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How can I Prevent Hyperthermia?

An illness that causes a high fever makes a person more susceptible to hyperthermia.
Quitting smoking can help prevent hyperthermia.
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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2014
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Hyperthermia occurs when the body produces more heat than it can get rid of. Hyperthermia is usually the result of exposure to extreme heat, which causes the body’s temperature to rise to a level with which it cannot cope. Hyperthermia is an extremely serious medical condition that should be treated immediately.

Hyperthermia can also occur due to exhaustion from physical exercise. Certain illnesses can also be a contributing factor. Any illness that causes weakness or high fever makes the body more susceptible to hyperthermia.

There are a few preventative measures that can be taken to avoid hyperthermia. The main preventative measure is the clothing one wears in high temperatures. The body needs to perspire in hot weather, and wearing loose fitting garments is helpful.

Lightweight clothes made of fabrics such as linen are excellent to keep the body cool. Shorts and cotton t-shirts are also excellent choices for hot weather. Wearing a sun hat or any type of hat that shades the head from the sun can help prevent hyperthermia.

Drinking plenty of fluids in hot weather is also a necessary precaution against hyperthermia. Fluids should be taken even if you do not feel thirsty. You may not notice when your body perspires. A regular intake of fluids is necessary to replenish lost water and to maintain blood circulation.

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Avoid rooms or areas that are overly warm. Make sure that rooms are well ventilated and that air conditioning can be used. Do not eat large, heavy meals when venturing into the sun, as this makes the body more tired.

When venturing into the sun, do not overexpose yourself. Sun worshippers have a habit of staying in the sun for hours on end. This dehydrates the body and can lead to severe exhaustion. Always allow time for the body to become accustomed to changes in heat.

Avoiding substances such as caffeine and nicotine also helps the body avoid hyperthermia. Caffeine and nicotine are diuretics and dehydrate the body. Alcohol also causes dehydration and should be avoided in the sun.

Hyperthermia can happen in any weather to anyone. Older people using medication may be more susceptible, and young children are also especially at risk. Symptoms of hyperthermia include headaches, disorientation, tiredness and nausea. If suspected, hyperthermia should be treated by a medical expert immediately.

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Discuss this Article

OeKc05
Post 8

Even though my coworker had a sore throat with a fever, she insisted on coming to the yearly company picnic. It is held outdoors in August at a nearby park.

We had urged her to stay home and recover, but she was determined to be a part of things. She had just been hired a few weeks prior to the picnic, and she desperately wanted to socialize.

She had made three trips back and forth to and from the parking lot to help people unload their food baskets. On her way back to the picnic table during that last trip, she passed out cold. We rushed her to the hospital, and the doctor said she had hyperthermia.

When we came into the room to visit her, she had an IV in her arm and a cup of ice in her hand. I could tell she was very weak because the cup was shaking badly.

lighth0se33
Post 7

I am afraid of hyperthermia because I like to hike in the summertime. I go to the historic Natchez Trace and hike the natural stone stairsteps to the waterfalls. I also take various natural trails, like the one at Metal Ford where the river runs alongside.

The thing about summertime hiking in this area is that the weather starts out cool, even a little chilly, in the early morning. However, by 10 a.m., the heat will hit you, and if you are not in an area near where you parked to seek the air conditioning of your car, you can be in serious trouble.

One thing I always do is store a few bottles of liquid in my backpack. I always keep water in there, but I also keep several kinds of fruit and vegetable juices, just in case something happens and I get stranded, so that I can restore some of the vital substances that I lose through sweat.

shell4life
Post 6

During July and August when the sweltering heat takes its toll on me even during simple tasks like walking from my car to my house, I have to be careful so as not to get hyperthermia. I often wish I could do like my dogs do and just lie down in the shallow creek bed all day, but duty calls.

When working around the house, I always wear large or extra-large white cotton t-shirts that allow air in through the sleeves and up the bottom, as well as right through the material. I wear cotton shorts as well, and I like the kind that fall about mid-thigh and fit very loosely.

My washer and dryer had to be hooked up outside in the utility room attached to the carport. I had no choice in that matter because of the way the house was built. The carport gets extremely hot and holds that heat, and I will break a sweat just going to get the clothes. I find that my oversized cotton uniform keeps me as cool as I can be in that situation.

orangey03
Post 5

In the summertime where I live, temperatures frequently stay around 100 degrees. I love to garden in the spring, but the plants that I spent so much time cultivating are super hard to care for in extreme heat. I cannot stand to be out there yanking up weeds.

I decided to use my swimming pool to prevent hyperthermia. I take a nice dip in it before I start weeding. I weed until I feel too hot, and then I take another dip until I cool down. It is the only way I can maintain my garden in the blistering summer months.

wander
Post 4

@lonelygod - Hyperthermia is actually more of a sign of heat stroke rather than the illness itself. Hyperthermia is simply when the body temperature of a person is raised above 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) that shows up with a lack of sweating and a bit of confusion.

If you have bad heat stroke the chance of hyperthermia can be quite likely and heading to a hospital is very important. Having your body temperature raised for an extended period of time can not only cause a lot of damage to your organs but it can also lead to death if left untreated.

If you suspect you have hyperthermia head to an emergency room and don't try to deal with it yourself.

lonelygod
Post 3

Is hyperthermia the same thing they refer to as heat stroke?

During the summertime I have often spent a bit too much time in the sun and ended up really sick with exhaustion, fainting spells and dehydration. I just never know when to head inside and always feel find until it is too late.

I remember the last time I suffered from heat stroke and I couldn't stop shaking the chills were so bad. My fever was really high but to me it felt like I couldn't get warm. I ended up in the hospital in an ice bath to get my temperature down and got stuck on an IV to replenish fluids. It was a pretty bad experience so I try to be more careful these days.

anon150346
Post 2

this article gives great information on hyperthermia. I'm doing hyperthermia for my independent research project. (IRP) trust me on this one. Lauren

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