Heatstroke is a condition caused due to overheating of the body usually as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures or excessive physical exertion under hot weather.

Woman with heat stroke

This is the most serious form of heat injury and can occur if an individual’s body temperature rises to 104° F (40° C) or higher. The condition is most common during the months of summer.

What Causes Heatstroke:

Exposure to a hot environment

Strenuous activity or physical activities

Wearing excess clothing during summers

Drinking alcohol


High blood pressure

Age, sudden exposure to hot weather, lack of ability to bear heat, medications and certain health conditions also lead to heatstroke. Babies and young children, pregnant and nursing mothers, people on medications for mental illness are also at risk for heatstroke.

Signs And Symptoms

High body temperature

Altered mental state or behaviour

Alteration in sweating

Nausea and vomiting

Flushed skin or reddishness of skin

Rapid breathing

Difficulty breathing

Racing heart rate


Diagnosis And Treatment

Doctors advise laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis and tests include rectal temperature, a blood and urine tests, X-rays and other imaging tests. Usually there is no medication, however, the doctor may advice drinking plenty of fluids, wear loose fitting clothes, apply sunscreen creams, and staying indoors.