Heat stroke: The damaging effects of heat stroke


When the daily high temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celcius for a few days in a row, you know what to do.

But we can’t always stay indoors, camped out in front of an air conditioning vent. So if you do have reason to spend an extended period outside in the heat and suddenly feel nauseous or disoriented, it’s time to take IMMEDIATE steps to cool your body because a heat stroke can be just as dangerous as an ischaemic stroke. And don’t buy that line that only older people are vulnerable – a heat stroke doesn’t discriminate by age.

Heat wave takes its toll

Last month, some areas of India experienced consecutive daytime highs well above 43 degrees Celcius, easily qualifying the summer of 2005 as one of the hottest ever on the Indian sub-continent. The worst part is the toll taken by heat stroke and dehydration: Official reports put the number of deaths at about 200, but the actual count may be quite a bit higher.

As tragic as that is, it’s not as bad as the Chicago heat wave of 1995 in the US, in which more than 600 people died over a period of nine days. The true severity of that weather event is put into perspective by the low temperatures: Over one two-day stretch the low didn’t dip below 31 degrees. How rare is that? Meteorologists say there’s less than a 1 percent chance of it ever happening again.

Most of us will never have to endure a heat wave like the recent one in India or the Chicago grilling of a decade ago. But a 1998 study that used data gathered from the Chicago incident reveals that the effects of heat stroke can have long-term consequences that sometimes turn deadly.

Kidney problems, blood clots and lung malfunction are all side effects of heat stroke

American researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Centre followed 58 subjects chosen from more than 3,000 patients with heat-related conditions who were admitted to Chicago area hospitals between July 12 and July 20, 1995. All 58 subjects experienced symptoms of near-fatal heat stroke. Each was interviewed at the time of their discharge from the hospital, with a follow up interview scheduled one year later.

Almost a full quarter of the subjects died within the year; most of them within the first three months. All of the remaining survivors suffered some amount of brain and nervous system impairment. Approximately half were diagnosed with kidney problems and blood clots, while 10 percent of the group experienced malfunction of the lungs due to inflammation. After taking into account each subject’s health conditions before hospitalisation, all of these side effects were judged to be a direct result of heat stroke.

Perhaps the most significant finding was that age was not a factor among the subjects who died, in spite of the fact that the elderly are generally at greater risk of suffering heat stroke. Subjects ranged in age from 25 to 95, with the average age of the group being around 67.

The study also recognised the fact that because of overcrowded conditions in all of the participating hospitals during this crisis, the immediate care – which is critical – was not as comprehensive as it should have been, underlining how important it is to quickly seek medical attention when the first signs occur.

Know the symptoms

You probably already know the basic advice for avoiding heat-related health problems: Limit direct sun exposure, eat light meals, drink plenty of water, avoid dehydrating beverages such as alcohol and coffee, and wear light clothing.

Beyond that good advice it’s useful to know the warning signs: Skin may become flushed accompanied by headache, nausea, disorientation and heavy sweating. As the body temperature rises the skin will become hot and dry and sweating will stop. As soon as these symptoms appear the victim must be cooled immediately, either with air conditioning, fans, or with lukewarm water. Cold water should not be used because it may cause shivering which raises body temperature.

To further avoid heat-related problems, add a little fruit juice containing vitamin C to your water. This will increase your level of antioxidants that can help protect cells and muscles from dehydration damage.

Replacing electrolytes that are lost when you sweat is a primary concern also. Electrolytes are electrically charged ions that your cells need to carry electrical impulses to other cells to maintain muscle and nerve control. In most heat-related situations you won’t need to worry about electrolytes if you’re getting enough water. But if you begin to feel weak from dehydration you should look for a beverage containing sodium, potassium and magnesium, all of which can help replenish electrolytes. Sports drinks usually contain these minerals, but they also typically contain sugar and flavorings. So if you must resort to a sports drink, it’s a good idea to dilute it with water.

Most importantly, you simply can’t neglect your body’s hydration cycle. Optimize conditions that allow sweat to evaporate while constantly replacing the fluids lost through sweating.

Bear in mind all the material in this email alert is provided for information
purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal
situation. Please consult with your own physician
before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

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  • Hi m vipash.I had heat stroke 5monts back but after that I become week .my body is become week and my mind also after 5 months I still facing weeknes any body plese tell me in how many day I become well

  • I don’t know what I had but if anyone knows please tell me. I ran a long 4 miles today it was pretty hot, I felt fine when I was running but when I was finished it was the worst feeling of my life, I couldn’t stand or sit or walk, I felt like I was dying or something. Its too hard to explain what I felt like, but it kinda felt like I was still running and could never recover from it. after about 10 minutes it finally went away so I went inside and drank some water. I was about to call 911 it was that bad IDK what it was I think it might have been heat stroke but I wasn’t vomiting.

  • Had heat stroke when about 36. Now 74…since first heat stroke I have had to be careful. Yesterday very hot and supposedly repaired a/c in car did not cool and within less than ten minutes I was in heat exhaustion.

