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Symptoms And Risks For Dehydration | Daytona Beach Injury Lawyer

Symptoms And Risks For Dehydration

Anyone can become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people who are chronically ill are most at risk.

Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you may get
dehydrated.

Common causes of dehydration include intense diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating. Not drinking enough water during hot weather or exercise also may cause dehydration.

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause thirst, sleepiness or tiredness, decreased urine output, dry skin, headache, constipation and dizziness or lightheadedness.

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:

    • Extreme thirst
    • Irritability and confusion in adults
    • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
    • Lack of sweating
    • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
    • Sunken eyes
    • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
    • Low blood pressure
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Rapid breathing
    • Fever
    • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.

Treat children and older adults with greater caution. Call your family doctor right away if your loved one:

      • Develops severe diarrhea, with or without vomiting or fever
      • Has bloody stool
      • Has had moderate diarrhea for three days or more
      • Can’t keep down fluids
      • Is irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual
      • Has any of the signs or symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration

Go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911 or your emergency medical number if you think a child or older adult is severely dehydrated.

You can help prevent dehydration from becoming severe by carefully monitoring someone who is sick and giving fluids, such as an oral rehydration solution (Pedialyte, others) at the first sign of diarrhea, vomiting or fever and by encouraging children to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS

Dehydration can lead to serious complications, including:

Swelling of the brain (cerebral edema). Sometimes, when you’re getting fluids again after being dehydrated, the body tries to pull too much water back into your cells. This can cause some cells to swell and rupture. The consequences are especially grave when brain cells are affected.

Seizures. Electrolytes — such as potassium and sodium — help carry electrical signals from cell to cell. If your electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical messages can become mixed up, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes to a loss of consciousness.

Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock). This is one of the most serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.

Kidney failure. This potentially life-threatening problem occurs when your kidneys are no longer able to remove excess fluids and waste from your blood.

Coma and death. When not treated promptly and appropriately, severe dehydration can be fatal.

For more on health issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach nursing home injury lawyer.


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