If left untreated, dehydration can become a very serious problem. You must learn to recognize its symptoms quickly and to refill the fluid right away. Thirst, impaired vision, and physical pain should alert you. See a doctor right away if you are severely dehydrated to the point of experiencing things like a rapid heartbeat. To prevent dehydration in the future, change your habits.
Part 1 of 3: Recognize the symptoms
Step 1. Listen to your body
A slight sensation of thirst often indicates mild dehydration. If you feel a strong urge to drink, it is a sign that you are very dehydrated. Symptoms of severe dehydration are dry mouth or tongue.
Step 2. Examine the color of your urine
Whenever you go to the bathroom, remember to look at the color of your urine. It is a good indicator of your health. Your urine should be pale, straw yellow, or light yellow. If it is darker, it means you are dehydrated.
- If your urine is dark yellow, it means that you are slightly dehydrated and will need to drink water soon.
- Severe dehydration results in orange or brown urine. This is a sign that you should drink water right away and see a doctor straight away if the problem persists.
Step 3. Trust your emotions
Dehydration can affect your mood and you may experience confusion, frustration, or nervousness. If you are in a bad mood and have physical symptoms at the same time, it means you are dehydrated.
If you are dehydrated, you may become irritable and have difficulty concentrating during your daily tasks. It is also possible that you get angry easily
Step 4. Notice any change in vision
You are dehydrated if your vision becomes blurry. Because your eyes start to dry out, they will eventually hurt and irritate you.
Step 5. Watch out for pain
Your body needs water to function properly, which is why you experience many aches and pains when you are dehydrated. Common symptoms of dehydration are headaches and muscle cramps.
- Headaches can also cause confusion and dizziness.
- If you don't drink enough water to prevent dehydration, you may experience muscle cramps before or after your exercise.
Part 2 of 3: Getting medical attention
Step 1. Go to the emergency room
If you are severely dehydrated, you will need to go to the emergency room. Mild dehydration can be treated at home, but severe dehydration will require medical attention. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- no urine for 8 hours
- a weak or rapid pulse
- blood-stained or black stools
- diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- an inability to stay hydrated
Step 2. Take exams if necessary
If you are severely dehydrated, your doctor will give you routine check-ups to help identify possible underlying causes of your problem. They will also allow him to find the most suitable treatments.
- Electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, or kidney problems may be involved and your doctor may give you a blood test to make sure. The choice of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your dehydration.
- To find the most suitable treatment, your doctor will try to determine your level of dehydration. If so, you will need to bring a urine sample to her for analysis.
Step 3. Educate yourself on how to recover lost fluids
Replacing lost fluids is the only way to treat dehydration. For most healthy adults, this is about drinking water. For young children, special solutions of water and salt may be needed to replace lost fluids.
- If you are dehydrated, your doctor will ask you not to drink sugary drinks or fruit juices. They may recommend energy drinks for you based on factors such as your electrolyte levels.
- Severe dehydration can be treated with fluids given through an IV.
Part 3 of 3: prevent dehydration
Step 1. Hydrate before and during exercise
Excessive sweating during exercise is often the cause of dehydration. Before embarking on a heavy workout, try to hydrate yourself properly. Ideally, you should start hydration the day before you exercise. For example, if you know you're going to run a marathon tomorrow, try drinking more water today.
- Drink water until your urine is clear or pale yellow.
- Always keep a bottle of water with you when you exercise. While exercising, drink from time to time to catch the fluid that you lose when you sweat.
Step 2. Drink more fluids when you are sick
Vomiting, diarrhea or fever eventually dehydrates the body. Try to drink more fluids and especially more water when you are sick.
If you have trouble staying hydrated, you can also eat jelly or suck on popsicle or crushed ice
Step 3. Drink more fluids when it is hot or when it is cold
Extremely hot or extremely cold weather can cause dehydration. When it is very cold or very hot, you should try to drink more water. This will help you prevent dehydration in the future.