  • Hello, I too am suffering from this strange heat intolerance. Back in 2009 on a really humid day I “blacked out”, didn’t actually pass out, I could still hear and I didn’t fall to the floor, just felt funny and couldn’t see and within a couple seconds my friend gave me a bottle of water and my vision came back and I started sweating like crazy. I assume it was just heat exhaustion bc I was fine after I drank the water. Anyway, since then, more so now that its been several years since that happened, I have noticed that I don’t sweat anymore and I get really hot/lightheaded when I am outside in warm/hot weather. I always used to be very athletic and never had any problems like this before. I am a 29 year old female with no other health conditions. Could I be suffering from some type of damage from my previous heat incident? Doctors seem to think it may be an endocrine disorder so I will be going to see that specialist next week. Anyone got any ideas/ suggestions as to what this might be? Thanks 🙂

  • I suffered a heat stroke while in AIT at Fort Benning in the summer of 79, my core temperature hit 106.8 after being packed in ice and soaked down with water. I lost passed out and came to back at the barracks. I received an honorable medical discharge but have been unsuccessful at getting copies of my medical records. Does anyone have any advice.

  • I read all these comments about these service members. I was an officer and had heat stroke and fell out durning a change of command ceronomy for the commanding general. This was when we still wore steel pots. You don’t think that was covered up. Plus on top of that, I got written up for falling out. Of course, it is not documented in my medical records, but I was taken to the rear, IV’d by the medics, for about 4 hours packed in ice, and left in the tent. I was then taken back to the company where I was then proceded to be chewed out by my CO for falling out of formation. Sometimes it is difficult to suck it up and drive on when you continue to get heat stroke easier or exhustion more frequent. Somehow I survived and got out, but I suffer severe side effects that I did not know were related to heat strode until I went to fil for VA benefits and reading these comments. This sight has been great and all these military members comments lets me knoe I’m not alone with my problems. Thanks Guys. HUA!

  • I suffered heat stroke during the Army, I think it was 1993, and have life-long residual side effects
    Can anybody tell me their long term side effects of heat stroke?

  • I have been suffering from strange burning on my scalp for the past few years and doctors keep telling me that it is anxiety. However, I don’t have anxiety when the pain begins. Sometimes it starts with a combination of numbing, tingling and burning sensations usually at the top of my head where the bangs would start. Now it is changing locations but always at the top of my head. I didn’t associate an incident that happened to me in 2001. I was boating with a group of friends, wearing no hat and suddenly after hours of being out in the sea, I started to hallucinate, going in and out of consciousness, my head was burning so bad, I thought I would die. I was NOT taken back to shore, only taken to a cot where I rested in pain for the rest of the cruise. I am now very sensitive to the sun and when I’m exposed, I turn red and then have strange white marks that come up. Sometimes even a rash. Now I’m suffering terribly with burning scalp with loss of hair in those same areas. I don’t think I can take much more of this. Can anyone shed light as to what my problem is? I have searched everywhere and there are so many possibilities. Now that I’ve read this site, I can see just how serious my problem is. I would love to hear your comments. Thanks!!!!

  • I too suffered a heatstroke while in basic training at Ft. Benning (2004). I spent a month in the hospital on dialysis. I have had many long term side effects. The most troubling are my memory and ability to focus. When it is really hot out I get short of breath or begin to vomit if doing anything strenuous.

  • I would love any info anyone can give me. My 13 year old son suffered a heat stroke/heat exhaustion last summer after attending two sports camps in one day. We live in Texas and the second camp was in a gym in which the air conditioner had malfunctioned–thus 100 degree plus heat. When I picked him up, he said he was freezing, he had 104 temperature, was sick to his stomach and very weak. I immediately thought it was a bad virus and kept him home for the next few days giving him liquids constantly. When his fever did not subside and he only got up to go to the bathroom, I took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with “heat stroke”. He ran blood work and his enzymes were off, especially his liver, which showed enzyme levels indicative of hepatitis. He tested negative for hepatitis and after a month, his liver enzymes began decreasing. No one has told us of the lasting effects of a situation like this; no one seems to know. However, this spring, when track season started, our son (who loved to run and was an excellent runner before last summer) began begging not to go to school, especially track. We made him go, of course, and finally he became so anxious about it, we decided he had an anxiety disorder and the doctor prescribed a low dose anti-anxiety med. However, we began to rethink this, when on a hot morning, he became so fatigued after P.E. that he laid down at school and went to sleep and reported feeling very bad. He said he was very, very weak and did not feel like he could hold his head up. He was too weak to take a shower even. He continues to feel bad when he gets hot, even when the temperature is 80-90 degrees. He was fine throughout the winter and now we are struggling every day to get him to school and for him to last throughout the day if it is hot. Does anyone think this is related to the heat situation last summer? Our doctor does not seem to know how long the effects last and our athletic trainer at our son’s school says it could not have been a heat stroke, it had to heat exhaustion because he survived without going to the hospital. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • I suffered heat strokes in the Army in basic trainning in 1965. I had three episodes. I was in the hospital for over a week. Two master sergeants came to me and told me I had to take a medical discharge but without out any benefits because they had lost my medical records that showed my heat stroke. I refused because I knew this would ruin me. I have suffered many medical problems after this happened. I filed a claim with the VA in May of this year and was turned down. Said that they had evidence that shows that syncopal episodes existed prior to service. I had never heard of syncopal. This is fainting spells.
    Nowhere in my file shows heat stroke. I have requested my medical files since Oct of this year and still have not recieved it. When I call about my medical files they always tell me they are copying them. Good grief if there was that much in my file I would have gotten disablilty. If any one knows how to fight this please email me.

