What is Dehydration, explained.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs simply when you lose more fluid that you take in or when your body fluid stores are depleted. When this occurs, your body is not able to carry out its normal functions unless fluids are replaced back into your system. If you do not replace these fluids, you become dehydrated.

Some common causes of dehydration in adults can be excessive vomiting or diarrhea, vigorous exercising especially in hot weather, lack of water intake, fever, side effect of some medications like diuretics, and binge drinking.

How do I know if I am dehydrated?

Thirst isn’t always the best indicator but certainly may be an indication. Some symptoms of dehydration can be fatigue, extreme thirst, less frequent urination, dark-colored urine, dizziness, confusion. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important you reach out to your health care provider to discuss treatment options.

How can dehydration affect my body?

Dehydration can cause serious complications if left untreated. Such complications can be but are not limited to urinary and kidney problems, heat injury, seizures, low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock), loss of consciousness. Your body likes to have it’s crucial electrolytes living in homeostasis! Depleting your fluids causing levels like potassium and sodium to rise since they become concentrated without the right amount of fluid balancing them out. These electrolytes in your body help carry electrical signals from cell to cell. When these are out of balance, the communication between cells gets mixed up and can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.

How can I correct dehydration?

Simply said, the fastest way to correct a dehydrated state is to re-hydrated through intravenous (IV) fluid replacement. IV treatment is administered directly into the veins and the results are much faster than those of oral medications or supplements as it is avoiding absorption of the GI tract. Think for example, if one has excessive vomiting, they are unable to keep fluids down by drinking water or electrolyte replacement therefore IV fluid replacement would be the only option to replenish depleted fluid stores.

How can I prevent dehydration?

Drinking plenty of fluids and eating a well-balanced diet with fluid-filled fruits and veggies. You may need to consider taking in more fluids than normal if you are experiencing the following vomiting & diarrhea, strenuous activity, hot or cold weather, illness, or plan to have multiple alcoholic beverages in one day.

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