occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and
your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to
carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost
fluids, you will get dehydrated.
causes of dehydration include vigorous exercise, especially in
hot weather; intense diarrhea; vomiting; fever or excessive
sweating. Not drinking enough water during exercise or in hot
weather even if you’re not exercising also may cause
dehydration. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children,
older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at
usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more
fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical
treatment. The safest approach is preventing dehydration in
the first place. Keep an eye on how much fluid you lose during
hot weather, illness or exercise, and drink enough liquids to
replace what you’ve lost.
injury. If you don’t drink enough fluids when you’re
exercising vigorously and perspiring heavily, you may end up
with a heat injury, ranging in severity from mild heat cramps
to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke.
Swelling of the brain (cerebral edema). Sometimes, when you’re
getting fluids again after being dehydrated, the body tries to
pull too much water back into your cells. This can cause some
cells to swell and rupture. The consequences are especially
grave when brain cells are affected.
Seizures. Electrolytes — such as potassium and sodium —
help carry electrical signals from cell to cell. If your
electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical
messages can become mixed up, which can lead to involuntary
muscle contractions and sometimes to a loss of consciousness.
blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock). This is one of the
most serious — and sometimes life-threatening —
complications of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume
causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of
oxygen in your body.
Kidney failure. This potentially life-threatening problem
occurs when your kidneys are no longer able to remove excess
fluids and waste from your blood.
and death. When not treated promptly and appropriately, severe
dehydration can be fatal.