Dehydration – Causes & Symptoms
Dehydration happens when our bodies lose more fluids than we take in. This occurs as a result of exercise, sweating, vomiting or diarrhea and can be a serious and/or life threatening situation. Not drinking enough fluids will eventually lead to muscle cramps, and feeling light-headed or fainting. In cases of severe dehydration, you no longer have enough fluid to get blood to your organs, which can lead to shock, which is a life threatening condition. Recent studies have revealed that 75-80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
There are many reasons for this:
- Not drinking because you don’t feel thirsty.
- Kidneys that do not work well.
- Choosing not to drink because of inability to control bladder (incontinence).
- Painful urination.
- Taking medicines that increase urine output (diuretics).
The symptoms of dehydration are:
- Mouth and eyes are dry
- You pass little urine or urine is much darker than usual.
- You are more thirsty than usual.
- Not feeling alert or thinking clearly.
- Too weak or dizzy to stand.
Mild to moderate dehydration can be treated at home by drinking more fluids. Severe dehydration requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Call 911 immediately.