Food, Health & Fitness


It’s that time of the year when the country experiences weather that would make you hit the shower at least twice a day. With the harsh heat waves we have been experiencing the past few days, knowing the basics when dealing with heat-related illnesses or the dark side of the sultry summer days is necessary. Remember, the “it” in Drop It Like It’s Hot does not pertain to you. So, when the scorching heat gets too intense, remember these simple things to protect yourself and avoid untoward incidents.

But before we proceed with the life-saving reminders, let’s first spot the difference between heat rash, cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. However, we’ll focus more on heat exhaustion and heatstroke since heat rash and heat cramps are simply rashes and muscle cramps due to exposure to extreme heat, and that’s pretty much all we can say about it.

Many people tend to interchange heat exhaustion and heatstroke. To properly deal with heat-related illnesses, knowing the symptoms of these two will be vital in saving yourself and others from a potentially life-threatening situation.


Heat Exhaustion. 

Within the spectrum of heat-related illnesses, heat exhaustion is the more threatening version of heat rash or cramps. Sweat is our body’s main gun for cooling down, so when our body is unable to cool itself through sweating, heat exhaustion may occur.o

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • High body temperature
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue

Heatstroke happens when we experience an extended period of heat exhaustion. It is the most severe heat-related illness. Like heat exhaustion, when our body stops sweating, our temperature may reach a dangerous level that could lead to fatality.

Common symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • Confusion or agitation
  • Hallucinations and an altered mental state
  • Inability to sweat
  • Dry, red skin
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Slurred speech.
  • Very high body temperature (more than 40 degrees C)
  • Seizures

The Department of Health cautions against heat illnesses by reminding the public to stay hydrated. Additionally, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA, updates the country’s Heat Index through this website. According to the agency, a heat index ranging from 33 to 54 degrees Celsius may put a person at risk of heatstroke.


What can you do?

During hot and humid weather:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat & long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
  • Schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day when it’s cooler.

What emergency measures can you perform? 

  • Move the person to a shady spot or indoors
  • Have the patient lie down with legs elevated
  • If able to drink liquids, have the patient sip cool water
  • Remove clothing, apply cool water to the skin, & fan the person
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles & groin

The Department of Health also emphasizes that heat stroke is an immediate MEDICAL EMERGENCY. After performing emergency measures, the patient must be sent immediately to the hospital for proper treatment.



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