Understanding Heat-Related Illness - SymptomsWhat Are the Symptoms?Heat cramp symptoms include:
- Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves or feet.
- Hard, tense muscles.
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Confusion or anxiety
- Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin.
- Slowed or weakened heartbeat.
Heat stroke symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Dizziness or vertigo.
- Hot, flushed, dry skin.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Decreased sweating.
- Shortness of breath.
- Decreased urination.
- Blood in urine or stool.
- Increased body temperature (104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Confusion, delirium or loss of consciousness.
- Confusion, anxiety or loss of consciousness.
- Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat.
- Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion); or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke).
Most insect-sting reactions are not allergic and result in local pain, itching, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. Some extension of the swelling is expected. Local treatment is usually all that is needed for this type of reaction. Disinfect the area, keep it clean, and apply ice. Topical corticosteroid creams are sometimes used to decrease inflammation, and antihistamines can help control itching.
Large local reactions may involve increased swelling (that lasts for 48 hours up to one week) that may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Large local reactions occur in about 10% of insect stings and are not allergic in origin. Occasionally, the site of an insect sting will become infected, and antibiotics are needed.
Systemic (body-wide) reactions are allergic responses and occur in people who have developed antibodies against the insect venom from a prior exposure. It is estimated that between 0.3%-3% of stings trigger a systemic allergic reaction.
The allergic reaction to an insect sting varies from person to person. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, flushing of the skin, tingling or itching inside the mouth, and nausea or vomiting. The most serious allergic reaction is calledanaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Difficulty breathing, swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and fainting are signs of a severe allergic reaction. These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting but have been known to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Prompt treatment is essential, and emergency help is often needed.