Dehydration and heat stroke are two very common heat-related diseases that can be life-threatening if left untreated.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration can be a serious heat-related disease. It is also a dangerous side effect of diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Children and people over the age of 60 are particularly susceptible to dehydration.
What causes dehydration?
Under normal conditions, we all lose body water daily through sweat, tears, breathing, urine, and stool. In a healthy person, this water is replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. When a person becomes so sick with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, dehydration happens. It also happens if an individual is overexposed to the sun and not drinking enough water. This is caused when the body loses water content and essential body salts, such as sodium and potassium.
Occasionally, dehydration can be caused by medicines, such as diuretics. These deplete body fluids and electrolytes. Whatever the cause, dehydration should be treated as soon as possible
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Dry mouth and mucous membranes
Increased heart rate and breathing
In children, additional symptoms may include:
Dry mouth and tongue
No tears when crying
No wet diapers for several hours
Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released
The symptoms of dehydration may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.