Imagine a situation wherein the water present in our body starts flowing out similar to that from an open tap. Weakness, dysfunctional body organs and serious ailments are few of the after effects that attack our metabolism, when our body loses out excessive water. Our body weight is composed of 75% of water. Dehydration results in loss of water and essential salts required by our body in order to function properly. Though there can be various reasons for the body to lose excessive fluid and salt, one of the most common causes of dehydration is not drinking enough water. Indulgence in strenuous physical activity, vomiting or diarrhea and excessive intake of dehydrating fluids such as alcohol or soft drinks are some of the other reasons for a dehydrated body. This article provides you with the possible signs and effects of dehydration and its effective treatment.
Signs & Symptoms Of Dehydration
- The initial response of the body to dehydration is excessive thirst. The person suffering from dehydration will start feeling too thirsty. This is basically body’s mechanism to indicate water scarcity.
- Another sign of dehydration is decreased urination. This happens as the body tries to conserve more water. The urine output which takes place is generally concentrated and more yellowish in color.
- Dry mouth is another visible symptom of dehydration in a person. With increasing effects of dehydration, there will be less or no formation of saliva, leaving the mouth dry.
- Due to lack of fluid in the body, the tear gland stop making tears. The person suffering from acute dehydration will not be able to shed tears even during a very painful situation. Dehydration can also lead to less or no sweating. The body’s defense mechanism tries and blocks all the routes from where it can lose fluids.
- Repetitive dehydration can even lead to muscle cramps. The joints of the person suffering from dehydration will start paining, making the movement difficult and painful.
- Nausea and vomiting can even be one of the early signs of dehydration. Whatever a person consumes in the form of food will all come out through vomiting, as the body loses its capability of digesting food when suffering from dehydration.
- A chronic state of dehydration can even lead to constipation. Normally the food which we supply to the intestinal tract contains much water for the intestine walls to absorb. The intestine walls absorb essential nutrients. The rest of the food that doesn’t get absorbed is turned by the body in the form of stool. During dehydration, due to lack of water, intestinal walls don’t get access to water to absorb nutrients. As such, the intestine absorbs a lot of water from the stool, leading to the problem of constipation.
- Chronic dehydration also leads to the reduction in the secretion of digestive juices. Dehydration leads to lack of enough fluids for the body, due to which our body tries and absorbs water from all possible means. Digestive juice is one such source of water for body at times of dehydration. This leads to reduced secretion of digestive juice, which, in turn, leads to eating disorders.
- In case of chronic or severe dehydration, the body’s blood volume is insufficient to fill all the arteries, veins and capillaries. This low level of blood volume leads to low blood pressure or a situation of high blood pressure.
- When you get dehydrated, the first step which you should take is to move out from the contact of sunlight. You should rest in a cool place, with your feet propped up.
- The next step is to remove excessive clothing. If you are wearing layers of clothes, it will make you sweat, worsening the dehydration problem.
- Drinking water, a glass of juice or any other beverage designed specifically to supply enough water to the body should be consumed the moment you start getting dehydrated.
- Make sure that you keep consuming plenty of fluids for a couple of days, even if the signs of dehydration disappear.
- Stop the consumption of dehydrating products, such as caffeinated drinks especially soft drinks, alcohol and cigarettes.
- If the oral fluid replacement at times of dehydration fails, then intravenous fluid would come in handy. The decision about supplying the patient with intravenous fluids depends on the health care assistant, who will judge depending upon the condition of the patient.
- People suffering from diarrhea or vomiting can try and alter their diet and use medications to minimize the symptoms of dehydration. Clear fluids are safe and recommended to consumption for the first 24 hrs of dehydration, with gradual progress to a banana, rice, apples and toast diet.
- Loperamide can be consumed to control diarrhea. Loss of excessive water can even lead to fever, which can be controlled by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.