Dehydration Consequences Symptoms: Dehydration is a condition that can occur when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, exceeds the intake amount.
In the case of dehydration, more water is moving out of individual cells and then out of the body than the amount of water that is taken in through drinking. This article counts the consequences one has to go through dehydration.
Let’s understand the commonalities of dehydration.
- Dehydration is a condition that occurs when an individual has lost fluids from the body than the normal quantity.
- The body can no longer function normally and develop signs and symptoms due to the loss of fluid. Adults should seek medical care for suspected dehydration.
- If we are experiencing decreased production of urine, the time you pinged the doctor. For fever over 101 F, seizures, difficulty breathing, or chest or abdominal pain too.
- Medical treatment of dehydration in adults may involve drinking fluids that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates, in addition to water.
- In cases of severe dehydration, it may be necessary to administer IV fluids.
- Along with the water, we also lose small amounts of salts or electrolytes.
- Our bodies are constantly readjusting the balance between water (and salts or electrolytes) losses with fluid intake.
- Losing too much water, our bodies are prone to dehydration, it has three stages. 1) mild, 2) moderate and 3) severe.
- Mild and often even moderate dehydration can be reversed or put back in balance by oral intake of fluids that contain electrolytes (or salts) that are lost during activity.
- If unrecognized and untreated, some instances of moderate and severe dehydration can lead to death. This article is designed to discuss dehydration in adults.
Read More: 7 BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER
What Causes Dehydration in Adults?
Many conditions may cause rapid and continued fluid losses and lead to dehydration.
- Fever, heat exposure, too much exercise, or work-related activity
- Vomiting, diarrhoea, and increased urination due to infection
- Diseases such as diabetes
- The inability to seek appropriate water and food (an infant or disabled person, for example)
- An impaired ability to drink (someone in a coma or on a respirator, or a sick infant who cannot suck on a bottle are common examples)
- No access to safe drinking water
- Significant injuries to the skin, such as burns or mouth sores, severe skin diseases, or infections (water is lost through the damaged skin)
What Are Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults?
The signs and symptoms of dehydration in adults range from minor to severe.
Mild to moderate dehydration may include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Tired or sleepy
- Decreased urine output
- Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal
- Dry skin
- Few or no tears
The above symptoms may quickly worsen and indicate severe dehydration with signs and symptoms developing;
Severe dehydration may include the following:
- Severely decreased urine output or no urine output. The urine, if any, produced is concentrated and a deep yellow or amber colour.
- Dizziness or light-headedness that does not allow the person to stand or walk normally.
- Blood pressure drops when the person tries to stand after lying down (low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension)
- Rapid heart rate
- Poor skin elasticity (skin slowly sinks back to its normal position when pinched)
- Lethargy, confusion, or coma
How Do Doctors Diagnose Dehydration in Adults?
The doctor may perform a variety of simple tests at the time of examination or send blood or urine samples to the laboratory.
Through tests and examination, the doctor will try to identify the underlying cause or causes that led to the dehydration.
Vital signs to recognise before heading to the doctor, fever, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and faster breathing is signs of potential dehydration and other illnesses.
Normally, when a person has been lying down and then stands up, there is a small drop in blood pressure for a few seconds. The heart rate speeds up, and blood pressure returns to normal.
However, when there is not enough fluid in the blood because of dehydration and the heart rate speeds up, not enough blood is supplied to the brain. The brain senses this condition.
The heart beats faster, and if the person is dehydrated, they often feel dizzy and faint after standing up.
The colour and clarity of urine, the urine specific gravity (the mass of urine when compared with that of equal amounts of distilled water), and the presence of ketones (carbon compounds — a sign the body is dehydrated) in the urine may all help to indicate the degree of dehydration.
Increased glucose in the urine may lead to a diagnosis of diabetes or indicate loss of diabetic control and a cause for the dehydration.
Excessive protein may signal kidney problems.
Signs of infections or other diseases, such as liver disease, may be found.
The number of salts or electrolytes (sodium, potassium, bicarbonate) and glucose, as well as indicators of kidney function (BUN and creatinine), may be important to evaluate the degree of dehydration and possible causes.
A complete blood count (CBC) may be ordered if the doctor thinks an underlying infection is causing the dehydration. Other blood tests, such as liver function tests, may be indicated to find causes of the symptoms.
What Are Treatment Options for Dehydration in Adults?
Dehydration treatment options for adults include home remedies like sipping on water, drinking sports drinks that replace lost nutrients, cooling the body, and removing any excess clothing from the person.
Medical treatment for dehydration in adults includes hospitalization and replacement of fluids lost.