What is dehydration?
Dehydration is when you lose more fluids than you take in and the body doesn’t have enough fluids or water to perform normally. If fluids aren’t replenished, the body becomes dehydrated. Anyone is at risk of becoming dehydrated, but the condition can be especially serious for older adults and children.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t get enough water, this can happen for a variety of reasons, like being too busy, being sick, or not having access to safe water. Other causes of dehydration include:
- Increased urination
Thirst is not a reliable indicator of dehydration. It’s common for many people, especially older adults, to not feel thirsty when dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration can differ depending on age.
- Infant or child
- Sunken soft spot on top of the head
- No tears when crying
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No wet diapers for more than three hours
- Sunken cheeks and eyes
- Extreme thirst
- Dark urine
- Less frequent urination
- Increased heart rate
When you should seek medical attention
Seek medical care if you or someone you’re with is:
- Irritable or disoriented
- Sleepier or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- Has black or blood stool
- Has had diarrhea for 24 hours or more
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