Dehydration: Top Signs You Need Treatment

Did you know that approximately 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated?

Dehydration occurs when you lose or use more fluid than you take in, leaving your body without adequate water and other fluids to perform its normal functions. This can result from illness, inadequate water intake, strenuous exercise, or medications that increase dehydration risk.

Mild to moderate dehydration does not require immediate medical attention and can be remedied at home by consuming more fluids. However, it’s crucial to recognize signs of severe dehydration and when medical intervention is necessary, particularly for children and older adults.

Symptoms vary by age:

  • Infant or young child:
    • Dry mouth and tongue
    • Absence of tears when crying
    • No wet diaper for three hours
    • Sunken eyes and cheeks
    • Depressed soft spot on top of the skull
    • Lethargy or irritability
  • Adult:
    • Intense thirst
    • Headache
    • Dry mouth or tongue
    • Reduced urination frequency
    • Dark urine
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion

How to avoid dehydration:

  • Carry a water bottle with you to sip consistently through the day.
  • Eat foods high in water content such as soups, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks that can dehydrate your body.

Ensure adequate water intake throughout the day, especially during vigorous activity, episodes of vomiting or diarrhea, or if you have conditions such as diabetes. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women.

Severe dehydration requires medical attention as it can lead to serious complications such as heatstroke, seizures, kidney failure, and brain swelling. If you’re experiencing severe dehydration, we can treat you here.

Sources: Dehydration – Symptoms & causes – Mayo Clinic, Are Americans Dehydrated? These Brands Think So (, Dehydration: Symptoms & Causes ( Water: How much should you drink every day? – Mayo Clinic

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