The complications of dehydration can range from discomfort to serious medical conditions, and, in the most severe cases, death. For the sake of your health, take steps to avoid dehydration, and deal with it immediately if it does occur.
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body’s output of fluid is greater than the amount of fluid you consume. When you lose fluid, you also lose essential electrolytes.
Excessive urination, excessive perspiration, diarrhea, and vomiting can cause dehydration. However, you can become dehydrated if you fail to drink enough water, even if you do not have a health problem or lifestyle factor.
The Dangers Of Dehydration
Minor dehydration can cause discomfort and affect your everyday life. Common symptoms include extreme thirst, difficulties with urination, headaches, irritability, sleepiness, cramping in your limbs, a dry mouth, and tiredness. These symptoms may appear even if you are only slightly dehydrated.
If you fail to rehydrate your body, more serious symptoms can appear. Your pulse rate may become weaker or faster, your breathing may become faster, or you may experience painful muscle contractions. You could lose consciousness, experience convulsions, or experience heart failure.
In the most severe cases of dehydration, your life can be in danger. You may develop gallstones or kidney stones, have an extreme drop in your blood pressure, or be unable to urinate. Hypovolemic shock may also threaten your life.
What To Do About Dehydration
The wisest approach to dehydration is to avoid it. Drink plenty of fresh water every day. Make sure to consume water if you have experienced vomiting or diarrhea. Always drink water after working out, and after other physical activities that produce excessive perspiration.
If you feel thirsty, or experience any of the other symptoms of minor dehydration, drink a tall, cool glass of water. If you try to drink water but cannot, or notice signs of more severe dehydration, seek medical help immediately. Rehydration can save your life.