Dehydration: Everything You Need to Know
Did you know more than half of the American adults are chronically dehydrated? Yes, even though most drink the recommended amount of eight ounces of water daily. Why is that? Well, because a majority of people consume large amounts of caffeinated drinks that counteract these efforts.
Dehydration occurs when the water levels in the body fall below the normal amounts, thereby affecting body functions.
- Dehydration is caused by Various Causes
More often than not, dehydration occurs for one simple reason; you are not taking in enough water that your body needs. However, there are other specific causes of dehydration, such as:
- Fever. The higher the body temperatures, the more the risk of dehydration. Fever causes increased sweating, which leads to fluid loss. If you don’t rehydrate during this period, you will get dehydrated and make the situation worse.
- Vomiting and diarrhea. Acute and sudden diarrhea can lead to a loss in your body fluids and electrolyte. A combination of vomiting and diarrhea further aggravates the problems. Vomiting and diarrhea can occur due to bacterial infection or flu and fever.
- Excessive urination. Health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, cause polyuria. Moreover, medications such as diuretics and blood pressure drugs can increase the risk of dehydration.
- Excessive sweating can be caused by vigorous activities or hot and humid air.
- Thirst is Not the Only Symptom of Dehydration
Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already operating below the recommend water levels? Yes, but that is not the only sign. Other dehydration symptoms to watch out for include;
- Less frequent urination with dark-colored urine
Dehydration can be resolved by drinking enough water and taking electrolytes. However, if the problem doesn’t resolve, walk into a clinic near you for treatment
Additionally, you need to visit an emergency room near you when you have had:
- Diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- You have a bloody stool
- Inability to hold down fluids
Take note; these symptoms occur differently on everybody. Therefore, pay attention to how your body responds.
- Dehydration is Prevalent in Children Too
Dehydration in children is more common than in adults as they tend to lose a lot of fluids. Interestingly, the causes of both children and adults are similar.
Some of the signs of dehydration in children include sunken eyes, dry mouth, no tears when crying, irritability, and less urination (no wet diaper in three hours).
- Certain Factors Can Predispose you to Dehydration
Although anyone can become dehydrated, some people are more predisposed than others due to several factors such as:
- Age. Infants, children, and older adults are at a higher risk of dehydration. Children have a larger surface area, but they lose more water than adults. Older adults, on the other hand, have small water reserve that reduces the ability to conserve water.
- Chronic illness, such as diabetes, causes frequent urination. Plus, kidney diseases can also increase risk due to medications.
- The flu infection can cause fever which in turn increases the risk of dehydration
- Exercising outside, especially when its humid not only predisposes you to dehydration but also heatstroke.
- Dehydration Can Cause Complications
If left untreated, dehydration can cause various health complications, including:
- Kidney and urinary problems such as UTIs, kidney stones and kidney failure
- Heat injury
- Seizures are caused by an imbalance between the electrolytes
- A decrease in blood volume can also lead to hypovolemic shock because of a drop in oxygen levels.
- Though these diseases are serious, they can be treated or better still prevented.
- You can Prevent Dehydration
Preventing dehydration is straightforward; drink enough water, eat food with high water content such as vegetables and fruits, and treating any underlying infections such as cold and flu.
In most cases, dehydration can be resolved by replenishing the water levels. However, don’t hesitate to contact or visit us at Express ER San Antonio if you have an underlying condition to dehydration is worsening.