Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?


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Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby Vielleicht » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:49 am

First of all, I'd really appreciate your insight or experiences on this topic...

It's quite a stupid tale of mine. Went out running in the late afternoon when the temperature was still between 33~35°C (91~95°F that is), with a humidity at 60-something percent. Swilled two cans of iced tea half an hour before going, which I suppose is a mistake? Anyway, I ran 30 minutes at a slightly more than 10km/h pace, didn't feel too much heat or exhaustion, didn't even sweat as much as when it was a lot cooler - but right after I stopped, boom! Fits of fast palpitation and fits of tunnel vision started to manifest when I climbed the stairs of the stadium to go home. I had to move slowly to go steadily. They went away after I sat down and afterwards all I experienced was just usual tiredness and some coughs but those unsettling symptoms seem still quite weird to me. Usually I stop when I feel tired or too hot, and there's never any problem, and I always keep a 1L bottle in hand to drink while running from which I've drunk over 3/4 in those 30 minutes, so also not too dehydrated I guess. Then what on earth could that have been?
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Re: Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby DrJay » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:32 am

I'm a general internist so see my share of heart problems. Regardless of your age or any other factors, you should see a cardiologist, and very soon. That sounds like it could be a heart rhythm problem, some of which can be serious. Or it may have just been getting overheated. Thirty minutes of running in the heat is not enough to get dehydrated enough to cause immediate symptoms, in general. High core temp, maybe. Significant dehydration, not that quickly.

A running friend had similar symptoms and it DID turn out to be a serious heart issue.
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Re: Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby Vielleicht » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:26 am

Thank you very much, DrJay. I just had my annual health check about one month ago that included ECG, and it was fine. I will nonetheless take your kind advice and seek some more help from a cardiologist; by the way, does overheating affect heart rhythm? I thought it would affect neurological system first, but my mind was quite clear all the time and I didn't feel that particularly scorched, so I didn't take notice...
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Re: Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby DrJay » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:53 am

Vielleicht wrote: by the way, does overheating affect heart rhythm?


Typically no, and it sounds like you had a really distinctive thing happen, it caught your attention. If it was a dysrhythmia, there certainly are some pretty benign ones as well that can cause those symptoms. Hopefully nothing serious. Keep us posted if you like.
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Re: Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby Helen S » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:04 am

My atrial arrhythmia often came on right after finishing a run, and is most definitely more frequent if I am dehydrated. This condition was never diagnosed by regular checkups and only after it became very frequent was I able to get the problem identified and treated. But it never stopped me from running.
What was your heart doing when this happened?
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Re: Is this heat exhaustion or just electrolyte imbalance?

Postby Vielleicht » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:53 pm

I had already done my cooling down and it happened when I started climbing the stairs to get out of the stadium, I guess I went too fast :oops:
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