Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/13/2020

Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that is less severe than heat stroke, yet nonetheless causes significant signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include

Other associated symptoms can include muscle cramps and weakness. When the body is no longer able to cool itself, heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke, in which sweating stops and the person may experience confusion, lethargy, seizures, and an extremely high body temperature. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition.

Cause of heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is caused by physical activity in a hot environment that can overwhelm the body's ability to cool itself or living in a hot environment without adequate access to water.

Other heat exhaustion symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.