Heat stress occurs after a person has been exposed to unusually high temperatures. There are several levels of heat stress, the most dangerous of which is heat stroke. Read this article and you will learn how to recognize heat stress.
- 1 Heat stroke may have the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Dry, hot to the touch skin (without sweating)
- Throbbing headache
- Frequent and shallow breathing
- Muscle cramps
- Wet, clammy skin
- Dizziness, confusion
- Increased sweating
- A slight increase in temperature
- Paler than the skin
- Weakness, fatigue
- Fainting state
- Muscle cramps, most often in the arms, legs, and stomach.
- Small rashes of red color in the form of blisters and pimples. Most often appear on the upper part of the chest, on the neck, in the groin, under the breasts, in the elbow folds.
- To avoid heat stress and other conditions caused by exposure to high temperatures, observe the following precautions:
- Wear light, spacious, breathable clothing (such as cotton).
- Start working at a slow pace, gradually the pace can be increased.
- If you have to work in conditions of high temperature and high humidity, take breaks as often as possible, preferably in the shade.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Do not drink alcohol, avoid too sweet liquids and liquids high in caffeine.
- Carry out the most difficult work in the morning or evening, when it is not very hot.
- Listen to your well-being, monitor the status of your colleagues.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is a serious threat to human health, reduces its performance and significantly affects the quality of life. You cannot ignore the symptoms of stress and expect them to disappear on their own.
Symptoms of chronic stress include the following:
- Fatigue does not leave you, even after a vacation. In this case, fatigue is observed, both physical and psychological,
- There is no joy in communicating with loved ones, friends, colleagues. There is no desire to see anyone and every day this feeling increases,
- You feel dissatisfaction with yourself, appearance. The feeling of hopelessness and self-doubt does not leave
- There are health problems. May result in chronic fatigue, headaches, insomnia,
- It’s hard to concentrate on anything, memory begins to deteriorate,
- There is a feeling of irritation and anger at all and at oneself.
Chronic stress cannot be triggered, because it can lead to psychosis, neurosis, and even alcoholism. Therefore, it is extremely important to take timely measures to eliminate it. In this case, it is advisable to seek help from a specialist.
Symptoms of Acute Stress
Acute stress is an immediate reaction of an organism to a situation (for example, a threat, a fright). Such stress can occur when a person learns about the death of a loved one, or becomes a witness to death. But acute stress can also occur during interviews, driving a car in a dangerous situation, etc.
The distinctive symptoms of acute stress include the following:
- Emotional numbness
- Heart palpitations,
- Chest pain,
- Sharp aggression
If you find yourself in a situation that causes severe stress, the first thing you need to do is gather your thoughts and calm down. A good way to reduce the severity of the reaction during severe stress is to use anti-stressful breathing (a deep breath through the nose and a slow exhale through the mouth). Such breathing will help to calm down faster and adapt to the situation.
If you experience stress, no matter what type it is, you need to deal with it. Even if the symptoms are obvious and understandable to you, then you should not self-medicate, but it is best to consult a doctor.
Many studies have shown that stress can contribute to headache, a condition characterized by pain in the head or neck. In one study involving 267 people with chronic headaches, it was found that a stressful event preceded the development of chronic headaches in about 45% of cases.
A larger study showed that increased stress intensity was associated with an increase in headache duration (an increase in the number of days per month).
In another study, 150 military personnel were interviewed in a headache clinic, which revealed that 67% of them experienced headaches as a result of stress. This makes it the second most common cause of headache.
Other common causes of headaches are lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and dehydration.
Stress is a common risk factor for headaches. Many studies have shown that elevated stress levels are associated with an increase in the frequency of headaches.
3. Chronic pain
Physical signs of stress include chronic pain, which is a common complaint. In one study involving 37 adolescents with sickle cell disease, higher levels of daily stress were found to be associated with an increase in pain over the course of one day.
Other studies have shown that elevated levels of cortisol (stress hormone) may be associated with chronic pain. For example, one study compared 16 patients with chronic back pain to a control group. It was found that people with chronic pain had higher levels of cortisol.
Another study found that people with chronic pain have higher levels of cortisol in their hair, which indicates prolonged stress.