  • I had my 1st heatstroke at 4, I was taken to the hospital and released in the same night (my insisting to not leave me there) and as far as I remember I felt fine. I would get dizzy every now and then if I was out playing but I didn’t actually pass out again until I was 13 and that I remember a little better considering I was by myself and completely freaked out and when I woke up I figured I had just idk I was a kid and I ignored it (although I did start taking better care of myself) After that it happened again at 16 and again at 19 and since then it’s happened at least once a year (i pass out) loose my hearing and I’m gone. I wake up 30sec. or so later every time it happens. Sometimes I can sense it and immediately start soaking my head in water. I’m not really sure what’s going on considering I have nothing on documents because I was 4 when actually diagnosed with a heat stroke. So…I guess I am trying to say what the heck is wrong with me? Does it ever stop? I’m terrified I won’t wake up one of these times. I’m going to the Doctor’s now that I can finally afford insurance >.< But I’ve talked to other Doctor’s before when being treated for something else and well I guess free information just isn’t what it use to be. I’m only 22 it would be nice to have a normal life.

  • I have not posted on here in a good while. My update to my previous posts are that nothing has changed for me. One Dr said I needed to get my autonomic nervous system tested the other Dr said I have hypothalamic issues due to the heatstroke’s I had. I am still very intolerant of heat and direct sunlight. My body temp fluctuates all the time from hot to cold. I never feel comfortable in my own skin. Still cannot go outside in anything over 75 degrees and I live in Tx.

  • About a month ago, I believe had some form of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. For the first two weeks I had heavy heart palpitations from my chest to my head. The only way to stop it from getting worse was to lie down on my bed. I took cold showers and kept wet rags on my head and neck. The last two weeks I have been slowly getting better. If I go outside in the hot weather or even exert too much energy inside, my head starts to get hot. That is the biggest problem right now, my head just feels like its going to explode when I get hot or exert too much energy. I’m just wandering if anyone else has this problem with their head. I’ve been off work for the past month since it has happened and I am seeing very slow progress. I am thankful to see some progress, though. Just been thinking about the future and if I will be able to hold any kind of job. I have three children and a wife to support. My faith in God is the only thing that is getting my family and I through this! I appreciate all the post that I have read. I am thankful to get any information I can about this difficult illness.

  • I’ve suffered from heat stroke 2 years (2009) ago while gardening. Yesterday suffered a worse heat stroke than the previous one. I’ve been told that once you have one incident of heat stroke then one is more susceptible to this condition happening again. I have read several articles and have found nothing on this issue/reason. Why is this? does any one have any info on this?

  • While serving in the US Army and attending IOBC (Infantry Officers Basic Course), I suffered from Heat Stroke while out on an FTX (Field Training Exercise) back in the early nineteen-eighties. The temperature was well past 100 degrees and my class had been constantly running and stopping (very short breaks) since sun up (4 a.m. was the start of the day). The Officer-in-Charge was Lt. Colonel Fuller; he had finally gotten his way to have an experimental class to push to the limits of the students (junior officers); he felt the US Army was way too soft, etc. in the “All-Volunteer Army” of the Jimmy Carter era (Ronald Reagan had been elected President in the previous Fall of 1980).

    Before I collapsed around noon-time, I was hallucinating. When I came to, I was in the middle of severe convulsions. I had the muscles underneath my skin knotted (it looked like a golf balls) moving back and forth along both legs and (I think) only one arm. I was screaming uncontrollable for sometime. Later, a Master-Sargent (a cadres member (teacher)) told me I had been out for over an hour, after they had found me out in the middle of the woods. That he had taken me under a tree and poured water from his canteen (and from several other cadre members (senior enlisted and other officers). This was in direct violation of the Colonel’s orders. When I awoke, I was screaming non-stop for about 30 minutes. On top of all of this, the Colonel refused to have me air-vac’ed out or to go to the hospital later (the Colonel was desperately trying to cover up his mistakes, at the time). Upon being let go for the day (somewhere after mid-night), I went to my bed still suffering violent shaking, a fever and in a confused state. Earlier, the Colonel had ordered me to never to go to the hospital. He warned me that disobeying a direct order would result in me going to prison for 20 years. After this point, I was on the colonel’s hit list but was Honorable Discharged with in a few months; this was due to my being unable to perform my duties.

    Today, I am in my early fifties. I was diagnosed with “Wegener’s Granulomatosis” about 25 years ago; since then, I have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes due to having the soft tissue (i.e. pancreas) calcified as of 8 years ago; no soft tissue left in my nasal passage (cannot taste or smell anything) as of 10 years ago; suffer from an extreme form of severe “Sleep Apnea” as of 15 years ago and it is getting worse. I am very heat sensitive, as well. There are other conditions which I will not go into at this time but they certainly impact my life very adversely.

    The beginning of my problems started with my Heat Stroke in the Army. My life is a constant nightmare of medical problems today. When you have a doctor down-play Heat Stroke then you know you are dealing with the wrong person. No one doctor knows it all; go to a doctor who is knowledgeable about Hear Related injuries.

  • Got heat exhaustion and had locals in Bosnia 1996 prescribe some crap, they thought I had Malaria or bad Flu. I spoke at 2/2 Serbo Croat so not understood enough Med talk. Happened twice, as we only prep’d for Winter not Southern Yugo temps. Ever since can’t stand over 70 degrees and cannot exert over 75 without gettting sick w leg and stomach aches; headaches; dizzy; and stop sweating real quick after the cold clammy on my forehead and back of neck. Didn’t want to do VA Claim cuz retired 2004 and now kids w no arms/ legs etc.. But just turned 50 and should go claim it. Ft Bragg noted in my med brief outbound in Hungary that was “unknown illness x 2 episodes”. Hopefully will be enough?
    Any thoughts?…

  • I suffered a heat stroke about 12 years ago. I’m 53 & have been experiencing severe hot flashes for over 9 years & do not tolerate high temps/humidity well at all. Does anyone know if the heat stroke may be a culprit in the severity of my hot flashes and if so, can you point me in the direction of some relief, please? Any assistance will be GREATLY appreciated.

