Dehydration: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Dehydration is a medical condition that occurs when your body releases more fluids than it takes in. This typically happens through perspiration, diarrhea or vomiting. During the summer, it’s important to drink plenty of water and other clear beverages to replace your body’s lost fluids. You will become dehydrated if this doesn’t happen. Read on to learn all about the symptoms.
Symptoms of Dehydration in Children and Adults
Since infants and toddlers can’t speak yet, it’s up to you as the caregiver to prevent dehydration and to recognize its symptoms if it does occur. These include:
- Irritability or listlessness
- Crying without producing tears
- No urine output for three or more hours
- Sunken cheeks, eyes or a soft spot on the top of the head
- Dry tongue and mouth
Dehydration symptoms appear a bit differently in adults. Here’s what to look for:
- Excessive thirst
- Urinating less frequently
- Dark color to the urine
Although athletes and people who spend a lot of time at higher altitudes have a greater risk of becoming dehydrated, it can happen to anyone. Taking a proactive approach by drinking plenty of fluids and seeking prompt medical attention for unrelenting vomiting or diarrhea can significantly reduce the risk. Unfortunately, some people progress to a state of severe dehydration. Some of the symptoms associated with this advanced stage of fluid loss include:
- Lack of sweating
- Dry or shriveled skin
- Worsening sunken eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
The condition of dehydration can also occur in people with uncontrolled diabetes as well as certain types of medication. These include diuretics, anti-psychotics and pills taken to treat high blood pressure. Lastly, excess consumption of alcohol can cause the body to lose more fluids than it can replace.
Other Practices to Prevent Dehydration
In addition to drinking plenty of water during the hot summer months, it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables every day since they both have a high water content. If you’re an athlete or you exercise outdoors, try to get most of your activity in before the sun’s peak hours of late morning to late afternoon. Be sure that you replenish your water supply frequently throughout the day. If you expect your workout to be especially strenuous, start drinking plenty of clear fluids the previous day. One way to know that you’re staying well-hydrated is if you urinate frequently and your urine is diluted and clear.
Certain illnesses can produce dehydration, especially when they hit older adults. These include bladder infections, bronchitis and influenza. Drinking extra fluids when you have one of these conditions can help to keep dehydration at bay.
Visit PrimeCare Urgent Care at the First Signs of Dehydration
When you’re not feeling feel and are concerned you could be dehydrated, visit us at PrimeCare Urgent Care for immediate treatment. We’re open seven days a week and you don’t need to schedule an appointment.