When your body loses too much fluid, dehydration can occur. This may happen when you stop drinking water or if you lose large amounts of water via diarrhea, vomiting, sweating or exercise. If you’re not drinking enough, you may also experience muscle cramps and feel faint.
If you’ve just started to become dehydrated, your body may be able to reabsorb fluid from your blood and other body tissues; however, by the time you’ve reached severe dehydration, won’t have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs. While this can be a life-threatening condition, it can also be treated before it reaches a serious level.
If you are working outside and become mildly to moderately dehydrated, you should immediately stop your activity and rest. If you’re in direct sunlight, move into the shade and lie down. Try to drink a rehydration drink as soon as possible. It’s important that you rest and take it easy for at least 24 hours after you’ve experienced mild dehydration.
When you’re treating your mild dehydration at home, there are a few symptoms you should watch for. More serious dehydration, decreased alertness, dizziness or lightheadedness and decreased urination are all reasons to seek medical attention.
To avoid dehydration, it’s essential that you drink plenty of water before, during and after you are planning to be active. Consider bringing a container of water or sports drink any time you will be exerting yourself for one hour or longer, especially outdoors, and try to drink at least once every 15 to 20 minutes.
If you believe you are suffering from moderate to severe dehydration, consider seeking medical attention. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.