Keep in mind that these studies show a link, but do not take into account other factors that may also be involved. In addition, it is unclear whether stress affects chronic pain, or vice versa, or whether another factor is present that causes both of these conditions.
There are many other factors that can contribute to chronic pain, including conditions such as aging, trauma, poor posture, and nerve damage.
Some studies have shown that chronic pain can be associated with higher levels of stress, as well as with increased levels of cortisol.
Symptoms of heat stroke and the algorithm of action
May holidays - this is the time when most spend time at sea or in nature. After winter, I especially like the sun. But it can not only become a source of warmth and good mood, but also harm.
All physiological processes in the body occur in a fairly narrow temperature range. However, in the process of life, heat is constantly generated (heat production). For normal functioning, this heat must be removed to the environment (heat transfer), and the body must be cooled. Heat transfer is carried out by radiating heat and by evaporation (sweat from the surface of the skin).
In the event that the heat production is increased and (or) the heat transfer is reduced, there is a general overheating of the body, which is accompanied by thermal diseases:
- heat stroke
- heat exhaustion
- thermal cramps.
General overheating is promoted as environmental factors:
- hot weather,
- high humidity
- direct sunlight
- excess clothing and internal factors:
- physical activity,
- lack of fluid in the body,
- immaturity of thermoregulation mechanisms in childhood.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Loss of consciousness.
- Stop sweating.
- Increased body temperature (up to 40 ° C).
- Pale, hot skin.
- Lowering blood pressure. Frequent weak pulse.
Sunstroke can be considered as a special case of heatstroke. It occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight on the head.
Heat and sunstroke are preceded by general malaise, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever.
Symptoms of Heat Cramps
They occur most often in the muscles of the legs. They manifest themselves as muscle pain and spastic contraction of individual muscles. The reason for their development is increased physical activity in adverse (high temperature and humidity) environmental conditions, accompanied by increased sweating and loss of fluid and salts.
- Take your child to a shade or cool room.
- Lay it and strip it.
- Put a few pillows under your feet.
- Wash the baby's body with a sponge dampened in cold water. You don’t need to wipe the skin. Water, evaporating, will cool the body.
- You can put a cold compress on your head.
- Turn on the fan or fan something around the child.
- If there is no loss of consciousness (or after recovery), give a plentiful cool drink.
- For muscle cramps, massage your limb.
- Call a doctor.
Author Leonid Roshal pediatrician, surgeon, public figure. President of the Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, member of the Board of the Union of Pediatric Surgeons of Russia
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4. Frequent illnesses
If you feel you are constantly struggling with a runny nose, stress may be to blame. This condition may affect your immune system and may cause increased susceptibility to infections.
In one study, 61 older people were given the flu vaccine. It was found that patients with chronic stress had a weakened immune response to the vaccine, indicating a possible association of this condition with a decrease in immunity.
In another study, 235 adults were assigned to high or low stress groups. Over a six-month period, patients with high stress had 70% more respiratory infections, and they experienced symptoms 61% longer than the low-stress group.
Similarly, one analysis of 27 studies showed that stress was associated with increased susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infection. Understanding the complex relationship between stress and immunity requires additional research involving people.
A weakened immune system can also result from poor diets, lack of exercise, and some immunodeficiency diseases, such as leukemia and multiple myeloma.
Stress can damage your immune system. Studies show that higher stress levels are associated with increased susceptibility to infection.
5. Lower energy levels and insomnia
Chronic fatigue and decreased energy levels can also be caused by prolonged stress. For example, one study of 2483 people found that fatigue is strongly associated with increased stress levels.
Stress can also disturb sleep and cause insomnia, which can lead to low energy levels. One small study found that higher levels of stress associated with work are associated with increased drowsiness and anxiety at bedtime.
Another study of 2316 participants found that an increased number of stressful events was significantly associated with an increased risk of insomnia.
These studies show a connection, but they do not take into account other factors that could play a role. Further studies are needed to determine if stress can directly cause a decrease in energy levels.
Other factors that can play a role in lowering energy levels are dehydration, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), poor diet, or hypothyroidism (thyroid failure).
Stress is associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances, which can lead to lower energy levels.
