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Dehydration - the hidden danger

Dehydration The Hidden Danger to Your Body


Dehydration the hidden danger to your body. It occurs due to lacks the water and other fluids, which needs to function normally. It can affect anyone, but it is particularly dangerous for young children and elderly people. Dehydration in young children is most frequently brought on by severe diarrhea and vomiting. Older people naturally have less water in their bodies, and they may have conditions or take medications that make them more susceptible to becoming dehydrated. This means that even relatively minor ailments, like lung or bladder infections, can cause older people to become dehydrated.

If you don’t drink enough water in hot weather, especially if you are exercising vigorously, dehydration can occur in people of any age. More fluids can usually help you recover from mild to moderate dehydration, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention. This article reviews the detailed information about dehydration, and its related issues.

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What is dehydration?

You’re thirsty, and it’s a hot summer day, and you forget to grab a tall glass of water. It means, you’re starting to experience the effects of dehydration. When you lose more fluid from your body than you take in, dehydration results. Your body’s ability to function is impacted when the normal amount of water in it decreases, which throws off the balance of minerals (salts and sugar) in your body. Over two thirds of a healthy person’s body is made up of water. It aids digestion, removes waste and toxins, lubricates the eyes and joints, and maintains healthy skin.

What does water do for your body?

Thirst is your body’s natural response when you are dehydrated. When you feel thirsty, you should immediately sip on some liquids, preferably water. By consuming more liquids, mild dehydration is typically treatable.

Your body needs water, especially in warm weather. It prevents your body from becoming too hot. The heat produced by your muscles during exercise. Your body needs to release that heat in order to prevent burning up. Sweating is the primary method by which your body releases heat when it’s hot outside. Sweat cools the tissues below as it evaporates. Your body loses water when you sweat a lot, which has an impact on your ability to perform your normal bodily functions. Up to 78% of your body is made of water. Water helps:

  • Distribute oxygen throughout your body.
  • Protect your bones.
  • Control the temperature of your body.
  • Promote digestion and eliminate waste.
  • Your joints function. They are lubricated by water.
  • Produce saliva (which you must consume).
  • Keep your body’s chemical balance.
  • Serve as a shock absorber for the fetus, your spinal cord, and your brain, if you’re pregnant.

What causes dehydration?

Inadequate hydration, or the failure to replenish lost fluids, is the main cause of dehydration. Dehydration can be influenced by the weather, how much you exercise (especially in hot weather), and your diet. Dehydration can also happen as a result of an illness, such as persistent nausea and diarrhea or excessive sweating brought on by a fever. Although dehydration can affect anyone, some groups are more exposed than others. These consist of:

  • Children and infants, whose low body weight makes them sensitive to even minor fluid losses.
  • Older people: They might not be as aware of their need to maintain fluid intake as they age.
  • Those who have a chronic illness, such as diabetes or alcoholism
  • Athletes: When they exercise for extended periods of time, they can lose a lot of body fluid through sweat.

What to do if you have dehydration?

Drink plenty of liquids, such as water, diluted squash, or fruit juice, if you’re dehydrated. Compared to large amounts of tea or coffee, these are much more productive. Fizzy drinks may be harder to consume large amounts of and may contain more sugar than you need. Try drinking smaller amounts more frequently if you’re having trouble keeping water down because you’re throwing up.

Large amounts of water should not be the sole fluid replacement for infants and young children who are dehydrated. This is due to the possibility that it will excessively dilute the body’s already low mineral levels and cause other issues. Severe dehydration can be fatal if untreated because it can result in fits (seizures), brain damage, and death.


What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?

Depending on how severe the dehydration is, there are different signs and symptoms. Before total dehydration occurs, dehydration symptoms could start to show up.

If you have mild to moderate dehydration, you might:

  • Have a dry mouth, lips and tongue
  • Decreased urination
  • Less tear production
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Be dizzy or light-headed,
  • Dark urine 
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache

If you have severe dehydration, you might:

  • Have a very dry mouth
  • Have a fast heart rate and a low blood pressure
  • Have a fever
  • Have little or no urine (wee)
  • Lack of sweat production
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sunken eyes
  • Be irritable, drowsy, or confused
  • Excessive thirst
  • Shriveled skin
  • Dark urine

If you experience any symptoms of dehydration, you should:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen any tight clothing and remove unnecessary clothes
  • Drink small amounts of cool water, often

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency. Get immediate medical help if you’re showing any of these signs and symptoms.

Signs of dehydration in kids include:

  • Dry tongue and dry lips.
  • No tears when crying.
  • Fewer than six wet diapers per day (for infants), and no wet diapers or urination for eight hours (in toddlers).
  • Sunken soft spot on your infant’s head.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Dry, wrinkled skin.
  • Deep, rapid breathing.
  • Cool, blotchy hands and feet.

