What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration is caused by the absence of enough water in your body. When you feel thirsty, it is because you’re already mildly dehydrated. You may experience early warning signs of dehydration, like fatigue, headache, and dizziness. As you go longer without water, you will experience more severe dehydration symptoms and may develop a life-threatening illness like heatstroke. At Lonestar 24-Hour Emergency Room, our experienced physicians and staff can assess your dehydration symptoms in New Braunfels, TX. We know how to recognize early warning signs of dehydration in kids and adults and can act quickly to restore necessary fluids to your body. If you suspect you’re showing signs of dehydration, visit us as soon as possible.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when you lose so many bodily fluids that your body is unable to function normally. Whether you haven’t had any water to drink all day, you’re exercising more than normal, or you’ve spent a lot of time outside in the heat, you are at risk of dehydration symptoms. Recognizing the signs of dehydration in adults and kids can reduce the risk of chronic or severe dehydration and prevent more serious symptoms and complications. You’re at an increased risk of dehydration if you have low body weight, have a chronic illness or condition that makes you more sensitive to fluid loss, are older and may be less aware of how much fluid you’re drinking, have a long-term health condition like diabetes or alcoholism, or exercise and/or play sports regularly. Our experienced emergency room physicians can assess the cause of your dehydration and offer dehydration treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?
The symptoms of dehydration you experience depend on your age, existing medical conditions, environment, and the severity of your condition. Being able to recognize the signs of dehydration can save your life or the lives of your children and loved ones. It’s important to act quickly if you notice signs of chronic dehydration symptoms or severe dehydration symptoms to reduce the risk of seizures, stroke, heart attack, and heat illness. Visit us immediately if you notice any of these symptoms of dehydration:
- Signs of Dehydration In Kids – The signs of dehydration in kids include dry tongue and dry lips, no tears when crying, fewer than six wet diapers per day for infants, no wet diapers or urination for eight hours for toddlers, sunken soft spot on an infant’s head, sunken eyes, dry or wrinkled skin, deep or rapid breathing, or cool and blotchy hands and feet.
- Chronic Dehydration Symptoms – Chronic dehydration can be mild or severe and often requires trips to an emergency room or hospital. Chronic dehydration symptoms include frequent or recurring headaches or migraines, trouble concentrating, memory problems, dark urine, fatigue or exhaustion, muscle weakness or cramps, constipation, dry or flaky skin, and altered kidney, heart, or digestive functions.
- Signs of Dehydration In Adults – Signs of dehydration in adults may include headache, delirium, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, dry cough, high heart rate, low blood pressure, lack of appetite, flushed skin, muscle cramps,heat intolerance, chills, constipation, and dark urine.
- Severe Dehydration Symptoms – Severe dehydration symptoms require an immediate trip to a hospital or emergency room. Watch out for extreme thirst even after drinking water or liquid, feeling unnaturally tired and lethargic, severe confusion or disorientation, memory loss, not passing urine for eight hours or more, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness, especially when standing.
How Is Dehydration Diagnosed?
We can often diagnose dehydration just based on your symptoms and signs of dehydration. You will likely have low blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, reduced blood flow to your extremities, and changes in skin appearance, texture, and elasticity. To confirm the diagnosis and determine the degree of dehydration, we will run diagnostic tests:
- Blood Tests – We will draw blood to check your electrolyte levels, particularly sodium and potassium, and to evaluate how well your kidneys are functioning.
- Urinalysis – We will ask you to provide a urine sample to determine whether you’re dehydrated and to measure the degree or severity of your dehydration. We will also check for signs of a bladder, kidney, or urinary tract infection.
Can Severe Dehydration Symptoms Be Prevented?
Dehydration can cause serious health problems and complications, including electrolyte imbalances, heat-related illnesses like heatstroke, kidney problems, shock, coma, and even death. You can prevent or reduce the risk of dehydration by being aware of how much fluid you’re drinking every day. Limit sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine, and drink primarily water, seltzer water, caffeine-free tea, and sparkling water. Look at your urine to assess how hydrated you are; if it is clear, pale, or straw-colored, you are properly hydrated. Dark urine indicates dehydration or other serious health issues. Be sure to drink more water if you’re exercising, spending a lot of time in the heat or sun, or have an illness or medical condition.
Treatment for Acute or Chronic Dehydration Symptoms
The only effective treatment for dehydration is fluid replacement therapy. We will determine the best treatment method for you based on your age, existing health conditions, and the severity of your dehydration. For infants and children, we will use an oral rehydration solution containing water, salts, and electrolytes. We may hook up intravenous fluids depending on the severity of your child’s dehydration symptoms. For adults, we will deliver fluids intravenously.
Call or Visit Today If You See Signs of Dehydration
Call or visit us today if you notice signs of dehydration in kids or yourself. Our team is highly experienced, extensively trained and educated, friendly, and compassionate. We can quickly assess symptoms of dehydration and run all necessary diagnostic tests to determine the extent of dehydration. We can immediately begin protocols to replace missing fluids, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to reduce your risk of complications and serious health problems.