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- Patient Comments: Heat Cramps - Causes
- Patient Comments: Heat Cramps - Symptoms
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- Heat cramps facts
- What are heat cramps?
- Who is at risk for heat cramps?
- What causes heat cramps?
- What are the signs and symptoms of heat cramps?
- When should an individual seek medical care for heat cramps?
- How are heat cramps diagnosed?
- What first aid treatments can help heat cramps?
- What are the complications of heat cramps?
- How can heat cramps be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for heat cramps?
How can heat cramps be prevented?
Prevention is the best treatment for heat cramps. If possible, try to avoid working or exercising in the heat of the day, but if it is required, acclimating to the hot weather is important. Drink plenty of fluids and if the activity lasts a prolonged period of time, consider using sports or balanced electrolyte drinks. This is especially true if significant sweating occurs and electrolytes are lost through sweat. Try to rest in cool or shaded areas whenever possible.
What is the prognosis for heat cramps?
Heat cramps resolve with relatively simple treatments including rest, hydration and stretching. It is important to remember that heat cramps are the initial presentation of heat related illness and may progress to the more serious conditions of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
Kravchenko J, etal. Minimization of Heatwave Mortality and Morbidity.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013: 44(3) 274-82
Schwellnus MP. Cause of Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC) - altered neuromuscular control, dehydration or electrolyte depletion. Br J Sports Med 2009;43:401-408