Hyperthermia, which is also known as a stroke, is a condition in which the body temperature is elevated due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. The body is no longer able to regulate its internal temperature. The temperature spikes to a higher level than normal.
The early symptoms of hyperthermia occur when the body temperature rises above 37°C and can be accompanied by a severe headache, vomiting, muscle cramps, nausea, and fatigue. These symptoms are referred to as heat exhaustion – a condition which causes intense heat, sweats, muscle cramps, moist skin etc. These conditions can sometimes worsen.
Hyperthermia is a life-threatening illness. When the body temperature rises to about 110°F or higher, it can lead to neurological changes such as unconsciousness or mental confusion. High body temperature also destroys membranes and proteins around the cells in the body. Further heating of the body without any medical attention can lead to a destruction of internal organs which can cause heart failure and breakdown of blood vessels and death. When a temperature spike like this occurs, a person should take in fluid. If a patient does not regularly hydrate their body, which cools down the system, their bodily functions will be compromised.
The two main known causes of hyperthermia are:
- Exertional Hyperthermia – This condition when one is readily exposed to a hot weather. Most times, the early symptoms are not considered.
- Non-Exertional Hyperthermia – Occurs in aged people with a chronic illness whose body system has lost the ability to diminish heat.
There are certain factors that contribute to hyperthermia. They include:
- One who has a medical history of heat stroke
- Confinement to a poorly ventilated area
- Not used to hot weather, an example is seen when an American who has lived all his life in the States travels to Nigeria for the first time, his body system would rapidly react to Nigeria’s hot climate
- When one does not readily drink enough water
- Less sleep, less relaxation
- Medications like those taken for allergies, constipation relief, and high blood pressure, etc.
Certain precautions should be taken to avoid hyperthermia. They include:
- Reduce fat intake
- Drink water often
- Wear light clothes
- Always stay in a well-ventilated environment
- Create time for good rest
- Consult your doctor before taking any medications
Hyperthermia is an illness caused by different factors as seen above. Since hyperthermia is a spike in body temperature, constipation can increase the chances of an episode. When the bowels are full for an extended period without being able to pass anything, it can cause stress, bloating, and a rise in temperature (hyperthermia). These bowels stuck in the digestive system can increase body temperature.
It is important to maintain a consistent body temperature. The best treatment for hyperthermia is to visit a doctor for an examination and evaluation.