Three quarters of a body’s weight is water. When there is more water going out of the body than coming in, the result is volume depletion or dehydration. We naturally lose water breathing, sweating and urinating on any given day. That is why we have to drink enough water each day to replace what we normally lose.
- Dry mouth, lightheadedness
- Reduction in tears and sweat
- In severe cases, muscle cramps, nausea, heart palpitations
- In extreme cases confusion, weakness, shock and eventually death
Who is at risk?
Anyone not taking in enough water during exercise, while sick (with nausea and vomiting), when sunburned or without any access to drinking water is at risk for dehydration. Children are at a greater risk because their bodies are comprised of a greater percentage of water and their metabolic rate consumes more water.
Fluid replacement is the first treatment, preferably by mouth, but if you are unable to take fluids orally, then by intravenous fluids under a physician’s direction. Water provides the best hydration, but it is acceptable to try clear broths, popsicles, Jello and electrolyte beverages. Avoid any soft drinks that are loaded with sugar or corn syrup.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
If the patient appears confused, sleepy or unconscious, get emergency help.
Treatment for dehydration is available now at OnPoint Urgent Care in Aurora, Highlands Ranch, or Lone Tree Colorado.
For more information on dehydration, see the following websites:
Mayo Clinic tips for Preventing Dehydration
Medline Plus(NIH) Dehydration Overview
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of OnPointUrgentCare.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.