At first, you might feel fine — but after a while in the sun, things can change. According to Heather Hawthorne, MD and family practice physician at , if you think you have heat exhaustion, "get out of the heat, loosen your clothing or undress, and drink half of a glass of water every 15 minutes." For heatstroke, call 911 immediately, don't drink anything, and cool off with wet cloths. Still not sure? Watch out for these signs.
When your body starts to overheat, you'll feel some pain in the form of heat cramps — especially if you're working out. "They typically occur during high-intensity exercise in hot environments and usually feel like intense muscle pain with spasms, most often occurring in the legs, abdominal wall, back, or arms," Dr. Hawthorne says. If you think you're experiencing heat cramps, she recommends moving to a "cool environment where you can rest, sip water, and gently stretch your muscles."
There are a couple instances when heat-related headaches come into play. Dr. Hawthorne says you might experience a throbbing headache with heat exhaustion, but it's a sign of heatstroke too — something that can be more serious.
If you go from a normal temperature to burning up, you might be dealing with heatstroke. According to Dr. Hawthorne, the easiest way to tell is by testing your temperature: anything around 104°F needs to be promptly treated.
Sweating a little when you're outside on a hot summer day is understandable — the heat will do that to you. But if you're sweating profusely, be careful: according to Dr. Hawthorne, it's a sign that you might be .
Being overheated can affect your pulse in a couple different ways. When you're dealing with heat exhaustion, you'll probably experience a rapid, weak pulse, says Dr. Hawthorne. Heatstroke, on the other hand, will cause a fast, strong pulse. To check your own pulse, the recommends putting two fingers on your wrist between the bone and tendon over your radial artery: a normal range is between 60 to 100 beats/minute.
When someone instantly goes ghost-white, it's usually an indicator that something's wrong. In this case, Dr. Hawthorne says looking pale with visible goosebumps could be a sign of heat exhaustion.
If you have painful red, warm skin, you're probably dealing with a sunburn and should get into the shade immediately, says the . For relief, use something cooling like aloe vera over the sunburned areas or take a cold bath.
When you're experiencing heat exhaustion, you probably feel really tired. Hawthorne says extreme fatigue is a common symptom to be on the lookout for — and one you should take very seriously.
When you're really hot, you would think your skin would also feel hot. But when you're developing heat exhaustion, it's quite the opposite. According to Dr. Hawthorne, you'll know if you're dealing with heat exhaustion if your skin feels cold or clammy.
One of the easiest ways to tell your body is starting to overheat is paying attention to when your body is trying to cool itself down — which begins with the urge to chug some H2O. "Heat-related illnesses develop in stages and start with thirst," Dr. Hawthorne says. "By the time you feel thirsty, you're already mildly dehydrated. It's important to start drinking water right away to prevent more serious illnesses."
If you feel sick — and even vomit, for that matter — Dr. Hawthorne says you could have heatstroke. Even worse, you might also lose consciousness and pass out, so let someone know immediately if you think you're in trouble.
If you've spent a lot of time outside in the sun, you might experience hot, red skin — especially if you're dealing with heatstroke. But when associated with heatstroke, this isn't the same as a sunburn: it's due to your body overheating at dangerously high temperatures.
When you're developing heat exhaustion, it's not uncommon for a headache to be paired with light-headedness — "especially when you try to stand up," Dr. Hawthorne says. On top of that, fainting is also possible.
While heat exhaustion involves sweating profusely, heatstroke is the total opposite. According to Dr. Hawthorne, after turning red, your skin "will feel very dry because you will stop making sweat" — which is not a good sign.
Feeling nauseous? That's a surefire sign you're dealing with heat exhaustion — something that might lead to getting sick to your stomach.
Have a cluster of small blisters on your neck, chest, groin, or in your elbow creases? They might look like pimples, but according to the , it's probably a heat rash — something that can be soothed with baby powder.
A weak pulse isn't the only thing you'll experience with heat exhaustion. Your body will also also feel weak overall, says Dr. Hawthorne.
Heat stroke is serious business. Once you start experiencing it, it could even cause you to start stop speaking normally or , says Dr. Hawthorne.
Suddenly feeling confused and not at all like yourself after a hot day outside? Your body might be overheated to their point of heatstroke, which can cause the weird daze you're in, says Dr. Hawthorne.
If you spotted some blisters on your skin, you're probably dealing with a bad sunburn and should cover up and get out from underneath those rays ASAP. Even though it's tempting, the says to avoid breaking the blisters — just let them run their course so they can heal properly.