Heat Exhaustion Definition
Heat exhaustion is a condition marked by exhaustion that occurs when the body overheats. The person may feel extremely fatigued and may halt all activity. It is an emergency condition that if left untreated, can sometimes lead to heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening condition. This article will focus only on heat exhaustion, which is on the spectrum of heat-related illnesses along with heat cramps (which is less severe) and heat stroke (which is more severe).
Heat Exhaustion Causes
The main cause of heat exhaustion is failure of the body's cooling mechanism (mainly evaporative sweating) to maintain a normal core temperature, resulting in the body overheating. Causes that can contribute to heat exhaustion include strenuous work or exercise in a warm or hot environment, dehydration, alcohol intake, and wearing clothing that inhibits evaporative cooling of the body. The elderly and children under 5 years of age are at higher risk for developing heat exhaustion.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/13/2013
Must Read Articles Related to Heat Exhaustion
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Heat Exhaustion:
Heat Exhaustion - Experience
Please share your experience with heat exhaustion.
Heat Exhaustion - Causes
What was the cause of your case, or someone you knows heat exhaustion?
Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms
What symptoms did you experience with heat exhaustion?
Heat Exhaustion - Treatment
How was your case of heat exhaustion treated?
Heat Exhaustion - Children
Please share your experience with heat exhaustion in a child.