How to fight with dehydration

How to fight with dehydration

What is Dehydration?


Dehydration occurs when the body loses or uses more liquid than swallowed. When this happens, your body has difficulty in performing their normal functions. If you do not reset the liquids that are used or lost, dehydration occurs. Some good tried and tested tips to prevent dehydration are given below. We lose water every day: in our sweat, urine, feces and in the form of steam when we breathe. Along with the water, small quantities of minerals are also lost. In addition, water is responsible for nourishing the cells of our body and ensure that all functions are properly fulfilled. To lose a lot of water, the body gets out of balance or dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to death.




Many conditions can cause loss of fast and continuous fluid, leading to dehydration:

  • Fever
  • Sweating , usually related to intense heat or physical exertion
  • Vomiting , diarrhea and increased urination due to infection
  • Urinating in excess, usually related to diabetes
  • Failure to ingest food and water appropriately (as in the case of a disabled person)
  • decreased ability to ingest liquids (for example, someone in a coma and on a respirator)
  • Lack of access to clean water
  • significant skin lesions, such as burns or sores, and severe skin diseases or infections (water is lost through the damaged skin).

Risk factors


Anyone can become dehydrated if you lose a lot of fluids. But some people are at higher risk, including:

Babies and children

Infants and children are especially vulnerable because of the low weight and high turnover of water and electrolytes. They also are more likely to suffer from diarrhea group.

Elderly and people in middle age

As you get older, it becomes more susceptible to dehydration for several reasons: the body’s ability to conserve water is reduced, the sense of thirst becomes less pointed, and there is less ability to respond to temperature changes. Moreover, older people living in nursing homes or alone tend to eat less than younger people and can sometimes forget to eat or drink everything they need on the day. Failure or neglect can also prevent them from being well nourished. These problems are compounded by chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia and the use of certain medications.

People with chronic diseases

Having diabetes uncontrolled places at high risk of dehydration. But other chronic diseases such as kidney disease and heart failure , also increase the risk of the problem. Infections or sores in the throat, to a lesser extent, may also contribute to dehydration since it can prevent the person from eating or drinking properly. The temperature increases further dehydration.

Endurance athletes


Anyone who exercise may become dehydrated, especially in warm, humid climates or at high altitudes. But athletes training to participate in an ultra marathon, triathlon, mountain climbing expeditions or cycling tournaments, for example, are at particularly high risk. That’s because the more you exercise, the more difficult it is to stay hydrated. During exercise, the body can lose more water than it can absorb.Dehydration is also cumulative over a period of days, which means you can get dehydrated even with a routine of moderate exercise if you do not drink enough to replace what you lost on a daily basis.

Living at high altitudes

Living, working and exercising at high altitudes (generally defined as above 8,200 feet, or 2,500 meters) can cause a number of health problems. One is dehydration, which usually occurs when the body tries to adjust to high altitudes through increased urination and more rapid breathing – the faster you breathe to maintain adequate levels of oxygen in the blood, the more vapor is exhaled.

Working or exercising in a hot and humid climate


When it’s hot and humid, the risk of dehydration and heat for diseases caused increases. That’s because when the air is humid, sweat can not evaporate and cool you as quickly as it normally does, and this can lead to an increase in body temperature and the need for more fluids.


Symptoms of Dehydration


Dehydration can cause mild to moderate:

  • dry and sticky mouth
  • Drowsiness or fatigue – children tend to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • urine production decreased (for babies, no wet diaper for three hours or more)
  • Little or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or light-headedness.

Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:

  • extreme thirst
  • extreme laziness or drowsiness in infants and children
  • Irritability and confusion in adults
  • Mouth, skin and very dry mucous membranes
  • Little or no urination – all urine that is produced will be darker than normal
  • Deep eyes
  • Skin dry and withered, inelastic
  • In infants babies, fontanelle sunken
  • Low blood pressure
  • rapid heartbeat
  • rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
  • In severe cases, delirium or unconsciousness.

Unfortunately, thirst is not always a reliable indicator of the body’s need for water, especially in children and the elderly. The best indicator is the color of your urine: clear or light-colored means that the body is well hydrated, while a yellow or dark amber often signs of dehydration.

Diagnosis and Examinations

Seeking medical help


If you are a healthy adult, usually able to treat mild to moderate dehydration consume extra fluids, such as water or a sports drink. Get immediate medical attention if you experience severe signs and symptoms such as excessive thirst, lack of urine, wrinkled skin, dizziness and confusion.

Go to the doctor if the person who is dehydrated experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting constant for over one day
  • Fever above 38 ° C
  • Diarrhoea for more than two days
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased urine output
  • Confusion
  • Weakness.

