What is Dehydration?
Dehydration means that your body does not have as much water and fluids as it needs to function properly. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how much fluid your body needs replacing. When dehydration is severe it is life-threatening and emergency medical attention is vital to survive.
What Causes Dehydration
Dehydration is caused by losing too much fluid and by not drinking enough water or fluids to replace it. You can lose fluids by the following ways:
- Excessive sweating from exercise
- Excessive urine (undiagnosed diabetes or too much caffeine or diuretics)
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite due to sickness
- Sore throat
- Mouth sores
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Thirst sensation
- Dry mouth
- Coma (severe dehydration)
- Little to no urine which is dark on production
- No tears
- Sunken eyes
A doctor/medical professional will check for the following to diagnose dehydration:
- A drop in blood pressure when you stand up
- General low blood pressure
- Skin test - it loses it's elasticity
- High heart rate
- Blood work
For mild dehydration it is best to drink small amounts of fluids frequently as drinking too much too fast can induce vomiting.
It is best to not just drink water but to have an electrolyte solution or freezer pop as this will help to restore the chemical imbalance in your blood and help to reduce many symptoms quickly.
For severe dehydration hospitalization and intravenous fluids are necessary to rehydrate.
It is important to drink your fluids regularly, especially in hot weather. If you or someone you know is sick then it is important to have small amounts of fluids frequently as this will keep you hydrated but also help to clear up any vomiting or diarrhea you may be experiencing.
During hot weather keep out of the sun. If you are outside then stick to the shade, wear a hat and sun-block, drink frequently and if you feel ill head inside immediately to cool off.
Here are some handy bottles you can carry around to keep you hydrated during the day.
If you are already dehydrated and need to replace electrolytes then I would recommend some of these products from Amazon: