Warning Signs of Dehydration: A Summer Health Hazard

Up to 75% of our bodies are made up of fluids. If our bodies lose more fluid than what we take in, we will become dehydrated. Our bodies lose water in the following ways:

Causes of Dehydration

Our risk of becoming dehydrated increases by the following conditions:

Young children and the elderly are more at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Prevention of Dehydration

As always, prevention is better than a cure. Follow these precautions to avoid getting dehydrated:

Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults

Look out for these symptoms and signs:

Treatment of Dehydration in Adults

Treat dehydration as soon as you see the signs with these methods:

Dehydration in Seniors

Almost 200 people die every summer in America from health problems caused by heat. Most of these people are 50 years or older. As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to heat due to high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, as well as medication side effects.

Signs, Treatment, and Prevention of Dehydration in Seniors

Follow the same pointers as you would for any other adult, but take extra care because the older we get, the longer it takes for our bodies to tell us that we’re thirsty:

Dehydration in Kids

Millions of children worldwide die of dehydration, mostly because of diarrhea. Mild to moderate dehydration can happen very easily and quickly in children, especially through diarrhea and vomiting. The sweat mechanisms and temperature regulation in infants are not well developed, increasing their risk of dehydration.

In developing countries, millions of children get sick each year from contaminated water. These children don't always have access to basic health care and parents don't always know that dehydration can kill their children. In many cases, children will keep on drinking the contaminated water which gave them the diarrhea in the first place as they have no other option, starting a vicious cycle.

In developed countries we are fortunate enough to have access to clean drinking water, which makes it easier to prevent and treat dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration in Kids

Your children are dependent on you to look out for them. They may not realize when they’re suffering from dehydration, or they’re too small to tell you something is wrong. Watch out for these signs:

Treatment of Dehydration in Kids

If you start to see the signs of dehydration in your child, call your child’s pediatrician for guidance. Generally, these treatments will help:

Dehydration in Dogs

Dogs are often taken out for walks during summer and are therefore more at risk of getting dehydrated than other pets.

Causes of Dehydration in Dogs

The following can cause dehydration in dogs:

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Like kids, dogs can’t tell you when they’re dehydrated. Look out for these signs to spot dehydration:

Treatment of Dehydration in Dogs

If you start to see the signs of dehydration in your dog, you can treat it as follows:

Take care this summer!

Severe dehydration can cause death. Prevent dehydration as far as possible, but if the signs start to show, make sure you get treatment as soon as possible.

Author
Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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