Banner Health Services  

I'm not sweating. Is that bad?

Dr. Cohen  
David Cohen, MD, is the medical director of the Emergency department at Banner Estrella Medical Center.

Question: Sometimes, when I’m working outside in the heat, I seem to stop sweating. Is that a sign of sun stroke?

Answer:
In Arizona, it is important that anyone who has to spend large amounts of time outside after 9 a.m. and before 9 p.m. recognize the signs of heat exhaustion so they can start taking preventative measures against heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is seen most often in people who work or play in a hot environment without regular breaks for hydration.  Signs include a slightly elevated temperature; pale skin; sweating profusely; muscle cramps or pains; and a feeling of being faint or dizzy.

If you have any of these signs, no matter how long you have been in the sun, you should stop what you are doing and either head inside or look for shade. Hydrate yourself with water or a liquid with electrolytes and make every attempt to cool your body down to a normal temperature for an extended period of time.

If you have symptoms such as unconsciousness for longer than a few seconds; difficulty breathing; confusion or anxiety; a fast heart rate; sweating that may be heavy or have stopped; or severe vomiting or diarrhea, those are symptoms of heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical condition where a person's cooling system, which is controlled by the brain, stops working and the internal body temperature rises to the point at which brain damage or damage to other internal organs may result.

Seek immediately medical attention if the person is unable to keep fluids down or if their mental status begins to deteriorate.
Page Last Modified: 10/19/2011
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