Dehydration is one of the most common medical problems faced by the majority of the population globally. There are many different causes and outcomes associated with dehydration, but the fact that severe dehydration can be fatal for your overall health cannot be underestimated.
While hydration is the key to many important metabolic functions happening inside our body, we must understand what would happen if we are out of fluids and did not maintain the optimum fluid and electrolyte balance.
This article brings you an insight into dehydration and all the possible signs and symptoms related to it. We will also discuss how to overcome dehydration and rehydrate yourself quickly.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Our body needs a certain level of fluid balance to function properly and when this level drops, dehydration occurs which leads to many health problems.
In the case of Severe Dehydration, the person requires urgent medical attention and is kept on IV fluids and meds to bring back the normal fluid levels.
Causes of Dehydration
The reasons as to why can a person become severely dehydrated are vast. There are many factors associated with dehydration.
Here are some common causes of dehydration-
Extremely hot and humid temperatures lead to excessive sweating which results in fluid loss from the body. If the sweating persists for a long time, ultimately the person can get into a dehydrated state. A dehydrated body can even result in a heat stroke.
Not drinking enough water
A quite self-explanatory reason for severe dehydration is not drinking enough water. Around two-thirds of our body is composed of water and thus maintaining this fluid balance is very important.
The side effect of medications
There are certain medications like diuretics, antidepressants, etc., that can lead to dehydration in the long run. So make sure you consult your doctor prior about all the medications you are consuming and the related side effects.
Fever or illness
A sickness that causes diarrhea or vomiting can deplete the body’s fluid reserves in a short period of time. Mild dehydration can quickly turn into severe dehydration if you’re vomiting or have diarrhea and can’t keep water down. Similar is the case with fever in which Your skin will lose its cool clamminess unless your body temperature drops, and it will become hot, flushed, and dry to the touch.
Identifying the probable causes is very important to not let your condition go from mildly dehydrated to severely dehydrated.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
As fluid loss progresses from mild to moderate to severe dehydration, indicators of mental and physical impairment may appear, requiring rapid intervention to reverse.
If the signs and symptoms of extreme dehydration are severe enough, medical assistance may also be required.
Here are the most common signs you can look out for to know if you are dehydrated-
Normal urine is generally pale yellow in color which means your body is well hydrated. However, if you find your urine color to be dark then it is a sign of dehydration. This is one of the easiest ways to know if you are dehydrated.
Dry mouth and skin
If your body isn’t hydrated well, it shows on your skin and mouth. Dry mouth is a very common symptom of dehydration. Similarly, dry skin is also an outcome of the lack of water and fluids inside the body.
To check this, all you need to do is just pinch your skin on top of your hand. If it does not bounce back quickly, it means you are dehydrated.
Thirst is the one instinct that all of us feel when our body runs out of fluids and water. It is also known to be a very common and most easily experienced sign of dehydration as well. However, it doesn’t mean that you should drink water only when you are thirsty. Try sipping water throughout the day to match up the optimum levels of your hydration.
Rapid heart rate
While exercising, it’s natural to have a faster heart rate and shallower breathing but if the situation is the same even after your exercise sessions, it could be an indication of severe dehydration, as electrolyte depletion can impair the heart’s capacity to pump blood.
Mental confusion and dizziness
Drinking water and eating water-rich meals can aid brain function. On the other hand, not getting enough fluids can have negative consequences. If you feel like you’re about to pass out, or if you’re unsure where you are, how you got there, or what you’re doing, you’re probably severely dehydrated.
Fever is also an extreme sign of extreme dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, it’s difficult to maintain a consistent body temperature, which can lead to hyperthermia and fever-like symptoms such as chills.
Treating Severe Dehydration
It can be prevented by following a proper diet and consuming additional sources of hydration.
Apart from consuming at least 8-10 glasses every day to maintain hydration, here are some other excellent sources you must resort to prevent yourself from severe dehydration-
- Healthy home-made electrolyte drinks
- Water-rich fruits and vegetables
- Detox drinks
- Sparkling water
In case of medical attention, do not hesitate to rush to the doctor. He or she will keep you on IV fluids and a medical diet which will help in quick recovery.
Severe dehydration can result in serious health consequences thus make sure to consume optimum amounts of water throughout the day. Resort to water-rich foods and healthy drinks. Seek the help of your doctor if the situation goes worse.