  • I’ve had numerous severe heat strokes over the past 11 years. Over this time, my intolerance to heat has worsened and I literally can not spend anytime whatso ever in summer heat in Tx. Has anyone found treatment for managing their hypothalamus gland in the brain for regulating body temperature? Also, I’ve developed acute pancreas problems over this past year which I’ve had every test for, but only diet seems to help some. I’m wondering if it could be related to heat stroke’s long term effects? I keep looking for answers, so thank-you for any infor. you could give me.

  • Hi Mike. I suffered heat stroke while on my ship in the Navy. Another buddy of mine who was in at the same time suffered heat stroke, and I found out that he had received a monthly amount from the VA because he found that his was caused by the shots that we received in basic training. Unfortunately, my buddy has passed away and I can’t contact him to find out what he did. I have my records, and they clearly state that I had heat stroke. If you can give me any advise on how to proceed with getting help from the VA, I would greatly appreciate it. I didn’t realize how much heat stroke would affect my life. Thanks! Roger

  • March 1995 I was in FMSS (field med service school) and was suppose to be attached with the marines at Camp Lejuene North Carolina and suffered a heat stroke they medivacked me to Walter Reid in DC and pretty much sent me packing when I returned. I spent a long time in the hospital and had to learn how to walk write and talk again. My 21st birthday was in the hospital. I have am issues with memory and testosterone levels are at 167 to 200 and not sure what else is going on yet I am 35 years old now and wondering how bad this screwed me up. Any ideas how to find out would be great.

  • i live in a flat with only two windows and double patio door. but everytime i open it i get up to 42odegrees blowing into my flat. me and my daughter become very ill with head aches sickness tummy bugs weakness,blindness, we have lived like this for 5yrs and need to find help as housing wont.

  • I had a heat stroke in the summer of 2010, while working at a sawmill. I woke up in an ambulance sometime later, thankfully a co-worker found me. Ever since I’ve lost the ability to go outside and do anything for extended periods. I loose all my wind and get extremely dizzy.

  • My husband had a het stroke in 1983 at Ft. Monmouth, which the Army played down. He past out on the parade field during some General’s retirement ceremony. He was in a coma and came to in the hospital. After that incident he was having short term memory problems that became severe enough for him having to quit college because of this issue. After reading all the coments I learned that we are not the only ones trying to get compensation from the VA.

  • Kathy – Would like to talk with you also. I just don’t want to post my email on this site. My son is now in Mike Co. at Quantico; is yours also?

  • Lee Ann-my son had severe heat stroke at TBS in Quantico this summer. Would love to talk with you and compare stories/outcomes. Please post if you are interested.

  • i working on a paper to learn how to prevent heat stroke. my dad works in the steel industry and has had heat exhaustion a few times and i just want to prevent heat stroke from happening if any body has any info they could give me my email is murlock9247@gmail.com

  • I have had multiple episodes of either heat exhaustion or heat stroke, mostly while living in the Arizona desert. After the first of these episodes, I began to gain weight, was unable to tolerate any temperature over about 80 degrees F, and today I am very susceptible to heat illness. My Arizona doctor told me I had damaged my hypothalamus, but I have family members who insist that I am heat intolerant because I am “obese” (50 lbs overweight)–but I wasn’t obese until after I had done the damage. My eating habits did not change, although I have become more sedentary–both because I can’t take summer heat and for other reasons. But I cannot convince my family member that all of this is a result of the damage caused by multiple heat-related illnesses (exhaustion or stroke-sometimes it is hard to tell).

  • I would also like to speak with USA
    retired sgt Mike P., I suffered a heat stroke (exertional) while on active duty during a regimental run back in 1993 in Georgia (108.3). I was clinically dead for two and a half minutes and I am currently scheduled for a video hearing to appeal the V.A.s initial denial. What I can tell every vet is that persistence is the key. The V.A. threw me a bone and gave me a 30 percent PTSD rating. I wasn’t trying to claim that so this has been a process of appeals that has lasted for four years now.

  • My son had 2 heatstrokes during Infantry Officer
    Training for the USMC this summer. The last one
    had a core temp in the ER of 109.6. I’m scared
    he will have long term repercussions due to this,
    but there seems to be little information available.
    I want to be sure he is well advised and covered
    in case of medical discharge from the Corps.

  • Does anyone know if a heat stroke can cause cardiomyopathy. I went from perfectly healthy to being told I had an ejection fraction of 10% and needed a heart transplant a week after having a heat stroke. I have responded very well to meds, enough to not be on the transplant list, I now have a defibrillator implanted keeping me out of high risk for sudden death.

  • @ USA Ret Sgt Mike P & other Vets.

    Gentlemen, I had similar symptoms from heat stroke during active service. I didn’t file at EAS, but would like to do so now.

    Can anyone offer some resources toward that end?

  • I am 29 and I don’t know if I had a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. My husband and I went to LA for boat races. Got up that morning and felt strange and told my husband that I didn’t feel good. Later that morning at the races I passed out and had a seizure. I don’t remember anything at all. The only thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance begging them to let me go! It has been almost a week since this happened and I am still feeling strange…dizzy, headache and exhausted. Is this normal to feel this way after all of that?

