Summer Smarts: Staying Hydrated, Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses, Part II

I am sure you have heard of heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Do you know what the difference is? If I were to ask you about the signs of heat related illness would you be able to tell me what to expect? And lastly how can we prevent dehydration?

Let’s first look at the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses. According to Mayo Clinic what we need to look for is:

  • Lack of tears or sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Irritability
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Dark colored urine
  • Lack of urination
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness

It is especially important to look for these signs and symptoms in older adults, and young children. They are more prone to heat related illnesses and easier to become dehydrated.

Now the above is what you want to be looking for. We can also see the CONSEQUENCES of heat related illnesses, or dehydration as being(2):

  • Weight Loss
  • Constipation
  • Delirium
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Renal failure
  • Hypotension
  • Infections
  • Hospitalization
  • Seizures
  • Even, Death

As you can see staying hydrated is extremely important! Read through these signs and symptoms again, and be sure that you can recognize them early on to prevent any future illness!

Next, let's look at the difference between heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion occurs before heat stroke and the big difference is… heat stroke is far more severe and is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY (4). If you or your loved one shows any signs of mental confusion or more severe symptoms be sure to call 911 or get to the Emergency room as soon as possible.

In Dr. Hebdon’s next blog she will discuss ways to stay hydrated. If you have any other questions about Dehydration, or proper hydration you can ask our office in Dickson, or call us at 615 375 7100. Stay tuned for our last and final part of our blog, part III coming soon!


1. Miller, V. S., & Bates, G. P. (2010). Hydration, hydration, hydration. Annals of occupational hygiene, 54(2), 134-136.
2. Thomas, D. R., Cote, T. R., Lawhorne, L., Levenson, S. A., Rubenstein, L. Z., Smith, D. A., ... & Council, D. (2008). Understanding clinical dehydration and its treatment. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9(5), 292-301.
3. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Dehydration Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic
4. Glazer, J. L. (2005). Management of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. American family physician, 71(11), 2133-2140.

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