Unusual Signs & Symptoms of dehydration in adults

Water is a primary constituent of our body - a healthy adult person contains 60% water. As a thumb rule, a man of 70 kg. weight contains nearly 42 litres of water. Under normal conditions, water is removed from our body through sweat, tears, breathing, urine, and defecation. We replenish this loss by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. Not replenishing the water loss adequately leads to dehydration.


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What is dehydration?

Dehydration is a condition that occurs in our body when the water is fast draining out of our body through many ways but with little or no replenishment. Depleted water level reduces the essential body salts, such as sodium and potassium.

This may happen -

  • If a person is down with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • If the person is overexposed to scorching sun or affected by the heat wave during peak summer.
  • Due to some medicines such as diuretics because they deplete body fluids and electrolyte levels.

Whatever may be the cause, dehydration may lead to fast deterioration of the condition if not treated urgently.


Dehydration and heat stroke

Heat stroke is not anything like actual stroke which is caused by decreased oxygen flow to the brain. Heat stroke or sunstroke is a heat related illness (the most serious of all heat related injuries) which may occur to a person due to overexposure to sun or if he or she is affected by heat wave in the summer.

While a heat stroke condition causes continuous high fever(104 degree F or higher) and changes in the nervous system, the situation can be aggravated if the patient is dehydrated. Heat stroke is a true medical emergency that often becomes fatal without prompt and proper medical attention.

Metabolism process in our body gives rise to heat generation which is dissipated by heat radiation process through skin or by evaporation of sweat. But if the body heat can not be radiated out effectively due to extreme heat, high humidity, or physical exhaustion then the body temperature rises high to cause heat stroke.

Another reason for heat stroke is dehydration because a dehydrated person doesn’t sweat fast enough to dissipate heat which causes the body temperature to rise.


Causes of Dehydration in Adults

  • Fever, exposure to heat, over exercise
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Increased urination
  • Diabetes
  • Inability to drink water or fluid due to some physical trouble or disease.
  • Not availability of drinkable water.
  • Not availability of electrolytes in foods, such as potassium and sodium.
  • Major skin injuries or burns or skin infections that causes loss of water through damaged skin.


Symptoms and signs of dehydration in adults

There are many signs and symptoms of dehydration that range from mild to severe conditions which include -

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased headache
  • Little or no urine output throughout the day
  • Tiredness or sleepiness
  • Dry skin
  • Poor skin elasticity(skin after pinching taking time to return to normal state).
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy and confusion of mind.
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure

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