SUNSTROKE (Heatstroke; Insolation; Thermic Fever; Siriasis), a term applied to the effects produced upon the central nervous system, and through it upon other organs of the body, by exposure to the sun or to overheated air.
It is a life-threatening condition in which the body’s heat-regulating system fails, due to exposure to high temperatures. Sunstroke is a sudden attack of illness from exposure to the direct rays of the sun or from high temperature without exposure to the sun.
Physical exertion is definitely a contributing factor, and sunstroke is more likely to occur in high humidity than in low. The most important characteristic of sun stroke is the high body temperature which is caused by a disturbance in the heat regulating mechanism. The person can no longer sweat, and this causes a rise in body temperature.
It can occur when the body’s mechanisms to rid itself of excess heat are overwhelmed by a very hot or humid environment, or strenuous physical activity.
People particularly susceptible to sunstroke are young children, the elderly, individuals not used to physical activity and concomitant excessive sun exposure (such as overseas visitors walking in the mountains in Africa), people suffering from certain chronic medical conditions, and those involved in certain sporting activities.
This illness is more common in persons over age 4. Males are more vulnerable to sun stroke than females. Alcoholics are very susceptible to heat stroke.
Causes of sunstroke
It is caused by over exposure to extreme heat and a break down in the body’s temperature regulation system. The body becomes overheated to a dangerous degree. The body’s temperature can reach 107 degree F (41.7 degree C)
Sunstroke or Heatstroke Symptoms
Symptoms of sunstroke include elevated body temperature; hot, dry skin; hyperventilation; mental confusion; and eventual unconsciousness.
Often preceded by heat exhaustion and its symptoms
- Skin that is hot, dry, and flushed.
- No sweating
- High body temperature
- Rapid heart beat
- Loss of consciousness
The primary treatment goal for sunstroke is to lower the elevated body temperature rapidly in a controlled fashion.
It can be prevented by drinking plenty of water and avoiding overtaxing the body in hot weather and while exercising.
First- aid care for sunstroke
- Move the patient to a cold environment
- Maintain an open air way
- Remove as much as clothing as possible
- Use cold applications on the head and the body
- Immerse in cool bath if possible
- Wrap in a cool sheet; use a fan if possible if possible
- Get the victim to medical help as quickly as possible
- Watch the individual for relapse and repeated elevated temperature.
Homeopathic Remedies for Sunstroke and Heatstroke
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach.
This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat the current disease but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility.
As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat sunstroke that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.
For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following homeopathic remedies which are helpful in the treatment of sun stroke:
Glonoine – This is our most efficient remedy; in fact, no remedy stimulates the heart and vaso-motor centers in the medulla so quickly. The indications for its use will be pale face, fixed eyes, white tongue, full, round pulse, labored respiration, cerebral vomiting and sinking at the pit of the stomach.
The temperature is high and oftentimes there is unconsciousness. Useful for the after effects of sunstroke, with symptoms which usually come and go with exposure to the sun.
It has a very marked effect in nerve disturbance and congestive headaches from excessive heat and cold; the patient cannot bear any shock in the head; worse in sun and exposure to sun-rays; place face, fixed eyes, violent throbbing and rush of blood to the head, full round pulse, labored respiration, vomiting and sinking at the pit of the stomach, associated with high temperature and often unconsciousness; very irritable and sensation of pulsations throughout the body, violent convulsions associated with congestion.
Unable to recognize localities; vertigo on ascending or assuming an upright position; there is fluttering and throbbing in the entire body up to the fingertips; unable to go uphill; any exertion brings on a rush of blood to the heart.
Belladonna – This remedy is quite similar to Glonoine. There is drowsiness, loss of consciousness, whizzing in the ears and constriction of the chest. Sudden and violent onset of symptoms; loss of consciousness; throbbing headache and headache especially on the right side.
Natrum carbonicum – This remedy is particularly useful in the chronic effects of sunstroke and in headache which return in hot weather. Natrum carbonicum will sometimes calm very excitable and nervous persons during thunder storms. Remember it, however, in debility and headache from the sun.
Veratrum viride – there is intense congestion, heat in the head and blood shot eyes; head is full, throbbing arteries and vertigo with nausea; pulse is slow, soft, weak and irregular with constant burning pain over the region of heart; face is flushed and feels quite quarrelsome.
Gelsemium sempervirens – useful in sunstroke, with cerebral congestion, delirium, headache, high temperature, a weak slow pulse and an inability to get sound sleep. Gelsemium may also be useful where there is cerebral congestion, delirium, headache, high temperature and tendency to coma.
Lachesis – The sun’s heat makes the patient dizzy and faint; hot weather greatly fatigues. Helpful in treating left sided headaches that are worse in and over left eye. This type of head pain can be brought on from the heat of the sun.
The pain can start on the left side of the head and move to the right side. Changing position makes the head throb. The sun’s heat makes the patient dizzy and faint; hot weather greatly fatigues.
Aconite – useful in sunstroke where the great heat seems to have a paralyzing influence on the circulation.
Camphor – sensation of constriction in the brain, especially in the cerebellum; the pain ceases when he thinks of it; throbbing in cerebellum, synchronous with the best of the heart; after sunstroke throbbing, like beats of a hammer, with pulsation and sensation of constriction in the brain.
Theridion – effects of sunstroke; very severe headache with nausea and vomiting, headache in the beginning of every motion, cannot bear the least noise.