Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Heat exhaustion is when the body overheats when you are too active in hot temperatures. Heat stroke is a more severe illness that can be life-threatening.
Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke happen under the following conditions:
Young children and older adults are at increased risk for heat exhaustion.
Factors that may increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
Symptoms of heat stroke may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Your heart activity may be measured. This can be done with an ECG.
Treatment for heat exhaustion includes:
Treatment for heat stroke includes:
To help reduce your chances of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
American Red Cross
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke. Updated February 2017. Accessed September 29, 2017.
Heat-related illnesses. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 29, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 8/26/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.