How to manage dehydration: A quick guide

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Dehydration is often regarded as a condition in which our body loses more water than it consumes. During dehydration fluids and electrolytes are lost from our body, and it is very necessary to replenish these lost fluids and electrolytes to avoid complications. 

Here is a quick guide to know about dehydration symptoms, causes, management and treatment.

Symptoms

It is necessary to identify the symptoms of dehydration properly to start its management and treatment. Following symptoms are the most common:

  • Excessive thirst feeling.
  • Dryness of mouth.
  • Reduction in the average daily urine output and appearance of dark colored urine.
  • Tiredness, fatigue and dizziness. 
  • Muscle cramps. 

In severe cases following symptoms can be seen:

  • Rapid heartbeat. 
  • Confusion. 
  • unconsciousness. 

Causes

There can be many factors that can cause dehydration depending on existing medical conditions, physical activity, age, medications and underlying chronic illness like diabetes and kidney diseases. Common causes can be: 

  • Diarrhea and vomiting 
  • Drinking less water 
  • Excessive urination (due to disease or medications) 
  • Excessive sweating due to heat exposure or physical activity. 

Management of dehydration

In case of severe dehydration, it necessary to seek immediate medical attention, but mild dehydration can be easily managed with below mentioned steps:

  • Immediately stop any physical or stressful activity 
  • Take a short rest and let the body cool down, either in shade or with the help of fan to circulate some air. 
  • Drink fluids like water or ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) liquid, to replenish fluid and electrolytes lost. Take small sips of fluids and avoid gulping them down in large amounts. Coconut water, and sports drinks are also good choices, if available. 
  • Loosen any tight or unnecessary clothing, as it may make you feel more relaxed and comfortable. 

How to avoid dehydration

  • Keep your body hydrated with regular intake of fluids like water, juices, coconut water. 
  • Eat fruits like watermelon, sweet melon, oranges, grapes and vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber, which can provide good hydration to our body. 
  • Avoid working or walking in open sun as much as you can. Carry temporary shades like umbrella to reduce the effect. 
  • Avoid Caffeinated drinks. 
  • Avoid excessive exercise and workout beyond the limit of our body. 
  • Monitor your daily average urination. If urination is excessive due to some disease condition or medication, then replenish the body accordingly with fluids and electrolytes. 
  • Avoid street food and outside food, as food poisoning can cause vomiting and diarrhea due to which body may lose fluids and salts. 

It is very necessary to maintain proper hydration in our body to prevent dehydration as it can increase the vulnerability to heat stroke. The symptoms of dehydration shall be very carefully identified to avoid any complications, as dehydration can be life threatening also. 

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