Monday, 2 February 2015
Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much water. When you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluids through diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating, the body cells reabsorb liquid from the blood and other body fluids. When too much water is lost, the blood vessels may collapse. Without medical attention, death may result.
Dehydration is very dangerous for infants, small children, and older adults. Any illness that causes high fever, vomiting, or diarrhea could lead to dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration are -
· Dry mouth and sticky saliva
· Reduced urine output with dark yellow urine.
To prevent dehydration -
· Promptly treat illnesses that cause diarrhea, vomiting, or fever.
· During hot weather or exercise, drink 8 to 10 glasses of liquids each day. Drink extra water before exercise and every half hour during activity.
The treatment for dehydration involves stopping the fluid loss and gradually replacing lost fluids. When you have diarrhea or are vomiting, your body can lose large amounts of water and essential minerals called electrolytes. If you are unable to eat, you are losing nutrients. “Rehydration drink” otherwise known as salt and sugar solution, replaces fluids and electrolytes in amounts that are best used by your body. Sports drinks and other sugared drinks will replace fluid but most of them contain too much sugar which can make the diarrhea worse and not enough of the other essential ingredients. Plain water won’t provide any necessary nutrients or electrolytes. Rehydration drinks won’t make the diarrhea or vomiting go away faster, but they will prevent serious dehydration from developing.
Somebody with dehydration should be taken immediately to see a doctor if -
· If someone cannot hold down even small sips of liquid after 12 hours of no food or drink.
· Sunken eyes, no tears, dry mouth and tongue.
· Sunken soft spot on an infant’s head.
· Little or no urine for eight hours.
· Skin that is doughy or doesn’t bounce back when pinched.
· Rapid breathing and heartbeat.
· Sleepy, difficult to wake up, listless, and extremely irritable.
· If vomiting lasts longer than 24 hours in an adult.
· If severe diarrhea lasts longer than two days in an adult.