Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps. You may feel faint. Usually your body can reabsorb fluid from your blood and other body tissues. But by the time you become severely dehydrated, you no longer have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs, and you may go into shock, which is a life-threatening condition.
Dehydration can occur in anyone of any age, but it is most dangerous for babies, small children, and older adults.
Dehydration in babies and small children
Babies and small children have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated because:
Dehydration in older adults
Older adults have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated because they may:
Watch babies, small children, and older adults closely for the early symptoms of dehydration anytime they have illnesses that cause high fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. These are the early symptoms of dehydration:
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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