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How can I tell the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Heat exhaustion occurs before heat stroke and tends to be milder. Heat exhaustion can happen due to strenuous exercise or hot weather. With heat exhaustion, people develop excessive sweating, feelings of being weak, confusion, dizziness, nausea, headache, fast heartbeat and dehydration. Heat stroke occurs when heat exhaustion goes unnoticed or untreated. Many of the symptoms can be similar, but in heat stroke, people are unable to regulate their body temperature, which can lead to a lack of sweating, muscle cramps, high fever (104°F or greater), nausea and vomiting, and seizures. Both conditions are treated by getting the person to a cooler environment. However, with heat stroke, emergency personnel should be called.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.