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Lifestyle

What you need to know about heat stroke, how to understand the symptoms and what to do

What you need to know about heat stroke, how to understand the symptoms and what

Thousands of people die each year from complications caused by extreme heat, including exhaustion and heatstroke.

Here's what you need to know about heatstroke, how to understand the symptoms and steps you can take to stay safe this summer.

If your body temperature reaches up to 39 degrees Celsius, you may be at risk of heat stroke.

Also known as heat cramps, this is one of the first symptoms of heat-related exercise problems. You may experience painful cramps, especially in your legs, arms or abdomen, when you sweat a lot.

Although not caused by heat alone, muscle cramps become more frequent when the body has not adapted to high temperatures.

Dehydration is also another common cause of cramps, however, if you have such pains along with other symptoms, don't ignore them.

Lack of sweating – or excessive sweating

When it spends too much time in extreme heat, the body stops maintaining its internal temperature. Thus, you stop sweating or you are sweating more than usual.

Dizziness or difficulty walking

Heat stroke causes central nervous system disorder, so lack of coordination, dizziness or inability to walk are warning signs that you should not ignore.

A stabbing headache is another common stroke symptom. This symptom develops mainly as a result of dehydration (when you haven't drunk enough water) or as a complication of a stroke in the central nervous system.

As you continue to sweat, the body becomes even more dehydrated. The heat begins to affect some organs, causing nausea, vomiting or fainting.

In cases of heatstroke, the body directs blood flow to the skin in an attempt to cool itself, hence the rash. The skin may also feel very dry or cold, depending on the type of stroke you are experiencing.

Irregular heartbeat or difficulty breathing

The heart is placed under a great deal of pressure as a result of the extreme heat. It has to pump harder and faster to make sure the body's natural cooling systems work properly to keep the body temperature balanced. This can also lead to breathing problems

Even if the thermometer reads less than 39, but you still show symptoms of heatstroke, you should take measures to reduce the temperature or you should seek medical help.