Dehydration is the excess loss of fluid from the body that is not compensated by its intake. Water performs various vital functions in the body. It acts as a lubricating agent, medium for metabolism and excretion of wastes and regulation of constant body temperature.
Individuals with chronic illness, athletes and people residing at higher altitudes are more likely to develop dehydration. Some of the diseases that pose a risk of dehydration are diabetes, adrenal gland disorders, renal disorders and cystic fibrosis. In some cases, alcoholism can also lead to dehydration.
Reduced water level can result in serious health complications like low blood pressure, kidney stones, heat stroke, urinary tract infection and renal failure. In severe cases, individuals can also exhibit seizures and even, death, due to reduced oxygen supply to body tissues. Symptoms of dehydration vary according to the severity of the condition.
Signs And Symptoms
- Dry mouth
- Less frequent urination
- Darker urine
- Muscle weakness and frequent cramps
- Headache and dizziness
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Treatment for dehydration includes intake of fluids to balance the lost body water. Patients are advised not to take products containing caffeine and soda and are given medication to treat the underlying causes of dehydration. However, prevention of dehydration by regular fluid intake and eating foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables is the best strategy to maintain regular functioning of body.