Dehydration

Dehydration man

Overview of dehydration

Water is the most essential element which forms about 70% of body muscles and 73% of the brain.  Imbalance in the quantity of water the hat should be normally present in the body causes serious disorders. Dehydration is one such clinical condition where there is a marked deficiency of water in the body. A huge percentage of the global population is affected by dehydration. The middle-east countries and their neighbors particularly suffer from dehydration symptoms due to the frequent occurrence of drought and a permanent arid climate. According to a survey conducted by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 75% of Americans suffer from Chronic Dehydration conditions. Adequate measures need to be adopted to improve global health conditions due to insufficient intake of water.

 

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is a clinical condition where there is a significant drop in the concentration of water and essential minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium) in the body. It occurs due to insufficient intake of water, which causes depletion of fluids and minerals in the body. It affects children and adults equally.

 

What are the causes of dehydration?

Dehydration manDehydration may be caused by normal physiological phenomena of the body. But there are few medical causes as well, which cause an abrupt drop in fluid level inside the body making it susceptible to diseases.

Sweating: High rate of perspiration caused by rigorous physical activities, illnesses, prolonged exposure to heat lead to dehydration.

Vomiting: Excessive vomiting caused due to digestive disorders lead to loss of body fluids, which if not replenished, cause dehydration.

Medications: Drugs used to control high blood pressure such as thiazides can cause acute dehydration.

Excessive urination: High rate of urination caused in certain medical conditions such as Diabetes causes dehydration.

Addictive habits: Excessive consumption of alcohol (suppresses anti-diuretic hormones) or caffeine (causes loss of body fluid through kidneys) can cause dehydration.

Hypovolemic shock: Abnormal loss (more than 20%) of body fluids due to serious burns and bleeding injuries cause dehydration

Staying in air-conditioned rooms for a long time can cause dehydration due to an extraction of moisture from the body

Diet deficient in essential nutrients (that help in retention of body fluids)

 

Symptoms of dehydration

Each and every person experiences one or the other symptom of dehydration on a regular basis. At times low-intensity dehydration can occur within a healthy body and can be eliminated on an immediate supply of water or fluids. Dehydration is an excessive urge of the body to absorb water which is manifested through the following symptoms:

  • Dried throat causing excessive thirst
  • Cracked lips and dried and sticky inner linings of the mouth
  • Cracked skin (fissures) in the toes and elbows
  • Thick and sticky saliva
  • High breathing rate (due to lack of oxygen)
  • Cold limbs
  • Laziness and drowsiness
  • Giddy feeling
  • Reduced urination (brownish urine with burning sensation in advanced stages)
  • Constipation
  • Reduced perspiration (due to lack of body fluids)
  • Extremely dry and sunken eyes (absence of tears even while crying)
  • Extreme fatigue and permanent weakness
  • Abnormal weight loss (in advanced stages)
  • Discoloration of skin (skin turns pale)
  • Increased heart rate (palpitation)
  • A long-lasting headache
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Sunken fontanels in new-borns
  • An abnormal drop in blood pressure
  • Frequent mood swings, irritation, and hypertension
  • Occasional fever
  • Muscular spasms and seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint pain (due to an accumulation of excess wastes)

                           

Types of dehydration

Dehydration womanMild dehydration does not cause much harm to the body. But more advanced forms of dehydration can cause serious damage to the body. The different types of dehydration diagnosed on a regular basis are as follows:

  • Isotonic dehydration: It occurs due to equal loss of water and minerals (sodium) from the body). Initially, there is a balanced electrolyte concentration (sodium level in the extracellular fluid is not disturbed). But at a later stage, increased creatinine concentration results in hypovolaemic conditions.
  • Hypotonic dehydration: It occurs due to loss of excess sodium (compared to water), causing an abnormal drop in the level of sodium in extracellular fluid. This forces water to enter the cells. This condition causes excess swelling of the body cells, which in more critical stages can lead to cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). This condition causes low blood pressure.
  • Hypertonic dehydration: In this condition, loss of water is more than that of sodium. Therefore excess sodium is present in the extracellular fluid, which causes expulsion of water from cells, causing contraction of cells. In few cases, this might lead to Cerebral Atrophy (brain shrinkage). The concentration of creatinine also increases in this condition. Hence this type of dehydration is more critical than the other two types and causes high blood pressure.

 

Long-term effects of dehydration

When dehydration conditions persist in the body for a very long time, it can affect the vital organs and lead to chronic diseases. Few long-term effects of dehydration are discussed here:

  • Permanent renal failure can occur due to gradual loss of elasticity of the kidneys.
  • Due to deficient oxygen supply to the heart cardiac arrhythmia occurs and can lead to major cardiovascular disorders (myocardial infarctions).
  • Permanent damage to Central Nervous System can occur due to Cerebral Oedema (brain swelling) or Cerebral Atrophy (brain shrinkage).
  • Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis due to loss of lubricants in the joints

 

Treatment and prevention

Dehydration waterDiarrhea 

Treatment

  • Mild cases of diarrhea can be treated with prescription antibiotics.
  • It is important to make sure that the body has sufficient fluids to conduct normal bodily functions. Water, juices and sports drink can be provided to those who have diarrhea. In severe cases, there may be a need to give fluids intravenously.
  • At times, when the symptoms of diarrhea do not reduce, the antibiotic medications may be changed.
  • If diarrhea is caused due to underlying conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, doctors will treat those conditions first.

