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I am writing in here out of concern for my father.

He is 46 years old and has worked as a truck driver his whole life.

He has always hated the heat but recently in Australia over the last 5 to 7 years its just getting hotter and hotter due to climate change and the drought.

In summer, on a hot day, my dads body while hes at work will literally begin to shut down on him due to the heat.

He sweats all the time, even in winter and he sweats a lot.

He drinks heaps and heaps and heaps of water and he wears the loosest clothing he can.

He has been to the doctors about this before in recent years but it didn't go anywhere, they put him on salt tablets but it didn't change anything.

He has a truck with air conditioning at the moment, but last week he said he was so hot he had to get out of the truck drench himself in water and then get back in before he could start cooling down.

He finds it hard to breath, his lips and arms go numb and he either chooses to sit down before he falls down.

He hates it and it scares him because he feels he shouldn't be so useless at 46 years old.

To me it sounds a lot like heat stroke but its more severe, and he can just go from having a hot day, to doing minor work in the sun for 10-15 min and then its too late, all symptoms could be in full swing depending on heat and weather... and he drinks water, he really drinks water...

We just don't really know what to do anymore, he can't just really stop working, and hes fine most the year aside from summer. But were getting worried it could kill him one day.

Any comments/suggestions/theories welcome.

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replied February 26th, 2008
Mens Conditions Answer A3737
According to your description, it seems that your father can’t stand the hot weather, which is pretty normal. Most people can’t tolerate hot weather for long periods of time. Hot weather increases body temperature. The thermo-regulatory mechanisms of the body atempt to keep the body’s temperature within the normal range of 36-37 oC, the most important mechanism for body cooling being sweating. When you sweat, water is excreted by the sweat glands in the skin and then evaporates. It is this water evaporation that, in fact, cools the body. Without evaporation sweating wouldn't be efficient. For example, sweating to cool the body is useless when the body is placed in a warm, closed space without ventilation and great moisture in the air.

In addition to evaporation, intake of water and electrolytes (salts) is also a very important when you sweat because the body’s water and salts are expelled through the pores. If water and salts are not supplemented, the body will dehydrate and body temperature will again increase, also known as hyperthermia. Dehydration combined with hyperthermia is called "heat stroke" and could be a life threatening condition if not diagnosed and treated on time.

Your father may report that he was hot and exhausted but was his body’s temperature really increased? Did he perform specific biochemical reports to identify increased hematocrit, decreased sodium etc... or did he only feel hot? It is one thing is to feel a sensation and another thing is to confirm those symptoms with a relevant physical and biochemical examination. The rest of your father's symptoms (“hard to breathe, his lips and arms go numb”) are not typical symptoms present during hyperthermia and dehydration.
Furthermore, depression can manifest with exhaustion and uncomfortable feelings.

Your father should request several physical and biochemical examinations such as measuring body temperature, blood pressure, electrolyte status, blood count, sedimentation, haemoglobin, hematocrit, blood glucose, hormonal status especially thyroid, etc.
You can consult an internal medicine specialist about his condition and request these diagnostics.

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