  • my husband had a heat stroke last night. I want to know how the heat is going to affect him now. I have always heard that u wont be able to handle the heat once u had one. Is this true, he works in a metal refinery around steel and heat. I am worried, please if u now anything that would help me – please post back here.

  • I had heat exhaustion this last month. I was feeling weak and I have bad headache and near to vomit, I only drink water and gatorade and take a bath I feel I was going to faint…now I still have a dull headache

  • I had a heaaat stroke about 15 years ago. Yesterday I was in the shade working for about 15 minutes & had another one. I’ve never had nasue or stomaach problems when this happens. I just sweat a lot, stop sweating, dizzy & confused. Guess it’s time I see a dr for this, but what kind? a nuerologist? Have any of you seen a doctor for this? If so what kind? Please give me some input on this.

  • I had my first (and hopefully last) heat stroke yesterday in NYC. Was watching the parade and I suddenly felt very ill, as if I were going to throw up. It felt like my heart was about to beat out of my chest. My friend looked over at me and said I was flushed and very pale, so he got me into the shade and gave me a giant bottle of water to drink. After nearly throwing up, he took me inside a restaurant to get me in the A/C, almost passed out on him. He called the paramedics to come and check me out, and they said I suffered a very mild heat stroke but I didn’t go to the hospital (I can’t afford the ambulance ride, let alone treatment, damn). My symptoms subsided to just a dull headache, but the today (the day after) I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Drinking water and Gatorade all day and staying inside with the A/C. Hopefully I won’t have any of the other side-effects that other comment-posters seem to be having.

  • I’m 17, and I (think) I’ve had heat stroke about 3 times in my life. The first was quite some time ago(maybe 11) and I don’t remember much of it. I just remember shopping at Kohls and being extremely dizzy and complaining to my mom of the heat and how I felt like I was going to throw up. Another time was when I went to the New York Aquarium during the summer. I again, felt extremely hot and dizzy. I tried to drink water, but the water made me feel nauseous. I brought myself to the shade, felt like throwing up, then did after about 5 minutes. As soon as I did, I had felt fine; a little disoriented and awkward in body temperature, but fine. The next time had been while on vacation to Walt Disney World in August. Towards the end of the day, I was experiencing the same symptoms I had while at The New York Aquarium. I was pale, very hot, dizzy. I threw up on a bus, but (again) felt almost fine after.

    Still not sure if this is heat stroke or not. I’ve never gone to the doctor for it.

  • I think I suffered heat stroke. I was working ontop of black top in the heat . that night i got areal bad headache and felt like i was going to throw up. Ive felt weak and dizzy since. I have no medical and never went to the doctors. What can i do to aleaviate the conditions and how long will it last.

  • I suffered heat stroke at Fort Bragg NC in 1985 and have had lots of problems since. All of us that have posted here have experienced similar symptoms. I really am searching for solutions. I need to find a way to control my temperature so that I can hold down a ‘normal’ job. Does anyone know of any research programs or trial medications or trial therapies that might be recommended to this group? If so I would really like to see them posted here or some where so we cane find solutions to our symptoms.

  • how long after the heatstroke. can you begain exercising? it’s been almost a year since ive been sick. and can only workout for ten minuets befor dizzyness, exhaustion sets in.

  • i was drafted into antipsychotic treatment and began golfing obsessively in the desert in arizona like over 36 holes a day in over 100 sometimes over 110 degrees and had no problems (doing this for 3 or 4 years) now a couple years later I started having migraines every day, i have switched meds and still have the migraines, nausea, vomiting, gagging. it seems like it is related to changes in blood pressure, but mostly light, heat and food. Could i have had repeated heat stroke masked by the medication only to now experience the effects of the repeated strokes years later. at this point i am basicly in so much pain i am useless 90% of the time i am alive. the doctors always have something new to try but it never helps. Do human guine pigs get retirement?

  • I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps, and did 3 tours in Iraq. I think I had SEVERAL heat exaustion and stroke cases. It did not help that all 3 tours were in the summer. I also have a hard time getting medical to repeat those words back to me. I am going to print out a lot of these articles and highlight my symptoms and refer to actual incidenses. Every time I work out in any temp over 60 I get SEVERE headache with vomiting, disorientation, confusion, body aches, and dizzyness. It also seems like every time I get one of these headaches it just makes it a little easier to get the next one. I was in such amazing shape a few years ago and now I am scared to work out, play with my daughter outside, and mow the yard (thank god my wife loves the heat enough to mow for me). It is pathetic that I am embarresed to go workout with my wife now. I feel like people see this muscular person that can’t seem to do anything… A good doctor is as hard to find as a needle in a haystack….

  • My boyfriends Grand mother says she had a heat stroke last summer..she was not admitted to hospital and we never even knew she was “sick” and we see her all the time. I know it really is a problem but she won’t even warm up her damp trailer too much in case she ‘dies’!!!It’s winter in BC so it doesn’t get hot at all now. Even in the summer its never that hot. She also is surrounded by big trees so if she is gardening in the heat it’s not in direct sun. Would you have any of the after effects if it was heat exaustion and not a stroke?? Thanks

  • I suffered an exertional heat stroke while working in 100+ degree temperatures at Ft Polk. We were working on our Bradley’s in condition black. Our XO pushed us despite warnings from the medics. Six others & I went down that day. I don’t remember passing out. What I distinctly remember is waking up intubated & scared because I didn’t know where I was.

