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What happens during heat stroke from exercise?

Your body removes heat using evaporation of sweat as a cooling. But when exercise is done in a hot, humid environment, the sweat does not evaporate. That's when the efficiency of this system is reduced and you are subject to heat stroke. Heat stroke can be a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms include:

  • Core body temperature rises above 104 degrees F
  • Sweating stops
  • Heart rate and respiration increase
  • A person experiences confusion, dizziness, nausea and headache

Heat stroke can cause someone to collapse, lose consciousness and sometimes even die. Emergency medical help requires these two steps: lower the body temperature (remove some or all clothing, spray or sponge the person with cool mist, apply ice packs, immerse the person in ice water) and replace fluids.

You can avoid heat stroke by wearing shorts and loose clothing, drinking plenty of water or sports drink and exercising in a cool environment (below 82 degrees).

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
According to the American College of Sports Medicine the internal temperature of the body  is greater than 40 degrees Celcius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

With internal body temperatures of this degree signs and symptoms of  organ system failure are evident.

Rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, sweating (skin may be wet or dry at time of collapse) and an alterned mental state.

Death can result.

When heat stroke occurs, your body temperature rises to or above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  This may results in the failure of your organ system functioning correctly.  Next, blood pressure will drop, an altered mental state of mind may become present, and you will start to sweat.  An end result may lead to death.

Continue Learning about First Aid For Natural Exposure

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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.