Heat stroke, a critical heat-related illness, arises from the failure of the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms, often due to prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures and insufficient hydration. This condition, marked by a body temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher, poses significant health risks if not promptly addressed. Now, Dr Mukesh Mehra, Director, of Internal Medicine, at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, has shared a few symptoms and prevention tips related to heat stroke.

Identifying heat stroke symptoms is pivotal for prompt intervention and includes:

Hyperthermia: Core body temperature surpassing 104°F (40°C), indicative of the body's inability to dissipate heat.

Central Nervous System Dysfunction: Altered mental status ranging from confusion and irritability to delirium and coma, stemming from thermal injury to the brain.

Cutaneous Manifestations: Flushed, hot, and dry skin, often devoid of sweating due to the cessation of evaporative cooling.

Cardiovascular Strain: Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) as the heart works to maintain circulation under increased metabolic demand.


Disturbances: Headache, dizziness, and in severe cases, seizures, reflecting central nervous system perturbations.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea as the body redirects blood flow from the gastrointestinal tract to vital organs.

Mitigating heat stroke risk involves strategic interventions.

Hydration Strategy: Maintaining adequate fluid intake to support evaporative cooling and prevent dehydration-related thermal strain.

Environmental Management: Limiting exposure during peak heat hours, seeking shade, and utilizing cooling aids like fans or air conditioning.

Appropriate Attire: Wearing lightweight, breathable clothing that facilitates heat dissipation and perspiration.

Gradual Acclimatization: Allowing the body to adapt gradually to hot environments through progressive exposure.

Strategic Rest Breaks: Incorporating regular breaks during strenuous activities to prevent excessive heat accumulation.

Awareness of Vulnerabilities: Understanding personal risk factors such as age, health conditions, and medications that may predispose to heat intolerance.
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