Hyperthermia refers to condition wherein body's temperature regulating mechanisms fails and results in elevated body temperature above than normal range. In general, body temperature above than 104°F (40°C) is considered as Hyperthermia.
Heat exhaustion precedes hyperthermia. Increased body temperature and resultant headache, nausea, fatigue and muscular cramps are the symptoms of heat exhaustion that transforms into hyperthermia if untreated.
Causes of hyperthermia include dehydration, obesity, consumption of drugs such as cocaine and heroin, insomnia leading to reduced formation of sweat and use of some medications. Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart diseases, high blood pressure and lung disorders also make the person more likely to experience hyperthermia.
Elevated body temperature due to hyperthermia poses risk of delusions, hallucinations, seizures, muscle breakdown and coma.
- Muscular cramps
- Difficult paying attention
- Less frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
Hyperthermia is much easier to prevent than getting treated. Adequate consumption of water, specifically during hot summer days and limit alcohol intake. Consumption of fresh fruit juices, tender coconut water and other electrolyte drinks help in maintaining the body's normal temperature.
Guidelines for treating hyperthermia patient includes taking the affected person to the shaded area, loosening of clothes, providing water or electrolyte drinks, cool air is blown over the person and body is wrapped loosely with wet sheets.
Under severe condition, medical help is taken to restore the hydration level and body temperature to the normal range.