Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t have enough water or fluids to carry out its normal functions. An average person drinks up to 3 quarts of water per day. It is important to stay hydrated during the day especially during hot weather or exercising. Not drinking enough water or other fluids can lead to dehydration and cause common symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. The safest approach is preventing dehydration in the first place. Maintaining fluid intake throughout the day, during hot weather, when exercising or during sick days is vital.



Signs and symptoms of dehydration may include:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Little urination
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • In more severe cases, dementia or unconsciousness



Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t get enough water or other fluids to work properly. This can be due to various reasons such as feeling sick, being busy and forgetting to drink fluids, not having access to safe drinking water while traveling, having diarrhea or vomiting, sweating, going to the bathroom frequently to urinate, having diabetes or various skin infections. It is important to remain hydrated throughout the day in order to avoid dehydration early on before it can lead to severe symptoms.


Risk factors 

Anyone can become dehydrated if they lose too many fluids. Certain individuals that are at greater risk include:

  • Infants and children: Small body weights and high turnover of water and electrolytes
  • Older adults:  Disabilities, neglect or response changes
  • Individuals with chronic illnesses:  Uncontrolled or untreated illnesses
  • Endurance athletes: Hot, humid conditions during training and tournaments
  • People living in high altitudes:  Change in oxygen levels in the blood
  • People working or exercising in hot, humid weather



Complications that might arise from dehydration can include the following:

  • Heat injury: heat exhaustion or heatstroke
  • Swelling of the brain: inflammation and rupture of brain cells
  • Seizures: involuntary muscle contractions
  • Low blood volume shock: drop in blood pressure and drop in oxygen in the body
  • Kidney failure, coma or death