Dealing With Dehydration

Dealing With Dehydration

How many times have you heard about drinking enough water? Almost any doctor, health care professional, and anyone who knows about the human body would say this. Our organs need enough fluids to work, so you should not forget to drink.

Studies suggest that men need roughly a gallon or 3.7 liters of water daily. Women need a little over half a gallon or 2.7 liters. Of course, that number would vary. People living in Nevada will need more water as compared to those in Minnesota because of the heat. Those who have an active lifestyle will need more water, too.

In other words, the more you sweat, the more you need to replenish the fluids you lose. If not, it will lead to dehydration.

What Is Dehydration?

The simple explanation of dehydration is when you use more fluids than you take in. It can happen in several ways.

First is when you sweat through exercise or simply because it is hot. Another common cause of dehydration is vomiting and diarrhea since you expel water. For example, if you have food poisoning, you must drink water after each time you vomit or go to the toilet.

What Are the Signs of Dehydration?

Feeling very thirsty is a clear sign that you are becoming dehydrated. There are other symptoms of dehydration, including:

  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Feeling fatigued
  • A decrease in urination
  • Little to no production of tears
  • Dizziness and feeling lightheaded
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Feeling constipated
  • Not sweating
  • Sunken eyes
  • Short and shallow breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dark-colored urine

Risk Factors in Dehydration

Certain groups of people are more prone to dehydration. For example, those with jobs that call for them to spend hours daily under the sun, like construction workers and landscapers. Athletes who play outdoors or who sweat profusely also risk dehydration.

If you care for older adults or young children, ensure that they also drink enough water. They may not have the presence of mind or ability to do this for themselves. You should make water readily available.

Certain illnesses also increase the likelihood of getting dehydrated. Continuous vomiting or diarrhea causes you to lose electrolytes with the water in your body. If you are not able to replace it on time, you can end up getting dehydrated.

Other illnesses cause you to urinate more than you usually would. That can also lead to dehydration.

Preventing Dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration is to have enough fluids based on your activities. If you feel thirsty, drink water. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas and juice if you are thirsty or playing sports. That can exacerbate the effects of dehydration. If sweating profusely, try taking sports drinks formulated to replace the fluids and nutrients you lose.

Get Immediate Treatment at OU Health ER & Urgent Care

At OU Health ER & Urgent Care, you'll find the convenience of both ER and urgent care services under one roof. When you're not sure if you need emergency care or urgent care, you don't need to decide. Just walk into an OU Health ER & Urgent Care location near you for the appropriate level of care.

Our combined emergency room and urgent care facilities come fully equipped to handle everything from allergies, colds, flu, sprains, cuts and scrapes to chest pain, appendicitis, complex fractures and more. An onsite laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound and CT scanning ensure you receive prompt, accurate diagnosis and the right level of care.

Walk in any time for OU Health emergency room (ER) services 24/7 or urgent care every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.