Our bodies undergo a series of important activities to stay healthy. However, sometimes, when certain unexpected eventualities occur, specific bodily processes may malfunction. Such is the case with dehydration.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in and retains. As a result, the body won’t have enough water or fluids to carry on essential functions. If these symptoms manifest and the fluids are not replenished in time orally or intravenously through IV Therapy, the affected person may suffer dehydration. The condition is usually more severe in children and older adults.
What Happens When Your Body is Dehydrated?
Several things happen when your body loses more water and fluids than it receives and retains. Even low levels of dehydration can cause constipation, headaches, migraines, daily fatigue, lethargy, etc.
At first, when dehydration occurs, it stresses the thirst cells in the brain and causes thirst. If one does not take a lot of water to suffice the thirst, it can lead to severe dehydration. When this happens, the person may begin to sweat less and urinate less. To maintain sufficient blood levels and blood pressure, your body may release water from inside various body cells to the bloodstream until more water and fluids are resupplied to the body.
If dehydration symptoms persist and water and fluids are not replenished on time, several body tissues will start to dry out. This will cause body cells to wither and break down rapidly. At this stage, the dehydration may still be within the levels of mild to moderate. Some notable symptoms at this stage include:
- Reduced urine production
- Reduced sweating
- Reduced skin elasticity
- Dryness of the mouth
As the symptoms intensify and the dehydration progresses to severe dehydration, the thirst cells in the brain may become too stressed to even release thirst signals. It can lead to a colossal fall in blood pressure, causing a faint feeling or light-headedness, especially if the person tries to stand upright (this condition is referred to as orthostatic hypotension).
If the symptoms persist, the body can experience shock and severe damages to essential internal organs, such as the brain, kidneys, liver, etc. The brain cells are the most susceptible to more severe symptoms of dehydration. Consequently, the patient may begin to experience confusion. This is one of the most common indicators to ascertain that dehydration has become serious. If the symptoms continue to persist, the dehydration can become very severe, leading to a coma.
The most common cause of dehydration in young children is vomiting and severe diarrhea. Notwithstanding, as we grow older, our body’s water levels naturally decline. However, besides the water shortage, unfortunately, many adults also adopt unhealthy habits or take harmful medications or substances that increase the risk of dehydration.
Even in older adults, when the body is stretched, even minor illnesses like infections around the bladder or lungs can cause or intensify dehydration symptoms.
Generally, if a person does not take enough water and fluids, especially during hotter days, it can result in dehydration, regardless of their age. Also, if one engages in vigorous exercising, they must consume a lot of water; else, they may be at risk of dehydration.
Thankfully, you can receive some respite from mild and moderate dehydration by drinking lots of water and fluids. However, severe cases of dehydration would require immediate medical attention.
What are Some Causes of Dehydration?
One can begin to experience dehydration if they lose more body water and body fluids than their body receive and retain. This condition is usually heightened if the person is already experiencing any disorders associated with body water or fluid loss.
Some common causes include diarrhea, gastroenteritis with vomiting, uncontrolled diabetes, profuse sweating during hot weather, etc.
Dehydration can also occur if one is unable to get enough drinking water. Older disabled persons living alone, stranded travelers, and other persons in similar circumstances are susceptible to dehydration as a result of such unfortunate predicament.
Below are five of the most common causes of dehydration.
It’s normal for the body to lose water daily by peeing, sweating, pooping, saliva, tears, and even breathing. Usually, the lost fluids are replaced as you drink and eat foods that contain sufficient amounts of water and fluids. If your body loses too much water and you don’t replenish it by drinking enough, you can get dehydrated.
If you have a fever, it can increase susceptibility and the symptoms of dehydration. As the fever gets worse, you can become more dehydrated. If the fever is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting, it can cause a more rapid loss of body fluids and minerals, thereby worsening dehydration.
2) Diarrhea, Vomiting
Acute or severe diarrhea (i.e. diarrhea that starts with sudden, violent symptoms) can cause rapid and tremendous loss of electrolytes, body fluids, and water in the blood. If the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, the body will lose more body fluids and minerals.
3) Excessive Sweating
The body loses a lot of water and body fluids as you sweat. Also, if you engage in a vigorous activity like a tedious exercise, you must drink a lot of water. If not, the body can become dehydrated quickly.
Engaging in vigorous activity during hot, humid weather can also make the body lose more sweat and body fluids, increasing susceptibility to dehydration. You must always drink ample amounts of water when you exercise or engage in vigorous activity.
4) Increased Urination
Undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes and other similar conditions can cause dehydration. Also, certain medications, such as some blood pressure medications, diuretics, and such, can lead to dehydration because they generally cause you to urinate more.
5) Altitude Sickness
Susceptibility to dehydration is increased if a person is at higher altitudes (e.g. when flying) or hiking at a higher altitude in Denver, Colorado. This is because there is increased urine output at higher altitudes, the air is dryer, and your body’s ability to convey thirst reduces. As a result, you may be forced to breathe more rapidly, resulting in greater loss of body fluids.
Dehydration Symptoms in Children and Adults
Signs and symptoms of dehydration often differ between children and adults. Here are some of the common symptoms:
Infants and Young Children
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No wet diapers for three hours
- No tears when crying
- Listlessness or irritability
- Sunken soft spot on top of the skull
- Less frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Dark-colored urine
When to Seek Medical Help
You should seek medical attention:
- If you have noticed diarrhea symptoms for 24 hours or more
- If you start to notice that you’re feeling disoriented, irritable or sleeping more and becoming less active than usual
- If your body is losing more sweat and body fluids than usual
- If you notice bloody or black stool
HydraMed: Delivering IV Hydration Therapy Directly to You
IV Hydration Therapy can help you combat all the effects of dehydration by speedily introducing fluids directly into your bloodstream. HydraMed brings hydration to you, whether at your home, office, school, sports events, hiking trails, and tours, etc. Now you can enjoy all the benefits of hydration without the stress of having to go out and get it.
Our IV Hydration therapies contain IV fluids, vitamins, and electrolytes to help your body recover and recharge as soon as possible. We deliver IV treatments to neighborhoods in Colorado & Florida, Denver Front Range, Boulder, Fort Collins, & Colorado Springs. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, & Palm Beach.
Going hiking at high altitudes, engaging in a tedious event, suffering from diarrhea, fever, or the need to restore your body’s delicate electrolyte balance, then book IV Hydration Therapy today.