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What Is Dehydration & Its Symptoms, Precautions, Treatment

What Is Dehydration – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Precautions
Health Tips 28 Jul 2023

Dehydration is a major cause of several deaths and other critical health hazards in India and all over the world. In India, during the dry summers, many people fall sick and the doctor diagnose them as dehydrated.

Before understanding dehydration, let’s first focus on what is dehydration and what are the most common dehydration signs and symptoms. Dehydration refers to a physiological state of the body when it lacks adequate water. There can be numerous reasons responsible for subjecting human body to such an acute water-deficient condition that further disrupts other essential physiological activities.

All involuntary action of the body like digestion, assimilation, excretion, blood circulation, etc., relies on water. Therefore, when the level of water in the human body or any other animal body goes lower than its normal margin, dehydration sets in.

The early symptoms or signs of dehydration can be detected and immediately treatment for dehydration should be initiated. Early detection always helps and makes the recovery process faster. The followings are a few common dehydration signs and symptoms that everyone should be aware of.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Dehydration of the body is a gradual process in which the whole of the body does not abruptly turns water-deficient. During the initial few hours, the body begins to respond to the lack of water, the following symptoms surface.

  • Fatigue
  • Increased Thirst
  • Dry Mouth
  • Less Tear Production
  • Decreased Urination
  • Dry Skin
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness

However, if any of these symptoms surface and you still do not pay any attention to them, dehydration gradually starts to impact the entire body. When the majority of the body is facing an acute water supply crisis, the patient outreaches the fatal level of dehydration. The symptoms of such an advanced stage remain as follows.

  • Excessive Thirst
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Inadequate Sweating 
  • Faster Heart Rate
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Dark Urine
  • Shrivelled Skin

All these are signs that body experiences due to acute dehydration and needs immediate medical attention. In some cases, during acute dehydration, patients also suffer from issues like diarrhoea, stool with blood, and even disorientation.

Common Causes Of Dehydration

Whenever the body loses more water than it is being consumed, the process of dehydration initiates.  The common causes of dehydration remain many. There are few factors responsible for the development of mild to moderate dehydration of the body.


Sweating is a normal and regular physiological process that ensures that the body temperature is maintained regardless of the atmospheric temperature. This is why people perspire more during the summer when the outside temperature is high.


When people suffer from critical illnesses for a long time they consume several medicines. This may lead to the consumption of more water in the body as medicine assimilation requires a lot of water. Therefore, almost all doctors suggest drinking more water when prescribing strong medicines.

Now if a person is on regular medication and fails to follow this instruction, dehydration may set in. Additionally, diseases that make the patients throw up frequently or inflict diarrhoea can become a cause of dehydration.


Fever necessarily dries up the body every time the patient sweats heavily to keep the body temperature under check. Therefore, high fever conditions or prolonged fever can be a source of massive water and electrolyte loss, eventually leading to dehydration.


Urination is an essential physiological process to let go of the toxic elements of the body. But, the release of these elements needs an assistance of water.  A substantial portion of urine is water. Therefore, when someone urinates excessively due to chemical imbalances in the body or any other reasons the risk of dehydration increases.

Treatment and Precautions

Treatment of dehydration is not complex but timely detection of the problem helps in its treatment. Once the symptoms of dehydration surface the patient should get in touch with a medical expert instantly.

Home remedies are applicable only for mild dehydration. For severe dehydration, a doctor consultation is a must.

Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS)

Rehydrating the body remains the only way to reverse the dehydration process. Once the body begins to respond to dehydration, consuming plain water would not suffice. Consuming water with dissolved electrolytes would be necessary.

The market has a wide variety of oral rehydrating solutions (ORS) available in various flavours as well. Consuming 2-3 litres of ORS within 4-58 hours might help overcome mild dehydration conditions.

Alternatively, patients can also make a rehydrating solution at home by mixing half a teaspoon of salt and six tablespoons of sugar with one-litre water. Drinking this homemade solution repeatedly can reduce the effects of dehydration within a few hours.

On the other hand, for severe dehydration, medical experts often administer saline to the patient to restore the body’s electrolyte levels alongside water.

However, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, it would be best to consume adequate water regularly so that you never face the problem of dehydration. Here are a few tips to keep your body hydrated.

  • Drink enough water ( 3 litres at least) every day. In summer, drink more water. 
  • Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and soda when the signs of dehydration appear.
  • Try to keep your perspiration under control by wearing loose, light colour, comfortable garments in summer.
  • After exercise sessions, drink water with dissolved electrolytes.

Impacts of Dehydration On Health

The effects of dehydration can be various and sometimes even fatal. If the condition gets detected at an early stage, the treatment is easy. The common impacts of dehydration of the body remain as follows.

  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heatstroke
  • Heat Cramps
  • Kidney Failure
  • Low Blood Volume
  • Coma
  • Seizures Resulting From Electrolyte Loss
  • Hypovolemic Shock

Preventing dehydration is not a big task. You just have to be conscious about your daily fluid intake and must not ignore any sign of dehydration.

About City X-Ray & Scan Clinic Pvt. Ltd

City X-Ray & Scan Clinic Pvt. Ltd. is a reputed and reliable diagnostic laboratory and clinic located in Delhi. The clinic has a panel of experienced doctors who empathetically treat patients by applying their expertise and knowledge.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information including text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Contact a health expert if you have questions about your health.

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