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Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a condition where the body temperature rises beyond 40.6 C (105.1 F) and the natural body cooling mechanism fails. Also called sunstroke, thermic fever, or siriasis, heat stroke can become a potentially dangerous condition if not treated. High body temperature plays havoc on the brain and other internal organs. Dehydration can lead to very low blood pressure. Symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, headache, muscle cramps, disorientation and seizures. Dehydration and hyperthermia results. Symptoms such as dehydration and excessive sweating are indicative of heat exhaustion and can lead to a heat stroke. A person suffering heat stroke symptoms must rest in a cool area and rehydrate with electrolyte drinks and water. A cool bath helps to alleviate some of the heat.


Hyperthermia is a name given to a variety of heat related illnesses, when the body temperature is higher than normal. This may be due to illnesses such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia also refers to heat treatment, controlled use of heat for medical purposes, like cancer. When the body is exposed to very high temperatures, changes take place inside the cells. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy can kill cancer cells outright and can also injure normal cells and tissues. That is why hyperthermia must be carefully controlled and should be undertaken only with doctor supervision.

There are two primary ways in which hyperthermia is used. Very high temperatures can be used to destroy a small area of cells such as tumor. This is called local hyperthermia or thermal ablation. The other method is when the temperature of the whole body can be raised to a higher than normal level. Radiation therapy, immunotherapy or chemotherapy are instances of this. This is known as regional hyperthermia or whole body hyperthermia.


A headache in many cases can be a symptom of other underlying issues. In most cases, a headache subsides with the intake of an OTC painkiller or given adequate rest. To pinpoint the exact cause for a recurring, persistent headache, it calls for a detailed history of the patient as a starting point.

A headache is often one of the common symptoms associated with a wide range of ailments, drug interaction or change in weather to hormonal variations. The following list is not exhaustive - but only to suggest as a sample of some possible causes.

Allergic rhinitis - can cause fatigue and headache. Some drugs like alpha blockers cause side effects like drowsiness, tiredness, headache, nervousness, irritability, stuffy or runny nose, nausea, pain in the extremities. Metronidazole drug can also result in headache, nausea and vomiting if taken with alcohol.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has symptoms which include abdominal pain, headache, nervousness and irritability along with breast tenderness before menstruation. Antihistamines cause drowsiness and headache as a side effect.
Heat stroke can cause severe head ache, high fever and dry skin.

A cancer in the adrenal medulla known as Pheochromocytoma can cause high blood pressure, headache, palpitations and excessive perspiration.
Cerebral Aneurysms may cause headaches lasting for days or weeks - called as Sentinel Headaches as they are a warning to an impending rupture or Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SSH).

Migraine Headache refers to the recurrent headache on one side or both sides - often accompanied by nausea or vomiting with episodes of aversion to light.

Cluster Headache is the excruciating pain centered around one eye or temple.

Tension Headache - the common form of headache refers to the dull ache that may appear to exert pressure on the head.

Comparison of Tension Type Headache and Migraine Headache

  Tension Headache Migraine Headache
Interval Time for Onset to peak Hours to days Minutes to 1 hour
Frequency Often daily or continuous Rarely less than 1 per week
Location circumferential Temporal
Character Aching, pressure band like Pounding
Laterality Usually bilateral Always unilateral
Aura Never present May be present
Nausea and vomiting Rare Common
Duration Often days Usually less than 24 hr
Tags: #Heat Stroke #Hyperthermia #Headache
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 22, 2024