Doctor's Notes on Dehydration in Adults
Dehydration is a state of fluid deficit, or loss, in the body that occurs whenever more fluid is lost than is taken in. Fluid can be lost from the body through bleeding, sweating, vomiting, urination, or diarrhea.
Dehydration can be caused by any illness that causes:
- diarrhea or vomiting,
- excessive sweating,
- fever, which can cause the body to lose more water than usual,
- injury that causes bleeding, or
- simply not taking in enough fluid to meet the body's demands.
Symptoms of dehydration may be mild or severe.
Symptoms associated with mild to moderate dehydration include:
Symptoms of severe dehydration include:
- rapid breathing,
- extremely dry skin,
- rapid heartbeat,
- sunken eyes, and
- not urinating.
Severe dehydration is a medical emergency.
What Is the Treatment for Dehydration?
Treatment for dehydration involves restoring both lost fluid and electrolytes to the body. The exact treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the affected person. Treatment may include:
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What Is the Best Way to Cure Dehydration?The fastest way to cure dehydration is fluid intake. Mild dehydration can be treated at home by drinking fluids such as water (the best fluid choice), sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte, juices diluted with water, decaffeinated tea, milk, breast milk for babies, soups, Jell-O, and ice cream.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.