Prevention 

  • Make sure to wash your hands properly, before every meal.
  • Ensure that you wash your hands after using the washroom.
  • Lather soap on your hands for at least 20 seconds while washing your hands, this helps in getting rid of the bacteria.
  • Consume clean food.
  • Do not consume water or any beverage from an unhygienic place.

Hypovolemic shock 

Treatment 

  • Since there is a huge loss in body fluids, fluids will be provided to those who experience hypovolemic shock.
  • A blood transfusion may be needed for patients who experience hypovolemic shock.
  • Medications to help increase the heart’s ability to pump blood will be provided as well.
  • Patients will be kept registered as in-house patients to monitor their kidney function.

Diabetic nephropathy 

Treatment 

  • Doctors will provide medication to help control blood pressure & cholesterol levels and calcium phosphate to improve their bone health.
  • If there are any advanced kidney diseases, dialysis or kidney transplant may be done.

Prevention 

  • Ensure that the patient is getting proper treatment for their diabetes.
  • Manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Consume clean and healthy food.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Exercise regularly.

Along with the treatment and prevention methods mentioned above, here are some more preventive measure to ensure that you do not get dehydrated.

  • Do not consume excessive alcohol, it tends to dehydrate the body.
  • Control your blood pressure levels.
  • Drink a lot of fluids. Not only on a sunny day but throughout the year as well.
  • Limit your caffeine consumption to 4 cups of coffee per day.

Facts

  • 75% of the United States population is chronically dehydrated.
  • Dehydration causes fatigue.
  • Being hydrated can boost metabolism levels in the body.

Facts

  • Dehydration is one of the main causes for kidney stones.
  • It takes 45 minutes for the body to get hydrated.
  • A person can survive without water for 3 weeks.

Facts

  • Dehydration affects a person’s cognitive skills and makes them feel fatigued and lethargic.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Consider oral rehydration therapy, this helps in increasing the fluid levels in the body.
  • Consume water, sports drink, and juices, to help bring your body fluids to a normal level.
  • Consume fruits and vegetables that have high water content.
Don'ts
  • Stay out in the sun for long durations, this tends to increase sweating and cause dehydration.
  • Forget to stay hydrated; it can lead to serious medical conditions.
  • Consume excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol; they tend to dehydrate the body.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from expert on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is essential in producing…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did you know that…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging from diabetes cure…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Grapeseed Oil: Find out how to use this oil without any side-effects Grapes are known for their delicious fresh taste and the fact that they make wine a healthy drink.…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these top fat burning…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
Activated charcoal: The instant health benefits of this “diamond in the coal mine” How can the pitch black activated charcoal help you whiten your teeth? Or have a hangover-free sunday morning?…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
LDL cholesterol level
Lecithin: Learn how you can utilize this fatty acid to improve your cholesterol count Lecithin is primarily a fatty acid found in common foods such as soy and eggs. However, this fatty…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat metabolism in people…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
Hate making breakfast?Fast and healthy breakfast recipes just for you! Tired of snatching a bagel every morning for breakfast during the rush hour? Here are few fast and…
Bulletproof coffee recipe
Bulletproof Coffee – Breakfast of champions or yet another health fad? Can this special ketogenic coffee really make your body race as fast as a bullet?
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
boost brain health
The ultimate tips on how to boost your brain health Would you like to be smarter? Want a sharp memory but bored of doing sudoku? Try salsa or…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo cereal from Peru,…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What makes this oil…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But did you know…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that some forms of…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The fruit is round…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual truth behind the…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
Fructose: Healthy fruit-product or loaded with toxic calories? Fructose is a sugar derived from fruits and other plant sources. Does this mean that fructose consumption is…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling to follow healthy…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do antibiotics fail against…
green tea benefits
Green Tea: Does it really aid weight loss and reverse aging? A centuries-old concoction of fresh green leaves, green tea holds the secret to healthy weight loss & delayed…
global warming health
Rising mercury and your health: How Global Warming is damaging your body Don't ignore the rising temperature. Global warming causes more than just heat strokes. It could be a lot…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have revealed that Alkaline…
Amnesia brain
Amnesia: It’s not just a blow on the head that can erase your memory Amnesia, a condition popularized by many a tv shows, is a condition of partial or permanent memory loss.…
stress adverse effects
Fight, flight, or freeze: 8 ways stress can ruin your body Did you know that stress is in-built in our systems? It helped our ancestors respond to danger. How…