Take the person to the hospital emergency department if you experience these situations:

  • fever over 39 ° C
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness (lethargy)
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • chest or abdominal pain
  • swoon
  • Lack of urine in the past 12 hours.

In the medical consultation

In some cases it is possible to make an appointment, in others you should seek an emergency service. If your child or an adult is showing serious signs of dehydration, such as lethargy or decreased responsiveness, seek immediate care at a hospital. Here is some information to help you prepare for a medical consultation. This way, you can now get to the consultation with some information:

  • A list of all the symptoms and how long they appeared
  • Medical history, including other conditions that the patient has and medications or supplements he takes regularly
  • In the event of syncope (fainting) or seizure, ask a person who witnessed the seizure to accompany you. Note if you felt something different before syncope / seizures and how you felt after it.

The doctor will likely make a series of questions such as:

  • When the symptoms begin? What the patient was doing?
  • How often the patient had diarrhea or vomiting?
  • What is the frequency of urine?
  • There are other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, headache or muscle aches? How serious are these symptoms?
  • There was blood in the stool?
  • The patient ate or suspected to have eaten any spoiled food?
  • There was contact with someone who had diarrhea symptoms?
  • What medications the person takes?
  • The person recently traveled to another country?
  • Do you know if there was a reduction in the weight of the child since the symptoms started?

Diagnosis of Dehydration

Through tests, the doctor will try to identify what led to dehydration:

clinical analysis

Increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure and wheezing are potential signs of dehydration and other illnesses. Fever may occur by dehydration or the underlying disease.

Urine analysis

  • The color and clarity of urine, the density of the urine (the mass of urine is compared with equal amounts of distilled water) and ketones (carbon compounds which means catabolism) in urine can help indicate the degree of dehydration
  • The increase in glucose in the urine may lead to a diagnosis of diabetes or diabetic indicate the loss of control and a cause for the dehydration
  • Excess protein in the urine can be a sign of kidney problems
  • The signs of infections or other diseases, such as liver diseases can be found on urine tests.


  • The amount of salts (sodium and potassium), and sugar as well as indicators of kidney function (urea and creatinine) can be important to assess the degree of dehydration and possible causes
  • A complete blood count may be indicated if the doctor thinks an underlying infection is causing dehydration. Other blood tests, such as liver function tests may be indicated to find the causes of the symptoms.

Treatment and Care


Treatment of Dehydration

Home treatment

It is possible to treat mild to moderate dehydration of the following:

  • Sipping small amounts of water
  • Ingesting sports drinks
  • Suck popsicles made of fruit juices and isotonic drinks
  • Sucking ice cubes
  • Drinking through a straw (works well for someone who underwent jaw surgery or have mouth sores).

If dehydration happened by exposure to excessive heat, try to help in the following ways:

  • Remove any excess clothing and loosen those that can not be removed
  • Air conditioned areas are the best to help the body temperature back to normal and break the heat exposure cycle
  • If air conditioning is not available, increase the evaporative cooling by placing the person in the shade. Place a wet towel around the person
  • If possible, use a spray bottle to spray warm water on exposed skin surfaces to help with heat loss by evaporation
  • Avoid exposing skin to cold, such as ice packs or ice water. This can cause the skin blood vessels to constrict, reducing rather than increasing heat loss. Exposure to extreme cold can also cause tremors, which will increase body temperature – causing the opposite effect.

Medical treatment

Treatment in the emergency department focuses first on restoring the volume of blood and body fluids, then determining the cause of dehydration. Doctors will probably:

  • Cool the body of the patient, if the cause is excessive heat exposure
  • Make the replacement oral fluids if there is nausea and vomiting or excessive dehydration. Otherwise, make intravenous replacement
  • Do blood tests and urine You determine the causes of dehydration.

If the patient improves, they can be sent home, preferably in the care of friends or family who can help monitor your condition. If you remain dehydrated, confused, feverish, with persistently abnormal vital signs or signs of infection, you may need to stay in hospital for further treatment.


If fever is a cause of dehydration, the use of antipyretics can help. This can be administered orally if no vomiting or as a suppository.



  • Eat extra amounts of water in outdoor events there is a risk of increased sweating.outdoor athletes and workers should replace fluids at a rate that equals loss
  • Avoid exercise and exposure during the days of intense heat index
  • Make sure that older people and infants and children have adequate drinking water
  • Make sure that any disabled or impaired person is ingesting adequate fluids
  • Avoid alcohol, especially when the weather is hot, since alcohol increases the loss of fluid from the urine
  • Use clear and colors loose clothing if you must be outdoors in the heat
  • Do not stay all the time in the sun. Look for a shade and cool off
  • Control diabetes.


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