What are Symptoms of Dehydration?
Dehydration wake forest occurs when the body does not have an adequate amount of water compared to what it needs. The body is unable to properly function without sufficient water. People can experience mild, moderate, or severe dehydration based the fluid deficiency.
It is normal to lose water from your body through routine daily activities such as sweating, breathing, peeing, and pooping, tears and saliva. Under normal circumstances, you replace liquid when you drink fluids and consume water containing foods. You can get dehydrated when you lose too much water and do not replace it by drinking and eating.
The following can cause to lose more water than normal:
- Diarrhea: the most common cause of dehydration and death related to dehydration is diarrhea. The large intestine absorbs water from food you consume. Diarrhea prevents absorption of water from taking place. The body excretes too much water which results in dehydration.
- Vomiting: this leads to a loss of fluids and makes it difficult to replace enough water by drinking it.
- Fever and sweating: the body releases a significant amount of water through sweat. When the weather is hot and humid in addition to vigorous physical activity can compound the loss of fluid from sweat. In addition, a fever can cause an increase in the amount of sweat and may cause dehydration. This is especially dangerous when a fever is combined with diarrhea and vomiting.
- Diabetes: high blood sugar levels can cause more frequent urination and the loss of fluid.
- Frequent urination: this is commonly caused by uncontrolled diabetes. It also can be related to alcohol consumption and medications including diuretics, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotics.
- Burns: blood vessels can become damaged after a burn and cause fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues.
You may not be too busy and forget to drink enough to replace the lost water. You may also not realize that you are thirsty or perhaps you do not feel like drinking because of an illness or due to discomfort.
Mild or moderate dehydration signs and symptoms include:
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Infrequent urination
- Darker yellow pee
- Cool, dry skin
- Muscle cramps
Severe dehydration is defined by the loss of 10-15% of the water in the body. Signs and symptoms of severe dehydration include the following:
- Not urinating at all or having extremely dark yellow pee
- Dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat or breathing
- Sunken eyes
- Feeling lethargic
- Tiredness, confusion or irritable
Babies and young children can also get dehydrated as they have a difficult time communicating. Signs and symptoms for babies and young children include:
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when they cry
- Diapers are dry for 3 or more hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks or a soft spot on the top of the skull
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, or irritability
Severe dehydration is considered a medical emergency and should be treated right away.
While anyone can get dehydrated, the following groups are at a higher risk:
- Babies and young children often suffer from severe diarrhea and vomiting. They also lose high volumes of water from having a high fever. Young people can’t always communicate that they are thirsty or get a drink on their own.
- Sometimes older adults do not realize that they are thirsty. They may not be able to get a drink easily on their own or may have a medical condition/medication which makes it difficult for them to take in enough fluids.
- People may not want to eat or drink when they are sick with a cold, sore throat or have mouth sores.
- People who have chronic disease like type 2 diabetes can experience frequent urination if the disease is not controlled. Medication such as water pills can also lead to more frequent urination.
- People who are active outside during hot and humid weather may not be able to properly cool down because the sweat does not evaporate. This can result in an increased body temperature and the need to consume more water.
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