Dehydration

Dehydration or Hypohydration refers to the condition caused by excessive loss of body water. Dehydration occurs when your water intake is low as compared to the water loss. All age groups are susceptible to dehydration.

Daily body water loss:

Our body loses water daily through,  

  • Urine
  • Breathing
  • Sweating

So we need to consume enough water to compensate the loss. Mild cases of dehydration can be easily treated by increasing the level of water intake, while immediate medical attention is needed for severe cases of dehydration.  

What causes dehydration?

Sometimes we get too busy with life and often forget to drink enough water. Other than this, the following conditions may also lead to dehydration.

  • Diarrhea: In the case of diarrhea large intestine fails to absorb enough water from the food and results in dehydration. Dehydration due to diarrhea is slightly dangerous.
  • Vomiting: leads to body water loss. The vomiting sensation makes it difficult to replace water by drinking.
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar level leads to frequent urination.
  • Burns and excessive sweating are the other causes of dehydration.

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Low urine output
  • Thirst
  • Dizziness or fainting

Diagnosis:

  • Blood tests are often carried out to measure the electrolyte levels in the body. Those are chemical irons responsible for hydration in the body.
  • Urinalysis is another test employed for dehydration diagnosis. Concentrated and dark colored urine is an indicator of dehydration.  

Treatment:

Dehydration treatment focuses on increasing the level of fluid in the body.  

Rehydration therapy: Commercially available rehydration fluids can be used for this purpose. Fluids that are rich in electrolytes (pedialyte, gatorade, powerade, etc.) are often preferred for this rehydration therapy. Proper medications are necessary to treat the underlying cause of dehydration. 

There are three types of re-hydration therapy:

  • Oral rehydration therapy (ORT): It is considered one of the cost- effective ways of treating dehydration.
  • Subcutaneous rehydration therapy (SCRT)
  • Intravenous rehydration therapy (IVRT)

The first two are less costly as compared to the third one.

Prevention:

  • Drink plenty of water daily. It not only reduces the risk of dehydration, but also improves your complexion.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that have high water content.