    That was over 20 years ago & I still suffer from debilitating head aches. Prior to the heat stroke I could run and/or work in high temperatures. Since that day, I cannot get even slightly over-heated. If I do, I can literally feel my blood pressure rise & know I must sit down before I fall down. If I do get over-heated I suffer from bronchitis and/or sinusitis problems that put me down for sometimes a week.

    I’ve consulted many doctors over the years. None have offered a satisfying solution or cure. They state that I’ll need to monitor my body temperature the rest of my life! I’ve never filed a claim with the VA, but as I get older I suffer from more symptoms & question this decision.

    Can anyone offer suggestions? My service medical records do indicate that I should be able to file for care, but I’m unsure if this is the feasible.

  • I had a heat stroke during military training, 108.5F, in August 1982. I had to go to the hospital. I have had extreme intolerance to heat but I never went to a docotr to complain. How can I get evaluated for it or is there a test that can indicate that I once had such a heat incident and that it still affects me? I have the medical documentation from that day but I am trying to receive compensation for this medical issue but so far no one in authority seems to care. Any reputable advice would be appreciated.

  • In my early teens, while baling hay, I believe I had severe heat exhaustion. I have the symtoms of not being able to take heat especially with humidity, get a headache, sweat heavy, get sick to may stomach, feel very overheated. If I cool down quickly by getting out of the sun and stop any activity, drink water, the effect is very temporary. I started having seizures in my late thirties along with high blood pressure in my early forties, whether these are related to the heat exhaustion is up for debate. Both conditions are controlled by medication. But I still wonder if these were caused , at least somewhat, by my heat exhaustion. I have not read anything in these comments about anyone having seizure problems from a previous heat event. If anyone had developed this type of condition please post your experience. My neuro Dr said it may be possible.

  • MaryKaren, was your brother-in-law perchance on any medication that contains pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed or Claritin D or cough syrup? I know someone who had a spontaneous dissection of the right coronary artery, from being on Sudafed. Apparently, it can cause one’s blood pressure to shoot up rapidly, like they’ve been given a shot of adrenalin. I have heard that most people die from this type of heart attack, and that most the information they have about this is post-mortem.

  • I have long wondered if heat stroke left untreated could cause “hardening of the lungs” and congestive heart failure? My broter-in-law died at age 41, with an autopsy showing these results. His family doctor, who was out of town at the time of death, couldn’t believe these results. Steve was in good shape and in training for a marathon. The day before he suddenly died, he had been out for a training run, but had to stop near the end due to extream heat and humidity. He had not been treated and had gone about his normal activities. He was slim, didn’t smoke or drink and had no known health problems. What are your opinions?

  • I had heat stroke while I was in the Army in 1987. Temp was 106.5 when admitted to hospital. I have 2 long term effects: slightly low kidney function and I have problems overheating. I have come to recognize heat exhaustion as it hits and I make myself stop whatever I’m doing, get lots of liquids and try to cool down. The dizzy feeling goes away pretty quickly but sometimes it takes hours for my temperature to come back down. If I’m doing something like kickboxing I’m the guy who looks like he just climbed out of a pool. Strangely enough my normal body is just under 97.

  • So what can we do about it, after the fact?

    (I have constant heart palpitations, insane thirst, very little energy and difficulty sleeping after my SECOND heat stroke experience this summer.) Is there any kind of rehabilitative therapy or other treatment that might improve things/ decrease our odds of organ failure?

  • I suffered a heat stroke 2 months ago at Walmart. They told me it was just dehydration at first and to get some sleep and drink some water and go to work the next day. I was amazed at what the nurse was saying considering what felt like the experiance of having my heart squeezed by for like five hours in the ER. I didnt go to work but I suffered near attacks the next day and after that. The air condition in the ER is what helped I think. I was doing ok but then after going outside too many times after feeling ok, I cannot even tolerate heat anymore. I’ve been indoors this whole time. I went to the ER and Family doctor 6 times before someone mentioned heatstroke . I’m just wondering if I could have caused more damage to myself by going outside or if the damage was already made? It doesn’t help that I live in Texas either.

  • your all retarded and its all in your mind control of your body, if you cant control yourself then you cant control how you feel in different environments. Ylou need to learn how to aclimate to temps, altitudes, dryness, etc. common sense is not so common and people dont think about their surroundings. i can relate to this all. i dont know s**it but i know from experience, all can be understood . just dont jump to conclusions.

  • your all retarded and its all in your mind control of your body, if you cant control yourself then you cant control how you feel in different environments. Ylou need to learn how to aclimate to temps, altitudes, dryness, etc. common sense is not so common and people dont think about their surroundings. i can relate to this all. i dont know s**it but i know from experience, all can be understood . just dont jump to conclusions.

  • I suffered heat stroke in 2001, whilst participating in a police selection course in the Northern Territory (Aust). I collapsed at the end of a run not aware of anything that was happening to me. 5 Days later I woke up in a hospital ward. Apparently I was in a coma and placed on life support. My core tempreture on addmittion was reported as 43 degress and rising. I was subsequently pack in 27 bags of ice had my stomach and bladder drained and pumped full of ice water continuously for 4 to 5 hours. Just happy to be alive thanks to the staff of the hospital on addmission.

    Since then, about a year ago, I found out that I have cognative problems and short term memmory loss. I also have a chronic lung infections and have been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis. Also I now dont have any sense of smell and break out in skin lesions from time to time. I have had my imune system checked and it is damaged and compromised. Sweating for me is still an issue – any sort of exercise and I sweat proffusely… Haven’t had the doctors work that one out yet.

    I am still in the ‘discovery phase’ with the doctors. The common reply from my doctors is they don’t get to deal with many patients after getting that hot. I have had brain scans and a ton of blood test. My only suggestion to you guys is to surround yourself with a good support group and ask for more answers from your doctors.
    Cheers chris

  • I was left in a hot car as an infant (once), and then a few years later (I remember this; I was about 3 yrs old), left repeatedly for hours (probably 4-5 hrs at a time) in a hot car, and realized years later that I have probably been suffering the after effects of heatstroke.

    The entire time I was growing up, I used to blush a lot. I was also involved in competitive swimming, and my body would turn red as a lobster. Both were very embarrassing.

    If left to your own devices (either because of lack of health insurance, or because the solutions that conventional Western medicine are not helping), try exploring complementary medicine that can help you.

    I also carry passionflower tincture with me, and take some drops of that if I am out in hot weather. It may be good for hot flashes, and lower blood pressure, as well.

    I’ve heard of an Australian herb called Mulla mulla, but have not tried that. But that does possibly point at solutions that are used by people/cultures that live in hot climates, that could be exposed to higher temperatures on a regular basis–what do they do? What herbs, foods, etc. do they use?

    I am still discovering the after effects of heatstroke.

    I’ve also heard that heatstroke can affect the pituitary glands? I will read about Hypothalmic deregulation – thanks for that info – as I have also heard that the hypothalamus can be affected by heatstroke.

    Whatever you find/think helpful, you may want to stick with it and give it a chance for awhile.

    You should find practitioners that can help you, and not “dabble” too much in things that you do not understand. Educating yourself should be ongoing. Having the Internet helps a lot. And, there is almost always a solution for everything. You’re on a journey to find it – my opinion, anyway. Thank you everyone for sharing.

  • I have experienced heat stroke twice and 3 times heat exhaustion all within the past 4 years and I’m 18 years old. I’ve had serious health issues since my last experience with heat stroke and I’ve gone to doctor after doctor. The problem has been that I don’t have the symptoms when I go because I’ve gotten heat stroke and exhaustion while on trips away from my family. I didn’t recieve any medical attention during those trips. I have breathing problems, stomach problems, chest problems, headaches, get lightheaded extremely easy, nausea, black out, will zone out and won’t respond to anyone, pass out, shake uncontrollably, get sick extremely easy when I hardly ever got sick before, etc. I haven’t gotten any answers from any doctors, they’ve all said they don’t know. I’ve just dealth with it for the past few years but if you have any answers, that would be wonderful. I hate getting heat stroke/exhaustion but I get it extremely easy after my first experience. I want to be able to do the things I want to do without getting ill afterwards.

  • I had 2 severe heat strokes while working for the Post Office. Since then I am intolerant of heat above 78 degrees Fahrenheit as well as direct sunlight. I live in Texas and have 3 children and cannot get out to work and have received no compensation. I have been to many doctors. One said I have Hypothalamic deregulation, another put me on Atropine which hasn’t worked and now he wants me to get my autonomic nervous system checked. I get a fever 3 – 4 days of the week. One minute I am cold and the next cold. Does anyone have any advise for me? I would appreciate it immensely.

  • My husband, josh, just suffered a heat stoke yesterday while on a patrol in Afghanistan. They got him air lifted to the main camp and are monitoring him for the next few days. I wasn’t even informed of the situation. I found out from him the next morning after he had been there for a day, so I already know they aren’t going to take this seriously. I know the military will underplay the severity of medical conditions, and I was wondering what symptoms he should be looking out for after they release him back to duty.

  • Scott,

    I’m a disabled veteran. I was in special operations, suffered heat stroke, they gave me ivs and I was running a fever for a good week following.

    After I got out the va gave me 30% disabled for a stomach condition they determined was caused by the heat stroke. Also my medical record never reported the heat stroke for the same reason. Just make sure your record shows the dehydration/iv treatments and any other medical problems you have later. I have to take medicine for the rest of my life as a result of my condition, which I dismissed while in active duty. I can’t stress this enough, make sure any issues you have are documented in your medical record, even if they ignore or downplay the cause or the label they give it. Things can get worse over time and you will really want VA medical coverage when that happens. Not to scare you, just be prepared.

  • OMG, it is like reading a story of my own life at my last OSW in 99. I was at a bazaar with the boys from work. I forgot my camel pack and on the way back, my skin turned bright read, I stopped sweating, I felt ice cold and started shaking, but they guys said I was burning up, I started to black out, and I was having trouble breathing. When we got back to the dorms, they forced me to drink a bottle of luke warm water, took me to one of the dorm rooms, turned the AC on full blast, and covered me in cool towels. I came back around after about an hour. I was never taken to the hospital for fear of reprimand. Since then, I get over heated very easy if the temp is above 75 degrees, I either sweat too much or hardly at all, I have trouble catching my breath when I get hot, I end up becoming ill and lose control of my emotions when I am in the heat for more than half an hour, and the list just keeps going on and one. Since nothing is documented in my med records (except multiples of “non related” symptoms) I kept being pushed aside and make to feel like it was all in my head. Now I am fighting to just get the actually documented occurances recognized by the VA (like my irregular heart rate and murmur that was found after the heat stroke in SA). This has affected my time with my family and even takes a toll on my marriage. Mike, if you or anyone else has any advice, please contact me at jenger88@yahoo.com

  • Tim,
    I also was in the military around the same time and also suffered my 1st heat stroke during Desert Shield which set me up for many more… There is a lot more to the story but one of the reasons I am writing this is because of your problems fighting with the military and with VA which can be next to impossible to get anywhere if you don’t know how to do it. If you would like to contact me I am willing to try to help you and others that are having problems getting disability compensation from the VA.

