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NEWSLETTER

Are sunstroke and heatstroke synonymous?

Question and response

Q. Is there a distinction between sunstroke and heatstroke, and are there any specific indications or symptoms I should watch for?

A. These are two different words for the same illness. Heatstroke (or sunstroke) occurs when the body can no longer keep its temperature below 105° F when exposed to extreme heat. Although people almost always have warning symptoms prior to heatstroke, they frequently ignore them or are unable to act.



Excessive thirst, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps are the early signs of hyperthermia. Once heatstroke has set in, you will cease sweating and may even experience dehydration. This is the point at which heatstroke develops into a medical emergency. Preventing heatstroke is a simple matter of common sense. If you must be outside in hot weather, make sure to drink lots of fluids on a regular basis. Rehydrate with a mixture of sports drinks and water. And never disregard any early warnings.


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