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Putting Heat-Related Illnesses on Ice

Advice for patients who exercise in the summer

Advise your patients who exercise in the summer to watch out for the big 3 H’s:

Heat cramps. These painful muscle contractions primarily affect the calves, thighs, and abs. Affected muscles may feel hard to the touch. Body temperature is normal.

Heat exhaustion. During heat exhaustion, body temperature rises to as high as 104°F (40°C). You might experience nausea, faintness, and weakness. Skin can feel clammy and cold. Untreated heat exhaustion can lead to…

Heat stroke. The body temperature rises above 104°F (40°C), although the body stops sweating. The skin feels hot. Confusion and irritability are common. If left unmanaged, heat stroke can be fatal.