6.Changes in libido
Many people experience changes in sex drive during stressful periods. One small study evaluated stress levels in 30 women and then measured their arousal while watching an erotic movie. Women with high levels of chronic stress experienced less excitement than women with low levels of stress.
Another study of 103 women found that higher levels of stress were associated with lower levels of sexual activity and satisfaction.
Similarly, in one study, 339 subjects were examined. They reported that high levels of stress negatively affect sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction.
There are many other potential causes of changes in libido, including hormonal changes, fatigue, and psychological causes.
Some studies have shown that higher levels of stress are associated with decreased sex drive, arousal, and satisfaction.
7. Digestive problems
Signs of extreme stress also include digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation. For example, in one study, 2699 children were studied, which revealed that exposure to stressful events was associated with an increased risk of constipation.
Stress can especially affect digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They are characterized by pain in the stomach, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
In one study, higher levels of daily stress were associated with aggravated digestive upset in 181 women with IBS.
In addition, in one of 18 studies that examined the role of stress in inflammatory bowel disease, 72% of studies found a link between stress and digestive symptoms.
Although these data show a connection, more research is needed to see how stress can directly affect the digestive system.
Also, keep in mind that many other factors can cause digestive problems, such as diet, dehydration, physical activity, infections, or certain medications.
Some studies have shown that stress can be associated with digestive problems, such as constipation and diarrhea, especially in patients with digestive disorders.
8. Changes in appetite
Signs of emotional stress include changes in appetite. When you feel stressed, you may find that you have completely lost your appetite, or you may begin to "raid" the refrigerator in the middle of the night.
One study of college students found that 81% said they noticed changes in appetite when they experienced severe stress. Of these, 62% experienced an increase in appetite, and a 38% decrease.
In a study of 129 people, the effects of stress were associated with behaviors such as eating without feeling hungry.
These changes in appetite can also cause fluctuations in body weight during stressful periods. For example, a study of 1,355 people found that stress was associated with weight gain in overweight adults.
Although these data show a relationship between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more research is needed to understand if other factors are involved.
Other possible causes of appetite changes include the use of certain medications, hormonal changes, and psychological conditions.
Studies show that there may be a correlation between changes in appetite and stress levels. In some people, higher stress levels can also lead to weight gain.
Some studies suggest that chronic stress can contribute to depression. In one study involving 816 women with severe depression, it was found that the onset of depression was significantly associated with both acute and chronic stress.
Another study found that high stress levels were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in 240 adolescents.
In addition, a study of 38 people with severe chronic non-chronic depression showed that stressful life events were significantly associated with depressive episodes.
Remember that these data show a connection, but do not necessarily mean that stress causes depression. More research is needed on the role of stress in the development of depression.
Other potential factors contributing to depression include heredity, hormone levels, environmental factors, and even certain medications.
Some studies have shown that high levels of stress can be associated with depression and depressive episodes.
10. Heart palpitations
Symptoms of stress also include an increase in heart rate. In one study, heart rate reactivity was measured in response to stressful and non-stressful events, and as a result, it was noted that heart rate was significantly higher during stressful conditions.
Another study involving 133 adolescents showed that a stressful task caused an increase in heart rate.
In a similar study, it was found that in 87 students, a stressful task increases their heart rate and blood pressure. It is interesting to note that playing relaxing music during the assignment actually helped prevent these changes.
Heart palpitations can also be caused by high blood pressure, thyroid disease, certain cardiovascular diseases, and drinking a lot of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Several studies have shown that high stress levels can cause heart palpitations. Stressful events or tasks can also increase your heart rate.
Stress can also result in excessive sweating. In one small study, 20 people with palmar hyperhidrosis were studied - a condition characterized by excessive sweating in the hands. The study evaluated their sweating rate during the day using a scale of 0 to 10.
It was found that stress and exercise significantly increased the rate of perspiration by two to five points in patients with palmar hyperhidrosis, as well as in the control group.
Another study of 40 adolescents found that exposure to stress leads to excessive sweating and body odor.
Excessive sweating can also be caused by anxiety, overheating of the body (for example, in the heat or with significant physical exertion), thyroid disease, and the use of certain medications.
Studies show that stress can cause increased sweating in people with sweating disorders, such as palmar hyperhidrosis, and in any other people.