What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body does not have adequate water or other fluids required for its proper functioning. This usually happens when the intake of fluids becomes less. Dehydration is prevalent among youngsters. The effects of dehydration are dangerous, and it can degrade the health of young children and older people. Ideally, adults should have a daily intake of 3 to 4 liters of water to keep themselves hydrated. Sometimes, not getting enough water can also cause dehydration and headaches. It mainly happens during the summer season when the body loses a lot of water due to excessive sweating.
There are various causes of dehydration among children, adults, and older people.
- In children and infants, diarrhoea and vomiting are two primary causes of dehydration.
- In adults, dehydration usually happens due to less intake of body fluids and water. It usually occurs in summers due to the hot weather. Alcoholic people tend to develop dehydration more frequently.
- In older people, medical conditions can cause dehydration. Also, the amount of fluids in their body naturally lowers as they age. Even minor health issues like mild infections can cause dehydration. Diabetic patients are more prone to dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration depend on age. They also depend on the severity of the condition. Some common signs of dehydration on the basis of age are as follows:
In infants and children
- They may have problems like dry mouth.
- There can be a drastic reduction in the amount of lacrimal fluid in the eyes (dry eyes).
- Dehydrated kids urinate less frequently.
- Swollen and sunken eyes and cheeks are very common symptoms of dehydration.
- A dehydrated kid may feel irritable.
- Often, a sunken spot can be seen on the skull of a dehydrated infant.
- Dehydrated adults may urinate less frequently.
- Their urine appears darker in colour.
- They are always fatigued.
- Dehydrated adults often suffer from headaches.
- Dry skin and constipation are also common signs of dehydration.
In severe cases, heart rate can increase, or blood pressure may severely decrease. In many cases, the amount of sweat produced decreases, and the breathing rate increases.
The treatment for dehydration again depends on age, cause, and severity of the condition. Mild cases can be treated with home remedies. However, the most effective way to treat dehydration is to replenish the lost electrolytes and fluids.
- In infants and children who have become dehydrated due to vomiting, fever, or diarrhoea, rehydration can be done using oral rehydration solution.
- For dehydrated adults and older people, more and more intake of water and drinks containing electrolytes and sugars can reduce the severity of the condition.
- If you are suffering from a severe case of dehydration, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Home remedies for dehydration include drinking lots of water, juices, and homemade rehydration solution made up of sugar, salt, and water.
Around 60% of our body is made up of water. Water is an essential component of significant body fluids, body cells, and tissues. That is why it is imperative to maintain the required fluid levels for the proper functioning of the human body. Water also acts as a lubricant for joints and eyes. In addition, it helps in proper digestion, flushes out body toxins and wastes, and keeps the skin healthy. Therefore, it is essential to stay sufficiently hydrated.