Children and older adults should receive immediate treatment, even if they’re experiencing symptoms of mild dehydration.

Dehydration the hidden danger to your body
Dehydration the hidden danger to your body

What causes dehydration?

Dehydration can sometimes be avoided by drinking enough water. This can happen when you’re busy or ill, or when you’re traveling, hiking, or camping and don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Other dehydration causes include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea. A severe case of acute diarrhea, or diarrhea that appears suddenly and violently, can result in a rapid loss of electrolytes and water. You lose even more fluids and minerals if you have both diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Fever. In general, the higher your fever, the greater the risk of dehydration.
  • Excessive perspiration. Sweating causes water loss. If you engage in strenuous activity without replenishing lost fluids, you risk becoming dehydrated.
  • More frequent urination. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes may be to blame for this. Dehydration is a side effect of some medications, such as diuretics and some blood pressure medications, typically because they make you urinate more frequently.
  • Illness – When someone has an illness like gastroenteritis, which causes frequent episodes of diarrhea and vomiting, they are more likely to become dehydrated.
  • Alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to dehydration. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes you to urinate more frequently. When you have consumed alcohol, you should try to drink a lot of water.
  • Diabetes – If you have diabetes, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated because your bloodstream contains high levels of glucose. Your kidneys will try to eliminate the glucose by producing more urine, which causes your body to lose water due to frequent urination.

What are the risk factors for dehydration?

Not only people who are exposed to the sun directly are at risk for dehydration. Dehydration is more likely to affect some people than others, including:

  • People working outdoors who are exposed to excessive amounts of heat
  • Older adults
  • People with chronic conditions
  • Athletes (especially runners, cyclists, and soccer players)
  • Infants and young children
  • People who reside in high altitudes
  • Swimmers

How does dehydration develop?

Dehydration results from any circumstance or ailment that makes the body lose more water than usual.

  • Sweating is a natural way for your body to cool itself. Your sweat glands begin to produce moisture when you start to feel warm in an effort to cool down your body. This operates through evaporation. Most of the liquid you sweat is made up of salt and water. Dehydration can result from excessive sweating because you lose a lot of water.
  • Fever – When you have a fever, your body attempts to lower your body temperature by losing fluid through the surface of your skin. When you have a fever, you may sweat so much that you risk becoming dehydrated if you don’t replenish your fluids.
  • Urination – Urination is the body’s typical method of eliminating toxins. Chemical imbalances brought on by some conditions can increase the amount of urine you produce. Dehydration can occur if you don’t replenish the fluids lost through frequent urination.
  • Dehydration can be brought on by illnesses that cause persistent vomiting or diarrhea. This is because vomiting and diarrhea can result in the body releasing an excessive amount of water. These processes can be hampered by vomiting or diarrhea, which can also result in serious side effects like stroke and coma.

How is dehydration diagnosed?

Your doctor will review any symptoms you have in order to rule out other conditions before starting any tests. Your doctor will review your medical history before checking your vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate. Dehydration may be indicated by low blood pressure and an accelerated heart rate. Dehydration can also be determined by laboratory tests. These tests could consist of:

  • Blood tests to check your electrolyte levels and kidney function.
  • Urine tests to check for possible causes of dehydration.

What are the levels of dehydration?

Healthcare providers categorize dehydration as:

  • Mild: Simply drink more liquids orally (by mouth). Drink water, but if you experience significant sweating or fluid loss from vomiting and diarrhea, replace fluids with a drink that contains electrolytes. After five or ten minutes, you ought to feel better.
  • Moderate: An IV (hydration through your vein) is necessary for moderate dehydration. This can be obtained in a hospital, urgent care center, or emergency room.
  • Severe: If your dehydration symptoms are severe, consult a doctor. Go to an emergency room or dial 911, your local emergency number.

If you’re seeing a healthcare provider, they’ll figure out what level you’re at to assign you treatment.

Can dehydration be prevented?

To avoid dehydration, you should consume a lot of fluids. Dehydration is typically avoidable by drinking water frequently throughout the day. Follow your thirst, but keep in mind that you should drink more in hot weather, while exercising, and when you are sick. More water and diluted fruit squash can be consumed to treat mild dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) can be bought from a pharmacy if necessary.

As a general rule, having urine (wee) that is pale or clear in color indicates that you are adequately hydrated.

Dehydration in babies and young children

Babies and young children have a higher risk of becoming dehydrated than adults. Especially if they are sick.

A baby or young child can quickly become dehydrated if they:

  • Are vomiting
  • Have a fever
  • Have diarrhea
  • Are unwell for any reason and are not feeding/drinking well

Babies and toddlers with mild dehydration may have fewer or less frequently wet diapers. Older kids won’t use the restroom as frequently. The fontanel – the soft spot on top of your baby’s head-is sunken in severely dehydrated babies.

