Dehydration – Causes and Signs Of Dehydration

Dehydration happens when the usage or wastage of body liquid exceeds the amount that is taken in. There isn’t enough water and other liquids in your body to continue normal bodily functions. If you fail to replace or regain the lost body liquids, Dehydration happens. In this article, I will try to cover all the aspects of dehydration especially the signs of dehydration.

Causes of Dehydration 

There could be many reasons for dehydration. Even sometimes simple reasons can result in dehydration and sometimes the reasons are serious and severe. Let’s explore these:

Less intake of water:

You haven’t had enough water even after losing sweat. You forgot to drink water because you were busy or sick. Or because of the lack of availability of clean safe water especially at times of traveling, camping, or hiking. You just don’t realize that you need the water because your normal intake is very low. You hardly drink 2 glasses of water a day, because of which you don’t get the urge to have more water when it’s required.

Vomiting and Diarrhea:

Diarrhea Severe or acute, that originates on a quick and aggressive basis — can be the reason for the great loss of water and electrolytes in a small period. If you experience vomiting with diarrhea, it will cause even more loose minerals and liquids from the body. Vomiting alone can also lead to dehydration.

High Fever:

The higher your fever is the more you become dehydrated. The situation becomes worse if the fever is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.

Too much sweating:

Sweating results in loss of body liquids. If you have done something that caused you to lose a lot of sweat and you don’t take water or other liquids side by side. This will cause dehydration. Summer, hot, humid weather causes you to sweat more and you lose your body minerals and liquids as well.

More urination:

Increased urination can be the result of undiagnosed or unrestrained diabetes. It can also be caused by medications, such as medicines used for blood pressure or diuretics. Usually, they make you pee more than your normal routine.

People at Risk of dehydration

Dehydration could happen to anyone but some people are more prone to its risks. Those are:

Infants and kids

Babies and children are the groups most likely to experience the severity of diarrhea and vomiting. They have a higher risk of getting dehydrated. Possessing a bigger surface area to the volume area, kids lose an increased portion of their body liquids from burns or high fever. The main reason that they are at risk is that they cannot tell you if they are thirsty or not. They can’t even drink by themselves.

Elder people

With the proceeds of age, your body’s ability to preserve liquid becomes smaller. Your water conservation ability decreases. You feel less thirst as your thirst sense decreases. Besides age, these conditions happen because of the usage of certain medications used for illnesses like diabetes and dementia. Another reason is their physical weakness. They lose or face limited mobility which also makes it difficult to take water by themselves, whenever they want to. They shy away from asking for water again and again so they just keep quiet

Those with chronic Illnesses

The conditions of diabetes that are untreated and uncontrolled take you towards dehydration. The kidney problem also makes you dehydrated. Certain medications make you pee a lot which also becomes the reason for dehydration. When you are sick, having a cold or sore throat, or even flu, you don’t feel like eating or drinking. Which could lead to dehydration.

Direct exposure to heat and sunlight

For those people who work in a humid atmosphere or work out in hot weather your chances of dehydration increase. When the weather is humid, your sweat doesn’t get evaporated and dries out quickly as it normally happens. This leads to increased body temperature and you feel thirsty more and more.

Complications of dehydration

Dehydration can be dangerous and complicated. It can cause

 Heat Injury or heatstroke

Inadequate intake of liquids while you are exercising or working heavily. You can cause yourself heat injury. It can be as mild as heat cramps or as serious as heat exhaustion or even possibly heatstroke which could be life-threatening.

Kidney or Urinary Issues

Repeated or continued attacks of dehydration can result in urinary tract infections, stones in the kidney, or even failure of the kidney.

Seizures attack

Electrolytes — I.e. potassium and sodium — aid transmits electrical indications from cell to cell. If the electrolytes are not balanced, the standard electrical messages can turn out mixed up, which can make involuntary muscle shrinkages and sometimes makes you unconscious.

Hypovolemic Shock (low blood volume shock)

Hypovolemic Shock can be the most dangerous and at times even life-threatening. When your blood volume drops low it causes low blood pressure and results in the fall of oxygen level in the body. Which is not good for your body.

How to prevent dehydration

To avoid dehydration, intake a sufficient amount of fluids and eat foods that are high in water such as fruits and vegetables. Permitting thirst to be your director is sufficient daily advice for most healthy people.

Individuals may require to take in additional liquids if they are facing situations such as:

Vomiting or diarrhea. If your kid is vomiting or has diarrhea, start giving additional water or an oral rehydration solution at the initial symbol of sickness. Don’t delay until dehydration happens.

Strenuous exercise. In common, it’s greatest to initiate hydrating the day before energetic exercise. Generating lots of clear, concentrated urine is a worthy signal that you’re well-hydrated. Throughout the activity, refill liquids at consistent intervals and continue consumption of water or other liquids once you’re over.

Hot or cold weather. You require to have extra water in a warm or moist climate to aid lower your body temperature and be the substitute for what you drop through sweating. You may also want added water in cold weather to fight humidity loss from dry air, mainly at complex altitudes

Illness. Elder adults most usually turn out to be dehydrated in the course of minor illnesses — such as influenza, bronchitis, or bladder infections. Make certain to drink additional fluids when you’re not feeling healthy.

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Causes of Dehydration Headache

Our brains are 80% water. Dehydration causes your brain tissues to lose water which results in the shrinking of your brain and pull away from your skull. This process causes the trigger in the pain receptors. Receptors surround the brain and result in headaches.

