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Heat Cramps (cont.)

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What is the medical treatment for heat cramps?

Patient Comments

A doctor will evaluate the affected individual and may diagnose them with severe heat-related illness symptoms and signs, and possibly provide them with IV fluid rehydration. However, oral rehydration and electrolyte replacement is usually sufficient to treat heat cramps.

When to seek medical care for heat cramps

Heat cramps can be very painful. A person suffering from heat cramps should seek medical attention if the symptoms do not go away with rest, cooling off, and after restoring fluid and electrolytes.

Heat cramps may be the early signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which are more severe forms of heat-related illnesses.

Seek medical care immediately or call 911 if these conditions develop:

  • The person is unable to drink sufficient fluids because they have nausea or are vomiting. The affected individual may need IV rehydration with normal saline.
  • The person has more severe symptoms of heat-related illness, including:

If a person has more severe forms of heat-related illness, or thinks they require IV fluids to rehydrate, seek medical care at an emergency department.

Can heat cramps be prevented?

A person should remove themselves from a hot and humid environment, or hydrate well prior to and during activities in such an environment.

If a person works or exercises in a hot environment, they may experience heat cramps during the first few days of work or exercise. Once accustomed to the environment, and with adequate electrolyte replacement, the affected individual should have no further problems.

What is the prognosis for a person with heat cramps?

Heat-induced muscle spasms usually resolve without any medical treatment.

REFERENCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness." Updated: June 20, 2011.
<https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016

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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 »


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