Dr. Dharmakanta Kumbhakar
Dehydration can be experienced by anyone, especially people who consume less drinking water than the fluid requirements needed by the body. Each person’s fluid needs vary, depending on age, environment, and activities performed. In addition to less drinking of water and fluids, dehydration can be caused by several things such as diarrhoea, diabetes, consuming lots of alcohol, excretion of a lot of sweat because of fever, exercise, or working in hot weather.
Symptoms of severe dehydration
Severe dehydration occurs when the body loses a lot of fluid compared to the incoming fluid. It is generally characterized by a very thirsty feeling. However, thirst cannot always be a benchmark for dehydration. For example, elderly people usually do not feel thirsty even though their bodies have been dehydrated. It is therefore important to notice other severe dehydration symptoms, such asfeeling dizzy and confused,feeling weak, tired, and wanting to faint. The frequency of urination is very rare and urine is dark. Dehydration in infants and children may have different symptoms such as dry mouth and tongue, crying without tears, baby diapers not wet by urine more than three hours, lethargic or fussy and oedematous eyes and face.
Complications of severe dehydration
Never underestimate severe dehydration, because it can trigger conditions that harm our body. In general, water has a very important role for the body, among others, to facilitate digestion, remove waste substances and toxins, moisturize the eyes and joints, and maintain healthy skin. If our body lack lots of fluids and get severely dehydrated, our organs will not function properly. If left untreated, severe dehydration may trigger a number of conditions and health problems, including seizures. When electrolyte levels in the body are unbalanced, muscle contraction can occur and a person will experience convulsions and sometimes loss of consciousness. Hot weather injury occurs because sweating a lot due to heavy activity but not accompanied by sufficient fluid intake. Symptoms vary from mild spasms from hot air to heat stings. Repeated and prolonged dehydration can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, to kidney failure.
Hypovolemic shock occurs when the blood pressure and oxygen levels in the body decreases due to insufficient blood volume. This condition is very dangerous because it can be life threatening.
Management of dehydration
When dehydrated lightly, we should simply consume drinking water so that the fluid requirements of the body can be met. We should avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water before, during and after activities. If necessary, add the consumption of drinking water while doing a lot of heavy activity in the open space. However, if we have severe dehydration, we may need to get medical treatment at the hospital. The medical team will provide intravenous fluid intake.