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What is it?
Heat cramps are painful muscle cramps. Working hard or exercising in hot weather can cause heat cramps. Older people and children get heat cramps more easily. Also, heat cramps happen more often if you are not used to working or exercising in hot weather. Some illnesses (such as obesity, diabetes, low blood pressure, alcoholism and heart disease) and some drugs (including those used in Parkinson's Disease, allergies, stress, and heart disease) make it easier to get heat cramps.
Sweating a lot can make your body loose too much salt and water. This causes your temperature to go up and then you may get heat cramps. Older people and children can not get used to changes in the weather very easily. This makes it easier for them to get heat cramps if they stay out in hot weather.
Signs and Symptoms:
You will feel cramping pain in your muscles. Also, your muscles may feel like hard knots.
If you begin to get heat cramps, get out of the heat or sun. Rest and cool down by drinking liquids such as water or fruit juices. Also, eat foods with salt in them such as celery, saltine crackers, or pretzels.
Do's and Don'ts:
To keep from getting heat cramps, try not to get over heated. Drink lots of liquids even if you do not feel thirsty. Also, eat foods with salt. Avoid alcohol, hot foods and heavy meals. Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing to lessen the chance of getting heat cramps. This is very important when you are working or exercising in hot weather.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.