Summer is officially here. However, for those that are prone to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, summer can have a whole other meaning.
Heat stroke can be serious and come on suddenly. It most frequently affects older people, young children and people who exercise in the heat. The skin becomes hot and red, perspiration maybe absent or profuse, the pulse fast and strong. There may also be confusion, stupor and even unconsciousness, as well as, headaches, nausea and in extreme cases convulsions. There is a failure for the body to regulate a normal temperature and can reach very high (40C or higher).
If this is the case, the body must be cooled immediately, by removing their clothing and getting them to a cool place, immersing them in cool water or rubbing them with a cool wet cloth or ice and fanning them until their temperature comes down. The first priority is to get their temperature down and take them to the nearest medical emergency facility while keeping them cool and their temperature down.
Heat exhaustion develops gradually when the body is exposed to hot weather and the person loses water and salt through excessive sweating. Tiredness, cold and clammy skin, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, paleness, headache, and muscle cramps occur and there may be a rapid pulse and breathing.
Have the person lie down in a cool, dark place and raise their feet. Apply a cool wet cloth to head and body and fan them. Also, give water with salt (1/2 tsp of salt to 1 litre of water) drinking frequently. If fainting or unconsciousness has occurred then treat for shock and ensure their temperature has not risen, seek medical attention immediately as well if symptoms have not improved within an hour or are worse. In both cases of heatstroke and exhaustion, people will be abnormally sensitive to heat for sometime afterwards, so avoid exposure.
Homeopathic remedies can be used in cases of acute heatstroke and exhaustion to help relieve immediate symptoms quickly and gently until the person is able to get medical attention, especially if you are in remote area far from immediate help, in the case of hiking and biking in the back country or out on a boat or kayak. Belladonna or Glonoine are two common homeopathic remedies that cover the symptoms of high temperature, throbbing headaches, red face and stupor. Veratrum Album or Cuprum Metallicum homeopathic remedies can be given for the symptoms of heat exhaustion. Cuprum is especially helpful for muscle cramps. These remedies can be given immediately and frequently, every 15 minutes, until symptoms are relieved.
For those individuals that have a chronic sensitivity to heat and sun or if they have become sensitive from over exposure to heat or sun, professional homeopathic treatment can help relieve this susceptibility.
Canteris Hartley, Classical Homeopath