Here are some ways to prevent dehydration:

  • If you’re feeling under the weather, drink more fluids, especially if you’re throwing up or having diarrhea. If you have trouble swallowing liquids, see a doctor.
  • Drink water prior to any exercise or sports you plan to participate in. Replace your fluids frequently throughout the workout. After exercise, remember to hydrate yourself with water or electrolytes.
  • When it’s hot outside, wear light clothing and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible.
  • Drink the recommended amount of fluids even if you aren’t moving around much.

How much water do I need to drink?

Your weight, age, level of activity, the climate where you are, and other factors will all affect how much water you need. People with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and heart disease may need to exercise caution. The climate and the clothing you’re wearing can both affect how much water you need. Even though eight glasses of water per day is the usual recommendation, check with your doctor to make sure that’s the right amount for you.

What are the potential complications of untreated dehydration?

Seek immediate medical attention if you or your child exhibit signs of severe dehydration. Serious complications from severe dehydration include:

  • Heat-related illnesses like heatstroke.
  • Kidney issues including kidney stones and kidney failure.
  • Shock, coma and even death.
  • heat exhaustion
  • heat cramps
  • seizures due to electrolyte loss
  • low blood volume

How is dehydration treated?

Urgent medical attention is required for severe dehydration. Rehydrating techniques, electrolyte replacement, and, if necessary, treating diarrhea or vomiting are all treatments for dehydration. Rehydrating the body with plenty of fluids, such as water, diluted squash, or diluted fruit juice, is the best way to treat dehydration. Both a sweet beverage and a salty snack can help to make up for lost sugar and salt.

1.Homemade rehydration solution:

If an electrolyte drink isn’t available, you can make your own rehydration solution using:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 liter water

Be absolutely certain that you’re using an accurate measurement. Using too much salt or sugar can be dangerous.


Take your infant to the doctor as soon as possible if they appear to be dehydrated. They will be able to suggest suitable therapies, like those listed below. Give your infant a lot of liquids, such as formula or breastmilk. Giving them smaller amounts of fluid more frequently can often be preferable. Don’t dilute the formula for your baby. Extra water can be given to formula-fed and solid-fed babies. Fruit juice should never be given to a baby who is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea because it can exacerbate their condition.

Give your baby regular sips (a few times an hour) of oral rehydration solution (ORS) will help to replace lost fluids, salts, and sugars.

3.Infants and children:

Giving only water to infants and kids who are dehydrated is not a good idea because it can dilute the body’s already depleted mineral levels and exacerbate the issue. They should have substituted diluted squash or a unique ORS. If vomiting is making it difficult for you or your child to keep down fluids, take smaller doses more frequently. To administer small amounts of fluid to your child, you might find it simpler to use a spoon or syringe.

4.Things to avoid:

Avoid soda, alcohol, overly sweet drinks, or caffeine. These drinks can worsen dehydration.

Dehydration the hidden danger, when should you see your doctor?

You should seek emergency medical attention if you, your infant, child, or elderly relative are critically dehydrated. Complications of dehydration can affect your:

  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Blood vessels

It is important to see your doctor if you are concerned.


You become dehydrated when you don’t drink enough fluids. No matter the cause, including illness, hot weather, or physical activity, dehydration can quickly turn dangerous. Dehydration is the hidden danger to your body. Therefore, by consuming plenty of water throughout the day and taking electrolytes if you begin to notice early signs of fluid loss, you can help prevent dehydration.


Can dehydration cause fever?

No, fever is not typically caused by dehydration. However, many conditions and illnesses that cause fever can also lead to dehydration.

Does dehydration cause high blood pressure?

In fact, dehydration can cause your blood pressure to fall to risky lows. Your body responds by trying to correct the situation when this occurs. However, doing so can cause your body to overcorrect and cause your blood pressure to soar.

Can dehydration cause diarrhea?

No, but diarrhea can cause dehydration. Severe diarrhea causes a loss of fluids in your body.

Can dehydration cause nausea?

Yes, Dehydration headaches and disorientation are both effects of dehydration. Vomiting and nausea are two of these headaches’ symptoms.

What causes dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough water or when you lose a lot of water quickly, like when you sweat, throw up, or have diarrhea. Dehydration and increased urination are possible side effects of some medications, such as diuretics (water pills).

What foods to eat and avoid in dehydration?

You should keep hydrated when it is heat and humid, and consume more water content food, such as cucumber, watermelon, strawberries, celery, cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, zucchini. Moreover, you should avoid taking foods which lose more water, such as coconut water, soda, asparagus, beets, cured meat, and fried foods including fish (omega 3 fatty acids).

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