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Dehydration: how to recognize its symptoms and what are the risks


When the body does not have a sufficient amount of fluids for its proper functioning, we speak of dehydration: this is why it is a very dangerous condition.

Drinking is very important, because our body needs a lot of water to function properly. To understand how much we have to take daily, we should take into consideration various factors: the external temperature , the physical activity practiced, the diet. On average, however, an adult should drink at least 2 liters of water per day.

What happens when you don’t get enough fluids? The body works thanks to a delicate balance of minerals and sugars . If we do not introduce the right amount of water, this balance is altered and the body reacts by finding itself in difficulty with the metabolic processes . In this case, we are talking about dehydration, a very dangerous phenomenon.

The causes of dehydration

Basically, the body goes into dehydration when the amount of fluid lost during the day is not replenished. The problem can come from a poor water intake, or from a condition that causes more fluid loss .

Among the most common causes of dehydration are vomiting, diarrhea , fever, excessive sweating, increased urination. In addition to these pathologies, dehydration can be caused by factors such as excessive sporting activity or the sudden rise in temperatures.

Dehydration: the most common symptoms

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What are the signs that should arouse our attention? In a healthy adult, thirst is the first symptom of mild dehydration. However, there are subjects who do not feel the sensation of thirst, such as infants, very young children and the elderly.

Other symptoms include: dry mouth, drowsiness , dry skin, headache, dizziness, little or no urine, little or no tearing. If the urine is dark yellow in color and less than usual, the body is likely to be experiencing moderate dehydration.

In severe cases, problems such as skin lacking in elasticity, low blood pressure , rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, confusion, sunken eyes, no sweating, loss of consciousness may occur.

Dehydration in children

In the little ones, dehydration is very dangerous , because the situation can degenerate much faster. Symptoms to watch out for include: crying without tears, dry mouth, sleepiness, cold hands and feet, diapers not wet for more than three hours , sunken fontanel.

It is important to contact your doctor or take your child to the emergency room if any of the above symptoms occur, or if they have been vomiting and diarrhea for several hours without being able to hold fluids.

Cure for dehydration

The only way to cure dehydration is to replenish lost fluids . If the situation is mild or moderate, it is sufficient to start drinking water in limited quantities, to avoid triggering (or worsening) the vomiting. Rehydrating solutions sold in pharmacies can be useful, especially for infants and children.

If the dehydration is severe, it is advisable to go to the hospital and refer your situation to the medical staff. Operators will probably resort to intravenous hydration , which is faster and more easily assimilated by the body.

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