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Heat Cramps

What are Heat Cramps?

Heat Cramps are the most common, but least serious
heat injury. Some other heat injuries are: heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat cramps are strong muscle contractions, usually in the the muscles at the back of the calves. The muscle contractions are forceful and painful.

Heat cramps seem to be connected to heat, dehydration, and poor conditioning, rather than to lack of salt or other mineral imbalances. The cramps usually improve with rest, drinking water, and a cool environment.

What Causes Heat Cramps?

Heat cramps are muscular spasms that occur when the body loses too much salt during excessive sweating and not enough salt is taken in. With too much water and not enough salt, electrolyte imbalance takes place and the already stressed muscles are further affected. Heat cramps can be caused by different things. It can be caused by overexertion of muscles or inadequate stretching or warm up. Hot weather is not necessary to heat cramps.

In order for the muscles to function properly, they need a strict balance of water, calcium, and sodium. Whenever the balance is disrupted, regardless of environmental temperature, heat cramps can occur.

What are the Symptoms of Heat Cramps?

Some of the most common symptoms of heat cramps are:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hot, sweaty skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting and exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting

How can Heat Cramps be Treated?

There are many ways to treat heat cramps. The type of treatment depends on the cause of the heat cramps. Please talk to your doctor to see that treatment options are best for you.

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