Dehydration can be incredibly dangerous, particularly in the young and the old.
But what causes dehydration and what are the negative health effects?
Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than your body takes in, resulting in not having enough water or fluid to function. There are lots of reasons why your body can lose excessive fluids, including not drinking enough water especially on hot days, severe diarrhoea and vomiting, vigorous exercise, certain medications, and exposure to high temperatures.
Dehydration can occur in any age group and, if you do become dehydrated, it’s important that you replace those fluids as quickly as possible as cases of extreme dehydration can result in the need for urgent medical treatment.
So, what are the negative health effects of dehydration?
There are many debilitating symptoms that come hand in hand with dehydration and it’s important that you are able to recognise the tell tail signs so that treatment can be given straight away.
Thirst isn’t always a reliable indicator that your body is dehydrated. There are lots of other signs and symptoms too, including…
Dehydration in children
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of skull
- No wet nappies for three hours
Dehydration in adults
- Extreme thirst
- Dark-coloured urine
- Less frequent urination
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry skin
There are a number of negative health effects resulting from dehydration including:
If you don’t drink enough fluids when you’re exercising vigorously and perspiring heavily, this can result in heat exhaustion, which can be life threatening.
In extreme cases, dehydration can also lead to seizures. This occurs in patients that lose more than 10 percent of their body weight in fluid.
If you experience repeated bouts of dehydration, this can cause a number of kidney issues including kidney failure, kidney stones or kidney infections.
loss of consciousness.
To prevent dehydration, you should always ensure that you drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables, especially if you live in a hot climate. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to consume at least 6 to 8 cups of water each day, and more if you are participating in vigorous exercise.
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