Font Size
A
A
A

Heat Cramps (cont.)

Heat Cramps Causes

Patient Comments

The exact cause of heat cramps is unknown, but it is most likely related to electrolyte deficiencies. Various essential minerals, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, are known as electrolytes. They are important for many body functions, and an electrolyte imbalance can cause medical problems.

Sweat contains a large amount of sodium, and drinking fluids with inadequate sodium content after sweating profusely may result in a serious low-sodium condition called hyponatremia.

Those at most risk for heat cramps are:

  • Infants and young children
  • The elderly
  • Individuals who live by themselves or who cannot afford air conditioning in hot environments
  • Those who consume alcohol
  • Individuals who work or exercise in a hot environment
  • Those taking certain prescription medications. Some medications can impair the body's sweat and heat regulation (for example, psychiatric drugs, tranquilizers, OTC cold medications, and antihistamines).
  • People who abuse the drug Ecstasy.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/18/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Heat Cramps

Dehydration (Adults)
Dehydration in Adults Dehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids (mostly water), exceeds the amount that is taken in. Causes of dehydration include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, di...learn more >>
Dehydration in Children
Dehydration in Children Dehydration in children can result from not drinking enough liquids, vomiting, diarrhea, or combination of these conditions. Causes of dehydration in children i...learn more >>
Electrolytes
Electrolytes Electrolyes including sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are chemicals that help the cells and organs of the body function. Electrolyte imbalance can result from...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Heat Cramps:

Heat Cramps - Signs And Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your heat cramps?

Heat Cramps - Treatment

What was your treatment for heat cramps?

Heat Cramps - Experience

Please share your experience with heat cramps.

Heat Cramps - Causes

What caused your heat cramps?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Heatstroke »

Heat illness may be viewed as a continuum of illnesses relating to the body's inability to cope with heat.

Read More on Medscape Reference »