Dehydration : Signs, Symptoms & Precautions

Dehydration : Signs, Symptoms & Precautions
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Dehydration develops due to extreme loss of fluids in the body. It may happen to anyone, being a common condition, and can be especially harmful to young children and older adults; they may have to seek immediate medical care and attention depending on the severity.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a sign that your body is having a shortage of water. Taking into account that 75% of the body is made up of water, we must keep ourselves hydrated. Replacing the loss of fluids is very important; one must consume water as per his/her need and in response to the thirst mechanism of the body. Keeping oneself hydrated will prevent severe complications and unnecessary medical issues arising due to dehydration.

The initial signs of dehydration may start with the passing of darker and lesser urine and the feeling of thirst. One of the most important signs of your hydration level is the colour of
your urine.

You are hydrated if your urine is clear and transparent while dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration. Even if your urine is clear and transparent, you must drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.

There is a possibility that dehydration in adults may occur without any signs of being thirsty. Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, always advise you
to consume at least 2 litres of water a day.

Increase your water intake if the weather outside is extremely hot. Classification of the possible signs and symptoms of dehydration depends upon the age of the person.

These signs and symptoms are classified as follows:

For infants and young children-

  • Sunken eyes and cheeks
  • Loss of concentration and increased irritation
  • Diapers remain dry for almost three hours
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Presence of a soft and sunken spot on the top of the skull
  • No tears while crying
  • Stretchy/dry skin

For Adults-

  • Extreme thirst
  • Passing of dark urine
  • Confused state of mind
  • Dizziness
  • Passing of urine is less and infrequent
  • Feeling tired and weak or fatigue

When should you consult a doctor?

The signs and symptoms of dehydration maybe not be the same for adults and young
children and infants. But there are a few signs and symptoms that hint you to consult your doctor and get treatment if needed.

Some of these signs and symptoms are:

  • In case diarrhoea lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Issues in the retention of fluids
  • Feeling irritated, disoriented, and lacking sleep
  • Defecation of black or bloody excreta

Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad understand the kind of support and care you need at each step of your treatment. They are of the view that one should not be hesitant in consulting and sharing their problems and must consult them as soon as one encounters any of the signs and symptoms.


Dehydration can be avoided if you follow the precautionary measures illustrated below:

  • Going out directly in the hot weather must be avoided.
  • One must increase fluid intake in case of suffering from dehydration already
  • Consult a doctor immediately in case you are vomiting or having diarrhoea
  • Always hydrate yourself before, during, and after a workout or doing any intense
    physical activity.
  • After your workout and exercise, consume electrolytes.
  • Consume the recommended amount of water in a day despite not performing any intense workout or activity.


The best way to be hydrated is by consuming an electrolyte drink. You can easily make an electrolyte drink on your own. For this, mix salt half to one teaspoon, and sugar two teaspoons into 1 litre of water.

The electrolytes created will help you in replacing the fluids. You may consult your doctor if the problem persists.


The best treatment for dehydration is to recover the loss of liquid by consuming water and electrolyte drinks. However, the treatment may vary from person to person as on the need, age, and severity of the illness.

Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, look at every aspect of your illness and design the best treatment you may require such as:

  • In the case of infants and young children dehydration caused by fever, diarrhoea and vomiting may be treated by giving them Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), which has water and salt in specific amounts. This solution will help in refilling the fluids and electrolytes in the body.
  • In the case of adults, doctors may recommend an increase in the intake of fluid or liquid. Consumption of water-based fluids may be advised; any soft drinks and fruit juices may not be that productive. Electrolytes and glucose solutions may be recommended for those who perform intense exercise outdoors in times of hot and
    humid weather.

In case of severe dehydration, doctors may recommend you to have administered intravenously (IV) fluids, such as RL and NS. These intravenous fluids will help in providing you with the sufficient number of fluids you require and ensure a speedy and effective recovery.

Dehydration is a sign that your body is dry due to loss of liquids or due to intense exercise,
hot weather, or any pre-existing illnesses.

It may develop quickly and may be dangerous if not treated early. Therefore, one must ensure that the body gets enough fluids and immediately consult his/her doctor if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the complications of dehydration?

  • Seizures Electrolytes- Involuntary muscle contractions or sometimes loss of consciousness may be caused if the electrolytes, sodium, and potassium which help
    in carrying electrical signals from one cell to the other are out of balance, leading to the mixing of normal electrical messages.
  • Cerebral Edema (swelling of the brain) – Sometimes, upon getting fluids back again after being dehydrated, your body may pull too much water back into the cells which lead to swelling or rupturing of cells. The outcomes may be severe especially when the brain cells get affected.
  • Kidney Failure- This occurs when the kidneys are no longer in a position to remove excess fluids and wastes from the blood and may be life-threatening.
  • Hypovolemic Shock (low blood volume shock) – This is one of the most severe complications and develops due to a drop in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the body resulting from low blood volume.
  • Coma and Death- Severe dehydration can result in death, if not treated quickly. Dehydration may also cause various other health illnesses and can be a reason for kidney stones.

Why does dehydration cause irritation or fatigue?

The brain needs to be hydrated to operate smoothly. Fatigue and irritation are common symptoms of dehydration as it affects our cognitive functioning.

What types of drinks must be avoided to stay away from dehydration?

Dehydration may be caused due to drinks such as alcohol, soft drinks, and excessive consumption of caffeine. These beverages must be avoided as the situation may worsen if you already suffer from dehydration.

Can you treat dehydration at home?

You may consume electrolytes and fluids after seeing early signs and symptoms of dehydration. However, on having severe dehydration or on having diarrhoea continuously for a few hours, consult a doctor immediately.

Looking for doctors for the treatment of dehydration in Delhi NCR?

Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, are well-experienced and highly trained. They understand your need and will always guide and support you throughout your treatment; you will get all facilities that you may require for your treatment.

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Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital is one of the best super specialty hospitals in Ghaziabad, Noida & Delhi NCR. Yashoda Hospital aims at providing the best healthcare services across the country and not just in Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad & Noida. Being a super speciality hospital, Yashoda Hospital has a number of dedicated specialities under one roof- gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, cardiology, pulmonology & internal medicine, orthopedics, urology and many more.

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