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Five precautions you can take to prevent collapsing from heat exhaustion like Rita Ora

by , 20 November 2013

Yesterday, reports emerged that singer Rita Ora was taken to hospital after a fashion shoot in Miami. The reason? Heat exhaustion and dehydration. Fortunately, the 22 year-old has since been discharged and is said to be ‘fine'. With things heating up around the country, it's vital you read on to find out what heat exhaustion is and what you can do to prevent it this summer…

Rita Ora is said to be ‘fine’ after being taken ill on a photo shoot in the US, BBC Newsbeat reports.

The singer was modelling in Miami in a campaign for Madonna’s new clothing range. She was then treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration at the city’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

It’s a good thing that the singer went for treatment early as untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke.

What exactly is heat exhaustion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating. It’s one of three heat-related syndromes, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe.

Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity and strenuous physical activity.

Besides hot weather and strenuous activity, other causes of heat exhaustion include:
  • Dehydration, which reduces your body’s ability to sweat and maintain a normal temperature;
  • Alcohol use, which can affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature; and
  • Overdressing, particularly in clothes that don’t allow sweat to evaporate easily
Are you at risk of heat exhaustion?

Anyone can develop heat exhaustion, but certain factors increase your sensitivity to heat, says the Mayo Clinic. They include:
  • Young or old age.
  • Certain drugs.
  • Obesity.
  • Sudden temperature changes.
  • A high heat index
As mentioned, without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition.

The good news is, there are measures you can take to prevent heat exhaustion.

Prevent heat exhaustion by taking these five safety measures

The Mayo Clinic says that when temperatures climb, remember to:
  1. Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Excess, dark or tight clothing holds in heat and doesn't let your body cool properly because it inhibits sweat evaporation.
  2. Avoid sunburn. If you’re going to be outdoors, wear a lightweight, wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of heat.
  3. Let your body acclimate to the heat. If you’re going to travel to somewhere hot, or the temperatures suddenly jump in your area, it can take several weeks for your body to get used to the heat. You’ll still need to take precautions, but working or exercising in heat should become more tolerable. If you’re on vacation, you probably don’t have several weeks to wait, but it’s a good idea to wait at least a few days before attempting vigorous activity in the heat.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature. If your doctor has told you to limit fluids because of a health condition, be sure to check with him about how much extra you need to drink when the temperature rises. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  5. Take extra precautions with certain medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether the medications you take make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion and, if so, what you can do to keep your body from overheating.

If you notice signs of heat exhaustion like cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, heavy sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and a headache, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Taking these precautions will help you prevent heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.

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