Heat Exhaustion

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13 Aug 2016 - General

What causes heat exhaustion and heatstroke?

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body can't keep itself cool. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool when your sweat evaporates. On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isn't enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot. It can be caused by physical exercise or hot weather. You may experience:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Feeling weak and/or confused
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine, which indicates dehydration

What should I do if I think I have heat exhaustion?

If you think you have heat exhaustion, get out of the heat quickly. Rest in a building that has air-conditioning. If you can't get inside, find a cool, shady place. Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks (such as soda).


Although it is not very apparent that heat can do much harm to us, extreme heat can do devastating damage to the human body. Heat strokes are commonly reported in athletes and military personnel. I'm from Sri Lanka, and having finished a 30 year long war with the LTTE terrorists there have been many casualties who have even lost their lives due to heat strokes. War veterans sometimes spend several days at a stretch in the open, and the don't get adequate hydration. Same goes for athletes...
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