Dehydration signs and symptoms
When the body loses more water than it takes in, dehydration results. Dehydration can result from excessive sweating (for instance, during heat waves, particularly with prolonged effort), vomiting, diarrhea, the use of medications that increase urine excretion (diuretics), and decreased water consumption.
Quick information on dehydration
- Water makes up about 75 % of the human body.
- Dehydration can be brought on by vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive perspiration.
- Athletes, persons who live in higher altitudes, and older adults are among those who are most susceptible to dehydration.
- Lethargy, a dry mouth, and lightheadedness are some of the early signs of dehydration.
- Dehydration is particularly dangerous for the elderly. Some causes of dehydration in elderly persons include
- Dementia or other mental illnesses that make it harder for people to take care of themselves
- Disorders that make it challenging to drink fluids (usually because of restricted mobility, such as after a stroke)
Even those who are otherwise healthy may not drink enough fluids for a variety of reasons, including incontinence or the fear of incontinence, as older people perceive thirst more gradually and mildly than younger people do.
Body fat percentage is increased in older adults. With aging, the body’s overall water content tends to decline because fat tissue holds less water than lean tissue.
Dehydration signs and symptoms
Dehydration can range from mild to severe, depending on how much fluid you lose from your body.
Thirst and black urine are two early indicators of dehydration. The body is attempting to enhance water intake and reduce water loss by doing this.
Additional signs can include:
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
- Passing small amounts of urine infrequently (less than three or four times a day)
Strength and stamina can also be lost as a result of dehydration. It is a major contributor to heat exhaustion.
By consuming extra liquids, you should be able to reverse dehydration at this point.
Chronic dehydration might damage your kidney function and raise your risk of kidney stones. Moreover, it may cause constipation and muscular injury.
Dehydration can get worse if it isn’t treated. A medical emergency requiring rapid care is severe dehydration. When you have unusual fatigue (lethargy) or confusion and suspect that you may be dehydrated.
- Standing up makes you feel dizzy, but it doesn’t go away after a short while.
- Failing to urinate for eight hours
- A light pulse
- A quick pulse
- Fits (seizures) (seizures)
- A low consciousness level
If severe dehydration is not addressed right away, problems may result. In order to restore the significant fluid loss, you will be put on a drip and require hospital treatment for this level of dehydration.
Infants who are dehydrated
A newborn may be dehydrated if they:
- Little or no tears when they cry; a sunken soft place (fontanelle) on their head; a dry mouth
- Less moist diapers
- Urine is dark yellow
- Rapid respiration
- Hands and feet that appear chilly and blotchy
When you don’t drink enough water or lose more than you take in, you become dehydrated. Sweat, tears, vomiting, urination, and diarrhea all cause fluid loss.
Climate, level of physical activity, food, and other variables can all affect how severe dehydration is.
Dehydration can occur for a number of reasons, some of which are listed below.
Dehydration is frequently the result of a condition like gastroenteritis, where fluid is lost through frequent episodes of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dehydration can also occur if you exercise a lot, have a fever, or perform strenuous physical labor outside in the heat.
It’s crucial to routinely consume liquids in these circumstances to replenish lost fluids. It isn’t necessary for it to be hot for you to lose a lot of fluid through perspiration. Children and teenagers are especially vulnerable to dehydration because they may not recognize its signs and symptoms or may choose to ignore them.
Drinking too much alcohol might also lead to dehydration. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes you to urinate more frequently.Your body is dehydrated if you get the headache that comes with a hangover. When you have consumed alcohol, you should strive to drink a lot of water.
When your system contains high levels of glucose if you have diabetes, you run the risk of dehydration. Your kidneys will try to eliminate the glucose by producing more urine, which causes your body to lose water due to frequent urination.
Who is in danger?
The following are the people who are most at risk of dehydration:
- Babies and newborns, who are susceptible to even modest quantities of fluid loss due to their low body weight.
- Seniors, who may be less aware of their need to rehydrate by drinking fluids
- Those who have a chronic illness, such as diabetes or alcoholism
- Athletes: When they exercise for extended periods of time, they can lose a lot of bodily fluid through sweat.
How would you treat dehydration?
When working or exercising in hot weather, people should consume extra fluids to avoid dehydration. When senior family members are left alone in a warm building or location, people should make sure they have access to plenty of water. Individuals do not need to force themselves to drink more water when they are not thirsty if they are not engaging in strenuous exercise or are not in a hot area.
Adding more water to your diet may be all that is required to treat minor dehydration. Those with more severe dehydration should consume a specific oral rehydration solution with the proper amount of sugar and electrolytes. Sports drinks, soda, and juice don’t work as well. In cases of extreme dehydration, medical professionals administer fluids via IV.
Key Points :
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A review article by
(Clinical Research Director @ IEEARC Tech)
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