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How to know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke

How to know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Posted at 6:29 AM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 08:29:25-04

COLORADO SPRINGS  — As temperatures continue to stay hot this week and into the weekend, it’s best you stay prepared to beat the heat.

While spending time in the sun can be fun, it’s important to know that if you overheat, your body can experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke. But how do you know the difference?

Heat exhaustion signs include being dizzy, excessive sweating, cool, pale skin, vomiting, a rapid pulse, and muscle cramps. If you experience this get to a cooler place and hydrate or take a cold shower.

Heat stroke is when you have a throbbing headache, your body temperature is above 103, and vomiting. Your pulse will feel rapid and strong, and you could lose consciousness. You need to call 9-1-1 right away.

There’s a reason your body reacts to heat this way.

“Your body can tolerate things for a certain while but then at some point it will just shut off and not be able to tolerate the extreme heat so starting with heat exhaustion you really just want to make sure you’re as cool as possible, staying as hydrated as possible because the water really helps regulate the body temperature,” said Dr. Ian Tullberg, Urgent Care Medical Director for UCHealth.

Dr. Tullberg says to drink fluids that have electrolytes and salt to keep your body fully hydrated.

You want to try to avoid doing outside activities during the hottest parts of the day, but if you cannot do so, take plenty of breaks and be sure to wear light colored, loose clothing.

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