What are the potential effects of heat stroke?

It is important to note that heat stroke is a heat-related illness in which the body temperature drastically rises and exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Individuals who develop any of the potential effects of heat stroke entail immediate medical care in order to avoid any of the life-threatening complications.

Due to the potential risks of heat stroke, those who engage in strenuous exercises or certain occupations under warm temperatures must take the appropriate measures to restore the fluids lost or take regular breaks.


Once the body temperature increases quickly, the normal cooling response of the body which is sweating starts to fail. As a result, the individual could not properly regulate the body temperature due to a heat stroke.

A high body temperature can deplete the fluid resources of the body.  Once this occurs, the individual can develop dehydration as an after effect of heat stroke. Some of the symptoms of dehydration include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache

In case the fluid levels of the individual are not properly restored as soon as possible, dehydration can be deadly. Once the initial symptoms of dehydration are present, the individual must replenish the fluids lost by drinking water or other fluids.

Heat stroke

The increased body temperature due to heat stroke can cause abnormalities with the heart and breathing rate.

Elevated heart and breathing

The increased body temperature due to heat stroke can cause abnormalities with the heart and breathing rate. After a heat stroke, an individual will have rapid breathing rate and pulse rate. It is important to note that these effects can occur along with dizziness, intense headache, vomiting or muscle cramps. In some cases, there is also difficulty breathing which requires immediate medical care.

Organ or brain damage

Once the body could not control its internal temperature due to heat stroke, the tissues and organs can become overheated. The elevated levels of heat can damage and even destroy the cells in the body which cause organ damage and failure. If medical care is not sought, an individual who suffers from heat stroke can end up with lasting brain or organ damage as an effect of the condition which can lead to lasting physical or mental disabilities.

Loss of consciousness, coma and death

Excess levels of heat can overwhelm the body. If this occurs, the body will start to shut down. As an outcome, an individual who suffered heat stroke appears unusually confused and might even lose consciousness. In case the body is not properly cooled down quickly after a heat stroke, the individual might slip into a state of coma. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures after a heat stroke can cause the body to shut down entirely, thus resulting to death.


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