  • I suffered a severe heat stroke in the summer of 1990 while in basic. My temperature was 106.7 and they had to revive me twice. I was in the hospital for a week. My stroke occurred two days after my final vaccinations given for fast track deployment to Operation Desert Shield. My orders were canceled because DOD decided not used reserves at that time. I was fine for about three months then my life changed. I began to overheat due to my inability to sweat. Then my normal temperature for the next two years was 101. My neurologist said I suffered damage to my hypothalamus. My life has never been the same. I have a severe sleep disorder and rely on a trach breath at night. My blood pressure is uncontrollable and my hormones are out of wack and not treatable. I can deal with all of this but the fact that 70 pages out of my medical record were lost and they say I have no claim for VA benefits is hard. I go to work everyday just to pay for my medical bills so I can make it to the next day. I have lost my house and all my savings. I fear that soon I will lose what keeps me going, my PRIDE My advice to those who suffer from heat stroke. Remember your limits and control your pride, don’t let your pride control you.

  • Last summer I suffered a severe heat exhaustion. Ever since I have had to limit my sun exposure or the similiar symptons start to come back within an hour. I live in Arizona and am concerned about how the heat is going to affect me long term and what to do about this.

  • I suffered either heat stroke or severe heat exhaustion when I was 15. I was in Mexico on a mission trip, so I was not able to get medical attention at the time, and it went undiagnosed. I was disoriented and had a fever well over 102 that only subsided when I laid down in an air conditioned room. As soon as I left the air conditioning my fever would immediately spike. This went on for a few days. When I returned to the states, I started training for cross country (long-distance running), and immediately developed problems breathing, and was generally exhausted all the time. Also, for the following 6 months I had the flu several times, strep throat several times, and developed mono. This was highly unusual for me, as I was rarely sick before this. I was later diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, and still have problems breathing in high temperatures 15 years later. Over the years I have become better acclimated to high temperatures, but I still become exhausted, dizzy, and short of breath fairly quickly (within an hour), especially when hiking, walking, working out, etc. Are there any other possible long-term health conditions I should be aware of?

  • I survived an exertionary heatstroke in October 2006. Since then, I experience difficulty with regulating body temperatures i.e I am either too hot or too cold. I also find that my blood pressure and heart rate seems to increase uncontrollably at times. I wonder if these symptoms are a result of the stroke. After the stroke a doctor told me I’m 50 per cent more likely to have another stroke. This scares me, and I have trouble dealing with this fear. Any suggestions?

  • My son is 5 and had severe overheating problems without sweating. His temperature got between 103-105. He’s not had a spell in 2 years but now he has vision problems. He can’t process black and white writing on paper. Could the heat spells be why? Any ideas would be great

  • After my first experience with heat exhaustion it became easier and easier to over do. I get headaches, feel weak, and tired. Sometimes it only takes an hour to effect me for a couple days. Is there a way to restore my system?

  • I had a head stroke 7 years ago. I am hot in the winter, cold in the summer. If I get too hot I get head aches. My heart rate is ridiculous; pulses per minute is that of an infant (im 27). I’ve noticed my blood pressure tends to be through the roof sometimes. I feel like my body can’t maintain a constant temperature. Now after reading all of this that has been posted, what else is to be expected the rest of my life?

  • If you you or someone you know is have or has had a heat stroke, get checked out. I sure sign is really dark urine for several days from organ and muscle breakdown. It will be so dark (blood like) that it will scare you into seeing a doctor. If you didn’t experience, that it was likely heat exhaustion rather than a heat stroke

  • I had 2 heatstrokes in aug 07 seven days apart. I no longer sweat and I’m heat and sun intolerant, the doctors don’t know how to help me.

  • While in Iraq I suffered from really bad heat exhaustion. The army docters dismissed it because people get in trouble when you get heat injuries. They gave me an IV and sent me on my way. Now six months later I still have dizzy spells, and feel weak all the time. If I get even a little dehydrated I feel like I’m going to pass out. I also had to give up caffeine for the same reasons. I had a physical exam and all my blood work came back normal. I’m not sure what to do. Any ideas?

  • When I was 17 I suffered from heat stroke. i am now 48 and wonder if the problems i am having now could be related to the heat stroke i had 31 years ago. Doing research in college for a term paper I learned that a heat stroke can effect many organs in the body including the hypothalamus in the brain which controls body temperature. Now I am having problems with my pancreas. Is there a connection?

  • My son aged 14, had sun stroke ( as informed by a doctor)few months back. Now I feel he has become dull in studies. How to improve him?

  • I think I may have had a heat stroke while mowing grass couple days ago. I got very hot. Felt like I was going to faint. Bad Throbbing headache. Very weak. Next day vomited. For past few days i’ve ached all over & have had no energy. Is this signs of heat stroke?

  • I had heat stroke last Monday after cutting my grass and I suffered a stroke last year. I can’t seem to bounce back and I feel so tired all the time. I can’t stand the heat, when I get hot I get a headache.

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