Font Size

Heat Exhaustion (cont.)

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms and Signs

Patient Comments

People with heat exhaustion may have some or all of these symptoms;

  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Thirst
  • Clammy skin
  • Dizziness and/or fainting

Individuals with heat exhaustion will generally have an elevated body core temperature (internal temperature, not skin temperature).

When to Call the Doctor for Heat Exhaustion

An individual should be evaluated by a doctor or other health care professional if they develop symptoms consistent with heat exhaustion. This can result in the early diagnosis and treatment of heat exhaustion, which can prevent the individual from becoming worse and potentially developing heat stroke (body core temperature of 104 F/40 C or higher) and other complications.

Heat Exhaustion Diagnosis

The diagnosis of heat exhaustion is generally made after obtaining the patient's history and performing a physical exam. If the body core temperature is elevated (but less than 104 F/40 C in adults or less than 105 F/40.5 C in children), and the patient has had heat exposure along with the symptoms of heat exhaustion, then the diagnosis of heat exhaustion can be made. However, in some instances, blood and urine testing may be done to check for other causes or to detect certain abnormalities that may be associated with the early signs of heat stroke, such as electrolyte abnormalities, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) and/or kidney damage. Other tests may also be ordered to exclude other diagnostic possibilities, depending on your doctor's evaluation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2015
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Heat Exhaustion

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 >>
First Aid
First Aid First aid is an important skill to learn in case of emergencies. Learn how to prevent injuries, when to seek urgent care for injuries, what to stock in a first ...learn more >>

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.

Medical Dictionary