Heat Stroke - Heat Exhaustion Treatment

| Modified on Jul 04, 2020

What Is Heat Exhaustion?

Extensive heat can have extremely adverse effects on the body. Heat exhaustion is one such effect that arises from too much heat exposure. Characterized by heavy sweating, increased heart beat or rapid pulse and muscle cramping, heat exhaustion is but one of three heat-related syndromes of which heat cramps are the mildest and heatstroke is the most severe.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion may appear suddenly or may develop gradually. Either way common symptoms include cold or moist skin, goose bumps even in the heat, profuse sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, weak or rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure on standing, muscle cramps, nausea and headache.

The body’s heat combined with environmental or atmospheric heat result in the body’s core temperature. Typically the body works effectively to regulate the heat gain or loss to maintain a “normal” temperature; however, when the conditions are too excessive for the body to regulate, heat related health conditions may arise. Typically heat exhaustion occurs as an individual exercises strenuously or otherwise overexerts him or herself in hot, humid weather. Depending upon the extent and degree of heat exposure, the conditions may be easily reversed or require more extensive treatment. Additional causes of heat exhaustion include dehydration, alcohol use and overdressing.

Natural Heat Stroke Treatment and Cures for Heat Exhaustion

Several measures can be taken to treat heat stroke and exhaustion as well as to prevent both conditions. Iodine is a key element involved in regulating sweating and body temperature, so supplementing with iodine helps reverse the effects of heat exhaustion. Likewise, magnesium and vitamin C are extremely important for maintaining general health and effective heat coping mechanisms. Additionally, drinking plenty of water as well as replenishing electrolytes by drinking a sports drink or other electrolyte enhanced liquid also facilitates recovery and prevents further recurrence.

Apple Cider Vinegar

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Ln (Oregon) on 07/02/2020

Heat Exhaustion

I have always struggled with heat and outdoor activities, but recently I experienced a case of full blown heat exhaustion: chills, headache, nausea, heart burn and fatigue. I could do absolutely nothing but lie in bed propped up. Because of Earth Clinic recommendations, I tried taking 1 Tablespoon ACV in a glass of water. I did not think I could get it down, but I did. This helped calm my nausea and heartburn, and allowed me to drift into sleep.

The next morning, I felt 80% better, and was so grateful to have no more nausea. After speaking with a doctor about this experience, I was told that once you experience a case of heat stress you are more vulnerable to repeat cases until your body fully heals. This was indeed my situation—I had had a similar experience three weeks prior. It is good to know that the body takes its time to heal from these events, and I will give myself more time before a tackling another challenging exposed hike.

Replied by Anon

Hi, Ln! Try eating a few apples or some sage leaf or drinking iced tea for the heat. When it gets hot and humid here those things help me.

You might try peppermint oil, too. I once took a hot bath and accidentally put too much peppermint oil in, I was physically shivering in a tub of HOT water. Then my CNS kicked in and it felt like my engine revved, and I felt all nice and warm all over. It was intense.

You could probably just rub a drop of the oil onto the back of your neck. The oil would be easy to carry on hikes.

Or you could carry a parasol as the fancy ladies do.

Replied by Miss M
(New York)

I lived overseas in tropical heat. My mother used to make us a drink this type of thing so we wouldn't get heatstroke playing sports.

  • One quart of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Basic home version of a sports drink.

Too plain? Add juice, lemons, lime or drink powder!

Apple cider vinegar drink can be tamed with some honey or lemon and lime added with water. Do not drink Apple cider vinegar by itself, you must dilute it!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Devin (Florida) on 06/19/2016

I live in Florida and about a week ago I had some symptoms of heat exhaustion. Note: I drank heavily the night before, vomited after coming home then was up at 9-10am working in 100 degrees for about 2-3 hours. I know, stupid. I was also drinking coffee and probably beyond dehydrated. Anyways the last week or so not much has helped me. I've been sleeping more than normal, haven't worked and have felt lazy as my body "recovers". I just tried some Apple Cider Vinegar in a mixed drink and nearly felt immediately better. It's only been about 10 minutes but I went ahead and had another one of these drinks. I will try and update on my progress. I can't wait to feel normal again. Oh, and I plan to avoid alcohol for the rest of my life.

Replied by 2q&learn
(Southern Ca, Usa)
140 posts

DO you think 2 years is long enough time to give an UpDate?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Elisa (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) on 08/08/2007

A week ago, I was working outside, got too hot, had all the signs of a heat stroke and apparently some sort of poisoning - food or other - inhalation or absorbtion - and have been violently ill ever since. For a week, I have not even kept water down - going at both ends several times a day - lost more than 7 lbs in a week. About 2 days ago I found this website and had my husband buy some Apple Cider Vinegar - it sat on the counter for a day until I could get up enough courage to even sip it - since every thing I swallow comes back up violently. Plus I didn't know if I could take it when I had eaten something or when to take it - then I read several more of these stories and decided I could at least get 2 tablespoons down. And I did - and don't do as I did and put it off. It is no big deal - one tablespoon at a time is squat. I began to feel better about 30-45 minutes later. Now it's been a couple of hours and I feel better than I have in a week - I couldn't even hardly hold my head up - I literally slept 20 hours out of every day - Whatever you do, don't wait, get the Apple Cider Vinegar down - I was shocked - but it stayed down for me. I'm getting ready to eat - and really really looking forward to it!

Food, Hot Drinks

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Simon (Bath, England) on 02/20/2012

I have struggled with the mid-August heat for the past 3 years. In 2009 it was at its height when I was working in the garden in the morning trimming a tree, not wearing a hat because I thought that the morning heat couldn't possibly be dangerous (Norfolk, UK is not generally known for scorching temperatures, but is well known for being the driest region of Britain). I felt very physically and mentally tired after working for only about an hour. I went inside and had plenty to drink, but within another hour or so I was sitting in the living room with a blanket around me and with a headache. The headache became worse, and the feverish conditions I was experiencing became more emphasised. I struggled on for the next week or so, with conditions escalating more into me having an abscessed tooth and thus only being able to eat liquids. I was bed-ridden for about a week, and did not regain full health for about 2 weeks.

The same thing happened the following summer, at around the same time in August. This time, though, I was prepared for it. I stopped what I was doing at the time when I felt the symptoms coming on, and wrapped up straight away. I made myself plenty of hot drinks, and felt the need to eat lots of high-carb foods (potatoes were amazing). The symptoms did not escalate this time, and I felt myself become better within a few hours.

Last summer (2011) I had it come on again a little, and just made sure that I kept myself warm and full of food. Again, the symptoms disappeared fairly quickly.

It is important to note also that for the past two years in the summer I have been wearing a hat pretty much every day. I also wear sun glasses to protect my eyes against the glare. I don't like wearing sun tan lotion, so I just make sure I cover my neck because that's the only area that normally burns when I'm dressed.

Vitamin C

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Christine (Virginia Beach, USA) on 04/15/2008

When the body is under stress, the need for Vitamin C goes up. Unlike other creatures, we can't make our own Vitamin C and do not have an appetite for it.

A study done years ago demonstrated that using Vitamin C will prevent heat exhaustion. Best bet: use sodicum ascorbate because it is buffered and won't hurt your stomach.
See: http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/194x/index.htm#Weaver-1948