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Dehydration - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a condition which happens when you lose more fluid (mostly water) from your body and that amount exceeds what that you have taken in. When dehydration occurs, more water moves out of the cells in the body than what you did drink before. It’s a natural phenomenon that we all lose water from our body all the time through defecation, urination, breathing and sweating. But when we lose too much of water, the body’s metabolism can go out of control. Severe dehydration can even ultimately lead to death.

Symptoms :

There are many situations that can make the body lose water rapidly, and cause dehydration, such as:

  • Too much of exercise and exposure to extreme heat
  • Fever
  • Increased micturition due to infection, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Diseases like diabetes
  • Being disabled, inability to seek appropriate food and water when it’s required by the body
  • No access to uncontaminated and fresh drinking water
  • Skin injuries like mouth sores and wounds
  • Severe skin diseases which makes us lose water through the damaged skin

More about Dehydration :

As dehydration can be really fatal, always try to make people who are dehydrated to take in fluids, even if they are vomiting. Sipping small amount of water at a time, or drinking electrolyte containing drinks (sports drinks) are an effective way for curing symptoms of dehydration. Another way getting out of dehydration is to suck on ice-chips or popsicles made from fruits and sports drinks. For people who has mouth sores or had a jaw surgery, sipping fluids through a straw proves effective for such patients. One of the foremost treatment for dehydration is to prevent this condition, by anticipating and thus increasing fluid intake.Always plan ahead and carry extra water when you are leaving for any outdoor events where you can face heat stress and increased sweating. Also encourage yourself and your dear ones to replace fluid at a rate that equals to the loss.

During high index day, avoid exposure to the heat. Plan your events those that must be done outside during the times of the day when the temperature is cooler.Make sure that anyone who is old, incapacitated or impaired is encouraged to drink and are provided with adequate supply of fluids and water to supplement their water lose. If you are doing any activity in the heat, wear loose fitting, light color clothes.

Last but not the least, as alcohol consumption increases water loss and also impair your ability to sense the early signs of dehydration, avoid drinking alcohol when the ambient temperature is very warm.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Increased thirst Dizziness Weakness Increased palpitations

Popular Health Tips

Urine Color: What It Signifies?

Homeopath, Dehradun
Urine Color: What It Signifies?

The passing of urine has very important functions in your body as it clears out many of the toxins filtered by the kidneys. Urine primarily contains urea and uric acid which are the results of the toxins being flushed out of the body. Urine color can be a good indicator of either what is in your system and in certain cases what may be wrong in your system.

Urine color and what it signifies:
Normal urine doesn't have a single color as it varies from clear to pale yellowish. There are certain foods which may also leave a tinge of color such as red or green in you urine. However, there are certain conditions which can result in the same. Lets looks at some examples of these situations.

I. Orange - Certain medications tends to have a side effect of making your urine of an orange colour. Medications which have high doses of vitamin B2, the drug phenazopyridine and other such medicines are used to treat urinary tract infections. Moreover, certain antibiotics are known to have side effects of changing the urine color into a citrus drink like color. However, it could also mean problems with your liver or bile duct and you should consult a doctor in such cases.

II. Red or Pink Urine-Phenazopyridine also causes red or pink urine in certain individuals. However, the major cause for urine of this hue is due to certain foods such as beets, blackberries, rhubarbs, carrots and others. However, in the absence of such foods and medication, it could mean blood in your urine, urinary tract infections, tumors or even prostate problems.

III. Blue or green - Certain conditions within the body are known to cause blue or green hues in urine. If you are having blue or green urine consistently then it is advisable to go to your doctor to get it checked out. Some medications such aspropofol or promethazine can also have the side effect of turning pee blue or green. However, in most cases it is the harmless food dye which is filtered out of your system.

IV. Cola colored or dark brown urine-Although this can alsobe caused by certain medications or foods, it could be a marker for kidney disorders or internal injuries. It is advised that you go to your doctor urgently to get it checked.

V. Dark yellow to amber or honey colored - This is the classic sign that your body is quite dehydratedand you need to drink more water. Dehydration may lead to more serious problems and thus this shouldn't be ignored and must be taken care of urgently.

2 people found this helpful

6 Reasons Why Crash Dieting Is Not a Good Option!

Post Graduate In Food Science & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Faridabad
6 Reasons Why Crash Dieting Is Not a Good Option!

Extreme diet or crash diet, is a method to lose a significant amount of weight within a limited time period. But crash diets are not meant for long term weight loss plans. Since crash diets usually cut down on one or more food groups to reach a desired weight level, these diets skip out on important nutrients that your body needs.

The ways crash diets can affect your body include:

  1. Dehydration: You realise you are losing weight after implementing the crash diet, but this is just an illusion. All the weight lost isn’t fat, but water. When you restrict calories, your body first burns glycogen—not fat, for energy. Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in the muscles and liver, and water is attached to every gram of glycogen. So when your body burns glycogen, you end up losing water, which causes dehydration.

  2. Unstable blood sugar: When your body doesn’t get a steady supply of fibre, fat, protein and carbohydrates, your insulin and blood sugar levels run amok. Some diets, such as the detox diet, can lead to type II diabetes.

  3. Muscle break down: Energy comes from calories and restricting calories adversely affects your muscles. When you start losing weight, your body starts harnessing muscle proteins for energy. This leads to muscle loss and your physique deteriorates. For instance, liquid diets (that have low calories) cause rapid muscle loss and can lead to ventricular arrhythmias.

  4. Slow metabolism: Your metabolic rate crashes automatically when you lose muscles. This implies that you burn less calories when you talk, exercise and walk. You start feeling sluggish, and even after you get back to your normal diet, your metabolism won’t change back to how it was before.

  5. Malnutrition: A lot of crash diets recommend eating less than 700 calories a day, which will help you lose weight, but it harms your body. The body needs calories, since they are an important energy source. Soon your body adapts to the lack of calories and becomes malnourished.

  6. Intellectual problems: Some crash diets cut down carbohydrate consumption, and this ends up affecting your brain. The brain needs carbs to function properly. So, when there is a severe carbohydrate deficiency, the level of corticosterone (the stress hormone) increases in your brain, making you vulnerable to stress, depression and binge-eating behaviours.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4 people found this helpful

Beat The Heat

Dietitian/Nutritionist, Surat
Beat The Heat

Now a days sun is shining too high, to avoid heat stroke here are some simple regular food which you should take in summer 
These foods will keep the body cool and help us to avoid problems like dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea etc. 

1. Curd and chhach
One popular food item for summer season in india is curd. Life without curd is simply - impossible. Curd can consumed in various forms like ratias, chhach (buttermilk), shrikand, lassi etc. In south india people eat curd rice in summers. Curd contains proteins which keep allergies and ulcers away. Any curd based dish is effective to keep you cool in summers.

2. Mango
Unripe mango or kacchi kairi is very effective as it protects us from heat strokes. Aam pannais a drink made in almost every home in india during summers. Mango chutneys, murabbas and pickles complement the indian food fabulously.
In saurashtra people used to eat kachi mango n onion salad just to avoid heat stroke.

3. Watermelon n muskmelon 

Water melon and musk melons contain high levels of water. Hence they should be consumed in bulks. They contain around 90% water by weight. You must eat watermelon daily before your meals. Try to have cut watermelon instead of juice. These fruits will help you to beat indian summers with ease.

4. Coconut water

Coconut water is a super drink. It has the same electrolyte concentration as in our blood and so it gets absorbed very fast. It contains a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals. It helps in weight loss and also in maintaining healthy metabolism.

5. Kokum
It is found in india only and looks like small, dark purple plum. It tastes sour like tamarind. A glass of kokum juice a day prevents dehydration, loss of nutrients and improves appetite. It also cleans blood.

6. Sattu

Sattu in india is generally consumed by poor people but it has extremely good properties for your health. It is extracted from barely, wheat or gram. Mix sattu, little lemon juice drops, salt and roasted cumin powder to get a very healthy drink.

7. Sauf
Sauf ie sauf fennel seed are super collant ka pani with mishri is very fast remedy of heat stroke. Fennel seeds are very beneficial n weight loss also.

No Time To Drink Water - You Are At Risk of Kidney Stones

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Urology/Genito - Urinary Surgery
Urologist, Ghaziabad
No Time To Drink Water - You Are At Risk of Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral development, which forms within the kidney or the urinary tract. It is called nephrolithiasis in medical terms. Kidney stones occur due to the decrease in urine volume or due to an excess of substances in the urine which are stone-forming in nature. Dehydration is considered to be a primary risk factor for kidney stones too.

