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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.
Other causes of dehydration
The basic causes of dehydration are not taking in enough water, losing too much water, or a combination of both.
Sometimes, it is not possible to consume enough fluids because we are too busy, lack the facilities or strength to drink, or are in an area without potable water (while hiking or camping, for example). Additional causes of dehydration include:
Diarrhea – the most common cause of dehydration and related deaths. The large intestine absorbs water from food matter, and diarrhea prevents this from happening. The body excretes too much water, leading to dehydration.
Vomiting – leads to a loss of fluids and makes it difficult to replace water by drinking it.
Sweating – the body’s cooling mechanism releases a significant amount of water. Hot and humid weather and vigorous physical activity can further increase fluid loss from sweating. Similarly, a fever can cause an increase in sweating and may dehydrate the patient, especially if there is also diarrhea and vomiting.
Diabetes – high blood sugar levels cause increased urination and fluid loss.
Frequent urination – usually caused by uncontrolled diabetes , but also can be due to alcohol and medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotics.
Burns – blood vessels can become damaged, causing fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues.
Fast facts about dehydration
1.Around three-quarters of the human body is water.
2.The causes of dehydration include diarrhoea, vomiting, and sweating.
3.Individuals more at risk of dehydration include athletes, people at higher altitudes, and older adults.
4.Early symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth lethargy, and dizziness.
As the condition progresses to moderate dehydration, symptoms include:
3.weakness in muscles
Severe dehydration (loss of 10-15 percent of the body’s water) may be characterized by extreme versions of the symptoms above as well as:
1.lack of sweating
3.shriveled and dry skin
4.low blood pressure
5.increased heart rate
Symptoms in children
1.in babies – a sunken fontanel (soft spot on the top of the head)
2.dry tongue and mouth
4.no tears when crying
5.sunken cheeks and/or eyes
6.no wet diaper for 3 or more
Although dehydration can happen to anyone, some people are at a greater risk.
1.People at higher altitudes.in Athletes, especially those in endurance events such as, marathons, cycling tournaments Dehydration can undermine performance in sports.
2.People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis and adrenal gland disorders.
3.Infants and children – most commonly due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Dehydration in older adults is also common; sometimes this occurs because they drink less water so that they do not need to get up for the toilet as often. There are also changes in the brain meaning that thirst does not always occur.
The treatment of dehydration is commonly called rehydration. Is by taking in much water clean from pathogens. And also , 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.
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Content created and supplied by: MissDuah (via Opera News )