In this blog, we’re going to discuss about something very common, especially during the summers – Dehydration. So, let’s discuss about the signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to manage it.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition where there is significant loss of “fluid” in the body.
The fluid is composed of water and electrolytes, which has molecules like sodium and potassium.
So in dehydration our body doesn’t have as enough fluid for it to function properly.
Dehydration is a result of water-electrolyte imbalance.
What are the causes of dehydration?
Our bodies are made up of at least 60% of water, at any given time throughout our lives. Some ways our body naturally loses water is through
- peeing or urination,
- pooping or passing stools,
Some conditions in which our body might lose more water than normal are when
- we have a fever,
- suffer from diarrhoea,
- experience vomiting,
- profuse and excessive sweating,
- passing excess urine such as in diabetes, or on diuretic medication.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration
A few signs and symptoms most people experience when there is lack of water in the body are:
- A strong urge to drink water, or being very thirsty
- A dry, sticky mouth
- Foul smelling breath or halitosis
- Not feeling the urge to go to the bathroom
- Passing dark yellow, concentrated urine
- Suffering from a headache
- Dry skin forming cracks due to the lack of moisture
- Muscle cramps
- Brittle hair
- Depressed anterior fontanelle (in newborns)
- Sunken eyes
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Few or no tears while crying
Signs and symptoms of severe dehydration:
- Feeling dizzy and uneasy
- Increased heartbeat or palpitations
- Deep and rapid breathing
- Feeling of exhaustion and having no energy
- Inability to think clearly
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
How to treat Dehydration?
Mild to severe dehydration treatment:
Mild to moderate dehydration can be treated with Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). Signs of dehydration disappears within 4 hours after the ORS. If the signs of dehydration persist even after 4 hours, then another round of ORS should be taken.
For Severe dehydration IV fluids should be started immediately along with ORS.
Here drinking ORS will force more water into your cells quicker than drinking plain water.
Soda, juices, sport drinks as well as caffeinated beverages are high in sugar which can eventually lead to dehydration. So one should avoid caffeine, tea or sodas when dehydrated.
Nutritional management of Dehydration symptoms:
- Continue Breastfeeding in breastfed infants
- Give Energy-pack foods in small quantities frequently every 2-3 hours.
- Avoid High fiber foods as it draws water into the bowel.
- Take Zinc supplement as it helps in greater absorption of water and combat diarrhea and cholera
How to prevent dehydration ?
Dehydration is a condition that is super simple to avoid – just drink more water! It is recommended that men drink about 3.7 litres per day, while women drink about 2.7 litres per day to maintain an adequate daily fluid intake. I sincerely hope this blog encourages you to keep yourself better hydrated!
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