Connect with us


Signs of heat exhaustion and how to treat it at home



With temperatures expected to reach 37°C in some parts of Gauteng this coming week, residents should make sure they recognise the signs of heat exhaustion.

Gauteng has been sweltering in heatwave conditions over the past week, and the mercury will keep on rising throughout next week.

Regional weather service, Gauteng Weather, issued an alert on their X account on Sunday warning residents that early forecasts suggests that the heatwave will intensify in Gauteng past Tuesday, with temperatures peaking at 37°C on Wednesday.

What is heat exhaustion

Cleveland Clinic explains that heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and can’t cool itself down.

While heat exhaustion usually results from physical activity in hot weather, there are various other factors that can also lead to your body overheating:

  • Older people and young children are more susceptible to heat exhaustion as they are not able to regulate their body temperature as easily.
  • While there’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer on a hot day, alcohol should be avoided during the warm weather conditions as excessive alcohol intake can cause dehydration, which increases your risk of heat exhaustion.
  • If you are not used to working in hot conditions, wearing heavy clothing and equipment, monitor yourself for signs of your body overheating.
  • Overweight individuals are also at a higher risk of overheating.

ALSO READ: Daily hacks: Ways to keep cool in your home during the super hot days

Signs to look out for

  • Dizziness, light-headedness, blurred vision and headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue, weakness or fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breaths
  • Excessive sweating and cold, damp skin
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands

How to treat it at home

If you experience any of the above symptoms during the heatwave, follow these steps immediately to cool down your body:

  • Take a cool shower, sit in an air-conditioned building (if possible) or wet a wash cloth with cold water and place it on your forehead or the back of your neck.
  • Stay hydrated. Take small sips of water or a sports drink with electrolytes – drink this for an hour, but avoid drinking too much too quickly.
  • Sit or lie down so your body can rest.

Diabetics warned to be extra vigilant

Pharmacist Themba Muhlarhi of Medipost Pharmacy also urged type 1 and type 2 diabetics to take extra precautions to avoid heat stroke or heat exhaustion because they are at significantly higher risk.

“Being dehydrated can cause diabetics’ blood sugar levels to rise dangerously high, so it is essential to drink plenty of water at all times, especially on hot days and when exercising, in addition to following your usual treatment plan. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated or sugary drinks, as these actually dehydrate your body more and often contain unhealthy levels of carbohydrates,” he advised.

NOW SEE: Beat the heat – Nectarine and white chocolate yoghurt lollies recipe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *