The term dehydration is defined as inadequate fluid in the body needed to carry out proper functions. Insufficient water intake can result in serious complications.

Every day, our body excretes fluids, so it is essential to replace the fluids in order to maintain homeostasis. Proper hydration and education can prevent individuals from emergency situations. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of dehydration may be sudden or develop slowly over time.

Dehydration can be caused by fever, increased urination, profound sweating, extreme hot temperatures, illnesses, use of laxatives, certain medications, and inadequate water intake. Individuals who suffer from dehydration exhibit signs and symptoms such as decreased urination, dizziness, dry/hot or cold/clammy skin, yellowish or reddish skin tone, fatigue, headaches, dark colored urine, cracked lips, thirst, constipation, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, rapid respiration rate, and rapid heartbeat. In severely dehydrated individuals, it is common to go into shock, lose consciousness, experience a seizure, and even death. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these severe dehydration.

Prevention measures include getting out of the sun and seeking a shaded area to cool off. Remove heavy clothing and prevent excessive sweating. Do not continue physical activity.

Dehydration can be prevented through sufficient water intake, avoiding extreme heat and humid conditions, reducing physical activity in extreme temperatures, and avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Drink at least eight-8 oz. glasses of water every day. Begin additional hydration 2-4 hours prior to exercise if you are planning to be in extreme heat or humidity. If you believe that you are experiencing dehydration, increase fluid intake, rest, and monitor signs and symptoms. Seek medical attention, if needed.

See the attached article for more prevention and treatment details for dehydration. Dehydration

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