Dehydration! What to do..?

Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps. You may feel faint. Usually your body can reabsorb fluid from your blood and other body tissues. But by the time you become severely dehydrated, you no longer have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs, and you may go into shock, which is a life-threatening condition.

Early dehydration

Dry mouth, thirst, restless or irritable behavior, headache, mild muscle cramping.

Moderate dehydration

Dry mouth, extreme thirst, flushed face, headache, warm and dry skin, lack of urine production, dizziness, weakness, cramps in the arms and legs.

Severe dehydration

All above, plus severe cramping, low blood pressure, fainting, convulsions, bloated stomach, lack of elasticity of skin, rapid deep breathing, fast and weak pulse – in extreme cases, heart failure.

dehydrated

Treatment

If you develop early signs of dehydration, get out of the sun; ideally go somewhere cool, in the shade. Splash yourself with tepid water or apply cool, wet cloths to your face and neck and drink water slowly, small sips at a time.

If your symptoms are not relieved within half an hour or so, or you go on to develop severe symptoms such as an inability to pass urine, vomiting, weakness or cramping, consult a doctor immediately.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps. You may feel faint. Usually your body can reabsorb fluid from your blood and other body tissues. But by the time you become severely dehydrated, you no longer have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs, and you may go into shock, which is a life-threatening condition.

dehydration

Dehydration can occur in anyone of any age, but it is most dangerous for babies, small children, and older adults.

If you would like to calculate your body weight and daily fluid requirements using the metric system, please use this formula.

For the first 10kg (kilogram) of body weight the daily fluid intake required is 100cc (or mL) per kg.
For the next 10kg of body weight, the fluid required is an additional 50 cc/kg.
For every additional kg of body weight, an additional 10cc/kg is required

This is the basic body requirement. More fluid would be needed to replace excess sweating from exercise or fever, fluid loss from vomiting, and diarrhea or increased urine production.

Self-Care at Home

Try to get people who are dehydrated (even those who have been vomiting) to take in fluids in the following ways:

  • Sipping small amounts of water
  • Drinking carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks. Good choices are sports drinks such as Gatorade or prepared replacement solutions (Pedialyte is one example)
  • Sucking on popsicles made from juices and sports drinks
  • Sucking on ice chips
  • Sipping through a straw (works well for someone who has had jaw surgery or mouth sores).

Dehydration can occur in anyone of any age, but it is most dangerous for babies, small children, and older adults.

If you would like to calculate your body weight and daily fluid requirements using the metric system, please use this formula.

  • For the first 10kg (kilogram) of body weight the daily fluid intake required is 100cc (or mL) per kg.
  • For the next 10kg of body weight, the fluid required is an additional 50 cc/kg.
  • For every additional kg of body weight, an additional 10cc/kg is required

This is the basic body requirement. More fluid would be needed to replace excess sweating from exercise or fever, fluid loss from vomiting, and diarrhea or increased urine production.

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