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Heat Exhaustion (cont.)

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Heat Exhaustion?

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 Should I Call the Doctor About 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.

How Is Heat Exhaustion Diagnosed?

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 11/10/2016
Medical Editor:

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Heat Exhaustion - Causes

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Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms

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Heat Exhaustion - Treatment

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Heat Exhaustion - Children

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