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A doctor’s tips to avoiding heatstroke and dehydration

This short article talks about the common signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke. It also discusses ways to prevent these from occurring on hot days and what to do if someone is affected by the heat.

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Dr. Vikram Varma

Dr. Vikram Varma (Photo: Community Medical Center)

Know the signs

For heat exhaustion: “Very thirsty, weak, tired, with a lot of sweating,” Varma said. “Sometimes a headache, nausea and vomiting. Heat exhaustion comes first. That leads to heatstroke if not treated properly.”

For dehydration: “Lips and tongue get very dry,” Varma said. “You’re feeling weak and tired. Maybe muscle cramps, and your skin may be paler. Those are the early signs of dehydration.”

A late sign? “Tenting of the skin (when you pinch the skin and it doesn’t return to its normal shape upon release) is a later sign and suggests that you are seriously ill,” Varma said.

“Also, watch your urine production,” he added. “If you’re producing less urine than usual or the color is becoming darker, that suggest you are behind on fluids.”

For heatstroke: “People are more confused, having headaches, don’t sweat much or stop sweating entirely,” Varma said. “Body temperature is high, 104 degrees.”

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