As temperatures continue to soar every summer, the risk of dehydration increases. Your body loses water daily in form sweat, urine, faeces and water vapour (when we breathe out). You become dehydrated when your body loses more water than it gains. Dehydration is usually caused by excessive sweating, loose motions and vomiting and is also associated with illnesses like diarrhea and cholera.

When dehydrated your body functions less efficiently and if not treated can lead to heat injuries (like heat exhaustion or heatstroke), urinary problems, seizures, fainting or low blood volume shock. To avoid this we bring you symptoms, prevention tips and treatment for dehydration.

Symptoms – You can tell if you or someone else near you is dehydrated by watching out for the following signs:

  • Increase in thirst
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unable to tolerate heat
  • Decreased urination
  • Urine turns dark yellow
  • Dry cough
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps

Prevention method for dehydration revolves around gaining more water than you lose by drinking more water and losing less. Here are a few tips to prevent dehydration:

  • Drink lots of water, about 6-8 cups per day.
  • Drink cold water before, during and after any physical activity that will cause you to sweat.
  • Drink every time you feel thirsty.
  • Drink sports drink to replace the lost electrolytes in your body.
  • Drink fresh juice, milk, soup, etc.
  • Drink cold beverages to keep your body temperature cool and avoid sweating.
  • Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid going out during hot and humid weather to avoid sweating, instead go out during cooler parts of the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they increase urination which means your body loses water.
  • Avoid stuffy places, stay in well ventilated places.
  • Avoid smoking, it causes dehydration by drying up your throat.
  • Make sure you always carry a water bottle when travelling.
  • Make sure the water you use for drinking and washing yourself is clean to avoid diseases like cholera and diarrhoea which cause dehydration.
  • People aged 60 and above should be especially cautious as they lose water easily.
  • Parents need to be cautious for toddlers and young children as they lose water easily.

Treatment of Dehydration

In case you or someone near you shows signs of dehydration, go to a cool place, drink lots of water, sports drink or Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) to replace the lost water and electrolytes, and rest. You should feel better after some time but if your condition does not improve, go to a doctor.

But prevention is always better than cure, and hassle free in this case. We hope you find these tips helpful in avoiding and treating dehydration.