Dehydration is also responsible for the drop in blood volume that decreases the blood and oxygen flow to your brain. In its reaction, the blood vessels in the brain become dilated and cause swelling and inflammation that worsen the headache.

How to deal with Dehydration Headache

Reduce your Physical Activity

Physical activity results in dripping and water loss. If you are previously dehydrated you should lessen your bodily movement and concentrate on liquid intake. Repeated breaks and sufficient rest are suggested until your symptoms diminish.

Drink lots of Water

Don’t try to drink a huge quantity of water in a single go. Our bodies can only engross a lesser quantity of water at a time and intake of a large amount of water at once will make you feel bloated and uneasy in the stomach. As an alternative goes for little amounts repeatedly, say 200-250mls every 15-20 minutes, until signs diminish.

Make up the Lost Electrolytes

Electrolytes are also vanished through perspiration and play a vital part in water maintenance. Failure to replace gone electrolytes will lead to problems in rehydrating. Increase around electrolyte powder to your water for fast electrolyte replacement.

Take Pain Killer

Headaches produced by dehydration will generally diminish once sufficient water has reverted to the brain. Though, this can take a few hours of active liquid replacement. If the pain is unbearable, take a pain killer such as aspirin or ibuprofen to run quicker relief. Keep in mind that this will only treat the sign and not the reason. To stop the headache from recurring as shortly as the painkillers abate, you must rehydrate with a grouping of water and electrolytes.

Signs Of Dehydration In Babies

Some of the signs of dehydration to look into babies:

  • Increased Sleepiness. They are taking more naps than they usually do.
  • Feels irritating. Nothing is making them happy. They start to cry at even small things.
  • They are feeling thirsty. They want more and more water. When you take the water bottle out of their mouth they start to cry.
  • Lessor has no elasticity in the skin of the baby. It is also one of the signs of dehydration. The skin becomes dry.
  • The eyes, cheeks, and the soft spot on the head of the baby known as fontanel appear to be sunken.
  • Lessor has no tears when they cry. Even when they cry out loud.
  • Dry mouth.
  • One easy way to look for the signs of dehydration in babies is to look for urine color and the number of wet diapers. If diapers are not wet as they usually do then this can be a clear sign of dehydration.

If acute diarrhea is existent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commends that milk goods be withheld for 24 to 48 hours since they may be tough to digest. Though, if you are breastfeeding, you must carry on to do so. Bottle-fed babies should carry on to consume formula milk that is diluted in half quantity than usual. Young kids are prohibited from taking soda, juices, or sports beverages such as Gatorade. In contrast ORS, they do not comprise the accurate amount of glucose, sodium, chloride, and potassium to correctly balance the electrolyte altitudes.

As your baby recovers, the pediatrician may commend what is called the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

Disclaimer: Do consult your doctor before feeding or withdrawing anything from the baby’s diet. They will suggest to you according to your child’s bodily needs.

Symptoms and Signs of Dehydration in Adults

In Adults

  • Extreme feeling of thirst, dry throat
  • Dark yellow colored urine
  • You feel Fatigued
  • Decreased number of urination as compared to other days
  • Feelings of Dizziness
  • You feel Confusion

When the doctor’s consultation is needed?

You should consult your doctor after the following signs and symptoms.

  • You have diarrhea for 24 hours or even more than that.
  • Anyone feels confused or irritated and is sleeping for a longer time and feels weakness and inactivity.
  •  pass black or bloody stool
  • You cannot keep the fluids down.

Dehydration in pregnancy

In pregnancy, dehydration can cause serious complications. They can be neural tube defects. Inadequate breast milk production, low amniotic fluid and can lead to premature delivery. Dehydration can also cause problems for the baby as well due to an insufficient supply of water and nutrition to the baby.

Signs of dehydration in pregnancy

Minor to moderate dehydration can cause the following symptoms:

  • Dryness in the mouth, you feel stickiness as well. You take the help of your saliva to make your mouth wet.
  • sleep for longer hours and for repeated times. Feel inactiveness and weakness as well.
  • You feel thirsty. Even after drinking some water, you feel like having more of it
  • Less frequent urge to urinate. When you pee the color of your urine is dark yellow.
  •  suffer from a headache. It could be mild to severe.
  • you become constipated. Dehydration causes your metabolism slow, which leads to constipation.
  •  feel Dizziness, you can become unconscious as well.

How to avoid dehydration?

  • Make alterations in your daily routine. Consume 6 to 8 glasses of water.
  • Try to be aware of the signs of dehydration and always be alert regarding the signs.
  • When you leave for work or travel far away, always keep water with you. Sometimes you don’t find safe water, which could lead to conditions like dehydration.
  • Avoid or limit the consumption of caffeine like tea, cold drinks, and coffee.
  • More important Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Drink more and more water while exercising
  • Know your body or if your body is at high risk of getting dehydrated (because of some illness or medications you are on).
  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up and after taking a bath
  • Drink more water when you are sick.

How to Treat Dehydration

The Rehydration Plan gives the following rough direction to the amount of ORS required in the beginning 4 to 6 hours of treatment for a mildly dehydrated person:

Up to 11 pounds

200-400 ml

11-22 pounds

400-600 ml

22-33 pounds

600-800 ml

33-44 pounds

800-1000 ml

44-66 pounds

1000-1500 ml

66-88 pounds

1500-2000 ml

88+ pounds

2000-4000 ml


Dehydration can happen to anyone. Always look for yourself and your loved ones. It can be avoided just by consuming the right amount of water or liquid. Always pay attention to your health issue whether these are the signs of dehydration. Read the article and get all the knowledge you need regarding dehydration.