DehydrationDehydration is the loss of water and salt form the body. Many things can cause dehydration. Vomiting, diarrhea, or not drinking enough water, are common causes. Sometimes a high fever or spending too long in the sun and heat can cause dehydration. Medicines such as diuretics (water pills) can cause you to lose too much water. This condition is especially dangerous in the young and elderly.Symptoms of dehydration can include a dry mouth and tongue, extreme thirst, and little or no urination. Other signs include weight loss, fast heartbeat, and sunken eyes. Late signs may include dizziness and confusion.
- Drink water or an oral rehydration solution if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. It is best to drink small sips frequently because taking larger amounts may make your vomiting worse.
- Eat small bites of saltine crackers to replace salt.
Seek medical attention if:
- Vomiting lasts more than 24 hours
- You are unable to hold down even small sips of fluid because of excessive vomiting
- You have more than ten stools a day or diarrhea last more than 48 hours
- You develop any late signs of dehydration, such as extreme lightheadedness, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, confusion, sleepiness, or lack of urine for more than eight hours.
- Always have water available. Drink eight to ten glasses per day and more during times of exercise or exposure to heat.
- Be aware of signs and symptoms of dehydration, especially if you are ill with vomiting of diarrhea.