Causes of kidney stones:Kidney stones develop when the urine contains increased amounts of crystal forming substances. They include calcium, oxalate and uric acid in amounts which the fluid in the urine cannot dilute. Your urine may also lack the substances which help in prevention of crystals from sticking to each other, thereby enhancing the conditions for kidney stones to form.

The balance of your urine can change due to several factors:

  1. Not drinking sufficient amount of water makes the salts, minerals and other substances present in the urine to stick together, which may lead to the formation of a stone.
  2. The normal urine balance may get disrupted due to several health conditions, which lead to kidney stone formation. Diseases such as gout or certain inflammatory bowel diseases can also cause kidney stones.
  3. Many cases of kidney stones are hereditary and run in families, affecting family members over many generations.
  4. A rare cause of kidney stone formation is the overproduction of hormones by the parathyroid glands, which results in increased levels of calcium leading to calcium kidney stones.

Types of kidney stones
Kidney stones are of different types, which occur due to several, different causes. They are as follows:

  1. Calcium stones: Calcium stones account for being the most common form of kidney stones. They occur due to excessive calcium in the urine. This may happen due to an inherited condition known as hypercalciuria, the overreaction of the parathyroid gland, kidney diseases, several cancers or from a condition known as sarcoidosis. The stones may be large and smooth or rough and spiky.
  2. Struvite stones: These stones are caused due to infections. And they usually occur after a urinary tract infection. This form of kidney stone is more common in women though.
  3. Uric acid stones: These stones occur due to large amounts of uric acid in the urine. It may occur from having a high protein diet, from a health condition called gout or from a hereditary condition where the amount of uric acid in urine increases.
  4. Cystine stones: These are rare kidney stones and occur due to a hereditary health condition known as cystinuria.

Kidney stones occur due to the change in balance of water, salts and minerals, which are present in the urine. Insufficient water consumption is often the most common cause of kidney stones. So make sure you drink lots of water to keep stone formation at bay.

2 people found this helpful

4 Effects Dehydration Has On Human Body

M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
4 Effects Dehydration Has On Human Body

4 Effects Dehydration Has On Human Body

Popular Questions & Answers

I have to swallow my saliva very frequently and more. If I don't swallow I fell dry throat and dry .and this swallowing is annoying me from one month. What can I do .is it is a disease .and i am not able to divert my mind from it.

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
It may not be a disease... Just a functional disturbances.. You can take Homoeopathic Medicine Mercurius Sol 30 one dose.. See if it helps.. Or Consult for Homoeopathic treatment..
1 person found this helpful

I have a thrust of water throughout the entire day is a symptom of a disease or not?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
In hot climate you can feel thirst . If the climate is normal increased thirst can suggest diabetes or dehydration

My body is getting dehydrated and feeling weakness while traveling. Sometimes feel like I will faint down.

Homeopath, Hooghly
Take plenty of water with ors regularly,,take lemon water in empty stomach,,,take coconut water,,,take multivitamins with multiminerals,,this will help,,,ur suffering from car sickness which is very common,it is very much curable in homoeopathy,,

My husband age is 28 and he doesn't have sufficient amount of water, what is the minimum litre of water that he should drink water, or anyways to increase his thirst?

General Physician, Faridabad
The amount of water one should consume depends on the type of activities the person involves in and the type of environment he stays in for most of the day. On an average at least 3-4 litres a day should be consumed for a moderately hot climate with moderate amount of physical activity. Water consumption should accordingly be increased with increase in water loss from the body in form of sweating/ diarrhoea etc.

I am planning to take water fasting for 2 days a week. Suggest me your opinion on that.

General Physician, Mumbai
Dear lybrateuser, - It is advisable to avoid any fasting as it makes weight loss more difficult because the body & metabolism goes into the conservation mode because of lack of nutrients & hence the breakdown of fat slows down & hence the weight loss - the best way & can be carried out throughout is to have 4-5 small meals at 3-4 hour intervals rather than three large meals, the advantage of this method I'd that your body gets a continuous supply of energy so that you don't feel tired, less calories go in( preferably have more of protein foods) & your metabolism also remains stable - have water before, during & after food as it helps keep the tummy full & you eat less.