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Dehydration Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Dehydration is a typical summer illness. Hot and humid weather leads to dehydration in the body due to several reasons. Dehydration occurs when there is a mismatch and the amount of water leaving the body is higher than the amount being taken in.

Causes of Dehydration

Summer is not the only culprit for this condition but definitely the biggest risk season. The mismatch in the amount of water inside the body can happen because of several reasons,

Diarrhoea -

This is the commonest reason when a person loses excess water. Frequent, watery stools lead to heavy water loss from the body. Summer time is host to several bacterial and viral infections causing loose stools.

Vomiting -

Another huge water drain out from the body is by vomiting which are usually accompanied by loose stools as a result of any infection.

Sweating -

Sometimes excessive sweating can lead to dipped water content in the body. Extreme physical activity in hot weather signals the body to produce more sweat in order to keep it cool but it also can cause dehydration if water is not replenished along with.

Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration becomes quite evident. You may begin to feel the following,

  • Dry tongue & mouth
  • Flushing of skin
  • Fatigue, extreme tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Intolerance towards heat
  • Light-headedness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Urine turning dark
  • Dry cough

How to Avoid Dehydration

The ideal way to avoid dehydration is to drink fluids before getting thirsty. Thirst is usually a late sign dehydrated and should not be waited for.

To avoid dehydration in summer, people who are planning for heavy physical activity outdoors should drink minimum 1.5 litres of water 2 hours before the activity. After the activity, they should again consume enough fluids.

If diarrhoea and vomiting are observed, immediate check is needed. Fluid replacement may be needed, oral or through IV line.

Dehydration Prevention & Tips

Dehydration can be prevented by observing some measures

  • Avoid heavy, strenuous workouts in hot climate
  • Keep drinking water and other fluids at regular intervals
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting should be kept under check
  • Fluid replacement should be done, if loose stools become frequent
  • Avoid high salt & high protein diet

Fluids to Drink and Avoid

Not all beverages are good and are considered an ideal fluid replacement to combat dehydration.

What to Drink -

  • Fresh juices, lemonade
  • Salt and sugar concoction?
  • Electrolyte based rehydration drinks/powders
  • Sports drinks
What to Avoid -
  • Tea, coffee & other caffeinated drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Aerated drinks, soda

To live healthy & happy, one must keep a check on the body’s functioning by going for regular health checkups. This helps in assessing risk factors and diagnosing diseases at an early stage, which will result in effective treatment and better management of the condition.

Know your complete health status by full body checkup packages designed and facilitated by Indus Health Plus, the preventive checkup specialist.

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