WHAT IS DEHYDRATION?
Dehydration is a lack of fluids in the body. This occurs when too much fluid is lost from the body through things like urine, sweat or vomit. It is important to stay hydrated and drink fluids frequently in order to avoid dehydration.
What causes dehydration?
There are many things that can cause your body to lose fluid. Certain drinks such as caffeine and medications can cause you to goto the bathroom more frequently. Sweating, from either hot temperatures or exercises, releases fluids from your body to help you stay cool. Vomiting and diarrhea also cause your body to lose fluids.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
As stated above, if you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated to some point. Now this amount of dehydration is not something you need to seek medical help for, but it can get worse if you do not increase your fluid intake. Signs of more serious dehydration include excessive sweating, extreme tiredness, dizziness, dark colored urine, confusion or lightheadedness. If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible. Extreme dehydration can lead to other serious medical conditions.
What do I do if I am dehydrated?
It is most important to attempt to avoid getting dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Don’t always only drink water. It is important that our body has enough of what we call electrolytes. Electrolytes are another name for the vitamins and minerals that our body needs to survive like sodium, potassium and calcium. Drinks other than water such as milk, juices, PowerAde and Gatorade have these in them. Drink both water and other beverages to make sure you are hydrated and have electrolytes.
If dehydration is severe and you or someone you know is feeling extremely thirsty that wont go away, confused, dizzy and very tired get medical help immediately. Normal drinking of fluids may not be enough to help.