Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when a person can't sweat enough to cool the body. It generally develops when a person is working or exercising in hot weather, sweats a lot, and does not drink enough liquids to replace those lost fluids. Heat exhaustion can be caused by loss of fluid ( dehydration ) or loss of electrolytes .

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include fatigue, weakness, headache, dizziness, or nausea, and the skin is pale, cool, and moist. Mild heat exhaustion does not cause a decrease in a person's mental alertness, but it may occasionally cause fainting. Mild cases of heat exhaustion usually can be treated at home.

Moderate to severe heat exhaustion can sometimes lead to heatstroke , which requires emergency treatment.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedSeptember 1, 2011

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