During summer, temperatures can soar above 100 degrees. In desert regions of the United States, temperatures usually go beyond 110 degrees. The unyielding and searing heat can make the body very vulnerable to heat stroke. Elderly people are at high risk for this condition, which is quite serious and requires immediate medical attention. Heat stroke can cause the rapid overheating of the body. Heat stroke can be deadly. Its symptoms can be treated with acupuncture; nevertheless, people suffering from this condition need to be medically attended at the soonest possible time. Knowing what heat stroke is, and what causes it can help address its symptoms or can prevent the occurrence of this condition.
What is heat stroke?
Heat stroke is a condition that occurs when a person, already experiencing dehydration, is exposed to high temperatures for a considerable amount of time, causing the functions of the body regulating body temperature, to fail. The medical dictionary defines heat stroke as a condition involving the central nervous system that happens when body temperature exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit after it’s exposed to high temperatures.
Heat stroke often occurs very rapidly, and so during a really hot day, it is important to keep yourself well hydrated. If you are outdoors, you need to stay in shaded areas to shield yourself from the sun especially when the heat is extremely torrid.
The Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
There are several and different symptoms and signs for heat stroke although they all need not necessarily have to appear in someone suffering from the condition. These symptoms and signs can include unconsciousness; seizures; behavioral issues such as disorientation or confusion; shallow and rapid breathing; weak or strong fast heartbeat; vomiting; nausea; muscle cramps or weakness; dry, hot and red skin, poor sweating despite the heat; light-headedness; dizziness; and a throbbing headache.
These symptoms can initially be mild but within a short amount of time can turn severe. If you or someone you know has been outdoors, has been exposed to extreme heat, and may manifest any of these symptoms, you and that person need to get medical help at the soonest possible time.
Heat Stroke – Risk Factors
As mentioned a while ago, elderly people are at high risk for heat stroke. Young children can be also at risk though especially when they are malnourished. These two demographic groups usually have relatively weak immune systems that make them prone to various kinds of condition. Their bodies can easily succumb to extremely high temperatures.
One other risk factor for developing heat stroke is when you are all of a sudden exposed to extremely hot temperature. Your body might be ill-equipped to deal with the heat and when you are exposed to it, your body then fails. People who rarely go out and are living in a desert region are prime candidates for heat stroke. Tourists who live in relatively cool climate and visit extremely hot places can also be at high risk for a heat stroke.
People taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications can also be prone to heat strokes as these drugs have side effects that leave the body weak and dehydrated. Street drugs, vasoconstrictors, beta blockers, stimulants, diuretics, and psychotropic drugs (such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs) can all contribute to body dehydration and weakness making the body prone to heat stroke during very hot weather.
How Does Acupuncture Address Heat Stroke?
The need to seek medical help cannot be overstated and so we need to remind you that immediate help is very important when it comes to the treatment of heat stroke. That being said, acupuncture can help relieve many of the symptoms of this condition particularly the residual symptoms of heat stroke.
Acupuncture can be used after the patient has had treatment from a medical doctor. Acupuncture is more or less applied to help relieve the other symptoms of heat stroke that have not been addressed by the doctor during the treatment. In order to relieve symptoms, a qualified acupuncturist will treat a number of acupuncture points on the skin to clear toxicity and heat. Acupuncture treatment is often accompanied by Chinese herbal remedies that help nourish and cool the body to establish a proper balance of heat and cold in the body.
When it comes to heat stroke, prevention is the best way of avoiding it which I’m sure both Western and Eastern medicine doctors would agree. If you feel that the sun is too much to bear and you need to go outdoors (or even if you’re indoors), you need to drink lots of fluids ASAP. If you are driving you need to turn on the car air conditioner during very hot weather. Keep yourself cool and well-hydrated, spend less time in the sun, access a shaded area or wear a hat if you need to go outdoors. And if you are starting to experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, go to a clinic or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225