Water makes up 75 percent of human body weight, making it essential to survival. It is mostly found in intracellular space, which is within the cells in our bodies. The rest appears in the extracellular space, intravascular space (blood vessels) and interstitial space (in between cells). Dehydration occurs when the normal amount of water within the body is not maintained. Our water intake is usually equivalent to our output, which takes place through urine, sweat and similar processes. Therefore, dehydration can also occur when our water output is much greater than our input. When this happens, it is best that you manage this problem by following some steps on how to treat dehydration.
Many factors can lead a person to dehydration. The number one cause is diarrhea. Because of frequent bowel movements, a significant amount of water is being excreted and lost. Another severe cause is continuous vomiting. Aside from the excessive fluid loss, fluid replacement is an additional problem when it comes to vomiting. Most of the time, people who are vomiting are unable to tolerate liquids. Additional causes include burns, diabetes and excessive sweating due to a hot environment.
When a person is dehydrated, the body tends to cope with the lack of water in various ways. The primary response is thirst, which directs your brain to drink water. Aside from that, you will be feeling one or more of the following: dry mouth, palpitations, loss of sweat, lightheadedness, decrease or loss of urine output and much more. In severe cases, confusion and further weakness may be experienced. If left untreated, organ failure and death may even be possible.
Here are some ways to treat dehydration:
Increase your water intake. Normally, you are required to drink 1000 ml of water per kilogram of your weight. If you are experiencing dehydration, you must be able to drink more than that to replace the fluid loss that occurred. Although you can also drink other kinds of fluids, such as juice, soup and the like, it is preferred that you drink water. Make sure you drink small amounts at a time. Forced drinking of large amounts of water may cause your nausea to worsen.
Make sure that you are in a cool environment. This will cease sweating, which causes further fluid loss. Also, wear lighter clothes to facilitate proper ventilation.
Get a clean cloth and soak it in cold water. Apply this to some areas that can easily absorb moisture. Some of these areas include the neck, wrists, armpits, inner thighs, the back of your knee and your collarbone.
In pediatrics, adding electrolytes is very important. You can give the patient Hydride per doctor’s order. Adults can take this as well, but in larger amounts. Gatorade can also be given.
In severe cases, the patient must have intravenous fluids for a faster result. Go to the nearest hospital and the staff will be able to perform this in no time. There are times that they will have intravenous fluids within an IV line. This is to increase your body’s response time.
Dehydration can be treated quickly once diagnosed in its earliest stage. In addition, you should be aware that dehydration is easily prevented. You don’t have to go through all these hassles if you just check your water intake. Still, you should know how to treat dehydration in case it sneaks up on you.