Water constitutes almost two-thirds of our body. It plays a significant role in ensuring the normal functioning and optimal health of the human body. The vast function of water in our body ranges from lubricating our eyes and joints to flushing out the harmful toxins and facilitating healthy digestion. This makes it crucial for our healthy existence.
But, what happens when the water levels in our body deplete?
Dehydration is a medical condition that occurs when your body loses excessive amounts of water and that loss is not replenished. This prevents the body from performing its routine functions. While mild dehydration is easily treatable, a severe dehydration can be life-threatening.
Here’s everything else you need to know about the condition.
The Causes of Dehydration
Dehydration can be caused by a number of different factors. The most common ones being:
- Vomiting. It could be due to nausea or alcohol or food poisoning. Vomiting drains the body off the essential liquids.
- Diabetes. The high level of blood sugar in the diabetics’ bodies and the medications they take, make them urinate more than often. This can cause dehydration.
- Sweating. There are a myriad of factors that cause your body to sweat profusely. Extreme sweating can lead to excessive loss of water from the body – which leads to dehydration.
- Diarrhoea. With diarrhoea, your intestinal tract is unable to absorb water from your food intake. This causes dehydration.
- Urinating frequently. Whether it’s because of a medical condition, alcohol, or medication like antipsychotics and antihistamines – frequent urination can cause dehydration.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of dehydration may vary according to the severity of the condition.
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Dark yellow urine
- Not urinating much
- Cool, dry skin
- Muscle cramps
- Extremely dry skin
- Not urinating or passing a dark dirty yellow or brownish urine
- Sunken eyes
- Quick heartbeat
- Short rapid breaths
- Exhaustion, irritability, confusion, sleepiness
Young children and babies with dehydration may show additional signs like:
- Crying without tears
- Dry diapers for more than 3 hours
- Sunken cheeks
Who Is At Risk?
While dehydration can affect almost anyone, certain groups of people are more at risk of developing the condition than others. These people include:
- Young children and babies have more than 65% of their bodies composed of water, which makes them more susceptible to a decline in their body’s water levels.
- For the elderly, dehydration becomes common as their bodies weaken with age, and forgetfulness and loss of thirst makes them drink less water.
- People suffering from type 2 diabetes are also vulnerable to dehydration as their condition and sometimes medication makes them urinate a lot.
- People indulging in extreme sports or activities, which makes them sweat profusely can also get easily dehydrated.
Dehydration is more common during the hotter days of summer. In case you experience or notice someone suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms – get immediate medical help!