What is body dehydration? What causes the body to become dehydrated? Do you know the symptoms of dehydration? Dehydration is a very common condition that occurs mostly in children and the elderly. The most common symptoms of dehydration include excessive thirst and general weakness. Rapid diagnosis and treatment of dehydration is necessary to prevent risks and life threats such as low blood pressure and coma. In this article, from Dr. Salam’s nutrition department, we will examine the dehydration of the body.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when a person consumes less fluids and water than the body’s daily metabolic needs. Water is a main and important part of the human body and covers more than 75% of a person’s body weight. Water exists in the cells of the human body as well as in the blood vessels and between the cells, and the amount of water needed by the body varies from person to person.
Decreasing water from a person’s body at all times and due to metabolic processes such as breathing, sweating, urine and feces is continuous. This initial and basic decrease is compensated by consuming more fluids and water and staying hydrated. This initial need for water is intensified when a person does a lot of exercise or activity or suffers from dehydration and fever.
What causes dehydration?
Dehydration occurs in the body for various reasons and there are many factors that are related to the reduction of fluid consumption or its loss. Some common causes of dehydration include:
- Decreased thirst due to cold weather
- Excessive sweating due to intense physical activity
- Mountain climbing and walking in hot weather for a long time and long distances
- Radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments
- Systemic diseases such as fever or kidney problems
- severe diarrhea
- Wounds and severe burn injuries
- Not eating and refraining from drinking water due to lack of access to safe drinking water
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
A person suffering from procrastination has the following symptoms:
- Excessive thirst and thirst
- Dry skin and mouth
- Fast breathing
- General fatigue or weakness
- Severe body pain and muscle cramps
- Very little frequency of urination
- Paleness of the face and dimples under the eyes
- quick temper
- Decreased consciousness
What are the causes of dehydration?
Factors that expose a person to dehydration include:
- Age: Very young children or infants, as well as the elderly and the elderly, suffer from this problem more than the middle-aged and adults.
- Systemic disease: Diseases such as fever and kidney problems cause a severe decrease in fluids in a person’s body.
- Stomach or intestinal infection which is better known as diarrhea, leads to a lack of water and dehydration.
- diarrhea and vomiting: If these conditions are severe, they can cause a lot of water deficiency in the body.
- Inadequate intake of water and fluids
- Uncontrolled diabetes: Frequent urination is one of the symptoms of diabetes, which causes a lot of water loss in the body.
- Moving and doing intense physical activities and not consuming enough water during it: Activity and exercise cause sweating, and if this reduction is not compensated by drinking enough water, there is a possibility of dehydration.
Complications and risks
There are many events and problems due to the lack of treatment of dehydration, which are as follows:
- Fracture or fracture of the leg or spine following a fall
- Kidney failure
- Related heart problems, such as a heart attack
- Orthostatic hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure when changing body position from lying down to standing)
- Hypernatremia (increased blood sodium level)
- Coma or death
What is the diagnosis of dehydration?
In order to diagnose the disease, the doctor examines the existing symptoms such as pale face, hollows under the eyes and dryness of the face, and also checks the heart rate and blood pressure of the patient. If the answer to the doctor’s examinations is positive for signs of dehydration, he will perform other necessary tests to diagnose the patient’s condition and the progress of the disease.
blood test: A blood sample is taken and tested to determine electrolyte levels such as sodium and potassium. A complete test and sampling is also taken to detect any infection and disease that may cause dehydration.
Urine analysis: Change in color and darkening of urine is one of the signs of dehydration. A urine sample is taken for the necessary tests to check for any diseases related to the urinary system.
Treatment of dehydration
Treatments focus on restoring lost fluids and electrolytes. Dehydration treatments depend on the age of the patient and the severity of the symptoms and include the following:
Abundant consumption of water and liquids: In moderate cases of dehydration, drinking enough water and fruit juice will restore lost fluids and electrolytes. In cases where a dehydrated person has a stomach ulcer problem, the consumption of fruit juices should be avoided. Because it contains a lot of sugar and their analysis takes a lot of energy. In some cases, oral hydration is also required.
Oral hydration treatment: This treatment is an option to treat dehydration. This consists of dissolving and mixing glucose and sodium in sufficient amount in liquids. In children and babies, it is better to use oral rehydrating solutions (ORs) as usual and increase the dose gradually.
Fluid management and consumption: People who are severely dehydrated are also given fluids by injection. The composition of injectable fluids includes hypotonic solutions with low sodium such as 5% dextrose in water. The solutions should be consumed periodically and at 48-hour intervals.
The rapid induction of intravenous fluids causes swelling in the cells, and this may even gradually reach the brain and cause cerebral edema, which is a fatal problem.
All cases and conditions related to dehydration can be treated with medicine. Some common medications to treat dehydration include the following:
- Antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide
- Antiemetics such as Emetrol
- Antipyretics such as Tylenol
Prevention of dehydration
Prevention of dehydration is very important to avoid life threatening and fatal effects. Some ways of prevention are:
- Drinking plenty of water at regular intervals (every hour)
- Eat foods rich in vegetables and fruits
- Drink rehydration fluids if you have diarrhea
- Drinking enough fluids during vigorous physical activity
- Drinking plenty of water in very hot and cold situations and places
- Avoid drinking alcohol when the weather is hot
- Avoid exposure to very hot weather
- Wearing looser and linen clothes in summer
- Dehydration can be prevented if enough liquids and water are used before intense physical activities or exposure to hot and tropical weather.