not advisable for children under 16 because it can lead to Reye’s syndrome. If you’re allergic to aspirin, this also isn’t recommended.
- Elder Flower- Often combined with peppermint leaf, the Sambucus nigra also works well in treating fever and heat exhaustion.
- Cayenne Pepper – Hot and spicy as it may be, this herb is effective in combating high temperature. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which lowers body temperature by stimulating the sweat glands.
- Chinese Skullcap – It’s often seen in traditional Chinese medicine and works by dilating blood vessels near the skin’s surface to reduce body temperature and get rid of heat.
- Yarrow – Known as Achillea millefolium, this herb can treat fever and heat exhaustion.
Homeopathy Works Wonders
While traditional treatments can work to cure heat exhaustion, there’s another form of alternative medicine that’s also said to work well for this condition. It’s called homeopathy. According to its thesis, substances that produce the symptoms of a particular illness can cure a person afflicted by that condition.
Before a remedy is prescribed, the ailing person’s constitutional type is first taken into account, including the psychological, emotional and physical makeup. The experienced homeopath first assesses these factors before determining the right treatment for the individual.
- Glonoinum – For heat exhaustion brought by too much sun exposure, this will work. It’s best for flushed and sweaty people who complain of irritability, confusion, cold extremities, and a heated face.
- Belladonna – Effective for people with dulled mental ability and bright red skin. It’s good for people who don’t feel thirsty even if the mouth and skin are dry.
Very few studies claim the effectiveness of homeopathic therapy, but according to the experience and practice of professional homeopaths, these remedies work well in treating heat exhaustion.
Seek Medical Attention
If these treatment options don’t work, and the heat exhaustion starts to get worse, the most advisable option is to consult a physician to get proper medical attention. If you’re also starting to experience heart problems or high blood pressure, call 911 or ask someone to bring you to the Emergency Room immediately.
Preventing Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is sometimes unavoidable and you can’t help but get struck by it, but there are ways to prevent this unpleasant condition from happening to you. Here are some reminders to keep in mind.
- Avoid hot areas. Try to avoid being directly under the sun. Staying in a parked car in hot weather is also not advised.
- Eliminate extra heat sources. Computers and other appliances left running, light bulbs left on, and using the stove or oven for too long can generate extra heat into your place.
- Loosen your clothing. Remove unnecessary articles of clothing, as well as those that fit too tightly.
- Take precautions with your medications. Some medicines can make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion, so make sure the ones you ingest are prescribed by your physician.
- Close all windows and doors to keep the sun out. This will keep your indoor space as cool as possible.
- Avoid sunburn. Sunburn reduces your ability to rid yourself of heat. When you go out under the sun, wear a brimmed hat to cover your head and face. Apply sunscreen to your skin.
- Use water. Never underestimate the cooling effect of water. Take a bath daily to cool your body. Get a basin or bucket and soak your feet in it. Put a cold compress on your forehead. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated.
Although heat exhaustion is very common, it can have very dire results like heat stroke. Prevent and get rid of this unpleasant dilemma by trying these ideas. You’ll be cool, safe, and healthy no matter how hot the weather is.
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