The water level in the human body is continuously decreasing even if we are just sitting and watching television. Water is lost in numerous ways. The common ways water is lost in the body are through urine, stool, and sweat. Breathing also contributes to water loss in the body. With these water exits, human beings are always at risk for dehydration.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition wherein body fluid is excessively lost. There are three types of dehydration. First is hypotonic or hyponatremic dehydration wherein electrolytes, particularly sodium, is lost in the body. Second is hypertonic or hypernatremic wherein water is lost in the body and third is isotonic or isonatremic wherein there is equal loss of water and electrolytes in the body. The most common type of dehydration experienced by humans is isotonic. Knowing the type of dehydration is important so that appropriate management can be given to those who are experiencing it.
There are numerous causes of dehydration and some of these are as follows: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, diseases (like Amoebiasis), increased urination, decrease fluid intake, injury in the oral area which hinders the person to take in water, and lack of potable water.
What are the symptoms of dehydration in women?
Understanding the symptoms and signs of dehydration is key in being able to identify when it is taking place. Dehydration is becoming a common killer of people due to recent heat waves, so it’s now more important than ever to understand what you’re looking at.
Symptoms of dehydration are women are also the same as with men and infants. Some of these symptoms are dry oral mucosa, dry tongue, sunken eye balls, dry skin, increased thirst, decrease urine output, concentrated urine, body weakness, decrease in body weight, inability to sweat, dizziness and palpitations.
Here’s a video showing a simple test for dehydration:
What is the treatment for dehydration?
When these symptoms are observed, it is best to immediately seek medical attention. Severe dehydration can cause neurological deficits and could even lead to death. If still at home, it is best to drink a lot of water or any oral rehydrating solutions. Volume per volume replacement is advised. It means that when an estimated 100ml of water is eliminated in the body (through stool for example), a 100 ml of water should also be taken in so that water balance in the body is maintained. In the hospital, intravenous therapy and mediations to stop the cause of water loss are advised.
If the cause of dehydration is severe diarrhea and vomiting (in case of Amoeabiasis), medical management includes water replacement through intravenous therapy and intake of medications, like metronidazole, to combat the causative agent of Amoebiasis.
How to prevent dehydration
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent dehydration, one should always drink a lot of water. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is advised but that still depends on the activities one engages. Sports fanatics should drink more water because they lose more body fluid than the average person at home watching television. Rehydration salts and drinks can help combat dehydration and maintain the electrolytes needed.